Michael Moore Won’t Return to Madison Square Garden

Moore Won’t Return to Madison Square Garden (Editor and Publisher)

Following all the commotion last night, Michael Moore will not be returning to Madison Square Garden for the Republican National Convention, E&P has learned. According to editors at USA Today, which is publishing his daily column this week, Moore told them that he was choosing not to return again. However, they said he would continue to write his daily column and they stressed that in no way did they second-guess their decision to have him write the commentary.

Last month, Ann Coulter, who had been hired by USA Today to write a column at the Democratic National Convention, quit after the editors requested many changes in her first submission. [Interesting spin. -ed.]

After entering the Garden Monday night with USA Today credentials, Moore was criticized by Sen. John McCain in his speech, setting off prolonged boos and taunts in the arena. “We had hoped we would be able to put Moore in place where he could actually listen to speeches and not disrupt anything,” Ken Paulson, USA Today editor, told E&P today. “The idea was not to put him in the line of sight while giving him the opportunity to observe. Now Moore doesn’t plan to return to the convention. I think he saw the down side of his attending. We will have the four days of his column and I hope people will take time to read what he wrote.

It’s probably best for all concerned that Moore not be part of the story he’s supposedly “covering.” Still, the reaction to his presence was hardly unpredictable.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2004
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. carpeicthus says:

    Honest question: Isn’t “quit after the editors requested many changes in her first submission” true? Do you want them to insert “stupid editors who didn’t get her oh-so-brilliant humor?” Maybe I’m wrong, but I thought she walked.

  2. James Joyner says:

    Well, they “spiked” the column and then decided not to run more of them. That’s essentially a firing rather than her quitting. Coulter isn’t a reporter who would have an supervising editor but an opinion columnist who would be expected to have free rein. The basic artist/craftsman distinction.

    I thought the column was awful but it is typical Coulter. Clearly, they changed their minds about having a Coulter column after hiring her.

  3. carpeicthus says:

    OK, thanks. It seems to have been a two-way street (her experience with NRO shows how well she responds to editing) but your comments are valid. There clearly was editoral incompetence at USAT on this issue, and it began the moment they thought it would be a good idea in the first place.