Harold Ford Jr.'s 'superstar' tour rider, and a flap over New York geography

The Smoking Gun, which has long had fun revealing the fussy tour "riders" of pop stars, has gotten hold of Harold Ford Jr.'s contract for his $20,000-a-pop speaking gigs. Page 2 is the rider, a document which typically lays out specific instructions for the artist's accommodations, travel arrangements and the like.

Of note, Ford's rider mentions that he is allergic to shellfish. But what really gives The Smoking Gun a kick are the portions that seem to anticipate "swarms of adoring fans."

Ford demands that when his limo driver picks him up, the chauffeur must be carrying a sign reading "H.F.." Presumably, if the Democrat's name was spelled out, hordes of fans/groupies would be alerted to his impending arrival and swarm him (something that has bedeviled the Jonas Brothers). On the security front, if he is appearing before a packed house, Ford, 39, needs an "alternate entrance & exit at the venue," to, again, apparently avoid the crush of devotees.

The particular contract that The Smoking Gun posts is from Ford's speaking engagement Wednesday at Northwest Missouri State University. His appearance brought yet another round of jeers and guffaws from Ford critics, who jumped on him for seemingly being ignorant of New York City geography. The St. Joseph News-Press originally reported that Ford, in a question about whether the 9/11 terror suspects should be tried in Manhattan, said that he lives "about a block" from the federal courthouse. Said Daily Kos diarist brooklynboy: "Apparently Mr. Ford has no idea where the Federal Courthouse is New York City is."

But why would he travel to conservative rural northwestern Missouri, where people definitely wouldn't know such things, and say that he LIVES A BLOCK FROM THE COURTHOUSE?

The answer, in my view, is simple: Harold Ford is a born liar. In a pathetic attempt to kiss up to the locals in Missouri about his anti-terror bonafides, he attempted to imply that he would be personally impacted by terror trials taking place in New York. He did that even though it is abundantly clear they would be nowhere near either his home or his office.

Back in St. Joe, the News-Press published a correction to its story on Ford's speech, saying that Ford actually lives a mile and a half from the courthouse. The newspaper chalked up the confusion to "a reporter's error."

Does anyone out there actually believe that it was an honest mistake, and not a browbeating phone call from Ford himself or a handler, that occasioned the St. Joe paper's correction?



Crazy, isn't it? The lives the rich live. Though I've often thought how challenging it must be to not have any privacy and always have people and photographers everywhere... all the time. Guess it's one of things where you can't have your cake and eat it too. I think I would rather have riches and skip the fame part,

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