The G(20)reat Redd Up
Now there are these folks coming with them. The number being bantered about of several thousand media and hangers-on is a bit mind boggling. I think back to the Democratic Primary last spring when Pittsburgh was the focus of some minor media attention beyond the rivers. That was honestly a bit crazy even though Pittsburgh was only one locale in the state as a whole. That and the media buzz was spread out over a longer period heading into that election. Remember even PBS came in and set up shop for a week. There were foreign media stories then as well from the handful of foreign media folks that dropped in around that time. (check out what was put out just for the primary by: Le Monde, or German Public Radio, for example). The idea of magnifying the number of foreign media in town all at once by several orders of magnitude is just a bit daunting to contemplate. As we all know, this is really one big small town and I just wonder if there are enough 'Pittsburgh Stories' to go around.
So there is work to do. If we just clean up the place it will all have been worth it. If it does get us to all work together the long term benefit will go beyond even the media tsunami that is coming.
My one really earnest suggestion to everyone... when you get a call from someone with that Swedish accent, call them back! and please please no jokes about the Swedish Chef, they won't get it. The greatest fear I have to all of this is probably best summarized by Potter a couple weeks back (see his last para). If Potter thought that one little incident was noteworthy at all, imagine what a foreign reporter will write if she observes anything remotely similar... or the calamity that will result if they themselves are treated that way.
That and if you bump into a tall guy in a grey suit and something in his ear that does not look like he is from around here... no jokes about guns ok.