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Convention Beat: August 7, 2008 Archive

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The name's Al. Al Jazeera.

Posted at 3:34 PM on August 7, 2008 by Tim Nelson (0 Comments)

The news media are starting to stake their claims around St. Paul these days as the Republican National Convention gets closer.

Some well-known media outlets are going to make their home at a landmark near you.

A huge three story white barn is going up where the Armstrong Quinlan home once stood, across the street from the Xcel Energy Center. It's going to be the "Fox Experience," according to spokeswoman Diana Rocco. The Fox News Channel will kick off their day there at 5 a.m. Central Time daily.

Here's what it looks like from the Cleveland Circle parking ramp:

Panorama of Xcel Energy Center on

Some of the lesser known outlets will soon be moving in, too. Telemundo is going to share Rice Park with MSNBC's Keith Olbermann and Joe Scarborough, of "Morning Joe" fame.

Scarborough will also be broadcasting live every morning from Keys Cafe on Robert Street. The staff there assured me this afternoon that you'll still be able to get your Keys Famous Caramel rolls. You'll just have to do it in the national media spotlight for a couple days.

Word is that Arabic language broadcaster Al Jazeera will also be broadcasting from St. Paul.

The network known for its intense coverage of the Middle East and the war in Iraq is reportedly looking for more reposeful space to broadcast among the storefronts along West 7th Street, possibly Maharaja's Rock and Roll Headquarters. You could still see the "For Rent" sign is still up on one of their storefronts, and they still have a craiglist ad offering the space.

You just can't buy the irony of covering the Republican National Convention from what was once known as the Twin Cities best head shop.

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Curb your protester!

Posted at 4:23 PM on August 7, 2008 by Tim Nelson (0 Comments)

Undoubtedly the story of the day today about the national political conventions is in the Wall Street Journal.

It says the once-notorious Students for a Democratic Society (a 2006 restoration of the defunct organizers of the April 16, 1968 million-student campus strike) has responded amiably to a recent ban by the city of Denver on the possession of "noxious substances."

urine.jpgIt seems the city fears protesters are going to go all "Como Park primate" on the local constabulary and start flinging feces and urine at the Denver's finest.

The SDS, according to the Journal's Stephanie Simon has unilaterally issued a "Non-poo-liferation treaty" with the host city of the Democratic National Convention.

A roving gang of red-nosed clowns is reportedly ready to take up the demonstrative mantle.

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Hawk's Eye View

Posted at 4:48 PM on August 7, 2008 by Tim Nelson (0 Comments)

I went on the walk through at the Xcel Energy Center on Tuesday, and I'm finally getting to clearing out my camera. Granted, things have likely progressed since this shot was taken, but this is clearly going to be An Event.

I'm just thanking God I'm not that guy in the orange T-shirt with the yellow safety harness crawling around that racetrack truss.


Or, for that matter, the guys riding this lift up to the rigging above the podium where the speakers will stand.


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It ain't me, babe

Posted at 5:47 PM on August 7, 2008 by Tim Nelson (0 Comments)

Maybe the infamous crank-calling Jerky Boys "comedy" team is among those attending to the Republican National Convention.

We got a call from the RNC staff yesterday alerting to us to a series of phone calls to the convention phones in which the callers made some "inappropriate" remarks and suggested the calls were being recorded for broadcast on Minnesota Public Radio.

Inappropriate? On Minnesota Public Radio? Deputy RNC spokeswoman Melissa Subbotin said they knew MPR was too upstanding for that kind of thing. But she thought the only inquiry actually fit for disclosure was a request by one caller if it was okay to attend the convention in boxer shorts.

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Good neighbors

Posted at 8:17 PM on August 7, 2008 by Tim Nelson (1 Comments)

obama.JPGIllinois Senator Barack Obama may formally win his party's nomination at the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

But his campaign will be making a speedy return to downtown St. Paul over the Labor Day weekend, just three months after he claimed the Democratic nomination at the Xcel Energy Center.

The Obama camp is moving into the ground-floor union hall at 411 Main, the St. Paul Labor Professional Centre.


What that means: the formal Democratic campaign for the White House has signed up to put its "rapid response" team right across the street from the Xcel Energy Center. They'll practically be next door neighbors to the rival Sen. John McCain's coronation come Sept. 1.

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(Obama photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

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