Susan Sarandon is one of a handful of celebrities — along with Sean Penn, Jane Fonda, and former partner Tim Robbins — who's known for being a big, outspoken liberal even by the standards of Hollywood. (She is also known for playing ping-pong, but sadly this story doesn't include her throwing down with a table-tennis racket.) Maybe that's why it's not super-surprising that, while at a Tribeca Film Festival panel yesterday, Sarandon said that she'd been under government surveillance, The Daily Beast reports:
“We know we were under surveillance,” Sarandon said in answer to a question from the audience […] “I’ve had my phone tapped,” she went on, noting that she gleaned the disturbing evidence from two Freedom of Information Act requests. “I was denied a security clearance to go to the White House and I don’t know why. Do you know why?”
Liberal firebrand and documentary filmmaker Michael Moore, who was also in attendance, said he wouldn't be shocked if the same were true for him, though it sounds like he would suspect someone other than the Feds:
Moore… said about being spied upon, “I never think about it,” though he wouldn’t be surprised if “somebody, somewhere” has subjected him to surveillance. “As it should be,” he joked.
“I’ll make a prediction about the phone hacking thing and Murdoch,” Moore added. “It’s going to be discovered that it’s been going on here.”
I'm not sure whether I'm willing to believe this, though. On the one hand, it could be seen as not completely unusual celebrity self-aggrandizement. Why would the government bother with spying on Sarandon? It's not like she's dealing arms in Pakistan. On the other, the government does, sometimes, focus their attention on stuff that seems pretty dumb; tapping the phone of an actor who likes to speak out against the Iraq War would be more or less pointless, but it's the sort of trivial thing that sounds like a plausible and silly move.
On the third hand (may I borrow one of yours?), I would totally believe that part of Murdoch's empire, like Fox News, might spy on Michael Moore in order to dig up some dirt and stoke the viewers' outrage. Not like they really need to — his movies do all the work for them — but they love wasting time on stupid shit like that, and I'm 100% sure they care more about him than the U.S. government does.