“Do you have a photo of our convention anchor booth from last time?”
That question was first posed to me by a network producer between Democratic National Convention cycles some ten years ago.
My instant response back then was: “Don’t you?”
In truth, though, I knew it was cumbersome to search through hours of network archive video. This request was for a fixed image in a more manageable medium.
In fact, I did not have such an image. However, upon reflection, I concluded that I should.
Thus began a long collaboration with photographer Peter Sills, who captured first the 2004 Democratic Convention in Boston, and then the two venues of the 2008 Convention in Denver.
The second Inauguration Ceremony of President Barack Obama on January 21 caps a long reelection campaign. For this cycle, I had the unique opportunity to incorporate the week-by-week political activity into a fall course at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), “Media and the 2012 Elections.”
Of course, I also carefully arranged the early course schedule in August and September around the Democratic Convention, spending time in Charlotte between sessions.
Unfolding in real time, the UIC course was deliberately designed without the luxury of looking back at the results. Instead, though the students (and invited guest speakers) constantly examined historical context, with media coverage as the unifying theme, it was all about truly observing that fabled “first draft” of history, via the media.
We saw the first Presidential debate in a variety of settings, from bar video screens to dorms to a formal viewing party at the Museum of Broadcast Communications.
On June 13, 2012, in downtown Chicago, Betty White, Hugh Downs, and John Mahoney joined Founder-CEO Bruce DuMont cutting the ribbon and officially opening the doors to the new home of the Museum of Broadcast Communications.
It was Bruce DuMont’s dream come true after many long years of planning and fund-raising. Continue reading
Three hours with a personal shopping consultant!
That was a prize in a contest I won at New York’s Time Warner Center.
Back in January 2012, on a Winter weekend visit to New York City, I had stopped by the Time Warner retail center to pick up a gift for my wife back home.
It has long been one of my favorite spots to relax with a cup of tea, looking out of its huge wall of windows to view Columbus Circle and the beginning of Central Park.
While gift shopping, I was invited to fill out an entry form for a contest. Though I always assume I’ll never win, it was a harmless enough entry. What were the odds?
Apparently, better than I expected.
Autumn in New York.
My wife and I marked our latest wedding anniversary with a five-day trip to New York City in late September.
Splitting our time between the Columbus Circle and Union Square areas, we immersed ourselves in experiencing the city up close, mostly on foot or via the subway.
Sir Paul McCartney certainly does not need a physical birthday gift from each of his fans.
Instead there are electronic best wishes posting opportunities everywhere, from Facebook to paulmccartney.com.
However, this is an ideal excuse to give yourself a gift. In my case, it was the deluxe reissue of the Ram album.
It is tempting to completely ignore the context of the times surrounding the original 1971 release of Ram and just focus on the music.
Since Paul McCartney himself has offered surprisingly detailed notes on the era as part of the 2012 reissue, historical scene-setting comments are not out of order. Ultimately, they are helpful (but not required) for taking a fresh listen to Ram.
The House series finale was near-perfect for that particular series, fully true to the structure and theme of the show. It was the quintessential House puzzle, right down to the wordplay in the episode title, “Everybody Dies.”