Barack Obama v Mitt Romney -- an insider's look at the preparations for the big debate at Hofstra
World descends on Long Island campus for the key moment of the election
In 30 years of reporting I can safely say I have never seen anything like this before. It’s an incredible experience to be this close to a space where politics and journalism collide. If you’re a political junkie like I am, it’s pretty close to nirvana.
I’m also hoping that the experience will convince some journalism students to focus on political reporting. As an Assistant Professor at Hofstra in the journalism department, I recognize a major teaching moment.
It has been truly amazing. I pulled into the gas station outside Hofstra Sunday afternoon beside a massive truck carrying the rig for the MSNBC stage.
As I filled my car with its 16 gallons, I asked the driver how long he would be. “About 25 minutes,” he said. “This thing takes about 350 gallons.”
That’s how Hofstrais at the moment. Everything is much, much bigger in presidential debate land. An ordinary trip to the gas station takes on a new and larger dimension as we sit in the middle of the media storm surrounding the second presidential debate between President Barack Obama and former M.A. Governor Mitt Romney.
Students walked to classes Monday morning to find their university had been transformed into a gigantic parallel universe populated almost entirely by news media. Hundreds of reporters milled round every walkway on the north campus.
The buzz is everywhere.
There are media trucks and cameras at every corner waiting to ask passing students yet another question. “I feel like a celebrity,” said one as she walked by an MTV crew filming student reactions to the media invasion.
Read more about on Election 2012 here
The campus is split in two by Hempstead Turnpike and all of the debate activity is taking place on the north campus which houses several buildings, dorms, parking lots, and athletic fields as well as the David S Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex (now known as the Debate Hall) and the Physical Fitness Center (now known as the Media Filing Center).
There are 3,375 credentialed reporters for this debate and it’s a veritable alphabet soup of TV and radio networks with MTV, CBS, NPR, Fox, ABC, NBC and CNN among the most prominent. There is a huge contingent from overseas but only one reporter listed from an Irish outlet; John O’Riordan from the Irish Examiner. “New” media is also visible with Twitter and Google placed in the first couple of rows of the media center.
The debate proper will take place in the Mack Complex in front of a small audience while the much larger media audience will watch the debate via monitors in the adjacent Fitness Center. This means that the candidates are removed from the Spin Alley location where the debate will be debated by journalists and campaign staffers.
Wooden platforms for TV reporters have sprung up outside the Mack Complex where the networks are housed in mini-tents underneath an enormous frame of floodlights. The CNN Election Express bus is parked in what used to be a student parking lot and there are dozens of TV trucks and mobile generators packed in beside it.
- Gay wedding cakes latest target of anti-gay...
- Racist incidents in Ireland up by 85 percent...
- A Magdalene Laundry US adoptee who holds...
- Irish radio presenter suspended after anti-Isra
- An open letter in strong defence of capitalism.
- Offensive NFL sign outside restaurant just...
- Baby dies in horror birth at Belfast hospital...
- Nelson Mandela was against IRA decommissioning.
- Gay teacher fired from Catholic school after...
- Nelson Mandela once considered a terrorist...
He has served his time -he should be left alone now he has not done nearly the same damage as our Government in the same space of time.How the Irish celebrate Christmas has changed since the financial collapse
Well our Government is merrily borrowing the money to pay its bloated salaries & wages/top ups telephone bills transport bills dining bills &Dunnes Stores protesters attended Nelson Mandela’s funeral
"I cannot bring a world quite round, Although I patch it as I can." (Wallace Stevens) If we all do our bit day to day, as these strikers diMassive Irish property auction as 18-hole golf course sells for $900,000
They were just counting the blades of grass--millions of them