Today politics exceeded its own parody: at least 50 reporters gathered at a comedy clubhouse -- while the rest of us watched on TMZ -- to hear the latest news about a leading a presidential candidate complete with warmup from a radio shockjock minion. What's left for Jon Stewart? Asked to rate the frenzy level of media-friendly lawyer Gloria Allred's hastily called press conference to detail the allegations of Sharon Bialek, the fourth woman who's accusing Herman Cain of sexual harassment, veteran New York Post photographer David McGlynn said, "I give this a nine. At least." Less impressed in the press scrum packed into the Milton Berle Room of the Friar's Club was Nick Brooks, an independent photographer who contributes to what he described as an international paparazzi agency, who rated the spectacle a seven, putting it well behind Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Anthony Weiner. "Those are all A-1 media events," he said. "DSK was unparalleled because you had overlap of paparazzi and international politics. This isn't quite there." The man knows what sells.
"If you looked up 'media circus' in the dictionary, you would see a picture of all of us," said the New York Observer's Hunter Walker, crouched in the doorway of the Milton Berle Room at the Friars Club of New York. "God, I'm hung over," Brooks said, breaking the monotony as antsiness turned into hushed impatience and Allred failed to emerge. "It's so hot in here," said a woman in the crowd. The gaggle of media included reporters and camera operators from the National Enquirer, TMZ, The Daily Show as well as scores of freelancers, all the network and cable news channels, the local papers, CNN, Fox, and plenty of foreign press.