This Week Started Early
January 6, 2008
After last night’s debates I returned to our office in Lower Cushing to load, categorize, and edit our hours and hours of footage. I left our office at 1:45 a.m. and started the cold walk back to my room in Saint Mary’s Hall. Then it hit me, I had to wake up at 6:30 a.m. in order to be on time to get to the taping of This Week with George Stephanopoulos, which was aptly retitled This Week in New Hampshire.
This Week with George Stephanopoulos broadcasts on ABC from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. every Sunday. This week’s show, however, began at 8 a.m. with an interview with former Arkansas Governor and Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. The interview was another way for Huckabee to spin his performance in last night’s debate and also to clarify some of the slip-ups that he made.
Following Huck’s interview, former Mass. Governor and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney stepped on the stage and gave an interview that was extremely similar in format to the exchange with Huckabee.
After audience interaction with Stephanopoulos, it was time to start the live broadcast; this was the exciting part. Former Senator and Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards gave a live interview at the top of the show and then came out into the audience with his wife, Elizabeth, to greet everyone.
Once the pretaped portions of the program were complete, it was time for the panel to give analysis on last night’s debates. The panel consisted of George Will, Cokie Roberts, Sam Donaldson, and Donna Brazile. The panelists were very engaging and offered interesting insights on the debates at Saint Anselm College.
All in all, it was incredible to watch a live broadcast for national television, and it is an experience I will never forget.
January 6, 2008
Throughout my two and a half years here at Saint Anselm College, I have spent many sleepless nights here in Cushing, finishing up papers and making lasting memories with friends as we have pushed ourselves to finish that last essay, study for that final exam. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would be in that same building filled with movie stars, the most televised news anchors in the country, and possibly the future president of the United States. Read more
January 5, 2008
Cory True ‘09 gives an assessment of the state of the campus of Saint Anselm College on the morning of Debate Day, Jan. 5. Cory was up bright and early at 7 a.m. to bring you this special report from various locations around the campus.
[youtube width="425" height="355"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PJOh9EM0u0[/youtube]
January 5, 2008
It happens at every sporting event. It is the greatest expression of American patriotism — singing the U.S. National Anthem. Those who perform it carry the honor and glory of their performance for a lifetime. While it will not be televised, Saturday’s presidential debates will begin with the singing of the National Anthem by Saint Anselm student David Kimbell ‘09 (Nashua, N.H.). A founding member of The Acafellas, the premiere Saint Anselm College barbershop quartet, Kimbell is a tenor in the Saint Anselm College Choir and a philosophy major. Our very own Katelyn Tustin ‘09 had an opportunity to sit down with him. Music is by The Acafellas: David Kimbell ‘09, Anthony Vercollone ‘08, Joseph Bissonnette ‘08, and Greg Macksoud ‘08. [youtube width="425" height="355"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOvQ7hWv8EI[/youtube]
January 5, 2008
The day before the debates — best described as controlled chaos unfolded on the campus of Saint Anselm College today. I began my day at about 6 o’clock Friday morning on the corner of the Quad, awaiting for an unknown “Fox and Friends” program guest to arrive (who turned out to be Gov. Richardson). I split the rest of my morning between our workspace in the lower level of the Cushing Student Center, the debate hall, and the Fox newsroom.
Throughout the day, I utilized my “all-access-passes” to gain admittance to a number of events. One of my first stops was the Dana Center, which today played host to a group of students who are serving as stand-ins for the candidates who will appear on stage Saturday evening. Students were advised to spend the past few weeks reviewing previous debate transcripts and video, essentially learning and duplicating their candidate’s debate style. From our perch in the audience, we were able to capture the students in action as the ABC staff rehearsed their camera angles and other debate-night logistics.
My next stop was the first floor of Alumni Hall, with Father Jonathan DeFelice, O.S.B., president of the college. I sat down in his office, overlooking the commotion on the quad for an interview on Saint Anselm’s participation in hosting such high-profile events. Father Jonathan offered a candid, and intriguing bit of insight on how and why Saint Anselm College has become a must-stop on the New Hampshire Primary trail.
As the day turned to evening, I returned to the Dana Center, meeting up with the executive vice president of the college, Marie George. Together, we made our way inside the closed set to watch Charles Gibson deliver World News Tonight live on ABC. With less than ten minutes to go, Gibson took to the stage. Two minutes before air, the producers announced that everyone in the audience would be seen in several shots that would be seen on the broadcast. Thirty seconds before air, silence fell over the room, monitors throughout the hall came up with the live feed, and World News Tonight went live. A few minutes into the broadcast, George Stephanopoulos joined Mr. Gibson on stage (one that he will utilize Sunday morning for his own program) to provide commentary and analysis on Iowa results, and New Hampshire predictions. I have to say, having the headlines of the day delivered in person is a once-in-a-lifetime experience!
Back in the workspace now, We’re monitoring Fox News programming originating from above our heads on the second floor. In about an hour, I’ll be heading outside to cover ABC’s Nightline on the quad, before calling it a night — for about five hours — and starting again before dawn on debate day.
January 4, 2008
“Mr. Romney, please look at Mr. Giuliani,” resounded a god-like voice throughout the Saint Anselm College Koonz Theater. Hillary Clinton stood illuminated backstage by a floor light in front of her, and Charles Gibson made his final comments in not so typical debate attire. The 2008 presidential hopefuls stood in front of me, and yet each of them had been in one of my classes during my years here at Saint Anselm College.
Ok… So maybe these weren’t the actual candidates. These are Saint Anselm College student stand-ins for the ABC/Facebook Debates. They are as close to candidates as can be with their practiced mannerisms and scripts that each student had practiced prior to the debate rehearsal Friday night. Throughout the rehearsal, even the smallest gestures and movements were practiced time and time again, from desk movements to the very handshakes that the candidates would share following their debate sessions.
As tech crews and production managers called directions, the students experienced what very few will ever know. What had been limited for so long to that small box sitting in your living room was now exploding in front of them. The political world was uncovered from start to finish, and the students became an integral part of the debate process.
Though the excitement is building exponentially now, the students are maintaining the utmost professionalism and representing Saint Anselm College in a way that is involved and representative of the ideals that the college’s Benedictine community prides most.
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