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Monday morning was a contradiction, because Sunday had been so busy there had been no real time for the letdown of the high from Saturday’s Buffet Books and Blather event but as I hit the adoration chapel after daily mass there was a sense of urgency as Stacy’s TV appearance so I cut my prayer time down figuring I could get my decades in during the course of the day heading back to the house hoping that Stacy wasn’t completely in the zone.
This statement requires some clarity for those who have never shared a room with Robert Stacy McCain. One Stacy McCain starts writing on a subject he enters a zone where it is nearly impossible to get his attention on anything else. You won’t get him out of hotel room , you aren’t going get him to leave a McDonald’s to avoid the rush hour, and even getting out of the house for a TV appearance can be iffy.
Fortunately Stacy while writing had been pretty much prepared so when we left the house at 11 we figured there was plenty of time to make it to the studio in Worcester even when picking up gas for the car and a coffee for Stacy. If only the traffic , namely the construction on I190 had cooperated, but in the end I dropped Stacy McCain off at the studio at noon on the button and headed over to the parking garage a block away and walked to the studio.
Stay was still out front, as Mrs. Finn was also delayed, when she did arrive her producer had still not arrived so it meant further delays but Stacy filled it with stories and conversation that continued to hold our host’s attention.
When he did arrive it was decided to tape a pair of shows back to back as this would be her only chance to have Stacy live in studio so they recorded two shows back to back but even with two shows it was impossible to cover all that Stacy had to say about feminism and culture.
When the shows were done it was time for more Mexican food. It turned out that the nearest restaurant was back across from the DCU center the site of yesterday’s event, so we walked the four blocks over. When we got there I was surprised to find Alan Napelton the head of the Catholic Marketing Network whose event I had covered in Chicago the previous month and who I had only managed to speak to for a few minutes the day before at the bar next to the place where we were seated. I took advantage of the moment to have the meeting that I had hoped to have the day before with him while Stacy shared a lunch with Mrs. Finn still regaling her with stories of which he has a seemingly inexhaustible supply.
When everyone was done eating it was getting pretty late in the day and we still hadn’t gotten to UMass Amherst which was on Mr. McCain’s “must do while I’m in Massachusetts list” so after saying our goodbyes to Mr. Napelton we hustled the five blocks back to the parking garage where we parted company with Mrs. Finn and headed west.
We arrived in Amherst near 6 pm and found ourselves at the Franklin Dining center where we got our bearings. As always the first thing we did was check out the bulletin boards to see what the feel of the place was and that fell wasn’t just left, but ultra ultra left. Flyer after flyer advocated everything from the various gay, bisexual , Islamic, Socialist, and Transgender clubs but oddly not a single sign up or poster for the college republicans (we had our suspicions why but that’s for later in the story).
The plan was for Stacy to touch bases with the president of the college republicans and basically repeat what he had done at Harvard College the previous Thursday, however the delay in getting there complicated matters and the College republicans president was not available, however the VP of the college republicans had some free time so we drove over to her dorm area, picked her up and headed back to a lounge area where Stacy conducted an interview on audio.
And I interviewed Miss Bishop directly after Stacy on camera
where we discovered that the reason why there were no posters for sign ups for the college republicans is the no-hate on campus meme that we saw plastered all over the place apparently doesn’t apply to the college republicans whose sign up posters were constantly torn down so as to make it a waste to put it up as nobody would ever be scolded or caught for it.
Apparently while we were at UMass Amherst on 9/11 the student body did not confine their suspension of the “no hate” policy to the GOP but extended it to the US itself:
The banner, which first caught students’ and officials’ attention yesterday morning, was slung above a doorway on Valentine Dining Hall and read in large, capital letters: “There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people,” a quote that is largely attributed to American historian Howard Zinn.
Below that was the phrase: “In honor of those killed and displaced by America’s so-called ‘war on terror.’ ”
There are 3000 Americans who might have taken umbrage at the “so called” in that banner that is if they hadn’t been slaughtered 16 years prior to the day.
But this was unknown to us at the time, for now we contented ourselves with our interviews discovering that like Harvard UMass had plenty of conservatives in the closet but unlike Harvard the percentage willing to go on record was 1/6 of 1% vs Harvard’s 2%.
However like the students at Harvard young miss Bishop defended both her school and the education she got there even though it seemed that when it came to college republicans clear love their alma maters said love was apparently not returned.
By the time we finished it was well after dark so after thanking Miss Bishop for giving us so much time on such short notice, we headed toward home stopping only in Gardner for one last Mexican meal and a chance to record one more segment for the podcast (available here) with Stacy while we had the chance.
For it would not be so many hours before we would be heading for the airport our adventures in Massachusetts concluded.
In the end we had covered the state several times, Boston, Cambridge, Lexington, Worcester, Amherst, Gardner Leominster and of course Fitchburg, we had put almost as many miles on my car as we did during the Scott Brown election (and said car died when it returned from taking Stacy home) and in addition to our events and speeches we had done some first class shoe leather reporting with the stories to back them up.
That above all else, made the week worthwhile, because first hand reporting and seeing things for yourself is what this business is all about. The gallery follows the Tip Jar Pitch.
Robert Stacy McCain in Massachusetts the Story so far:
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