Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Great Debate

No debating here.  Nope.  No debate commentary, either.  I have to keep it safe, peeps.  I don't feel like anything can really follow my Gene Simmons story, but I must press on....

I thought I'd give you a look at the Belmont Presidential Debate, from my view.  Let you "behind the scenes" of what I was dealing with while you were all cozy on our couch watching the debate.  Keep in mind how warm, dry and comfortable you were.  Be glad.  I ABSOLUTELY LOVE covering campaign events in the field.  So, please know that my upcoming statements are OBSERVATIONS, NOT COMPLAINTS.  I love this job.  I can't believe they pay me to do this.  Seriously.

It's not as glamorous as you may think...


At a big campaign event, like a debate, you can always expect a sea of satellite trucks.

There actually weren't as many as I was expecting at Belmont, which was nice.

So, they all line up like this.

(Poor Belmont's soccer field)

IMG_2438 This is the truck we worked out of.  It belongs to one of our stations, WLKY.

Shout out to the engineer/truck driver, Jerry!! He did a fabulous job!!

Yes... it's NAVY BLUE.  Can't miss it.  WOW.  I liked this old truck, though, because it brought back some good hurricane coverage memories - it's just like the truck we had at WAVY.


This is another common occurance.  The media is all set up in a "filing center."  Basically it's a giant tent with rows of tables that have phones and power and the internet.  There are monitors where you watch the debate.

I took this before it got really busy.

There's another area of the tent called "spin alley" where crews do interviews and live shots.


This is our live shot position.  It was a little bit ghetto because we didn't have a tent.  In hindsight, we probably should have made another Home Depot run to get one, but at the time, it didn't seem like it was going to help because we were worried about "sideways" rain, and a tent doesn't really help with that...

But, oh well.


Here's the background of our shot.  That's the Debate Hall.


I was so wet you would have thought I took a shower in my clothes.


Here's my correspondent, Sally, doing an early evening live shot.

Note the step stool.  That was the fruit of our Home Depot run. 

See, they just line us up, one right after another on these risers.

We were next to CBS News this time.  Some people left the risers to set up camp on the ground below.

And I think I joked during the convention about how we use bottled water in bags to hold light stands down.

It's comical - but hey - it beats paying more overage charges for sandbags in luggage, right?


These are mic flags.  We switch them out depending on which station we are about to "go live" on or tape a report for.

We have almost 30 television stations - so that's a lot of saying the same thing, over and over!


This is how I roll in the rain for live shots.  Ziploc bags are your best friend!

I keep my phone list, my note pad and my blackberry in the bag!

You are lucky that is just my arm and not my entire self you are seeing in the Gordon the fisherman jacket! It was EMBARASSING.  But I was thankful for the borrowed rain coat.  I wasn't expecting all that rain!IMG_2448

 Here I am on debate night on the risers.  Don't joke the hair.  My hair is not friends with the rain.

I think my make-up had washed off by this point, too... oh well, like I said - not glamorous!


Here is our photographer, Wes, rocking a Croc Hunter hat.

I am not one to joke, though.  Wes pulled off an incredible feat - getting us on TV in that rain!

If he needs a Croc Hunter hat to do that, so be it.


And, although I was thrilled I got to go to the debate that my dog's namesake moderated - I did not get to meet Tom Brokaw.

I didn't even see him!  I watched him on TV like you did.  Except I was wet, freezing, and on deadline.

All in all, it was a GREAT trip, though!  Even with the rain - we made every hit, didn't miss a deadline, and we had a good time. 


cindy floyd said...

Okay, so for the record, that is a great stool. Being a short person, like some people I know, it gets me up where I need to go. Yes, I have one. Also, I think you should have taken his hat. You know you are a hat girl. {Wasn't he the one that tortured the litle wekinz elephant} Anyway, my observations. Looks like you had a n exciting time

kristen said...

I actually thought your hair looked really cute. Had a nifty flip on the end. I also wanted to thank you for a Six Degrees type moment. I showed several of my coworkers the pic of you and your new buddy, Gene :)
And I'm totally with you when it comes to loving our job (although the only people I seem to run into are Charles Krauthammer--who has run over my toes the last 3x I've ridden the elevator with him--Chris Matthews--who needs to learn proper parking garage etiquette--and finally the various obscure Congressmen like Lee Terry from Nebraska!) But hey, I have a front row seat to the most exciting real-life drama :) Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go stand by my mailbox and wait for my 700 Billion dollar bailout check...