My Karl Rove Story

Yeah. I have a Karl Rove story… What, you don’t? Interesting. Anyway, in 2004 I was awarded an amazing internship with the Detroit News. Score! I was the intern/assistant for the Washington Bureau Chief, Alison Bethel during the 2004 Republican National Convention. It was one of the most amazing experiences in my life! I got to cover everything and everyone. I had two articles published and a photograph I took was on the front of the website for the Detroit News on the final day of the convention. I got to go to a luncheon with Laura Bush. I got to go to Wednesday Night Live hosted by Dick Cheney and the cast of Saturday Night Live! It was an amazing week, which was getting better and better, which was great, because it started off… rather terribly.

We were staying at the Hilton in mid-town New York. In the lobby checking in was quite a scene… John McCaa, our local news anchor was checking in right ahead of me. Texas delegates were everywhere. I remember feeling such a rush. I was really apart of something. Alison, my boss that I had never met, was in that lobby. We were both on our cell phones, trying to find each other in the crowd, and she started describing herself to me. My phone was cutting out, as was hers. I heard her say she was wearing all black. “That’s my favorite color!,” I proclaimed loudly. Turns out, she was standing right behind me. In a denim skirt and white shirt. “Oh my gosh! I… I…,” I couldn’t stop stammering… Because she was not wearing black. She was black. “I thought you said you were wearing all black!” “Well that explains one thing,” she said, looking me up and down. She had my application for the internship in her hand. “It says here you wanted to work for MTV.” “Yes mam,” I replied meekly. “Why the hell did they give me an intern that wanted to work for MTV?” “I’m sorry?” I was confused, why was that a bad thing? And why the hell did they give her my application that said I wanted to work at MTV, and ‘nowhere else’ thanks a lot internship program. Blow me.”You didn’t want to work for CNN. Or Fox News. Or any NEWS outlet. You wanted to work for MTV and they gave you to me. This is going to be a long week. Do you even know how to write?” So, to say the least, I did not make a great first impression.

“Go to your room, put your stuff down, and meet me at my room in 5 minutes,” she barked at me. “Yes mam.” “And don’t call me mam, call me Alison, I’m not your mother.” “Yes Alison,” I replied, and made a bee line for the elevators to drop my things off in my room.

Lucky for me, I charmed her at the bar that evening. We ended up meeting her friends and taking shots. At 1 am they decided to take the ‘white girl’ to Harlem to dance. We walked in a bar and ‘Crazy in Love’ was playing. I immediately ran to the dance floor and did my best Beyonce moves. Alison found me on the dance floor and died laughing, “What do you know,” she poked her friend Sarah in the side, “That white girl can shake it.”

Okay, okay, back to Karl Rove… It was Friday, the last day of the convention. And I was so hungover I thought I might die. Alison had taken me to a chamagne bar, Flute, the night before and bought a bottle of Veuve. It was the first time I had ever had it. The real deal. She thanked me for turning out to be an amazning intern. I thanked her for publishing two of my stories and giving me the by-line credit… I was in heavan. We talked and patted ourselves on the back and discussed the final day ahead of us. We would fly out Friday night when the convention ended and go our separate ways. Four bottles of Veuve between two of us later, we decided we had better go to bed since we were only going to get like, two hours of sleep.

When my alarm went off, about an hour and a half later, things… were not right. Spinning is an understatement. I started puking. Alison called and told me to meet her in the lobby in 5 minutes.

We got to Madison Square Garden, proceeded through security and made our way to our work station. There was a guy talking at the little ‘press room’ they had set up on the other side of our work station. “Go see if that’s important,” Alison said, nodding in the guy’s direction. I walked over, trying not to puke, and didn’t take notes. Who the hell was this guy? I’d never seen him before. Must be a nobody, I mused, as I didn’t listen to anything he said and tried not to puke on my shoes. When he finished, stood up, took pictures with people, and then walked off, I got up and went back to my ‘office’ {a table across the room} Alison ask if he said anything important. “No. Nothing good.” Alison gave me an odd look and left it at that. The rest of the day was amazing. Seeing George Bush, Cheney, the magnatism of the crowd… meeting the big guns… Anderson Cooper, Tim Russert, Wolf Blitzer, Larry King… it was a week I will never forget. I flew home and was sitting on the couch telling my {then} husband all about it, when Peter Jennings came on, to announce the person of the week. It was Karl Rove. The Architect of the Republican party, is what Jennings was calling him. And son of a bitch, if it wasn’t the guy I was supposed to be listening to that morning. Well Fuck me. #careerfail I blame Karl Rove though. If he had been a host on MTV, I totally would have known who he was.

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