Earlier today we caught up with Greta Van Susteren, anchor of Fox News’ 10 p.m. hour, at her makeshift desk inside Braun’s Bar and Grill, the cavernous sports bar across from the Pepsi Center (and inside the convention’s security perimeter) where Fox News has turned into its DNC headquarters.
“I like the blogging,” she said as she clicked away at her keyboard, posting updates to GretaWire. Her counterparts were all doing the more predictable TV thing: Chris Wallace had a live shot for the nes channel, and downstairs Bill Hemmer was digging away at a late breakfast-bar buffet. At the coffee and soda bar Brit Hume shot the shit with Brian Kilmeade. Nobody was playing the Big Buck Hunter video game nearby; after all, this is a television studio, not a bar.
But Ms. Van Susteren was glued to her computer, finishing up her 10th blog post of the morning, including an online poll: “What do you think Michelle Obama thinks about Hillary Clinton?” (As of press time, 80 percent of 990 voters had responded, “Hates her.”)
Lanny Davis got up from a nearby seat and Ms. Van Susteren slumped into it shortly after and took a moment to tell us what’s wrong with conventions these days.
“There is no intrigue,” she said. “But the networks can’t not be here, which is a problem. Not a terrific amount of news is going to happen. We have to be here in case something does happen. It’s the same reason we send reporters down to Crawford to sit there during the president’s vacation. In case something does happen.”
The only other thing to do is try to have fun. By early afternoon, she had written about McCain surrogates in Denver, linked to an item about an Italian Priest who was organizing an on-line beauty contest for nuns, posted an description by a Fox News colleague of Joe Biden’s first public appearance in Denver, and downloaded some photos of her recent trip to North Korea.
“Here’s the problem with TV,” said Ms. Susteren. “With TV you’re talking at someone. You’re talking at the camera. It’s pretty weird. With blogging I get the give and take. I get to have conversations back and forth. I get to go behind the scenes and show people things that they haven’t seen by just turning on the TV. I don’t even mind the comments on the blog that say, I’m a moron, I’m an idiot. I’m stupid. So what? I’ve been called worse.”