Inside the Big Tent the theme of the day Tuesday was messages — from a busload of trapped delegates, from an actor who sees one where there are many, and from a very optimistic developer.
Is this the most provocative thing said so far?
Romney pollster Neil Newhouse: "Fact-checkers come to this with their own sets of thoughts and beliefs, and we're not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers."
It's like facts don't even matter anymore. But they do! PolitiFact's Bill Adair: "It's surprising to hear claims of bias because both sides frequently cite our work in their ads and press releases. The reality is that PolitiFact has disrupted the status quo in American politics by holding elected officials accountable for what they say."
No question about that. It's more a question of whether people really want to hear what's true and what's not.
Mr. Austin is always on message. Always.
What Al Austin, chairman of the 2012 Tampa Bay Host Committee, said in his speech Tuesday:
" … With more than 15,000 members of the media here from around the globe, I am pleased that Tampa Bay will no longer be the best-kept secret in the world. … Having you all here in this Forum will have a significant impact on the future of our region. … So thank you for stimulating our economy. … "
He'll say it over and over. He built a lot of buildings. He was an optimist because he had to be. He still is. This event, he says, will change things. It will transform the area. Or it won't.
A dateline that sounds worse than Siberia
STUCK ON A BUS
Visitors, remember: You eat what we are
The Tampa Bay Times' Susan Thurston in Tuesday's paper on the growing fast-casual dining trend here in these parts:
" … The Tampa Bay area has long been a testing ground for restaurant concepts, having birthed major chains such as Hooters, Beef 'O' Brady's and, most notably, Outback Steakhouse. Outback began in 1988 with a single restaurant in Tampa. … "
Not many of us are from here, and it's one of the fundamental challenges of this region and this state. Former Florida Gov. Bob Graham called it the "Cincinnati factor." People move here — but only physically.
It also has to be one of the reasons so many chains start here. Florida in many ways lacks a sense of communal purpose, and so it's fitting that this place that struggles so much with identifying itself makes restaurants that could be absolutely anywhere.
Repeat after me: It's the plural of medium
Conservative activist Jon Voight in the New York Times:
"If you are a patriot, get your information. You are not going to get it from the mainstream media. The media has been taken over in our country."
What do people think "media" means? The New York Times and the Tampa Bay Times and the Washington Times and the Wall Street Journal: media. Fox News and MSNBC: media. Talk radio: media. The 2016 movie: media. All those screens on that fancy stage over at the Tampa Bay Times Forum: media.