Tuesday RNC media: Pam Bondi, Morning Joe and punching The New Yorker

The sun shines, but not for one New Yorker reporter …

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3. Kudos to News Channel 8 for having the only local network live RNC telecast after 10 a.m., preempting its pay-for-play show Daytime. Anchored by Gayle "Boots with the furrrrr" Guyardo and Rod Carter from the convention center, it was nice to see local journalism staying on the story while the other stations broke away for their syndicated shows. (Props to Bay News 9 for its ongoing-throughout-the-day coverage. It gets overlooked in all the national hoopla.)

4. I took some time to watch some of the Interwebs-only broadcast of Front Row Tampa Bay, the business-sponsored good-feeling antidote to any possible photos of dirty hippy protesters. The idea was to show Tampa Bay as a vibrant place to do business. I saw infomercial king, Shark Tank-ing Kevin Harrington explaining how Home Shopping Network basically spawned the infomercial industry here, giving us such luminaries as Tony Little and the late Billy Mays. Then it was time for the noon political show, hosted by GOP supporter and news aggregator Justin Sayfie. First up, Tampa Bay's greatest political embarrassment (sorry, Ronda Storms, you've been displaced), the Attorney General Pam Bondi.

Any thoughts that Front Row would be nonpartisan and show ALL of Tampa Bay's attributes went out the window when she said that as "a Republican attorney general" she vowed to fight against basically anything coming from the Obama Administration, including the health care reform act. Former Sen. Mel Martinez followed Bondi.

(Disclaimer: Front Row Tampa Bay also had mucho segments on USF, my employer, and a visit from mascot Rocky the Bull later in the day.)

5. Another pro-business view of Tampa comes from the online publication 83 Degrees, run by my former Tampa Trib boss Diane Egner. Here is her video welcome to the RNC:

6. Just another reason why I love Morning Joe on MSNBC so much: all the booze bottles that serve as the backdrop for the show, being telecast from Channelside in what it calls the "Elephant Bar." That and Mika.


Some media-watching observations from the Tuesday AM shift:

1. Love the irony on lots of different levels (liberal vs. conservative, using the formerly "non-hometown paper" as the example) of the Fox News morning show holding up a copy of the Tampa Bay Times/Politico wraparound front page. That and the fact that neither the newspaper nor the show host went up in flames.

2. Tampa took a slogging from The New Yorker in a piece published Monday. Reporter George Packer writes:

It’s not a great downtown in the best of times, combining the charm of urban renewal—highway overpasses crisscross the area where the convention is being held—and all the convenience of the largest metropolitan area not to have commuter rail. It’s also one of the two most lethal cities in the country for pedestrians and bicyclists. (The other is Orlando.) In other words, it’s all cars. Half of downtown Tampa is parking lots, and anyone with enough money to own a car drives to work (there aren’t many other reasons to go downtown). Usually you see a handful of pedestrians on the sidewalks, but this morning, downtown Tampa was weirdly deserted. Between the convention and the hurricane, which hardly materialized, the locals had all got the message to stay away. For that reason, it was even easier than usual to park.

Maybe my mood, and, by extension, the account that I’m giving, were colored by the very first conversation I had on what was supposed to have been the first day of the 2012 Republican National Convention. As I got out of my rental, the door tapped the side of the car that had just pulled in beside mine and left only a few inches to spare. My discussion with its owner was testy but commonplace until he suddenly threatened to punch me in the face. I looked at his jacket and noticed that he was employed by a private security company. That set the tone for the rest of the morning.

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