I would like to thank the California Republican Party for the opportunity to cover this year's convention. I met many great people, made a few new friends and generally had a ball reporting from behind the scenes. My tongue-in-cheek posts notwithstanding, I was able to catch a glimpse of what a full time journalist's life can be like. The professionalism and the writing talent they bring to their job are impressive. Watching journalists like Carla Marinucci, John Wildermuth describe the mood and bring out the texture of an event, like the convention, was a treat for an absolute rookie.
One of my favorite journalists, Dan Walters from the Sacramento Bee, asked Gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman how she would close the state's $42 billion funding gap without raising taxes, something she had boasted about earlier. Ms. Whitman spoke about cutting the state's payroll, without disrupting state services. When Walters pointed out that half of the state's money goes to education, and the majority of these people are not state employees, Whitman quickly asked for a new question. Walters question was both fair and responsible.
The Whitman campaign may not like the question, but it needed to be asked, and answered. For those of us on the right, we can become upset when the media does not ask these same, tough questions of democratic politicians with the same regularity and tenacity. As Republicans, we have to be able to answer them; our voters demand accountability. Complaining that the press is playing favorites will not bring many people over to our side. Better ideas, better answers, and standing by our principles will.
Trying to set aside your personal politics, especially when covering a purely political event, can be difficult. You are who you are, and that is something one cannot unplug or disconnect while covering a story. You view the subject through the prism of your own personal experiences.
If I was covering the California Democratic convention, I would bring my experiences with me, and try as I may, being completely neutral would be almost impossible. I do believe, however, I would do a great job covering a Democratic event because of my political DNA. I would be less likely to gloss over real mistakes and groupthink than can be all too common at political conventions.
Maybe the CDP will issue a press credential to me for this April's convention.
Don't laugh, it could happen.
My thanks to Mark Pruner, Yolo GOP Chair, and the CRP for rolling the dice and giving me enough rope to hang myself.