Convention Diary: Minding manners around (hot) microphones


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The Independent US

It's tricky being a reporter in Tampa if part of your job is keeping your own biases under wraps, particularly so in the age of Twitter, a repository for all our cheers or jeers as successive speakers take the stage. But some things should not be said, ever.

That is the lesson learned by David Chalian, fired this week as Washington bureau chief for Yahoo News when word leaked of a hot-mic gaffe in a Yahoo-ABC TV studio. He was heard saying, apparently in reference to the storm in the Gulf of Mexico, that Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann, were "not concerned at all". He went on to opine that they were "happy to have a party with black people drowning".

He has, of course, apologised.

Rock'n'roll all night...

We all totter out from the convention arena at 11pm each night. Prime-time scheduling demands we stay up late. But do we go straight to bed? We do not, because that's when all the end-of-day parties begin.

Wednesday night's choices included a rock-music bash in a warehouse hosted by the House Speaker John Boehner, a media-networking binge in the aquarium sponsored by – Martin Amis high-tailed it there – or a dose of booze and food in the CNN Grill. The latter is a convention standby that, on Wednesday, became a midnight hangout for two men who had hoped this convention would be about them, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum.

Brush-off for Bush

Rick Perry, the Governor of Texas who crashed in the primaries, could be spotted on the floor earlier gabbing with cowboy-hatted members of his state delegation. Meanwhile, although Jeb Bush was on the speaking list for last night, there was nary a sighting of any other members of the once mighty clan in the VIP box here. As for the applause given to a five-minute video tribute to George W. Bush and his father, George Herbert Walker Bush, well it happened. Erupt, however, it did not. Nor did it endure.