Once More, for the Record

I notice that right-wingers are still bringing up the "fact" that Michael Moore was "invited" into Jimmy Carter's skybox at the Democratic Convention in Boston, the implication apparently being that the DNC got together and sent Michael an invitation months in advance so everyone would be sure to see him prominently sitting in the skybox with a former President and America would understand that This Is The True Face of The Democratic Party, blah blah blah.

Well, children, I was there that day, and that's just not how it happened. Longtime readers of my own blog will remember that I've tried to set the record straight on this any number of times. By way of exposition, here's a bit of what I wrote that evening:

I end up spending much of the day trailing in Michael's wake, observing the media circus and the crazy hassles of being famous on that level, where everyone recognizes you everywhere you go. When we are around media events -- in the Fleet Center and at a Congressional Black Caucus event -- the behavior of the pack of camera crews and reporters is just appalling. I keep thinking of scenes in A Hard Day's Night, where the Beatles are running wildly from hordes of fans -- it's that level of craziness, with genuine violent aggression thrown in. The camera guys will use their equipment to literally whack you out of their way, the reporters will trample right over you if they get the chance. You've certainly heard celebrities complaining about the media, and probably thought, oh ya whiner, get over it. But it is a strange and somewhat frightening thing when you are in the middle of it.

Even when we are away from the media events, the fact of celebrity remains incessant. We must strategize as to the best way to travel ten or fifteen feet and not get mobbed. We find a quiet place to eat lunch and are still interrupted every thirty seconds or so by someone who just-wants-to-say-how-much-they-enjoyed-the-movie. When we are on the move, people wave from across the street, honk their horns, do double takes. It simply never stops. (And Michael is gracious and patient with everyone who approaches him throughout the day. I never see him snap or lose his temper. I doubt that I would have that much grace under pressure.)

So. You want the true, inside scoop on how Michael Moore ended up in the Carter skybox that evening? Simple: utterly at random. After Michael went head-to-head with fightin' Bill O'Reilly (the reason we were on the skybox level in the first place), we were walking through the corridor and the crowd was gathering around us and starting to get scary in that Hard Day's Night kind of way. We happened to be passing the Carter skybox at that moment, as one of Jimmy Carter's sons -- Chip, if memory serves -- was coming out. He saw us about to get crushed by Michael's fans, and offered us sanctuary.

That one random moment of kindness has fueled right-wing conspiracy theories for two years now.

And here's a fun fact: I managed to get Duncan Black up into that skybox as well. So not only was Michael Moore up there that night with a former President -- so was Tom Tomorrow and Atrios. And that should give the wingnuts fodder for another two years ...

Tom Tomorrow would very much like you to buy his book.