Hall Monitors

The Republican Party has not only created a suitably locked down New York City for its purposes, but it has also set up a complex caste system for sorting, registering, and manipulating the thousands of reporters and press technicians.

You have to go to the sixth floor of the Hotel Pennsylvania to get your credentials, and you leave the hotel with so many passes that you almost have to hire a Sherpa to carry them.

Neatly dressed, fresh-faced people greet reporters as they troop down the hallways of the hotel. You enter a room, and a person brings in what looks like a mailbag and empties it on the table in front of you. You get passes for each day, and you have to change them each day so you don't get left out.

In other words, you don't get just one pass to get into the green zone—you get a packet of them, like a deck of playing cards. One deck is for the green zone, and another deck is for the "perimeter" (that gets you into the hallways of the Farley post office building just west of the Garden, and into the Garden hallways, but no farther).

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Think of the first deck as a kiddie pass. The second deck is for young adults. The almost grown get a third deck of passes, for writing spaces inside the Garden. And then the really grown-up people get still another deck of passes, for the gallery of the Garden, where you can sit on a first-come, first-served basis.

Sorted and tagged, you're ready to join the pack and start practicing journalism.

The occupation of New York seems to be going more smoothly than the occupation of Baghdad.


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