Dispatch from planet Kos
What do you make of this?

I magically found myself with an RNC Guest Pass today (moohoohoohaahaa), and so I made my way toward the Garden, herded along with many, many, hot, pissed-off New Yorkers. Eventually, security stripped away layers of the great unwashed, leaving me strolling along the sidewalk with GOP delegates and other various soul-sucking creatures from the depths of hell.

As we waited to get through the final barricade before crossing 7th and going into MSG, a man guiding a wheelchair against the crowd called out.

“Excuse me… excuse me…” he shouted “Democrat coming through.”

Now, I don’t know if the crippled old man in the wheelchair was an actual Democrat or not, but I do know what the asshole behind me (O’Reilly wannabe pictured at right) shouted back.

“The river’s right over there. Why don’t you go dump him in for us.”

The author of the post uses this as proof of Republican evil. I say … what kind of dick wheels past GOP delegates yelling “Democrat coming through”? No one’s blameless in this.


I think the RNC delegates are uninformed – Michael Moore is not going to raise hell while acting as our columnist. The most he’s ever done to cause a ruckus has been confront Republicans (Newt Gingrich at a parade, congressmen on the Hill) and ask them flustering questions. My bet – and my hope, since I’ll be at the office waiting on the columns – is that he’ll use the mainstream forum to bring his ideas into the mainstream.


The NYC protests being broadcast on C-Span are enlightening and cool – especially because C-Span doesn’t censor anyone, so you can clearly hear people enunciating their opinions on whether we should “FUCK FOX NEWS” or “FOX NEWS SUCKS.”

I wonder what Greg Palast would make of this, too? He’s always harping on how Venezuela’s dissidents are rich white folks who don’t deserve our support. The crowd I’m watching now is whiter than bleached sand, and most have either digital cameras or cellphones recording the happy dissidence around them.


Nader on a roll
I’m not sure what’s funnier – that Nader is seen here saying what he’d do for Iraq as president, or that twenty-fucking-five people showed up to hear this. Look at the photo! I typically got audiences bigger than that when I appeared in debates at school as the editor of a weekly student paper.


Nader’s chances of becoming president
are slim. Well, of course. But here‘s even more proof. As of now, Ralph is not going to appear on the ballot in some of the most populous states. That means his overall popular vote is pretty much doomed to sink below 2 percent, and more importantly, it means he is not competing in states worth a total of 218 votes. To win, you need 270. If Nader is kept off the ballot in, say, Florida, Washington, Mississippi and Kentucky, there is no scenario in fantasy or science fiction that would let him win the White House.


They suck because I want them to suck and I DON’T SUCK!
I expected something embarrassing from this WSJ story on RNC bloggers after it was linked by Pandagon. Quoth Jesse:

And is it just me, or do many of them seem kind of…dickish? First, it was that all bloggers did was push gossip and innuendo. Now, it’s all about how all we did in Boston was provide coverage of who we saw and the celebrities we ran into. Both were (and are) grossly unfair overgeneralizations.

Let’s go to the tape!

– July 25 –
Well, I’m blogging from here as Matt Stoller metapictoblogs (Jesus, the words we come up with) me writing here. It’s strange to see these reporters up close, first thing. Many of them are much tinier than I thought – Wolf Blitzer is a short man.

– July 26 –

Okay, so as virtual nobodies, we’ve learned a valuable lesson. Knowing about parties does not garner you a way in to parties.

Perhaps the most important lesson of this convention, bar none. I really need to get in someone important’s pants by Tuesday in order to actually meet people – at this rate, I’m going to be reduced to hoping that someone shows up at one of the events I’ve already been invited to. I’ll even take a Utah Democrat, I swear!

This morning there was a blogger breakfast, one of the series of events that has been inexplicably dedicated to the awesome power of the blogger. Barack Obama and Howard Dean spoke (I even got to ask Howard a question, which I’ll get to later), as well as an AP reporter now blogging and one of Kerry’s old shipmates from Vietnam.

I’m just kind of spaced out now, but a few media impressions – Al Franken literally performs when he does his radio show, even with a media horde in front of him. Sean Hannity is a dick, but Jesus is he an ebullient dick – and he almost bumped into me, which might have started an incident. Actually, from an informal poll of bloggers, I really don’t think anyone would have thought that reflected poorly on me. Again, we’re excitable gossip-mongers, so take that as you will.

Apparently, there’s an interview set up with David Brock at some point – I’m also trying to get a few reporters and Democrats on the tip. There’s also some ruminations on the point of blogging at the convention, etc., but right now I just need to do this data dump.

– July 27 –

Besides Googling ourselves, the main activity of the day has been trying to set up interviews with people. I was on Michael Signorile’s show at about 3:15, and then tried to get over and meet with Ohio Rep. Marcy Kaptur. She didn’t show, nor did Gov. Ed Rendell of PA.

It’s the first “serious” day of the convention, with people showing up much earlier. So far, the list of pass-bys includes Bill Schneider, Jesse Jackson, Charlie Rangel, Sean Hannity (a-fucking-gain), Barack Obama, and Bob Graham. None of this really matters since we can’t actually get anyone to speak to us yet…but we’re working on it.

– July 29 –

The internet just erased my entire goddamn post on the party last night, but suffice to say that I left that party a virtual Goodwill store in footwear, because the shoes and socks were charmed off of everyone in that place.

Okay, I shouldn’t say that – I never got to talk to Eric Alterman, so I think I can rest assured he left the party with his tootsies covered and warm. Everyone else was rueing me…but in a genteel, appreciative way.

I’ll be on the Daily Show tomorrow, most likely, getting mocked by Ed Helms. That was my goal of the convention, and I accomplished it. It’s me complaining a bit about the DNC and getting access to people, and basically getting mocked for being a sexless nerd who’s not all that important.

In other words, I’ll be on the Daily Show. And I will probably look like shit. But I’ll have a lot of fun doing it.

Jesse’s coverage is all in that link, and it’s pretty bog standard. Not awful, but certainly too ordinary to justify a swipe at these RNC bloggers-to-be.


Tough questions
Lisa di Moraes’s write-up on Kerry’s upcoming Daily Show appearence is a little off.

Arsenio Hall did not ask tough questions, which Stewart does, we pointed out. If Kerry wants late-night softball questions, might it not be better to book him on Jay Leno’s show?

“Unlike President Bush, [Kerry] answers hard questions and, unlike Bush, he’s running a positive, issues-oriented campaign and has encouraged young people to vote and not to stay home” on Election Day, the spokesman shot back.

Actually, Stewart only asks hard questions of politicians he wants to nail, like Henry Bonilla. When anti-Bush folk come on the show, Stewart is as tough as a sofa bed. Hell, the producer says they’re going to ask Kerry why the media is so easy on Bush.

For more tough questions, see Stewart’s golly-gee Bill Clinton interview.