Billboards started popping up around Houston about a month or so ago proclaiming 9 acres of guns and related paraphernalia would be at the George R. Brown Center courtesy of the National Rifle Association's annual shindig. I contacted a few regular clients to see how they were set for coverage and I had a positive response from The New York Times for three days of coverage, Thursday through Saturday.
It was an enchanting experience to say the least. Every kind of configuration of gun was to be had - big guns, little guns, short and long. There was also a litany of conservative speakers that required coverage for most of Friday touting the threat of gun seizure and a constant barrage of demonizing the media. The paradox, of course, is that they were more than happy and accommodating to have us there to cover their events and speakers. If they hate us so much, why invite us in the first place? I suppose a party just isn't festive unless someone brings the piñata.
The coup de grace was during my coverage of the protest across the street. A man walked quickly past, took one look at my credential, pointed his finger at me and stated "You're the enemy!" I suppose in his eyes I was, even though he was more interested in name-calling than in actual dialogue. As I tried to engage him, he just kept double-timing it back to his car, evil media insulted, mission accomplished.
The New York Times story is here.