“Why aren’t you clapping? Are you Democrats?”

Earlier this evening, I met Brian Lambert, a Minneapolis-based media critic who’s been blogging the RNC from The Liffey, an Irish Pub adjacent to the Xcel Center. I just checked out the results of his work, The View from the Liffey—a smart and salty insiders’ perspective on the bubblicious pageantry that is the St. Paul convention—and thought this vignette was nicely indicative of the general attitude toward the press that’s been on display at the Xcel Center over the past few days:

“What’s the matter with you guys? Why aren’t you clapping? Are you Democrats?”

My ears were still ringing with the chant of, “Drill, baby drill!” and Sarah Palin was waving to a delirious crowd, so it took a second before I realized the right and honorable gentleman from California behind us—a guest, not a delegate—was talking to me.

My Palin-watching companion, a highly-remunerated icon of Twin Cities newspapers, told the guy, “We’re reporters. We’re working. It isn’t cool to applaud what you cover.” The guy looked around like someone who just caught two satanists in the act of defiling the temple and needed a rope and three more able-bodied Christians to tie us to a stake.

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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.