August 12, 2000
3:45 pm Pacific Time


The most gratifying effect of my speech to last night's session of the Reform Party convention was the opportunity to stick it to CNN. In my dual role as journalist-Buchanan surrogate – I wear delegate credentials on a string around my neck as well as the yellow media badge that gives me access to everything – I'm in a unique (some would say journalistically dubious) position: I can rat on my fellow journalists. For the past three days I've been sitting right next to the CNN crew, and I can hear them disparage the delegates as "weirdos" and watch them cobble together the sound bites that amount to a propaganda war against their candidate. Naturally, I said nothing – I was saving that for later . . . .

Saving it, that is, for my speech, when I could address CNN's Gary Tuchman from the podium, instead of just going up to him and telling him what an asshole he is. My enmity was born of a convention report that I saw him and his crew put together that served as a platform for Hagelin – in effect, a televised version of the Hagelin-Verney-Fulani legal brief to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), making the case that Buchanan had basically committed election fraud, that had run the previous night. It was Tuchman I was thinking of when I told the delegates that "the sad collection of cranks and would be party bosses who walked out of our convention have more of a following in the CNN Newsroom" than in the Reform Party" – and he knew it. As I headed for the press room right after uttering those words, Yoshi came running up to me and said "CNN is looking for you! They asked about you!" Yeah, I'll just bet, I thought, with a great deal of satisfaction. Well then, let them come and get me. . . .


Tuchman's blonde female producer-assistant-whatever? gave me a really dirty look as I walked into the room, the angular cut of her chin jutting upward, her eyes narrowed with contempt – one of the hated "weirdoes" had hit back, and you could tell she didn't like it, not one little bit. Well, tough. I smiled (inwardly) and started packing up my laptop; as I passed Tuchman on the way out he turned to me and asked:

"By the way, I'm Gary Tuchman of CNN. What media organization are you with?"

Holding up my yellow media badge to eye level, I replied: " – we're your competition."

"You seem to have some complaints about our coverage."


I didn't even bother with the example of the previous night's broadcast. Instead, I went straight for the jugular:

"Yes," I said, "there was that little business about reporting 100,000 Kosovars supposedly murdered by the Serbs during the Kosovo war; Christiane Amanpour reported that figure. Then it was reduced to 50,000, then 10,000, then even less—without ever acknowledging any change." He looked worried, even a little upset, his boyish features wrinkled by the moral impact of such a critique: A kinder gentler Justin Raimondo might have taken pity on him: but, alas, no such creature exists. I was determined to make him cry.


"And then there was the little matter of those military 'interns' who somehow wound up working for your 'news organization' during the Kosovo war," I continued. "What was up with that? I mean, here we had US military 'journalists' covering the war even as they were fighting it – and using CNN as a front." I then noted, with ill-concealed glee, that they seemed to have completely lost their credibility over that incident; and suggested that perhaps this was the reason for their sinking ratings.


Was that a tear I saw sliding down his cheek? Naaaah – maybe it was my imagination, but I could've sworn I saw a bit of moisture gather a the tip of his eyelash, a glint of remorse for his sins. It was on that basis that I took his hand when he offered it, in a kind of peace handshake – as well as out of gratitude for giving me enough material for at least part of a column.

Read previous dispatches from the Reform Party convention

Buchananism or Barbarism

Ezola Foster for Veep; Halloween in August

Long Beach – My Battleground
8/10/00 PM

With Buchanan in Long Beach: The Inside Story

Read previous dispatches from the Reform Party convention

Sticking it to CNN

Buchananism or Barbarism

Ezola Foster for Veep; Halloween in August

Long Beach – My Battleground
8/10/00 PM

With Buchanan in Long Beach: The Inside Story



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