The Paula Zahn Story
Ok, a number of you have asked what the experience was like. So here it is. I will preface by saying that for you to get an honest account I have to drop names, for which I apologize. I promise you, my son isn't impressed, and that's all that matters to me.
First of all, as many loyal readers know, I have done more than my fair share of television. Most major channels have featured my growling visage at one time or another. But this was different, as I usually sit in a dingy DC studio alone, with an earpiece in, talking to a metal object staring at me while hearing voices from afar.
So, similar to your basic night at Rush's place after a few grams of the white powder and the red pills (please attack me again Rush, please!).
In this case I was booked and offered a flight to New York, the town of my birth and upbringing, and was placed in the hotel where my grandparents were married. Which is now owned by The United Arab Emirates. No better metaphor for how times have changed.
I got on my plane on Thursday afternoon, only to bump into Congressman Anthony Weiner with my luggage. In my defense, he was blocking the aisle. And he did apologize. Various other familiar faces were sprinkled throughout the plane, I am sure some were other loyal representatives of ours.
I got to the hotel, and it is nicer than anything I could ever come close to affording. On Central Park South. Bathroom as big as my bedroom here (no, I am not exaggerating). So I settled in to watch some tv, and on New York's local news station, New York 1, there was Representative Weiner discussing a potential run for Mayor of New York City in three years. Some day I might be able to say I smacked the mayor with my luggage.
I read up on the CNN topic, hip-hop and mysoginy, which if you'll look at my photo on this blog, I am obviously the most qualified to discuss. Hey, I was a Run D.M.C fan.
I was taken over to the studio by a car, not bad service I must say, and sat in the lobby waiting to be ushered into the Green Room. An old grad school friend from Columbia passed by, who is a producer on Lou Dobbs' show, which was cool. We caught up. Then Lou himself walked by. I kept my views on immigration to myself (the man is right on when it comes to outsourcing however).
The Green Room had really good cookies. Damn they were good. And suddenly, I was on the show. I was a bit nervous, but not very. They were all really nice people, especially Paula herself. She was the nicest of any host I've had the pleasure of meeting.
All I had to do was make sure to look at the right camera when they introduced me, and from there, it was game on. I made my arguments, including insulting Rush Limbaugh for his blatant sexism. Rush seems a bit peeved at me for that (although he hasn't heard of me). The show ended.
I grabbed more cookies. Got a ride to a bar on the West Side of Manhattan (Rudy's, on 9th Ave between 44th and 45th, for those of you in the know), where I joined the crew of Drinking Liberally. Lots and lots of fun. One of the founders, Justin Krebs, was there (great guy). My pals Matt Browner-Hamlin of numerous blogs and the fantastic Elana Levin, the online guru behind the excellent Drum Major Institute, were there.
I met Phillip Anderson of The Albany Project, a great blog dedicated to eliminating the GOP in New York (taking their 6 House seats, all of which are vulnerable, and removing their control of the state senate by a few seats being the main goals). A goal I wholeheardtedly support. So go over and say hi to these guys. Oh, last but not least, I met Mark Steckel, creator of the Spotlight Project, which you can learn about by clicking on Spotlight icon below this post (very cool guy). And there were many others, who I hope I don't offend, as I can't name everyone (beer will do that to you).
I woke up in my plush hotel the next morning, and on the way out of the elevator, passed the person who was the 3rd runner up to perhaps being our incumbent president right now, former Senator Bill Bradley (ahhh, don't make me think about it).
And that folks, is my fun-filled trip. Hope I didn't leave anything out. And if I did, it's Rush Limbaugh's fault.