The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Journalism as Masochism

Posted on | August 27, 2012 | 30 Comments

TAMPA, Florida
You don’t want to hear about my wasted morning — the attempt to drive downtown to the Sheraton to pick up my media credentials, the godawful gridlock caused by the lunatic security, being turned around at the barricaded intersection, forced to drive back to Ybor City, pay to park the car, call a cab to take me downtown again, then discovering that my credentials were in the possession of Jim Antle who, contrary to our previous discussion about the topic, was not downtown to meet me.

Getting a cab out of the security perimeter was obviously impossible.

You don’t want to hear about my mile-long walk back to Ybor City, in a muggy sweat-soaked heat, to retrieve the car, then drive here to this McDonald’s, logging on to get directions to where Jim Antle is staying, and discovering that it’s 10 miles south of here.

Exactly why the Republican National Convention set things up this way, with one person from each news organization designated to pick up that organization’s credentials — rather than the more obvious way of having each reporter pick up his own — defies my ability to imagine or describe.

Exactly why The American Spectator‘s designated credential obtainer, Jim Antle, having made it inside the high-security perimeter around downtown Tampa would have then left to return to his lodgings 10 miles south of downtown — this, too, defies my ability to imagine or describe.

This is probably no one’s fault in particular. There are times when it seems as if the universe is organized as a sadistic conspiracy to inflict psychological punishment on me, to make my life an endless series of hassles and humiliations, to render excruciatingly difficult my attempts to earn a living as a journalist.

Life within this sadistic universe — really, could so many things go so completely wrong by coincidence? — might be pleasant for masochists, who enjoy suffering. But I lack that perverse appetite for punishment, and so am compelled to complain about the routine abuse that I seem unable to avoid, no matter how much I try.




30 Responses to “Journalism as Masochism”

  1. Roxeanne de Luca
    August 27th, 2012 @ 1:37 pm

    Sounds like someone needs to channel his inner Anastasia Steele.

  2. The Return of Fear and Loathing in Tampa | hogewash
    August 27th, 2012 @ 1:55 pm

    […] Loathing in Tampa Posted on 27 August, 2012 by wjjhoge Intrepid Shoe Leather Reporter Stacy McCain burns some shoe leather because of convention bureaucracy. Share […]

  3. Bob Belvedere
    August 27th, 2012 @ 1:56 pm

    Where was Tabitha Hale while all this was going on???

  4. PaulLemmen
    August 27th, 2012 @ 1:59 pm

    Sounds like you need more beer and/or pharmaceuticals, al a Fear and Loathing

  5. JeffS
    August 27th, 2012 @ 1:59 pm

    My analysis (i.e., my opinion):

    Security is an overhead cost no one wants to pay. Look at how Obama keeps on getting local governments to suck it up for his campaign. I hope Romney is less tone deaf on his campaign stops.

    But as far as the RNC goes, it’s their rules, and they want that overhead as low as possible (who doesn’t, aside from lefties?). So, yeah, they delegated what they could to the participating organizations, as a price for their participation. It also means less headaches.

    It sucks, but that’s what one must expect when one calls for smaller government. It means more personal responsibility. Sounds like your sponsor dropped the ball on this one. Annoying, but it’s a TANSTAAFL matter.

    As for the lunatic security…..from what I’ve read, I’d say it’s reasonable in that the #OccupyScum and Anonymous cretins are being kept out. Fausta points out the real problem with the security — it’s Big Government in action.

    The RNC should not take this grassroots support for granted.

  6. smitty
    August 27th, 2012 @ 2:20 pm

    Aw, c’mon. @bobbelvedere This has naught to do with Tabitha, and everything to do with @rsmccain’s style running afoul The Man.

  7. Adjoran
    August 27th, 2012 @ 2:29 pm

    Roger Kimball is whining, too. He’s upset at having to walk 3/4 of a mile, so he’s an even bigger sissy than you are.

    While you and Roger may be innocent victims, the press generally encouraged the bad behavior from the radicals which has kept their organizational momentum going. Had the press not completely sucked up to them, the whole thing could have been ended on one of the first nights in the park near Wall Street with horses and night sticks. And you just can’t have security in a downtown area without slowing ingress and egress down to a crawl.

    So if any of you ink-stained wretches spot the Occupy goons and have a notion of civic duty, run the bastards over.

  8. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    August 27th, 2012 @ 3:10 pm

    Did Stacy not get enough drinks and bacon covered crackers at Blog Bash last night?

    Or too many?

  9. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    August 27th, 2012 @ 3:11 pm

    Riding shot gun of course! All is good again with Tabatha and Stacy.

