This is going to be the world's longest week. Until the Republican convention, anyway.Starting off light, my father writes: "The really scary thing about this is that most of it sounded normal to me, unlike the accompanying article, which was full of words misspelled to sound like they do with a Boston accent."
Aw, a comparison chart of the DNC and WorldCon. (The best one is 39. In a word-association test, we respond to "Fahrenheit" with "451.")
The Thursday before convention week, my father wrote:
The Democratic National Convention arrives here next week.Tee!
So far I've noted two "models" for convention stories in the local media.
One is to treat the DNC like the Red Sox: Since it's local, you gotta love it. And you want to find out all about it. All the disappointments and idiosyncracies just make you want to know more. So we'll tell you.
The other model is "HURRICANE!" Disaster approaching! It's going to shut down half the city! Prepare now! And stay tuned.
Glenn quotes Neal Boortz from the DNC:
Had a Boston taxi driver yesterday from Iraq. He's going back home to visit his parents in a few weeks. He was none-too-pleased with the Democrats. He believes that Democrats hate his country and want Saddam to be back in power. He was adamant that things are much better in Iraq than the media is saying ... and he's at a loss as to why all of these media types won't tell the truth.Jeff Jarvis talks about how boring the convention is.
The day after i read that Jeff Jarvis post, i read Globe article which said: "[Tim] Russert [of NBC] added that if it weren't for the speeches by the Johns (Kerry and Edwards) and the Clintons (Bill and Hillary), there would be little reason to cover the conventions."
Then i read an article on Alternet subtitled "The bloggers came ready to cover the Democratic convention but found that they were the story instead."
Jeff Jarvis has manifestos on reinventing the conventions, for the parties and for the press.
"I think that bloggers have put the issue of professionalism under attack," said Thomas McPhail, professor of media studies at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, who argues that journalists should be professionally credentialed. "They have no pretense to objectivity. They don't cover both sides."
-from "Web Diarists Are Now Official Members of Convention Press Corps" By Jennifer Lee (NYTimes July 26, 2004)
You work in my field of choice? Does no one besides my father and i hate the false pretense to objectivity?
One good thing that is coming out of inviting bloggers to the convention is that while the journalists are working to define "blogger," everyone else is working to redefine "journalist."
James Lileks writes:
Teddy Kennedy said in his convention speech: “The only thing we have to fear is four more years of George Bush.” It’s really quite simple, isn’t it? We live in a manufactured climate of fear ginned up by war-crazed neocon overlords. There is no threat. The only thing we have to fear is Bush, who sits as we speak in the Oval Office sucking the marrow from Whoopi’s shin-bones.
If so, I wonder why anyone agreed to the stringent security policies that characterize this year’s conventions. Why the bomb-sniffing dogs? Why the snipers? Why the metal detectors, the invasive inspection of bags? Is it all an elaborate defense against Bush crashing the party and setting off a bomb belt, shouting God is Great, y’all!
No, they’re fearful of something else.
Damned if I know what, though.