. . . Friday July 30, 2004

Being There, Revisited

When I first arrived in Boston, I wrote a post suggesting that being here might mean missing the story (or at least a big part of it). While I was here, I had the chance to meet many interesting people, to see our democracy at work firsthand and to stand outside the door at some of the city’s most exclusive parties.

There was a lot to learn. There was a lot to cover. And meeting many of the other bloggers was a major highlight.

But I did miss a lot of the story by being here. I heard from a friend last night that many of the cable networks didn’t even show the bio videos that were so effective in the arena. When I watched the speech on television after the fact, the differences in the volume of the crowd and Kerry’s visual presentation were remarkable.

I got the scoop on how this thing played in the arena. But as I’ve said over and over, all that really matters is how it played on television. In fact, all that really, really matters is how it played on television in the living room of an undecided swingstate voter. All the political and media shoulder rubbing aside, the real scoop would have been to blog from one of those living rooms (certainly, our seats would’ve been better).

Throughout the week, I’ve been comparing being at the convention to being in the studio audience for the filming of a sitcom. It is interesting, yes. But all that really matters is how it looks on the tube. Mathew Gross had a similar take (as did many bloggers) when he compared himself to a movie critic who gets to visit the set.

But on almost every level, it certainly was a very worthwhile visit. And now, I look forward January when I expect the Democratic Party to invite us bloggers to cover the inauguration. In the meantime, if you need me, I’ll be in the living room.

Concentration is important!