Yesterday, a rash of blog posts calling out young conservative attendees at Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) for behaving and dressing inappropriately during the conference popped up and dominated the news day on the twittosphere. Conservatives were divided on the issue, and over the question of whether it really was an issue.
As a number of conservatives pointed out on twitter, they actually thought CPAC was less rowdy than in the past, leading Red Alert’s own editor, Francesca Chambers, to ponder which parties bloggers who witnessed unbecoming behavior were attending.
Though we spent a great deal of time focusing on our own blog at CPAC, our editorial staff was also in charge of manning our booth in the Exhibit Hall. Furthermore, we attended most of the hotly talked about parties at CPAC, including our own launch party, Reaganpalooza, on Saturday night. At no time did we witness the unprofessional behavior and “whorishness” other bloggers observed.
Most of the young professionals we saw at CPAC were dressed in suits and business casual attire, including the 25+ college students who helped staff our team at CPAC. And at the CPAC after parties, many attendees were drunk, but at only one party did we witness inappropriate behavior, and it was certainly not at the level other bloggers on the left and the right are describing.
The only time we witnessed dress not up to the standards of other conservatives was on Saturday night at the party we hosted with not affiliated with CPAC other than it occurs every year after CPAC.
As Townhall.com Managing Editor Kevin Glass (@KevinWGlass) said to our editor (@fran_chambers) on twitter, “The TeaParty.net party on Friday night wasn’t really out-of-control, but probably the most festive one I attended.
“Open bar, plenty of conservatives dancing, good atmosphere, lots of imbibing going on… to put it diplomatically.”
Conservative activist Matthew Hurtt (@matthewhurtt) landed himself the winner of our first-ever tweet of the day (sorry, CPAC organizers) with this tweet poking fun at the controversy:
On the other hand, other conservative activists like Red Alert’s own contributor Dan Webb (@D4nWebb) said this year was no exception, and a noticeable minority of attendees acted unprofessionally.
“I mean, before I ever went to CPAC the word was that many of the girls are easy, some cool parties to get sloshed at etc,” Webb said.
He said he overheard several conservations among college males, particularly in the Marriott bar, in which the participants discussed getting black out drunk at CPAC parties and hooking up with multiple girls throughout the conference.
The attire of some attendees also appalled Kristina Ribali (@ORLibertygal), who is a conservative activist and a staffer at FreedomWorks.
“Well as someone who has been married for almost 20yrs and doesn’t dress like a slut, I was shocked,” she said in a tweet directed at our editor and other conservative activists on twitter.
We’re not denying that some young female conservatives were probably dressed inappropriately and many young males who attend CPAC probably do so anticipating the opportunity to score, but the Red Alert editorial staff just didn’t seem to witness the behavior the way other tweeps did. I guess we were at the wrong parties because we’re #old. Ok, not necessarily #old, but apparently we were out of the loop.
Was the behavior and dress really that big of an issue at CPAC this year? Let us know in the comments section.