The Democratic National Convention formally kicks off this afternoon. I’ll be writing with daily updates exploring aspects of the convention that the cable news channels probably won’t cover. While the evening events in the convention hall get most of the attention, there is much more going on, including policy briefings, concerts, prayer breakfasts, late night parties, and protests.
The mainstream media is ready. On Saturday night thousands of members of the press were welcomed to Colorado with the quadrennial Media Welcoming Party held in their honor at a sprawling amusement park and hosted by the Democratic National Committee. Everything was free, including food, alcohol, rides, and carnival-style games. Not knowing where the event was being held, I expected something similar to the typical convention party: hotel ballrooms, tablecloths, wine and cheese. But the media party was all cotton candy and roller coasters. The combination of free alcohol and amusement park rides appeared to be a new and dubious combination for some members of the press corps.
By the party’s end, many members of the media—all adults—carried away large plastic garbage bags filled with stuffed animals. It’s much easier to win toys when you have unlimited opportunities to pop balloons with a dart or throw a ball through a hoop.