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Democratic National Convention, Day 1

Reported by Ellen - August 25, 2008 -

I’ve never seen such a massively disorganized event, at least from my perspective. It took me more than two hours to find the bloggers lounge and the result is that I’m already exhausted even though it’s only 10:40 in the morning, Denver time. My press credentials allow me to go through the press area which today included a stroll past FOX News. I walked by at least four times, not because I was trying but because I kept getting wrong directions, but so far have not seen any familiar faces. I also had occasion to walk by FOX News radio (another wrong turn) but nobody there looked familiar either. The day is still young, however.

Just to give you an idea... My day started at the Convention Center which is where I thought someone had told me the Convention is but it’s not. The shuttle that was supposed to take me to the Pepsi Center which is where the Convention really is, never showed. So after a long, fruitless wait during which the very nice volunteers were never even sure where the shuttle would stop, if it ever came, I and about 15 other Conventioneers and press people hopped some other bus and hoofed it over a few more blocks. I met a very nice lady who works for ABC News. She told me she’d never work for FOX News.

Getting inside the center was pretty easy. The search was similar to getting on an airplane, minus having to take off your shoes and walking through the air puff machine (or whatever it's called) that detects whether you have chemical residue on you. But once inside, it took me about at least an hour to figure out where the bloggers lounge is. And even then, I had to change locations three times. A nice young man just told me he had the same problem.

I'm here with a non-News Hound colleague, whom I'll call Toni. She's one of our readers and a member of the press in her own right. It feels like we already know each other even though we just met in person for the first time yesterday.

We’re staying at a decent hotel, but nothing anyone would ever call luxurious, about 20 minutes away from downtown. As we were checking in, Toni, who’s more gregarious with strangers than I am at times like that, asked the front desk if any media people were staying there. “Lots of them,” the young lady behind the desk said emphatically. “There’s someone here from FOX News.”

Toni and I both exclaimed excitedly, “FOX News!” That got us a few stares and I was tempted to quickly add, “I’m not really a fan,” but somehow I didn’t think they would believe me. Or if they did, they might have thought I was totally crazy. The desk was getting slammed with people trying to check in so I let it drop, rather than go into the “We watch FOX so you don’t have to” explanation.

As soon as we got our rooms, we decided to head back downtown. We had a clue where Hannity was and thought it might be fun to see if we could find him but alas, we could not navigate around Denver well enough. Note to FOX News: don’t get your cameras out and don’t bother sending Griff Jenkins after us. We don’t curse and we’re well-behaved.

OK, ready to start my day and look around some more. I’ve got another hour or so here and then I’ll head outside to see what’s happening there.

Bye for now!