NASHVILLE — The National Tea Party Convention’s early reluctance to give credentials to reporters — a decision that came after some negative commentary on the event’s cost and critics — was short-lived. Reporters are swarming the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and, with little exception, getting press passes. When I checked it around 11 a.m., more than 150 reporters had been credentialed. While there are around 600 paying attendees, the scene in the hall outside of the banquet and meeting rooms is basically one-to-one reporter-to-attendee. Inside the breakout sessions, at least three cameras are filming at any one time.
Image has not been found. URL: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2714/4332346813_73aaf3f360.jpgPhoto by David Weigel
One of the credentialed reporters is no less than Joseph Basel, one of the four activists who was arrested — and let out on bail — for the mysterious botched sting of Sen. Mary Landrieu’s (D-La.) office. “I’m here for myself,” Basel told me, after chatting with Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit and Andrew Breitbart of Big Government.