• November 26, 2014

Final hours of special session great to watch

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Posted: Friday, July 5, 2013 4:30 am

Regardless of what side of the Texas abortion bill debate you are on, the events that closed out the state’s first special legislative session last week were truly amazing to watch live.

In my opinion, the only true and clear victor of the night were media — social and news. If you are anything like me, the evening was as exciting to watch as the finals of the Stanley Cup or the Super Bowl.

It was about 10:30 p.m. when I pushed open my laptop and started to scroll through my Facebook and Google+, while waiting for a video game to load on the Xbox.

The controller was already in my hand and my character had popped up when I noticed the multiple posts from friends demanding people watch the live Youtube feed from the Texas Senate floor.

Captivated, I continued to scroll and brought up yet another window, sending me to the Texas Tribune’s website to check out some of the action.

It wasn’t long before I passed the controller to my 15-year-old stepson, but I commandeered the television, making the TV useless for video games.

By 10:45, I was fully engrossed, checking to see if the filibuster was on CNN. It wasn’t — skyscrapers seemed to have had Anderson Cooper’s fancy for the night. And I don’t remember what was on Fox, but it wasn’t the filibuster when I flipped to the channel.

So the Texas Tribune’s Youtube channel was where my focus stayed. I relinquished the TV back to my video game-playing son. And then I huddled up next to my laptop with a blanket, like that child with his book, “The Never Ending Story” and was instantly captivated.

The action had mostly stopped with the filibuster by this time and state senators were challenging challenges and attempting to close the hearing before the midnight hour, as required by law.

Everything seemed to be formal, even with the passing of the mic after long silences, during which I would head back and forth between a variety of news websites and Facebook. I was fortunate enough to have some friends at the Capitol.

As 11:30 rolled around, I could feel the pressure of the clock and couldn’t help wonder how tired some of those senators were, as some looked like they needed a week’s worth of sleep.

It was from this point to about 2 or 3 a.m., I can’t remember fully because I was tired myself, that things really got interesting.

Did the officials beat the clock to vote on the bill or did the “unruly mob,” which was chanting like a stadium of soccer players, have their way?

I remember two people calling it, with Facebook people saying we are still we are still waiting for results.

While saying it was over, the Tribune started circulating pictures of the voting occurring after midnight, then a “redone” post of the vote taken later with the time stamp rolled backward.

Story after story with different versions were coming up, several of which were claiming it wasn’t clear what happened.

But before the night ended, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst admitted the vote did not happen in time.

At 3 a.m. I couldn’t be more proud of the media for carrying me all the way through to the end of the story and making me feel a part of the story, even though I was just watching.

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