Finding the press area was hard enough. All the way on the other side. No, go back the way you came. Straight down there and to the left. Down by the loading area. Across the street. Down. Down. Really? We have to cross the street — away from the Xcel Center — to get in. You’re kidding me.
No. It’s true.
I’ve never been here before, you see. And I’m already overwhelmed. But… this is the press. This is underwhelming — albeit the Harley strapped on to the back of a truck station. That’s something.
The press area — an underground tunnel across the avenue and into the Xcel Center — is packed with… well — press. Your typical press peeps, really. Lots of ties. Ties with jeans. Slacks. Cameras. Suitcase even. Fairly loaded all around. I’m traveling light today.
The workers keep telling everyone to be patient. They’re letting in live TV, 5-o’clock news in first. Of course. Makes sense to me. So why are people complaining?
At least an hour and half until the doors open to the public (the beautiful public). Two more hours, more like three, until Obama steps up to the plate.
Why are people complaining.
We talk to a freelance photographer who is also waiting to get in. She never made it outside. Here’s the press, corralled into an underground tunnel, as the stories form outside. What are we doing here.
Finally, they take us one more stage in the journey that awaits us — about 50 feet forward, to another line. Really? Why do we have to stand in lines? We can’t work here. Can’t we sit off to the sides? Can’t we mingle? Ask questions? Explore? We stand in line.
But first the people roar as they run — yes, run! — fifty feet to the line. Yay! Another line. You’ve got to be kidding.
One line here. Another there. There are about four separate lines, all at cross-purposes. The volunteers apologies. They blame it on the dogs. The dogs are busy sniffing for explosives now. I wonderful what god-awful place I may have placed my bag recently.
Members of the press grow inpatient. Volunteers apologize, keep it in control. Members of the press grow indignant. One man raises his voice, upset because they’ve held him back due to his heavy loads. The dogs need to sniff them for explosives — now more than ever.
Why are the media folks just standing there? Why is not even a single one of the 30-or-so photographers snapping photos? Why? Why?!
Meet the press.
…off to the metal detector.