Aug 30, 2008

Denver highlights

I didn't have the time to do much writing while in Denver, but plan to lash together a few thoughts in the next day or two.

One point: The Democratic National Convention might as well have been a production of CNN considering the real estate and access the cable channel had.

Which is why I don't understand Bill Boyarsky's argument that the convention signaled the death of the mainstream media. I've never seen mainstream media look more powerful. In addtion to CNN, which ran its own grill (off limits to non-CNN journalists), both MSNBC and Fox took over entire buildings right outside the Pepsi Center.

Indeed, conventions are now the domain of cable television, not of print - and not, as far as I could see, of blogs. The LA Times might have been relegated to a spot inside the Tribune Co. compound, but that's a decision peculiar to Tribune. Most of the other big publications had ample space inside one of the four big tents.

I also want to address a vague report from The Hill's blog that said people with green press passes applauded and chanted during the Obama speech at Invesco Field. The story does not say whether they were members of the traditional media, bloggers, or just people who happened to get their hands on press passes - how about asking them who they work for? I sat in a section with hundreds of people wearing purple "hall" passes that grant access to the camera stands used by the working press. I don't think any of them were actually media; the people who surrounded us were party members, movie stars and residents of Denver given the passes as tickets into the stadium.

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