Democracy in the Can?

One constant, in this celebration of democracy that is the Democratic National Convention? Exclusivity.

Seriously, you need a pass to go pretty much anywhere around here. Passes, of course, to get into the Pepsi Center itself, verified at no less than five different checkpoints, and issued in a rainbow of shades (including “light purple” AND “dark purple”) that denote your rank status worth to society specific seating area in the arena. Passes to get into “the perimeter,” the square mile or so of media tents and other venues surrounding the Pepsi Center. Passes to get into the blogger havens. Passes to get into the diners that have been taken over by various cable channels. Passes to get into the various parties sponsored by various political groups and media organizations.

Passes, truly, for everything:

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Megan Garber is an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. She was formerly a CJR staff writer.