As The Observer approached the United Nations building yesterday evening, guests were handed an official-looking purple credential with an institutional insignia emblazoned on the front. “This is in case you need to go to the bathroom,” revelers were told.
Bathroom pass in hand, we ambled toward the Greater Talent Network’s 30th Anniversary fete. It was a tented affair, and guests were met with delegate-worthy river views and pomegranate martinis as they entered the space. Inside, a wide array of notables toasted the talent agency.
After a round of handshaking, Carl Bernstein was keen to share his views on the current state of American media. “Readers are really less interested in being open minded about information and more interested increasingly in reading things to confirm their already held prejudices, ideologies, beliefs, et cetera,” he said. “The real difficulty,” he continued, “is that there are fewer institutions that are committed to real reporting and many too many are focusing on gossip, sensationalism, manufactured controversy instead of the best attainable version of the truth.” On that subject, we asked about the recent Watergate allegations. “Obviously, nothing was fabricated for sensationalist value, and nothing was fabricated. But I’m writing a piece about it, so I’m not going to say much,” he said.
Standing near the entrance, Mia Farrow was anxiously awaiting the arrival of her son. “He’s coming in on the train,” she said. “And I’m excited because when he was a little boy, before he went to college—he went to college at eleven, you know—he said, ‘I want a da Vinci–esque life.’ He was eight. At ten—Oh my god, it’s Michael Moore,” she said, suddenly catching sight of the director. “Come with me! I need to take a picture,” she said, perfectly giddy.
Wearing a sweatshirt and jeans, Mr. Moore entered the tent and was immediately swarmed by admirers and colleagues. “Can I get you a drink? A beer maybe?” Ms. Farrow asked, hardly hiding her excitement at meeting the filmic guru.
“He really is larger than life,” one attendee remarked, with a soupçon of sarcasm, to taste.
Despite his prolix reputation, Mr. Moore was unable to identify the subject about which he most prefers to pontificate. In fact, our question was met with a surprisingly shrill giggle. “Just write that I’m speechless,” he said. When prodded further, however, Mr. Moore was more than willing to share his thoughts on the current state of the Republican party. “Well, they’ve kind of self-imploded,” he said. “They’re turning themselves into, like, an extinct party because younger people are never going to sign on to something that is bigoted against women, gays.”
Mr. Moore also offered his views on the upcoming French election. “I think Europe has got to try something different,” he said, removing his baseball cap and wiping his brow. “So, give the socialists a chance, see what happens.” Though he readily expressed his aversion to Nicolas Sarkozy, Mr. Moore’s political bias does not extend to the first lady, Carla Bruni. “Well, who’s not a fan of her, come on.”
Trying our luck, we asked Mr. Moore who he was wearing. Fortunately, and again startlingly, he giggled. “I came from work!” he said apologetically. Assuming his best red carpet affectation, Mr. Moore then described his ensemble. “I have a brown hoodie,” he began, “and the jeans I got a Kmart in their big and tall section. And the shoes are New Balance, made in America.”
Finally arriving after a long day at the State Department, Ronan Farrow was greeted ecstatically by Ms. Farrow, who immediately arranged a mother-son photo opportunity with Mr. Moore. Asked if he thought President Sarkozy would pull though in this weekend’s elections, Mr. Farrow smiled coyly. “Oh man, as a state department official I’ll have to decline except to say that we’re following with great interest,” he said. “I did a bunch of French press recently at a UN thing, and I had to give that line a lot,” he said. In French? we wondered. “I wish,” he laughed. “That would really up my stock.” Something to fall back on, say, when the whole child prodigy thing loses its novelty?
After toasts, a brief movie tribute to GTN and a round of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, guests skirted past the unsmiling security detail and emerged into the damp April evening.