DN: I liked your photo of the media compound which looked rather like a prison camp. Was the media presence excessive or intrusive? Did it ever seem like the whole thing was just a spectacle orchestrated for the TV audience?
JJ: Interestingly it was only once I was able to have time to watch some of the media coverage – AFTER the convention! – that I really felt that not only was the media presence excessive but excessively focused on itself; the narratives it had decided to go with, etc. Even reading the paper a couple of times I wondered “are you all at the same convention?” When you are there, you see them a lot, but you are not seeing the product, so in a way it’s like any other convention where the folks with the big bucks have the larger displays for their booth.
Regarding whether it was created for the media: yes, to a certain extent. A number of us could not understand, for example, why Hillary wore that pumpkin colored outfit, until I saw it on TV and saw how well it went against the blue backdrop. Same thing with the set at Invesco Field – it made no sense at all to me until I saw it on TV, but then again I was also too short to see it in total – everyone was standing.
DN: We all saw the speeches, so I'm not going to ask you about them. But I imagine you saw things we didn't get to see while watching at home. Did you get to see any of the committee reports or working sessions? Any fun parties or other events?
JJ: I have been watching many speeches again via YouTube because even with the bigger speeches it was hard to concentrate on them, there was so much else going on. Sitting with my delegation was so much fun – there were people I hadn’t known well before that I got to know quite well, and it was festive – our guy was in, so we were really, really happy. I was sadly unable to go to some of the events I really wanted to go to, such as Common Cause’s symposium on new media. My hotel was a 30 minute ride by light rail out of Denver center so my schedule didn’t allow for much. Also, I was covering different aspects of the Convention for our delegation. I went to the Youth Caucus (as a reporter, not a participant!), and yes a number of CT-related parties. I didn’t get to go to any of the ‘good’ parties; I heard that Barack came to the DNC party Thursday night to thank everyone, but I was also tired! Somewhat to my own surprise I was happy to have one drink and go to bed.