Jack Schafer bemoans the flock of “pressies” who descend on the typically newsless political conventions (“Slate, I’m embarrassed to admit, is sending a team of eight to Denver and six to St. Paul. Attention! Don Graham! We’re spending your cash like it’s Zimbabwean bank notes!”) and offers a few suggestions for how to report at these events:
If the political press corps were honest, they’d start every convention story with the finding that nothing important happened that day and that your attention is not needed. Or they’d go searching toilet stalls for somebody with a wide stance. Instead, they satisfy themselves by being the co-producers of a bad reality-TV show about the coronation of a man who would be king.
Given the non-newsiness of these gatherings, Shafer predicts what the “average political reporter” “might” do (I’d say “will undoubtedly” do —to death):
This year, his eyes might glow with visions of a Clinton-Obama feud. When he stoops that low, you’ll know you’ve won the debate.
Liz Cox Barrett is a freelance writer and graphic designer in Kalispell, Montana. She worked as a newspaper journalist in Denver and Kalispell for 20 years.