CNN and other media descend upon UT for the Big Debate.
By Lee Nichols,
6:25PM, Wed. Feb. 20, 2008
I saw Candy Crowley at UT! I spotted the CNN news reporter gabbing on her cell phone, possibly giving an interview, on the balcony of the UT Recreational Sports Center, where Thursday's Clinton/Obama debate will be held. I know you're impressed. KVUE's Elise Hu was pretty excited about it, too.
CNN gave us media types a walk-through of the facility set-up this afternoon so that we'll know what to expect tomorrow. Now, before you get righteously jealous of us, know this: We aren't getting into the debate either. The only people getting into the intramural basketball court that has been converted into a debate hall (seating capacity: 2,000) are guests of Clinton and Obama, Texas Democratic Party and University of Texas bigwigs, and the 100 lucky souls who won the lottery TDP held. On the reserved seats up front, I spotted the names of former Lt. Gov. Ben Barnes, LBJ Library Director Betty Sue Flowers, Luci Johnson & Lynda Robb (LBJ's daughters), and various state senators and congressional reps, among many others.
We journalists? We'll be confined downstairs in the media filing room and an interview area that CNN calls "The Spin Zone." That's right – we'll be watching it on TV just like you. That includes the New York Times and Chronicle alike. They'll let our photographers in for a quick photo-op at the very beginning, and then they'll be hustled out of the room like so many groupies. Hmph!