The Fix

Michael Moore takes the high road, gets stopped along the way; Dave Matthews Band feels awful about sewage drop. Plus: Shy girls Paris and Christina seen "making out."

By Salon Staff
Published August 31, 2004 9:23AM (EDT)

Turn On:
Tuesday night is Arnold Schwarzenegger's big night at the Republican National Convention. Oh, and Laura Bush speaks, too. (Check local listings.) Or if you're really into the idea of torturing yourself with uncomfortable thoughts of impending doom, you can take in "Seconds From Disaster" (8 p.m. ET, National Geographic), which analyzes the events leading up to horrible tragedies like plane crashes and train derailments and stuff.

Morning Briefing:
Moore's moment on the high road: When USA Today asked conservative commentator Ann Coulter to cover the Democratic National Convention last month, it was Coulter's piece (which the paper ultimately declined to publish, replacing Coulter with Jonah Goldberg) that caused much controversy; at the Republican National Convention, which the paper asked Michael Moore to weigh in on, it was Moore himself. Sen. John McCain called the crowd's attention to Moore, calling him a "disingenuous filmmaker" and encouraging delegates to chant "four more years" in his general direction (Moore responded with "two more months" and later thanked McCain for alluding to his movie, "Fahrenheit 9/11," and possibly boosting its box office). Apparently getting to his seat in the press section was not a piece of cake for the filmmaker, who was stopped several times on his way there (a large crowd of reporters, who he called his "big rugby scrum," was following him), prompting him to quip, "It's easier to go to a Knicks game, that's for sure." Owen Ullman, the USA Today editorial page's deputy managing editor, who hired Moore to cover the convention, was surprisingly surprised by the skirmish surrounding Moore, telling the Washington Post, "We invited Mr. Moore to write a column for us, and he asked if he could unobtrusively observe the convention. We did not anticipate that many would consider him the story and that it would create such commotion." But Moore's first opinion piece from the convention floor, "The GOP Doesn't Reflect America," which appears in today's editions of the national newspaper, takes an unexpectedly sweet tack. "Welcome, Republicans. You're proud Americans who love your country. In your own way, you want to make this country a better place," Moore writes. "Whatever our differences, you should be commended for that." (Editor & Publisher, Washington Post, USA Today)

Who was at John McCain's 68th birthday party on Sunday night? Who wasn't there? The Washington Post reports that the following press luminaries joined the senator's mother, wife, aunt and daughter to toast him at La Goulue on Madison Avenue: Tom Brokaw, Tim Russert, Peter Jennings, Barbara Walters, Ted Koppel, George Stephanopoulos, Mike Wallace, Dan Rather, Bob Schieffer, Andrew Heyward, David Westin, Richard Parsons, Judy Woodruff, Jeff Greenfield, Chris Matthews, Gloria Borger, Charlie Rose, Mort Zuckerman, Don Graham, William Safire, David Brooks, Michael Lewis and Walter Shapiro. Oh, and Michiko Kakutani, too. (Washington Post, Lloyd Grove's Lowdown)

Attention, Chicago: The Dave Matthews Band is sorry about that whole "bus dumping incident" the other week. You know, the one in which their bus driver has been accused of flushing hundrends of pounds of sewage into the river and onto the upturned faces of a boat full of architecture-observing tourists. In a note posted on its Web site, the band says they are cooperating fully with authorities to help them get to the bottom, as it were, of the whole mess: "We want everyone to know that we care deeply about what happened to the people on the boat that day, which was terrible, and the damage that occurred to Chicago's environment. We are not attempting to avoid any responsibility we may have for the incident. We love Chicago, we love the city and we love the people. It is one of our favorite cities to play. We would never do anything to offend the people of Chicago or any of our fans. If we were responsible for what happened, we will work quickly to make amends, with the people on the boat and with Chicago." (The Official Dave Matthews Band Web site)

Also: Christina Aguilera and Paris Hilton nuzzled each other at a post-MTV/VMA party at the Raleigh Hotel in Miami on Sunday night, and according to one witness, "suddenly started making out" (Zzzzzz) (Lloyd Grove's Lowdown, Page Six) ... The Double Tree Hotel has taken bottles of ketchup off the tables in their restaurant for fear of offending visiting Republican delegates with the Heinz labels (Page Six) ... And Vincent Gallo and Roger Ebert have met and totally made up -- even bonding over the states of their prostates -- after their whole "Brown Bunny"/cancer-curse thing last year. (Chicago Sun-Times)

-- Amy Reiter

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