Sunday, September 19, 2004

Centre Daily News : No Cover | Michael Moore flaunts flaw: humanity

You wouldn't think filmmaker Michael Moore could be daunted by public attention.

This is a guy who seemed to get his jollies from an arena full of scornful jeers at the Republican National Convention. He's made mockery of the Bushes into a well-choreographed art. His "mockumentary" of the current Bush administration, "Fahrenheit 9/11," turned into the most profitable documentary-type flicks ever.

But deep inside a news-media center during the RNC this month, the portly son of Michigan looked a tad intimidated.

This'll take some explaining.

It was Sept. 1, the third day of Moore's weeklong stint as a convention-covering columnist for USA Today. And, to the shock and awe of national correspondents accustomed to slams from the self-identified arbiter of truth, Moore agreed to give an impromptu news conference outside Reuters' New York convention offices.

I was hunched over my laptop in Knight Ridder's nearby newsroom, sandwich in hand, when the word started floating about. Moore's just down the hall, we heard.

How perfect! I thought. I'd been waiting for weeks to question -- and skewer -- the lefty conspiracy theorist, who earlier promised to reveal but failed to deliver some fresh Bush-damning news.

The command for the broadcaster arrived circuitously through a call from Vice President Dick Cheney's office, Moore alleged. He went on to say that if the broadcaster wouldn't publicly "out" himself or herself, Moore would do so on his Web site within several days.

But Moore didn't. The broadcaster wasn't outed. Weeks passed. My queries submitted to Moore's people -- asking Moore to follow up on his promise -- went unanswered.

So, when Moore popped up outside the Reuters office at the GOP's four-day soiree, I was ready. I smelled blood.

(click on the title for the whole article)


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