Monday, January 14, 2008

Do you want to talk with Chuck Norris???

So, after mere minutes of finishing our story on John Edwards in Pawleys Island, South Carolina, it was already time to figure out what to do on Tuesday. Most of the candidates are in either Michigan or Nevada.

No one from our station has covered Republican candidate Mike Huckabee so we're headed to Lexington, SC tomorrow to hang out with his supporters and Huckabee himself as they watch results from the Michigan Primary.

With that said, it's roughly 3 1/2 hours from Pawleys Island to Lexington which is just outside of Columbia. Therefore, we decided to head to Charleston and get a nice dinner and crash there for the night.

As soon as I sat down in the hotel to relax I turned on the tv and guess what? A rerun of Law and Order with Fred Thompson. I'm not kidding! What's the odds? I guess that's pretty good free advertising for him. I mean it's not like reruns of John Edwards speeches or anything of his get played on TNT.

Another quick story.. We usually get in contact with the campaigns ahead of time just to let them know we are coming and get details on the event and then request and get denied for a one on one interview with the candidate! More on that in a minute. First, I emailed the Huckabee campaign and asked them about the details for his event tomorrow night. His campaign emailed me back within an hour and asked me if I wanted to do a phone interview with Chuck Norris!! I'm sure they were doing a series of calls to get attention before the Michigan and South Carolina races but wow did that strike me funny. I mean when I took this job, I can honestly say I never expected to get that question in my life! For background if you don't know, Chuck Norris is a huge Huckabee fan and is doing all sorts of campaigning for the Arkansan.

Now, back to access...It's interesting covering these candidates. They are always extremely excited to see any media show up so they love to see us, BUT it doesn't go much farther than that. The bottom line is unless you are a South Carolina media outlet or from a national organization they don't give you the red carpet treatment. For example, today with John Edwards people from tiny TV stations got one on one's with the Senator and we weren't allowed to get one ourself. Now, I can't really blame his staff. The reason is simple, he needs votes here and voters are watching South Carolina stations not North Carolina stations. But, I still request the interviews just in case.

Truth be told, the better interviews are from the real people who are attending the events. As I type this there's a Fred Thompson campaign ad playing during a commercial of Law and Order.


Time for bed...more tomorrow.

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