I had to take an early cab ride this morning–dropping off a visiting 12-year-old at art camp in Georgetown–and our taxi driver treated us to Michael Moore’s speech (unofficial, of course) at the Democratic Convention, broadcast on something called Democracy Now! What an earful! The three of us sat transfixed: me, the 12-year-old, and the driver, an immigrant from somewhere or other east of the Levant. My favorite line in the speech came from this one of Moore’s numerous rants against the Bush administration:
“They are up at six in the morning trying to figure out which minority they are going to screw today. Our side, we never see six in the morning,”
Then–oops! Moore suddenly remembered that he’s supposed to represent the little guys–you know, the working-class Americans, many of them from ethnic minorities, who actually get up at six in the morning or earlier because, unlike Michael Moore and the artistic elite who now run the Democratic Party, they have to go to work. So Moore quickly laughed and added, “unless we’ve been up all night.”
OK, Michael, that gets you back the graveyard shift.
Moore terrifies Democratic presumptive nominee John Kerry, who either hasn’t seen Moore’s rabidly anti-Bush (and anti-truthfulness) Fahrenheit 9/11 or is pretending he hasn’t. But there’s one thing to be said for Moore: he’s sure a lot more interesting than any of the official convention speakers, even (perhaps especially) Howard Dean, and even “Mother” Teresa Heinz Kerry, woman of opinion. A crowd reportedly waited in line more than five hours to cram into the 2,000 seats in a hotel ballroom in Cambridge, Mass., the university town just across the Charles River from Boston, where the official convention is being held. As the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Dennis Roddy reported:
“[Moore] spent 45 minutes roaring back at a crowd that seemed ready to nominate him for president in lieu of John Kerry. An hour earlier, Howard Dean gave a speech that left listeners wondering if he had actually run against Mr. Kerry, as it so sloshed with praise for the man whose minions depicted him as a screaming meemie.”
Moore’s speech was mostly the usual denunciations of the “unelected” G.W. Bush’s sending young people to die in Iraq for “lies.” But in the middle of the rave he threw in something truly weird: an anecdote about a well-known–but unnamed by Moore–television personality who told Moore that Vice President Dick Cheney had tried to censor his news coverage of the war. Here is how National Review’s Byron York reports what Moore said the television personality told him:
“When the war started, it was very difficult here to book the people we wanted to book and ask the questions we wanted to ask. In fact, I got a memo about my tone of voice. Apparently, the brass had received a call from Dick Cheney’s office, they said they didn’t like my tone of voice. I got a memo on it.”
What??? Fortunately for us curious ones, Moore has threatened to out the the guy or gal–“one of the most well-known people in America”–in about one week if that person doesn’t come forward on his or her own to tell the story. “That person is on notice now,” said Moore.
Wow! Link to Moore’s website next Wednesday morning or thereabouts to find out whom Cheney’s been calling. Moore promises that the name will be there.
When the Moore screamfest was over, a Democracy Now! announcer intoned, “Michael Moore did not deliver that speech to the Democratic Convention.” The three of us in the taxicab laughed.
“I loved that bit about six in the morning,” I said.
“I’m up at six in the morning,” said the cabdriver.
Michael, are you sure you’re really from blue-collar Flint, Mich.? Well, actually, you’re not. That’s another one of your little truth-benders. But now that Moore has added his two cents to the Clinton/Dean/Teresa mix, the important question is: How big a bounce will G.W. Bush get from the Democratic convention?