I could have gone to both, I decided I didn’t want to go. (Which worked out well, considering I couldn’t walk much.) But there was a larger reason.

As a newspaper editor, I had limited resources and was determined not to assign them in an unthinking, knee jerk way. For instance, one local police department was angry with me because I decided we would no longer do ride-along drug busts or raids. (Oddly enough, they were always requested during election campaigns.) My fellow editors thought I was crazy; they liked that sort of thing. I pointed out we were cooperating in making the cops look good and the arrestees guilty, even though there was a decent chance they weren’t even arresting the right people. I said my job as an editor was to give readers the news they needed, not to do PR for the local cops.

And that’s how I feel about the conventions. A staggering amount of media money spent, and for what? Did you hear anything approaching cogent analysis of issues? Maybe a little (Chris Matthews has a bit of a roll), but wasn’t it something that could have been done back in the studio? It’s a convention, people go there to party and schmooze. No wonder people hate the media.

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