How to Cover the ConventionsIn a word, don't. As Jack Shafer says, the political conventions are stupid and pointless pageants. Free publicity for candidates and parties with absolutely no real news to be found. Faker than the Olympics Opening Ceremonies. But, you know, the press swarms on them because it's a party. Except twice every four years tens of thousands of journalists get to act like people with white collar jobs who go to "conventions" to hang out in hotels in cities where they don't know a soul and spend a long weekend getting wasted with their peers. It's a little vacation! But it's bullshit. So. How to cover the conventions responsibly—or, rather, entertainingly? Shafer's advice, and ours, below. Skip the Official Nonsense Don't bother reporting on what happens on stage, or even on the floor of the convention hall. Because we all know what will happen—it'll be in the press releases. Don't even bother rewriting them. Why not, as Shafer suggests, "go searching toilet stalls for somebody with a wide stance"? Everyone's away from home! Delegates, party operatives, and journalists are enjoying nightly hotel parties, and probably more. Why not report on the sex and drugs consumed? Try to catch someone with their pants down! Carry out your own little prostituion sting or something. Skip the Convention The best convention reporting would probably come from someone who didn't even have press passes (anyone want to buy us a plane ticket? Business class, SERIOUS OFFERS ONLY). The parties: don't just attend them, report on them! Who's getting drunk, with who, and why? THE PEOPLE HAVE A RIGHT TO KNOW. And the protests! Why not do a scary think-piece on one of our favorite pet topics, the militarization of the civilian police forces? Compare the DEPLORABLE treatment of dissenters in Beijing right now to whatever nightmares will go down in St. Paul and Denver? OR just write some funny color story on the stupid hippies, either one. Make Shit Up You totally overheard John McCain call Jenna Bush a painted trollop? Sure!