The candidacy of the challenger is a strange thing because it’s very much limited to words. He can’t do anything. He can’t go out and implement the policy or go hold some talks with North Korea. So what he’s got is a speech. And a show … A lot matters right there in terms of the kind of momentum and energy and satisfaction that the Democratic party is going to find coming out of the convention. Even as [the press] stands around and say[s], well, nothing’s going on, something is going on.

LCB: What is the most absurd/surprising/memorable thing you’ve witnessed at the Democratic Convention thus far, ideally involving a member of the press?

PG: There was an extremely blonde, busty and sort of got-up young lady in one of the front rows of one of delegations’ sections on the floor. And she seemed to be getting an enormous amount of interviews. She had the sort of cheerleader look. It’s kind of hilarious how you could probably scan that audience and pick out 15 people who are going to get interviewed more than anyone else. It’s because they’re visually arresting in one way or another, whether they arrest the male reporters or they are wearing a funny hat or they have 378 different lapel buttons pasted all over them or something like that. They are going to be the person who everyone wants to stop and get on their local camera.

I do think the single most bizarre thing here is the idea that there’s no news here so it will not be on the networks. And the whole thing is designed in a network versus cable program. You can tell where the juice is because it’s set up to go on for the right time for the network hour. And that creates this sense of several separate levels of the convention itself. You can feel that in the hall, it’s sort of like, you’re the warm up act and now it’s show time.

Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.