I’m so glad I’m doing what I’m doing. The [print reporters] will cover an event that goes on in the morning over here and maybe their story gets on the Web that night. For me, it’s kind of instant gratification. I wouldn’t really want to trade with my colleagues.


LCB: Seen anything scary in Media Center?


DS: Scary?


LCB: Or, how would you describe the vibe in the Media Center?


DS: The Media Center is kind of disturbing, because we’re all kind of hemmed into this big warehouse building in the middle of nowhere. I think people are friendlier than they would be at a regular old sporting event, like at an NCAA basketball game it doesn’t seem like people greet each other in the line at the buffet or whatever. Here, it seems like every time you wait in line for a piece of pizza you have to introduce yourself to the Belgian journalist behind you.


LCB: How can tell an American journalist from a non-American journalist over there — or can you?


DS: To me the number one giveaway is the white sneakers. I wrote about that a little bit. It’s definitely striking. And I’ve worn my white sneakers a little bit, too. It clearly signifies you as American.


LCB: How is the Cheney hunting accident playing over in Italy? What’s the buzz in the Media Center on the topic?


DS: We have our own little office so I hang out with Washington Post people all day. As far as what we’re doing I think we all just try to work in a Cheney shooting joke once or twice into our copy. Other than that it’s kind of just something to read [about].


LCB: I’d like to get your thoughts on something that is burning up the blogosphere. Bryant Gumbel of HBO’s “Real Sports” apparently recently said the following about the Winter Olympics: “Try to blot out all logic when announcers and sportswriters pretend to care about the luge, the skeleton, the biathlon and all those other events they don’t understand and totally ignore for all but three weeks every four years. Face it — these Olympics are little more than a marketing plan to fill space and sell time during the dreary days of February. So if only to hasten the arrival of the day they’re done, when we can move on to March Madness — for God’s sake, let the games begin.” In the same segment he also mentioned that the Winter Olympics looks like a “GOP convention,” complexion-wise. Discuss.


DS: It’s definitely an immensely white crowd — journalists and fans and athletes.


LCB: And white-sneakered, too?


DS: Yeah, definitely. The American speedskater Shani Davis, the big buzz around him was that he was the one black superstar in the speedskating world. It’s definitely a white world over here.

Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.