Somewhere, over the rainbow, a blog is born. A blog for Kansas. A blog for America. A blog by a reporter with a difficult-to-pronounce last name. But most importantly, a blog that is AMERICA'S ONLY PLACE dedicated to the vital intersection of politics and Sunflowers. The Heartland gods nod in wise approval.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

A well-fed media

Walking through the press pavilion outside Boston's Fleet Center, I can't yet shake the feeling I'm in some sort of documentary. The whole setting is straight out of every stock-footage piece ever used to say, "news industry." Every big name in American journalism is sectored off under a big blue tent (will the Republican tent be red?) with organization ID emblazoned on the front: Washington-Post-New-York-L.A.-Times-Scripps-Newhouse-Ridder-Gannett. String them all together, and it reads how corporate journalism will look like after the Big Media Merger of 2020.

Wandering the halls you see Important Media People communicating Important Media Messages on their cell phones -- inside the pavilions, you see tangles of cables and tech folks in jeans, explaining to Frustrated Media People why their connections don't work. (I spent a half-hour in that scene.) The media people don't wear jeans -- they're practical-yet-professional, tasteful-yet-trendy, ready to hide behind their clunky librarian glasses faster than you can say "left-wing bias," -- or even "fair and balanced."

More power to 'em. I'm just blitherin' cold. The Knight Ridder office is directly below the makeshift air-conditioning system which, to keep The New York Times at 68 degrees, needs to keep us at 55 degrees -- such is the plight of working for a nonelite newspaper chain. I am literally seeing people blow on their hands for warmth. The TV people inside the convention hall apparently have it better -- of course, conventional wisdom has pretty much conceded American political conventions to television production values since the "New Nixon" was launched in 1968. But the printed word soldiers on. Apparently we're all having catered dinners and free coffee throughout the convention, and (I'm not the first to say this) a well-fed media is a happy media.

Stay tuned. Tonight is my first convention party, a reception in honor of Gov. Kathleen Sebelius and the Kansas congressional delegation. It is, of course, at a steakhouse.