It was 20 years ago today …

Thursday, September 1, 2016
Credit: Quartermaster
(Click to hear audio.)
… that Chicago was sweeping up after hosting the 1996 Democratic National Convention and that this audio journal reflecting the week that was hit the radio airwaves.

It was a week that gave Chicago a chance to put to rest memories of the city's traumatic 1968 convention.

It seemed to work. At least that week.

And I got to interview comedian Jackie Mason, political writer (then Newsweek senior editor) Jonathan Alter, and some vendors who could neither sell Bulls or Blackhawks stuff nor talk to me — much, anyway. Also fun: Guest shots by my journalistic colleagues Thom Clark and Lynn Sweet.

I regret my upbeat conclusion here; it's proven mostly unjustified — a reminder reporters should stick to sharing what they know and what they've learned, and not make predictions.

(Keep listening after the end of the convention journal to hear my morning-after-the-election newscast, Nov. 6, 1996 — proclaiming not only Bill Clinton's re-election but also historic developments like Rod Blagojevich's election to the U.S. House and Dick Durbin's ascension to the Senate.)



Then check out: White House reporter Helen Thomas in 1997 on her career making life difficult for politicians, and journalist Jules Witcover recalling the tumult of 1968.

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