“It was the best of times – could never happen today. I’m thrilled to have been part of it.”

I tell you, the stuff I find on my Facebook wall sometimes! The video below is PRICELESS … it shows the press corps covering the race of Michael Dukakis for president in 1988, from the vantage of the irreverent, insanely silly reporters who followed Dukakis to every campaign stop. And, below the fold, I’ll share with you the conversation on Facebook — but the quote above serves as a snippet to introduce you to this video:

Thrillcam Camp-Pain ’88

Here’s the actual “conversation” on Facebook that included the link to the YouTube video above:

Clara [last name]
commented on Dick [last name]’s post in ABCeniors.

Dick [last name]
Political campaign coverage has changed… Campaign Reporters Are Younger and Cheaper, NYT

Yesterday at 8:09am
Clara [last name]
Yah…you know, Hal was complaining about this in 1996 (“those kids and their laptops..”). How much are these newbies getting paid?

August 31 at 10:56am
John [last name]
I read the news today, oh boy….

August 31 at 11:49am
Bob [last name]
Darn you kids – get off my bus!

August 31 at 6:02pm
Stu [last name]
In 2008 I applied to be one of the “boys on the bus.” Mimi interviewed me, told me I didn’t want to do that.

September 2 at 6:37pm
Max [last name]
Here’s a liveshot (most of us would remember calling this a “standupper) done by a recently graduated student from the University of Maryland’s j-school, where I teach. Alex is one of a team of “embed” reporters from MSNBC following candidates in key “battleground” states. MSNBC video

September 3 at 10:33am
Terry [last name]
In 1980. we had two correspondents, two producers, two cameramen, three audio ops, a radio correspondent and a lighting man. It was expensive, dumb and usually resulted in a story getting on the air that really shouldn’t have been on. The next major election cycle they started sending out associate producers with a cell phone and a notepad. They knew everyone on the campaign, got all the affiliates to send in their footage and briefed the correspondents when they showed up. Much, much better both in financial terms and in the quality of journalism. I mean those kids knew EVERYTHING.

September 3 at 10:40pm
Chuck [last name]
‎1988 Presidential Campaign…..The way it was done. [YouTube video seen above the fold.]

September 4 at 6:26am
Curt [last name]
Thanks Chuck – It was the best of times – could never happen today. I’m thrilled to have been part of it.

Yesterday at 5:07am
Terri [last name]
Thanx Chuck, great memories.

Yesterday at 7:51am
Clara [last name]
What a fun video! Politics used to be so much fun to cover. It’s nice to see a safari vest again.

This is SO true. I’ll never forget the crazy times when I was a reporter for a newspaper. My fellow reporters were the nuttiest, most fun group of people with a jaundiced view of politics and politicians. Biut could they ever write! And could they ever dig up the REAL story, doing all the research needed to unearth the truth. Those were the days … but now journalism, particularly on TV, is too much about flashy graphics, female hosts and reporters with cleavages, male hosts and reporters who look like they just walked out of GQ.

P.S. That New York Times article linked in the above conversation is worth reading … it’s kind of astounding who is covering the presidential campaigns these days.

Okay … that’s what I’ve got to share today. How ’bout you?