San Francisco was invaded by 261 enthusiastic newspaper professionals last weekend when the AAN West conference hit town. Seminars were held at the Holiday Inn Golden Gateway hotel, which provided lovely views of the city to members who stayed overnight. (Although we did hear complaints that the conference rooms were a wee bit chilly.)
Did the term "enthusiastic newspaper professionals" catch your eye, too? Either AAN is allowing its interns to employ sarcasm now, or this has become the new PC term for out-of-touch middle-aged white guys who flaunt their sweaty desperation through soul patches, blazer-and-jeans ensembles, and credulity-stretching allusions to "crazy" nights on coke.
Hey, man: While all those straight-laced mainstream journalists were hanging out in the lobbies of swank Baghdad hotels, dreading the next time they draw the pool assignment, dulling their fears of kidnapping with cut-rate hash, the heavy-hitting brass of the nation's alt-weeklies, ever prowling the front lines of reality, were disappointed to discover that the meeting rooms at the Holiday Inn Golden Gateway required a sweater. Or at least a heavy shirt.