As Joe already noted, I was unable to do my live coverage of the debate tonight. Let me tell you why.

First of all, I no longer have the laptops I used to have, the ones I attempted to use for the VMA show. So I lugged around two tower systems, two laptop bags of audio equipment, and a flatscreen monitor all over the U.M. Campus going through security checkpoints, and facing ridicule of various media people and protesters.

(Why was I carrying all of this by myself? Well, Ricky, once again, was dragging up the rear getting us there this evening, and I got in too late, and discovered upon arrival that neither Leo nor Ricky’s press credentials went through).

Secondly, once I arrived, I took about 15 minutes to set up, leaving me about 13 minutes before showtime to go figure out why the network wasn’t up.

Upon questioning of the welcome desk, I was informed that I’d have to pay $350 per computer I was hooking up, $200 per phone that I wanted, and an additional $100 for a live audio feed.

Did I mention that I wasn’t on the real debate floor? No, I was stuck in a large press room full of Spainards and API wire reporters. The highlight of the evening was when Carl Rove quickly ran through the room.

On the other hand, I did get a recording of the debate from an ambient room mike, and as soon as I fix up the sound levels on it, I’ll either post it, or get Smokey to broadcast it.

I’m tired as fsck, and I’ve still got to unload my equipment. Talk to you in a bit with actual debate commentary.