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Published September 04, 2008

black-republican-good-luck-charm.jpg Minneapolis, Minnesota - Ask any news director covering the Republican National Convention and they’ll tell you the secret to crowd shots is black guys and hats. “A crowd shot is when we cut to the crowd after a particularly rousing part of a speech,” said Jeff Fischer, director of Fox News’ coverage of the GOP convention. “I position my crowd-shot cameras as close to the podium as possible because the RNC committee seats the minorities up front. It works for them because it sends a message that the GOP is culturally diverse and it works for me because I don’t have to scour the entire convention hall for the three to six black guys in attendance.”

Fischer says that finding delegates wearing hats is never a problem. “Hats are a staple of any convention; old-timey straw boaters, cowboy hats, and those weird rectangle fast-food type hats that World War II veterans wear all make for good shots. Also there’s never a shortage of assholes wearing a giant Uncle Sam hat. Those douches always think they’re so clever.” 

Sheila Monroe, news director for MSNBC, says she has her coverage down to a science. “Because we get the speeches before hand we can guestimate where the applause breaks will be. After that’s figured out it’s just a matter dividing up those crowd shots between black guys, babies and hats.” Monroe says that her usual RNC crowd-shot pattern is hat, baby, hat, black guy, hat, baby, black guy. “Tuesday’s coverage was tough because they sat the two black guys really close to each other. I had to make sure that the older black guy with the P.O.W. hat was never in the same shot as the younger black guy with the gray suit. You don’t want to use up all your black guys in one shot; you do that and you’re fuckin’ fucked.”

Monroe noted that the black guy with the P.O.W. hat was an exciting edition to convention coverage that has become all too predictable. “Black guy with a hat almost never happens. At the end of Sarah Palin’s speech when Cowboy Troy, that black guy country singer came out with a cowboy hat on? You can bet I lost my shit. Now I know how Native American’s felt when they saw the elusive albino buffalo.”

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