How Hurricane Gustav Stole the Convention

by Ankitha Bharadwaj

Minneapolis-Saint Paul__So unless you’ve been in hiding, fearing that the Republicans will yet again rule for another term, you know about Hurricane Gustav and the impact it has had on the RNC — bringing a halt to much of the excitement. Lucky for us, this change of events actually made our stories better. It’s shaping up to be an awesome week for Youth Radio!

OK, so enough with the self-promotion and let’s get on with the day’s events. So today, my producers Miguel and Lissa took me and another reporter to St. Paul’s hotbed of political activity, the Xcel Center. All bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, we strutted confidently down 7th Street, showing off our shiny Special Press passes. Can you say “bling-bling”? But (with that heavy build up, you should’ve seen that “but” coming!) we only had two of the said passes, so only Miguel and I walked through the guarded gates.

Despite the large number of bulletproof vest-sporting, big-gun-toting, muscled cops running about, we found that it was surprisingly easy to slip in.

Trusty security at the Xcel center protecting the Republicans from anarchist protesters.

Trusty security at the Xcel center protecting the Republicans from anarchist protesters.

Talk about blind security…

Once we were cleared, Miguel and I entered Radio Row where we met with our interview subject, Ben Ferguson. For those who don’t know, Ben is the youngest nationally syndicated conservative talk show host. He got his start when he was 13! What was I doing at 13? Oh that’s right, watching “Dawson’s Creek” on the WB. Anyway, now at 27, Ben has enough on-air experience to run with the big dogs. We watched him broadcast live, and then got a one-on-one interview where we dug up his deepest, darkest, most diabolic secrets.

Newt Gingrich cheesing for the camera at a booth on Radio Row.

Newt Gingrich cheesing for the camera at a booth on Radio Row.

Actor Jon Voigt talking to some radio folks at the Xcel Center

Actor Jon Voigt talking to some radio folks at the Xcel Center

Conservative talk show host Ben Ferguson doing his thing at the Xcel Center.

Conservative talk show host Ben Ferguson doing his thing at the Xcel Center.

Like many of the others at the RNC, Ferguson ranted about how unfair it is for the RNC to be muted by hurricane news, while the protesters out there continued their “work”. He said something about the protesters placing buckets of urine around the Xcel Center, and tossing feces. Let’s just say I wouldn’t want to be the janitor on duty at the center…given that were about 2,000 protesters, according to the Washington Times. More on that story coming soon!

So along with protesters and folks promoting awareness about the injustices at Guantanamo Bay, we ran across some famous faces too. To name a couple, Newt Gingrich and Jon Voight! SWEET!

And 17-year-old Sarah Palin’s daughter is pregnant? Can we get the Washington Post to corroborate that please? I’m tired of having my feelings messed with.

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