Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Rachel Maddow Broadcasts from Spenard* Bar in Anchorage

I don't know how many national nightly news shows are broadcast live from a bar (in Spenard no less), but Rachel Maddow packed the Taproot Tuesday night.  Shannyn Moore had announced first-come-first-served tickets on her KUDO radio show Monday and on her blog, and by 4pm when the doors opened the crowd stretched way back into the parking lot.  (Yes, the clouds had rolled in and the beautiful morning was now grey.)

The setup was much different from last week's Moore Up North show last week.  MSNBC had tons of equipment in and the focus was the middle of the dance floor.

This was about 4:40pm.  The teleprompter is on the left there.  When it got started she really talked fast.  I don't know that I could read something out loud that fast without stumbling

She walked in right past us and I barely had a chance to snap a quick blurry picture.

Vic Fischer, one of two or three surviving writers of the Alaska Constitution was a guest on the show along with Anchorage's version of Maddow, Shannyn Moore.  He's certainly the most active and visible of the survivors.  He's in the middle of the picture in the blue jacket.  Maddow's comment when she introduced him was something like, "In Alaska when they want to know about original intent, they call one of the drafters of the Constitution."  I did that with Vic last March in Juneau when I had a question about a constitutional intent concerning the Boundary Commission which had come up in a session. I got his answer on video then.

There was some extra time before 5 pm, so Maddow took questions from the audience.

Maddow had been in Anchorage a couple days getting interviews with US Senate Candidates Lisa Murkowski, Scott McAdams, and finally, Joe Miller.  The session cut back and forth from Maddow talking about the Senate race and Alaska and the video she'd already done which we could see on monitors.  In one of the live segments she talked to Shannyn Moore and Vic Fischer. 

And then the hour was up and the MSNBC crew had to tear everything down and get to the airport for a 13 hour stop tomorrow in Las Vegas.


But on the way out, Maddow had time to sign autographs. 

*Spenard is a street that winds its way from the airport (almost) to downtown (almost.)  When we got to Alaska 33 years ago, it was the seedy part of town full of strip clubs, massage parlors, and hookers on the streets at night.  A Spenard divorce involved a gun.  It's been cleaned up a lot since then and the show was in the Taproot, a fairly new bar in what used to be Mr. Whitekeys' Fly-by-Night Club. 


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