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Happytown: The Republican National Convention edition

We went to the RNC in Tampa and all we got was this lousy story to tell; the Sentinel's premature ejaculation over Mitt Romney's acceptance speech

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Night two found us at the Wonkette Drinky Thing, where we and maybe a dozen devotees of Rebecca Schoenkopf's blog gathered on the patio of a place called MacDinton's, which otherwise was occupied by shirtless joggers and beer bongers, to eat, drink, talk about politics, drink, yell at RNC speakers on the television, yell at each other about which one of them was the most horrible person, drink, prepare ourselves for the forthcoming Taliban apocalypse, drink, etc. And then we moved on to HomoCon, where Republicans plied a few hundred

LGBTs (and friendlies) with free booze in an effort to convince them that despite the whole marriage/civil rights/DADT/Rick Santorum thing, they should be friends. The event's programming consisted of GOProud Executive Director Jimmy LaSalvia making a five-minute, half-hearted sales pitch for Romney-Ryan. Here's the thrust: Yeah, the Republicans hate us, but "before you can get married, you need a date, and everyone knows you can't get a date without a job."

That was it. And so, with real work to do, we departed the next morning with a hangover that would last for days and the sinking feeling that comes with watching democracy die. Like we said, Important Journalism.

Speaking of journalism, the Orlando Sentinel sure dug the hell out of Mitt Romney's acceptance speech. So much so, in fact, that even before Romney made his speech – which we thought was kinda meh, but whatever – the Sentinel's website declared that Mittens "spoke eloquently," and the crowd "loved it."

Huh. We didn't know they were psychic. Makes you wonder why they couldn't see Sam Zell coming. Zing!

Journalism blog JimRomenesko.com picked up the scoop and got an explanation from Audience Engagement Editor (real title!) Mike Lafferty, who explained, "The text was written Thursday evening in anticipation of the speech's outcome" as part of a Sentinel online poll, and was published prematurely. "Had the speech gone awry," he added, "or had it been poorly received by the crowd, the text would have been changed last night to reflect that."

That would make more sense if the Sentinel hadn't preternaturally decided that Romney – who can barely get two words out of his mouth without inserting his foot – was "eloquent," and that the Republican base, which has spent the last year so reluctantly resigned to Romney that it seriously flirted with Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain, "loved it."

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