Mom and media

Times have changed for this mother, and following the Bernie and Hillary

A lot of things remind me that I’m now a mother. One of the recent occasions was when CN&R’s editorial team, led by yours truly, was organizing this week’s cover story, the so-called Bar Olympics. The idea behind the piece is that, during spring break when the majority of college students are home, the townies take over the local watering holes and compete in the games the alcohol purveyors have on hand.

CN&R staffers decided to take on the challenge in anticipation of this quiet week. Mind you, this wasn’t our first rodeo. Eight years ago, Meredith J. Cooper and I, along with then-Arts Editor Mark Lore, tore up the town during this newspaper’s inaugural Bar Olympics. We rode the bull at the Crazy Horse Saloon, sang karaoke at the Maltese Bar & Tap Room and participated in perhaps the kookiest of local bar competitions, the trike races at the Madison Bear Garden. We ate. We drank. We had a blast.

But that was then, and this is now, as they say. Back then, I was in my early 30s. Today, well, I’m eight years older. And a mom. That dawned on me as we contemplated where to go and what to play this time around. I’m the only person on my editorial team who’s a parent, and just talking about going out on a Sunday and Wednesday made me exhausted. It was right then in the planning phase that I told my crew something like, “Sorry guys, but you’re on your own this time.” I then gave a brief mom-like sermon about being safe. Oh, how life has changed.

I followed that up by saying I might venture out for a single event at one of the bars. It didn’t happen. By the time Calendar Editor Ernesto Rivera texted me with a picture of Meredith putting a gigantic bra on over her clothes as she prepared for the races at The Bear, an effort to perhaps get me downtown, I was already snuggled under a blanket with my 4-year-old. That’s my happy place. I wasn’t going anywhere.

As you’ll see from a report on page 16, a good time was had by all.

Quick follow-up Last week in this space, I complained about the national media’s coverage of CNN’s Democratic debate in Flint, Mich. Specifically, that the pundits gave Hillary Clinton the edge. I thought it was a bad call. It really burned me that some outlets were attempting to make Bernie Sanders out to be a misogynist because he interrupted Clinton’s interruptions of his answers. (Sanders ended up winning the Michigan primary, by the way.)

Most of the coverage of the debate hosted by Univision in Miami a few nights later named Sanders the victor—an understatement. He cleaned her clock. Clinton once again cherry-picked portions of legislation to make the Vermont senator appear less progressive. She mentioned how he voted against the auto bailout, for example. But Sanders put a stop to that tactic, noting how that legislation was part of a broader bill to bail out Wall Street from its (“recklessness, irresponsibility and illegal behavior”). He later summed things up succinctly: “Madam secretary, I will match my record against yours any day of the week.”