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Monday, August 30, 2004

SS stops NPR reporter from interviewing Michael Moore

W. Ralph Basham
Director, United States Secret Service

Dear Director Basham,

It's not often that the public gets a chance to hear the Secret Service in action. I was blessed with such an opportunity tonight while listening to Republican National Convention coverage on National Public Radio. They did a masterful job.

It all started when the demonic filmmaker, Michael Moore, arrived at the convention and made his way to his seat. NPR reporter Andrea Seabrook intercepted him to get his opinion of the unfolding events. Just as the interview began, courageous agents of the US Secret Service, without regard to the possibility that they might be hit in a crossfire of questions and answers, bravely threw their bodies in between Seabrook and Moore. Once they had secured that small corner of the marketplace of ideas, the agents instructed Seabrook to vacate the immediate area and NPR moved on to other commentary.

Thirty minutes later, the NPR anchor reconnected with Seabrook and asked her if she was ready to interview Moore. She replied that the agents were aggressively defending the area around the dark lord of celluloid against all attempts by the media to penetrate it. Indeed, even as she spoke, an agent commanded her to move a little farther away from her target. With a voice weary with resignation, she noted that it was the first time she had ever seen Secret Service agents act in such an obviously political manner.

Of course, it's easy to blame the agent's actions on politics, but it's more likely they were acting on security concerns. There is no telling what might have occurred had Moore and Seabrook been able to continue their interview. Perhaps the treacherous man from Flint would have grabbed Seabrook's microphone and drawn all of the electrical energy out of her recording equipment, using it to fuel powerful lasers implanted in his eyes. With a glance he could have turned the convention into a fiery hell of burning flesh and smoldering polyester.

Your agents are to be congratulated. They saved America tonight.

Heterosexually yours,

Gen. JC Christian, Patriot

Update: Here is a transcript of the broadcast. Audio is available here (click on Monday, hour 2)

1st clip begins at 31:19

NPR Reporter Andrea Seabrook: Hello Frank. I'm standing here with Michael Moore, the filmmaker who made Fahrenheit 911. Mr. Moore, why are you here?

Michael Moore: I'm here writing a guest column each day for USA Today.

Seabrook: OK, so you have credentials to...

Secret Service Agent: Come around here

Seabrook: I'm going to have to join him. They're kicking me out of this exact area but I can go around to...They just asked me to come around to the other side here.

NPR Convention Anchor Fred Stachio (phonetic spelling): Andrea Seabrook on the floor with Michael Moore.

Seabrook: [unintelligible]

Stachio: I know you're still there. I just want to be sure that you can still hear us while your being moved, Andrea.

Seabrook: Well, well I'm not...the Secret Service has blocked off that area. They're calling it a...a hazard because of the number of people who are a gathered around him. There aren't that many people, but the Secret Service won't let me around him anymore, so I think a the access to him might be cut off for a moment. We'll try to get back with him.

2nd clip begins at 39:55

Seabrook: Yes, I am in the middle of might be able to hear the Secret Service yelling into my mic at the same time. There, there are a bunch of Secret Service that have surrounded Michael Moore's section. There are three or four reporters with him right now, but they are trying to kick all of the reporters and press photographers who are around him out of his area. The convention staff is also here. They're standing here telling us that we have to move from this are...they're obviously disturbed by the fact that Michael Moore is here and want as little public here as possible.

Stachio: Can we hear? Can we hear what's going on? Can you stick a mic in there? I don't know if we can hear.

Seabrook:'ve sort of moved me away from that area.

Stachio: I don't understand. Who is it? Is it Secret Service?

Seabrook: It's Secret Service which is interesting because the Secret Service of all agencies is the one that the least involved in the sort of political...political kinds of things, but of course they always cover the candidates and they have to be involved in the convention like this. They claim that what they're doing is for safety reasons, although there is a almost nobody around Michael Moore right now. So a we'll see if I can a...

Secret Service Agent: [crosstalk] thank you very much

Seabrook: Yeah, I'm being herded back in four different ways right now.

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