One of the best journalistic perks of the Democratic National Convention wasn’t all the free food and drink or the possibility of rubbing shoulders with the political and powerful.
The best bonus was the red tote bag.
When 15,000 members of the media checked in at the Convention Center last week, they were given the goody bag that had been put together by Los Angeles Convention 2000, the official DNC host committee.
The canvas bag was loaded up with all the essentials a good scribe needed to survive L.A. Not only were there maps of Metro Rail and Dash downtown bus routes, there was a mini-tour guidebook on what to see and do in the Los Angeles area. That included visiting the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Venice Beach and the Queen Mary in Long Beach.
Also inside was a small bottle of SPF 30 sunscreen, courtesy of Tenet HealthSystem, a blue-and-white plastic water bottle from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, savings coupons from Universal Studios Hollywood, M & M; candy courtesy of United Parcel Service and a Lakers T-shirt from the NBA champions.
One of the more informative items was a little flyer explaining a perplexing California law that many out-of-state visitors don’t understand. It spells out where you can and can’t smoke in the Golden State.
Journalists being journalists, they weren’t much impressed. “There’s nothing fancy inside these bags,” sniffed one journalist who asked not to be identified. “I’m just using it for all the overflow of papers I have.”