Katon Dawson called to tell me about something that happened at the debate last night which supplied him with a bit of comic relief in the midst of a million headaches.
One of the biggest pains of all, of course, is dealing with the media. The state GOP credentialed about 400 alleged journalists and hangers-on, and of course, there’s always somebody who doesn’t want to play by the rules. Of course, with the press, there are a lot of such somebodies.
So at the very height of it all, Katon is standing next to lady who is helping out the party (he evaded my
attempt to get a name), when she is approached by a surly, arrogant sort with a beard and tennis shoes, who says, "I don’t have credentials, and they told me to come over here."
The unruffled Flower of Southern Womanhood politely asks whom the gentleman is claiming to represent.
"Rolling Stone," he says.
But you can’t fool this lady: "You’re not the guy who went to the national convention with us."
Nevertheless, the interloper insisted, he’s the guy with Rolling Stone.
No, says the lady: "You’re not that guy." (The guy she’s thinking of is shown at right, holding a digital recorder over the shiny dome of ex-Speaker David Wilkins. The photograph, by the way, was taken by current Speaker Bobby Harrell.)
So why was this so funny to Katon? Here’s a little something I filed from the Republican National Convention in New York in 2004:
You know me as the editorial page editor of The State. That’s not how they know me in New York. Here, I’m the guy from Rolling Stone magazine.
S.C. Republican Party chairman Katon Dawson told me that no fewer than three hotel employees — the concierge, a doorman and one other — had said something about it. "How did you get the guy from Rolling Stone with you?" asked the doorman, apparently impressed. "What guy?" said Mr. Dawson. "You know, the guy with the beard and tennis shoes."
"We didn’t tell him" my true identity, Mr. Dawson confessed. "It made us look cool."
Well, I am no Hunter Thompson. I am writing this under the influence of nothing stronger than a cup of coffee and several antacid tablets. But I feel compelled to live up to my local reputation and send you a disjointed, rambling account of stuff that happened in New York that just didn’t fit into the three regular columns I did…
So that fella last night had a nerve trying to get away with something like that. Next thing you know he’ll be telling people he’s Raoul Duke.
Good thing that lady had been to New York, and knew better than to be fooled by the likes of him.