Off Beat: The George Orwell Party
If you had nothing to do on Tuesday afternoon, you could have watched Mitt Romney winning the Republican nomination for president.
In not-very prime time, the roll call at GOP convention kicked off just after 2 p.m. on the West Coast.
The major networks ignored it. C-SPAN, for whatever reason, didn't seem to work on the local cable TV. The cable TV news networks were all over it.
And what a show it was. Each state announced its votes, touting its greatness, its vistas, its prairies, its native fruits, all those good things.
Most of the votes, of course, went to Romney. And a few went to Ron Paul, the Libertarian who ran as a Republican so he could make everybody mad.
A funny thing happened during the roll call. Paul's name wasn't mentioned by the clerk on the podium who was repeating the announced vote from every state.
According to this clerk, the only candidate who received any votes was Romney; Paul was a nonperson. She wasn't deaf; she obviously had been told not to acknowledge any Paul votes.
It was very strange. It was kind of Orwellian. You're a candidate, but you don't exist at the same time.
It was so strange that even CNN's Wolf Blitzer, an anchorman not known for hyperbole or straying very far from conventional wisdom, mentioned that this was kind of odd, something he had never seen at any of the other conventions he had covered. He even noted that his Twitter feed was blowing up. People out there in TV land were kind of perplexed.
And so the roll call continued until Romney won. Yay! If this guy wins in November, will you all become nonpersons?
OPD on the beat
The tale of the narco taco truck in Olivehurst was picked up all around the country in the last week or so.
But things got a little twisted in the retellling. Take, for example, Huffington Post-San Francisco, which reported on this major news event.
"A three-month undercover sting by the Olivehurst police department, aptly dubbed 'Operation Dirty Taco,' busted a mobile eatery peddling illegal drugs to its customers," Huffington Post reported.
But this wasn't one error. Huffington Post kept going.
"Olivehurst police told CBS that the truck was just a shell for a mobile marijuana and methamphetamine operation," the website said.
What's odd, Huffington Post relied on the Appeal-Democrat for some of its information. The A-D never referred to the "Olivehurst Police Department."
There isn't any. There isn't a city of Olivehurst to have a Police Department.