MILE HIGH: Live And Direct From Denver

BY NICK POWELL CONVENTION CORRESPONDENT Greetings from the Democratic Convention in the Mile-High City, where the red tape has confined me to the icebox that is the Media Pavilion. It is pretty quiet down here, as it seems that most of the reporters in my section of the Pavilion have yet to be given a particular assignment. E-mails are being checked, coffee is streaming, and CNN is being broadcast on a continuous loop on a large flat screen. When talking with some reporters, they said that the security for this year’s convention is tighter than it has been in the past. Several of us walked over to the Pepsi Center, home of the Nuggets, where Michelle Obama was doing her walk-through before her speech tonight. We were greeted by a smallish security guard, who politely informed us that the press credentials that we wereDemocratDonkey_right.gif given were only good for the “perimeter” of the Convention areas, meaning the Pavilion and the surrounding areas. Apparently, if you don’t have a floor pass, your chances of getting into the Convention Center are slim to none.

Curiously, the New York Times, which has close to 70 people on the ground here, has a grand total of three floor passes, while smaller papers such as the Philadelphia Inquirer has two passes for their three reporters. So after being turned away and walking back to the pavilion, I was able to get a hold of a pass and briefly ventured into the Pepsi Center. While inside, I got a great look at the stage and podium, which looks something like an American-flag decorated spaceship, and the different delegate seating areas. There were also several celebrity sightings, including Katie Couric interviewing Michelle’s brother and Oregon State basketball coach, Craig Robinson, who is introducing his sister tonight. Also spotted was Daily Show Correspondent and Saturday Night Live mainstay Rob Riggle, doing a taping presumably for the former. I’ll have more later once the speakers start a-speakin’...DEVELOPING

[Photos by NICK POWELL]

EDITOR’S NOTE: Astute readers will remember the precocious yeoman-like political coverage provided by intern-to-the-stars Nick Powell. The New York Times did and they asked him to go to Denver with his dad, who covers the presidential campaign for the Grey Lady. Basically they said, ‘How’d you like to go to Denver with your pop, work for us as a news assistant and during your down time you can post to your cute little blog thingee?’ And so he shall. All next week, Nick will be providing Phawker readers with Live & Direct dispatches from the Democratic National Convention. You lucky ducks!

OFF THE RESERVATION: Rendell Complains Press Is Too Pro-Obama

[Photo by E.C. ADAMS]

POLITICO: Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell was supposed to give “closing remarks” during this afternoon’s Shorenstein Center-sponsored panel discussion with all three Sunday show moderators — NBC’s Tom Brokaw, ABC’s George Stephanopoulous and CBS’s Bob Schieffer — but instead, he opened up a can of worms about bias in 2008 election coverage. “Ladies and gentleman, the coverage of Barack Obama was embarrassing,” said Rendell, in the ballroom at Denver’s Brown Palace Hotel. “It was embarrassing.” Rendell, an ardent Hillary Rodham Clinton supporter during the primaries, now backs Obama in the general election. Brokaw and Rendell began debating campaign coverage, including the on-air comments by Lee Cowan, and when MSNBC came up, Rendell went after the cable network. “MSNBC was the official network of the Obama campaign,” Rendell said, who called their coverage “absolutely embarrassing.” MORE

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