One thing I enjoy about having the great opportunity to attend events like the RNC Convention is seeing how different things look and feel in person. Here are a couple things I never really internalized watching conventions on TV.
First, the TV interviews are often haphazard. It seems someone will walk by a TV booth and someone will grab them and say “hey, Mr. X, want to be FOX News?” Why else would someone like the Google CEO be interviewed at the RNC? But when I watch it on TV, it seems planned. Turns out, it is much more random than it looks.
Second, the convention is full of boring speakers. I guess this might not be a big surprise to most people. But I entirely understand why the major networks only cover one or two speakers each day. Most speakers are decent at giving a speech, but they cover very similar points without rousing passion. The exception so far is for the big name speakers: President Bush, The First Lady, Senator Fred Thompson, and Senator Joe Lieberman.
Third, the media makes stuff up. This is not news to many political activists or to anyone who has been quoted in a local newspaper. But it bears repeating. The treatment of Gov. Palin has been incredibly inaccurate on some major points. The 24 hour news stations pushed the idea that Palin was insufficiently vetted. Yet every piece of evidence shows that the McCain campaign knew about every piece of news that has hit the wire before they choose Palin. The news media did not know these things, and they seem to be presuming that the McCain campaign did not. Also, the current debate on whether Palin might have to withdraw as the VP nominee comes entirely from the media. There is no talk among delegates or anyone within the campaign that they have ever considered such a thing. It’s idle speculation based on nothing. Somehow, it is easier to tell how much the MSM makes stuff up when you are sitting here in person.
Fourth, much of the convention is not at the convention. This year seems a little bit different because Monday was canceled. But even ignoring Monday, the vast majority of the convention events are not at the Xcel Center. There are talks, panels, delegation events for each state, and even Google/RedState brunches. Since the convention itself occurs in the evening, most of the daytime is spent eating and talking to other people who live within the “bubble” of politics. The TV media doesn’t really cover these events, preferring to do talking head interviews inside the convention hall.
Fifth, there are no protesters in my world. I see these mobs of protesters on TV. And I know some other RedStaters have gone out in search of them and found them in clouds of tear gas. But if you drive into the city, park, and go the convention, you really don’t run into the big crowds. At most, you see a few people with signs and some people who are a bit under-dressed and perhaps in need of a shower but not the massive throngs of anarchists that seem to get splashed on the news.