As you may recall, I was in attendance at the second presidential debate in St. Louis. I spoke lovingly about the hope I felt among the students and young people on campus, and the general squick of the debate itself.
But behind the scenes was a harrowing tale of injustice and silencing.
I mean, I feel like that’s how Trump and his Trumpiepoos would describe it if it happened to them. In honesty, it might have just been a case of paperwork and possibly the Great 2006 Pajiban Shutdown. OR INJUSTICE! (Definitely not injustice.)
After a lengthy drive to St. Louis, replete with a Black Tapes podcast binge (I HAVE SO MUCH TO SAY. WHERE MY STRAGAN SHIPPERS AT?) I arrived at Washington University, blazer on, eyeliner heavy and journalistic integrity strong.
And then, the swift and harsh reminder that All-Caps does not a journalist make.
First, I was told I was not on the CPD media list, that I’d have to trek to another building. The woman pointed at the building. I clearly thought she was pointing elsewhere.
Got sent to a locked building under construction for my credentials. I knew this seemed fake. Milo is going to jump out and kill me isn't he pic.twitter.com/WDeXg0huLV— Courtney Enlow (@courtenlow) October 9, 2016
So I went back. And she told me where she was actually pointing.
Ok I might be going to the right place now. pic.twitter.com/6pwh8Gc1JN— Courtney Enlow (@courtenlow) October 9, 2016
This was starting to sting.
What you're seeing right now is what happens when imposter syndrome is just correct.— Courtney Enlow (@courtenlow) October 9, 2016
And then the other place didn’t have me on their list either. And a quick look at my credential email told them I was in fact REAL MEDIA as determined by the CPD, so I was sent back to the original building for the third time. But I’m all about that bright side.
This going back and forth between credentialing sites his clearly a last ploy by Michelle Obama to get me to lose my baby weight. THX FLO— Courtney Enlow (@courtenlow) October 9, 2016
And, then, this.
I mean this has truly gone exactly the way I'd expected. pic.twitter.com/TZA7JfHpJD— Courtney Enlow (@courtenlow) October 9, 2016
No joke, I almost started crying. It was this feeling of “oh, every insecurity you have about your place in this world? IT’S REAL.”
But luckily, Zac, who was working the media desk, emailed me quickly to let me know he’d figured shit out.
I got a badge, and my swag bag.
I GOT MY BAG pic.twitter.com/UzrCk1KHfu— Courtney Enlow (@courtenlow) October 9, 2016
And I got to see firsthand how weird Fox News is.
Fair and balanced! pic.twitter.com/67nNDmW6pd— Courtney Enlow (@courtenlow) October 9, 2016
Most importantly I got to see the younger voters who knew the serious ramifications of a Trump presidency and how engaged they were in this election and it made me happy.
Just heard a girl with a Clinton/Kaine sign say "I really want my racist grandma to see me. THIS IS FOR YOU GRANDMA." #WashUdebate2016— Courtney Enlow (@courtenlow) October 9, 2016
And, then, most importantly, when I learned there wasn’t a specific media watch place and after spending five hours on campus with these wonderful humans, I went back to my hotel, got a double-glass of wine and a salad and watched that shit in my media bag swag t-shirt.
And that’s my debate tale.