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Media Notes From the Democratic National Convention

Seen on the convention floor….

There is a free-form, occasionally comic side to the Democratic Convention that plays out on the arena floor, but never is broadcast on television.

From early morning until the official 4 p.m. start time, the vast, blue-carpeted floor of the Fleet Center is a sea of gawking tourists (those that have wangled arena credentials, at least), politicians in search of a reporter or television camera and journalists in search of anything approximating news.

On Monday, for example, the filmmaker Michael Moore came onto the floor in his trademark baseball cap and was immediately surrounded by a huge scrum of reporters, camera men, soundmen wielding long-handled boom mikes and curious onlookers. For the next 45 minutes, he held forth on the perfidies of the Bush administration, the response to his hit film, “Fahrenheit 9/11,” and his forecast of a John Kerry victory in November.

A few feet away, the cast and crew of “Tanner ’04,” an update of the cult favorite television series “Tanner 88,” was shooting a scene involving Cynthia Nixon of “Sex and the City” fame, Michael Murphy, who plays Jack Tanner, and Madeline Albright, the former secretary of state, who has a walk-on part in the new series that is to air on the Sundance channel this fall.

Robert Altman, the director, saw the commotion around Michael Moore and sent his crew over to get some footage.

“This is about as incestuous as it gets,” Altman said, “a documentary film about a documentary filmmaker, who walks on to the set of a documentary film. Talk about a play within a play!”

Other sightings on the arena floor: the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who is drawn to television cameras like the proverbial moth to a flame, and Jerry Springer, the talk show host who is considering running for governor in Ohio.


Here’s a scoop, at least as of 4:35 p.m. July 27: Ron Reagan, the son of the late Republican president, who is a featured speaker at the convention tonight, has written the following closing line to his audience of Democrats:

“Whatever else you do come November 2nd, I urge you, please, cast a vote for embryonic stem-cell research.”

Sounds like a Kerry endorsement to me.

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