About 15,000 members of the news media are expected to descend upon the Republican National Convention in New York City at the end of August — about three per delegate. City officials — who obviously haven’t hung around journalists very often — are operating under the theory that “a well-fed, well-manicured news media will make for positive news coverage.”

Today, Michael Slackman of The New York Times details just how the New York Host Committee plans on massaging the messengers. Barneys New York, the pricey clothier, will be at the sprawling media center offering supplies of white shirts (matching ties, extra), suitable shoes and sartorial counseling. It may even offer free spa services to the working press. (Don’t count on pedicures, though.) And, for those last-minute emergencies, some of the city’s four-star hotels are volunteering concierge services to the not-so-ink-stained wretches — shaves, shoeshines, shirts “dewrinkled.”

While we can’t speak for all journalists (especially those in broadcast), it seems unlikely to us here at the fashion mosh pit known as Campaign Desk that there’ll be a high demand for $150 Italian silk ties or $380 pairs of red pumps. Heck, the dress code in most newsrooms in America isn’t much beyond a plaintive city editor asking, “Don’t you ever wash your feet?”

But concerned New Yorkers think they can see through the tough exteriors of those pencil-chomping scribes to their inner metrosexuals. Declares Frederick Bigler, chief concierge at the Ritz-Carlton, who’ll be on hand: “The media are real people, too, with family and friends.” And, presumably, expense accounts.

Susan Q. Stranahan

Susan Q. Stranahan wrote for CJR.