  10. WJJ Hoge
    August 27th, 2012 @ 3:26 pm

    Sound like real Shoe Leather Reporting to me.

  11. Arnold
    August 27th, 2012 @ 3:27 pm

    For a minute there I thought I was reading my biography.

  12. Kevin Cousins
    August 27th, 2012 @ 3:35 pm

    I feel your pain, @rsmccain, it really sux when you are the center of the universe. I should know.

  13. Jaynie59
    August 27th, 2012 @ 3:40 pm

    So one person from each organization is given the credentials for everyone with that organization and they get passed out by that one person.
    Yeah. Sounds real secure to me.

  14. Esteve
    August 27th, 2012 @ 4:18 pm

    My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. James 1:2,3 KJV (I’ve hit the tip jar before and I’ll do it again).

  15. jwallin
    August 27th, 2012 @ 4:34 pm

    Jim Antle’s got some ‘splainin’ to do. (after you get your credentials)

    Maybe a call to HQ complaining about their lack wit credential coordination might be in order. (after you’ve got you story in and it’s a hit and you’ve got your money)

    Pragmatics; it’s what ass kissing and putting up with stupidity by those in power over you is all about. {I don’t miss office/company politics one – bit.}

  16. JeffS
    August 27th, 2012 @ 4:36 pm

    What the RNC is doing — whether they know it or not — is delegating responsibility for security to those organizations. In addition to spreading the costs, that is.

    The problem with that is exactly what you note: what happens when that chain of trust breaks down? Not “if”, but “when”.

    Which is why I’m pretty sure that the RNC is keenly aware of this Achilles heel, and a major reason (one of many) why the police presence is so draconian.

  17. Bob Belvedere
    August 27th, 2012 @ 5:12 pm

    I thought Tabitha was The Man?

  18. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    August 27th, 2012 @ 5:21 pm

    It is a good think the hurricane delayed the convention a day. The bad thing is the hurricane will be blamed on the GOP when it eventually makes landfall.

  19. Nan
    August 27th, 2012 @ 5:24 pm

    I just attribute days like that to reality conspiring against me.

  20. jsn2
    August 27th, 2012 @ 5:34 pm

    “There are times when it seems as if the universe is organized as a sadistic conspiracy to inflict psychological punishment on me, to make my life an endless series of hassles and humiliations, to render excruciatingly difficult my attempts to earn a living…”

    Count your blessings, a beer will soothe your psyche.

    I know someone who is bankrupt, but can no longer make his agreed upon payments to the bankruptcy trustee and is now being hounded by several collection agencies, has been unemployed for months and losing hope of finding a job AND has a disease for which there is now a cure but cannot afford the treatment even though he has health insurance through his wife’s employer.

  21. K-Bob
    August 27th, 2012 @ 5:56 pm

    Florida heat on the West coast. Mmmm.

    You’re just lucky you never signed up to wrestle with compilers.

  22. Red
    August 27th, 2012 @ 8:59 pm

    There’s no such thing as too much bacon. As a cow I’m sure you’d agree.

  23. Wombat_socho
    August 27th, 2012 @ 10:53 pm


  24. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    August 28th, 2012 @ 1:14 am

    Pork is good breakfast, lunch and dinner.

  25. Wombat_socho
    August 28th, 2012 @ 2:10 am

    I’m not sure which is worse, you dropping that reference here, or the fact that I understood it. 🙁

  26. Red
    August 28th, 2012 @ 9:28 am

    Now that’s a good platform to run on.

  27. Red
    August 28th, 2012 @ 9:29 am

    B, you giving that girl too much sway.

  28. » The craft is ebbing
    August 28th, 2012 @ 2:03 pm

    […] Robert Stacy McCain reminds us that Leopold von Sacher-Masoch was a journalist: There are times when it seems as if the universe is organized as a sadistic conspiracy to inflict psychological punishment on me, to make my life an endless series of hassles and humiliations, to render excruciatingly difficult my attempts to earn a living as a journalist. […]

  29. RNC Hangover: You Gotta Believe : The Other McCain
    August 31st, 2012 @ 12:27 pm

    […] Hurricane …Aug. 26: First Arrest of RNC Protesters ReportedAug. 26: Ybor City ScenesAug. 27: Journalism as MasochismAug. 27: Health Care Expert: ObamaCare Will Kill Estimated 40,000 Seniors Every YearAug. 28: RNC DAY […]

  30. Tabitha
    September 4th, 2012 @ 4:59 am

    Working from North Carolina and promoting the good work of reporters at the convention. Since, you know, I’m not a reporter and never said I was one. But thanks for being rude even though you’ve never met me.

    You’d think a linkwhore like Stacy would be cool with someone asking to promote people’s work. But whatever.