Behind the Scenes at Time

Analysis of breaking news events.
Nov. 8 2000 2:16 AM

Behind the Scenes at Time

Joel Stein, a writer for Time magazine, filed this report about working election night.

Advertisement

Jumbles. So much promise for the jumbles. All week long, we looked at the menu posted in the hall--the 5 a.m. breakfast, the salmon dinner, but by far the most exciting was the 11 p.m. cold buffet that included lemon bars and jumbles.

By 11, people had changed into sweatshirts, brought out their toothbrushes, and were sharing saline solution in the bathroom. Belinda Luscombe had brought out a board game. Foosball was in full effect. Despite the fact that we received new exit polls every one and a half hours, overexcited Managing Editor Walter Isaacson asked that updates be e-mailed to the staff every half an hour. It was the geekiest freshman dorm anywhere in the country.

We had prepared two complete issues--the articles, the pictures--we even had several stories written about Bush taking the popular vote and still losing, and an Arthur Schlesinger essay about an electoral tie. Imagine our dismay when our foosball game was interrupted by the one possibility we hadn't planned: Gore winning the popular vote and losing the electoral vote. Luckily, we had a lot of people in the office.

I had never cared about politics before, but I got caught up in the excitement. It was like the Super Bowl, if I liked football and sometimes the announcers called a touchdown by mistake. People were yelling in the halls about Florida being taken back. We had exit polls in the conference room with lots of information about unmarried female Hispanic voters, but we got our information from the networks like everyone else. Despite that, our friends, relatives, and even some people on the Gore campaign kept calling asking us if we knew stuff.

By 2 a.m. the fun started to wear down and it became clear that no one was going to hook up. Everyone became decidedly less attractive in their glasses and desperate need for deodorant and a Stridex wipe. People had clearly forgotten about those toothbrushes and toothpaste they brought in. We were just waiting for heads and captions.

Jumbles, it turns out, are just overcooked chocolate cookies.

TODAY IN SLATE

War Stories

The Right Target

Why Obama’s airstrikes against ISIS may be more effective than people expect.

The One National Holiday Republicans Hope You Forget

It’s Legal for Obama to Bomb Syria Because He Says It Is

I Stand With Emma Watson on Women’s Rights

Even though I know I’m going to get flak for it.

Should You Recline Your Seat? Two Economists Weigh In.

Doublex

It Is Very, Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

Or, why it is very, very stupid to compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice.

Building a Better Workplace

In Defense of HR

Startups and small businesses shouldn’t skip over a human resources department.

Why Is This Mother in Prison for Helping Her Daughter Get an Abortion?

Use Facebook to Reconnect With Old Friends, Share Photos, and Serve People With Legal Papers

  News & Politics
Foreigners
Sept. 23 2014 6:40 PM Coalition of the Presentable Don’t believe the official version. Meet America’s real allies in the fight against ISIS.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 23 2014 2:08 PM Home Depot’s Former Lead Security Engineer Had a Legacy of Sabotage
  Life
Outward
Sept. 23 2014 1:57 PM Would a Second Sarkozy Presidency End Marriage Equality in France?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 23 2014 2:32 PM Politico Asks: Why Is Gabby Giffords So “Ruthless” on Gun Control?
  Slate Plus
Political Gabfest
Sept. 23 2014 3:04 PM Chicago Gabfest How to get your tickets before anyone else.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 23 2014 8:38 PM “No One in This World” Is One of Kutiman’s Best, Most Impressive Songs
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 23 2014 5:36 PM This Climate Change Poem Moved World Leaders to Tears Today
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 23 2014 4:33 PM Who Deserves Those 4 Inches of Airplane Seat Space? An investigation into the economics of reclining.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 23 2014 7:27 PM You’re Fired, Roger Goodell If the commissioner gets the ax, the NFL would still need a better justice system. What would that look like?