Friday, September 7, 2012

Friday Funday: Cheap Shots & Kudos

After two weeks, too much travel, too little sleep, and more politicians in two places than fifty U.N. world summits, the quadrennial political party conventions for the Democratic and Republican parties are done.

If you're one of the approximately 15,000 members of the media who have invaded both Tampa and Charlotte over the last two weeks, we'll be raising our glasses to you this evening, in a collegial salute. Whether you support the conventions or not, most of you in the media were simply trying to produce and publish top-notch work in incredibly trying conditions over the last two weeks.

For those of you who chose the high road and didn't just take the cheap shot, write the trash story, grab the easy footage, or slap together some clickbait for the web, thanks. For those of you who actually tipped your waitstaff - in both cities - twenty percent or more, our thanks go out to you as well.

Not everyone in the media chose the same path these last two weeks.

Some of our colleagues reached for the easy shots these last two weeks. They didn't bust their behinds for the good interviews, didn't push their deadlines to the wall. They reached for the cheap shots of racism, fear, and lies - or they swallowed whole the poison fed to them by the worst members of the political establishment.

Frankly, covering the Republican convention was much harder to do this year than the Democratic convention. The sheer amount of lies pouring from the GOP candidates and pundits this year was not only astounding, but sickening. Contrast that with multiple fact checks from the Democratic convention that effectively said, 'Nothing really to check here.'

In Tampa, the mood was dark, filled with anger and racism, and both attendees and members of the media felt like they were in some kind of demilitarized zone.

In Charlotte, the atmosphere was positive, even jovial. We even know of one particular hole in the wall which hosted both left and right leaning journalists, having a few drinks and talking with one another - though for the safety of their jobs, we won't reveal who those folks were.

No matter whether you're tipping Macallan 18, a Miller or Bud, or a cool iced tea this weekend, if you're a member of the media - or you're someone who enjoys high quality news coverage - we hope you enjoy every last moment of this weekend, preferably away from most media sources.

This is the last chance you'll get to breathe for another ten weeks.

The real campaign begins now.

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