The July 30 Reliable Source column incorrectly reported that Court TV's Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom, wife of San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, accompanied her husband at a Creative Coalition party in Boston on Wednesday during the Democratic convention. Guilfoyle Newsom was in New York at the time. The woman who complained about not being allowed into a VIP section was an event staffer. (Published 8/1/04)

Bummed in Boston: Democratic Party Poopers

After the Red Hot Chili Peppers blasted everyone into a fine stupor, the VIP sections at the Creative Coalition's party Wednesday night during the Democratic National Convention turned strange. In one room, conservative shouter Bill O'Reilly was seen chatting with liberal actor Billy Baldwin. Upstairs, nattily dressed Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) got in a few words with Peppers drummer Chad Smith, who looked as if he just wandered out of a junkyard. Back downstairs, a gelled bon vivant who could have stepped out of an Esquire fashion spread -- that would be San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom -- squired his Stepford-lovely wife, Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom, around LouisBoston, the chic fashion store hosting the gala. Then Guilfoyle Newsom tried to ascend alone to join partygoers upstairs -- and was blocked by security.

"Don't you know who I am?" she said, glaring and giving her name. Said the guard: "I don't care if you're the president of the United States, you can't go up." She huffed off. (Perhaps the guard just doesn't watch enough Court TV, where Guilfoyle Newsom co-hosts a program.) Movie actor Alan Cumming, in a seersucker suit, climbed the stairs unfettered, ha-ha-ha.

Wandering around the store looking for a drink, people found to their utter shock and amazement that no booze was being served, except in one VIP room so mobbed that fire marshals were turning people back. "How can they have a party without a bar?" declared a New York PR woman. "Let's go."

Also seen exiting briskly into the rain was a familiar face from Washington: Jim Courtovich, a political and corporate public affairs adviser, complaining loudly that he'd paid $5,000 for a ticket, but was informed that if he went to another part of the site to answer nature's call, he wouldn't be allowed back in. "Half-price day at Burger King is more fun than this," he groused, then warned the crowd thronging the barricades to turn back. "It's the worst event I've ever seen!"

Maybe not. Over at the Wang Theatre, hundreds of Dem supporters jammed the sidewalk, barred from a reception by the Democratic National Committee's finance division. Fire codes again. Courtovich said he'd never seen so many angry people at a convention. "I've been to six. Five of them were Republican."

Will the Republicans bring more discipline to their partying logistics? We can only hope. Or just stay home . . . please?

Lewis Black: Covering Campaigns, With the Emphasis on Pain

* One question for veteran "Daily Show" commentator Lewis Black: Why on earth have we all been in Boston all week?

"Because somebody's paying us! That's the deal," the comedian ranted. "You have no idea how disturbed I am. I've been involved in political campaigns since I was 10, carrying buckets of fried chicken and that sort of thing, and I can't even bear to look at it anymore. My focus is: At what point am I going to kill myself?"

Black, 64, who grew up in Silver Spring, reminisced about campaigning as a teen for the late Rep. Carlton Sickles and winning an invite to the 1964 Democratic National Convention. "They rewarded the youth of America with a bus trip to Atlantic City. After a horrific day of speeches, the big thing at the end was you got to meet Lyndon Johnson's daughters. After that I was done with politics as we know it."

Black will deliver wrap-up commentary tonight on Jon Stewart's popular show on Comedy Central. Asked to describe his style, he said, "If you want to say I'm Bill O'Reilly on acid, that's okay." He added: "I'm hoping it will be the segment in which I just burst into flame."

SQUIBS

* 2004 is so over: Details mag has skipped this election to announce in its August issue "The Next Next President of the United States." Its six-page spread touts Rep. Harold Ford Jr., 34, the Democrat from Tennessee who already has his eye on the Senate, as "one of the first real rock stars to emerge from the Democratic Party since Bill Clinton." Even Republican pollster Frank Luntz has Ford fever, saying, "He may well be the most articulate Democrat in America today. He transcends partisanship, he transcends ideology, he transcends race, he transcends generation . . . ."

* Annoy the media: As Black Eyed Peas rocked the FleetCenter Wednesday night, Fox News Channel main man Brit Hume saw something more than entertainment at work. "If the intention was to make sure the dreaded instant analysis by network pundits could not be easily heard by the audience, well, who better than Black Eyed Peas with this particular performance," he said. When the hip-hop rockers finished their show, Hume continued: "Well, there you have it. Black Eyed Peas and their rendition of the song that is known to be widely popular with swing voters across America, especially that refrain when they go 'ya, ya, ya, ya,' that is believed by the Kerry camp to make an enormous difference in certain key states like Ohio, Missouri and so on." Now it makes perfect sense.

With Anne Schroeder