( #Bloggergate, @PhiladelphiaGov )
I thought it would be cool to document my thoughts about covering an event for another blog and “playing it straight”. I didn’t feel like I was reporting much at the Flugtag event last week, but covering this happy hour was another beast entirely.
I was asked to cover the “bloggergate” happy hour hosted by the city at National Mechanics in Old City. I am not going to get into what too place, you can read my article about that here. What I did want to talk about is everything else.
National Mechanics is small and was crowded with bloggers and reporters. People came up to me and asked me who I was and it was very weird saying I was with The Phillyist and covering the event. I felt like I was bullshitting the real reporters. NPR and WHYY (didn’t know they were not the same) both interviewed me. I was not what the WHYY reporter was looking for (pretty easy to tell: two questions no follow-ups) but NPR might use a sound clip (if I was a betting man “The city has a right to make money”, hope it isn’t taken out of context). I think it is odd that one reporter interviewed another “reporter”. When they both asked why I was there, I said the same reason they were – to cover the event. I didn’t have an agenda.
The event itself was not optimized: National Mechanics is small and the city was given the back section of the bar with little seating. I guess they didn’t know how many people would show up. I ended up standing in the middle of the main “isle” with a group of people blocking the waitresses’ path to the kitchen (sweating my ass off I might add). It drove me nuts, I can’t imagine how the waitresses felt. Like I said in the article, the city officials were really nice – I give them points for that. They really gave the impression that they wanted to help and not piss off the “little guys”. Words are one thing, actions are another.
The guy I use to take us to the airport when we go on vacation always tells me about New Jersey’s commercial drivers license laws and how things are always changing for the worse for the small businesses (in favor of mid-sized and large). He can’t use part time or emergency workers without getting them registered which is an administrative nightmare. As the nice city officials talked, that’s all I could think was – “even if they have the best of intentions, in 10 years this is going to turn into a total money grabbing cluster-fuck”. I hope I am wrong for the sake of the small guys and for the idealistic city workers because we need more of them.