Today starts a two-day FDA public hearing in Washington, DC on biopharma and social media. I decided not to go because talking heads in a meeting room just don't make for good TV. And this is just the first step in what is no doubt going to be a very long, involved policy-making process. But as it turns out, it looks like it might have been futile for me to try to attend anyway.
I'm doing a couple of reports on the event from CNBC HQ in New Jersey. However, because the meeting was expected to be SRO and featuring back-to-back testimony from industry execs, social media experts and more I asked our DC bureau chief to send a camera crew over to the hearing location to "spray the room." That's TV-news lingo for shooting video of the crowd. Then, the bureau would feed the pictures back here and I'd fold them into my on-air reports. Not so fast!
According to our bureau chief, FDA reps told the crew it was not allowed inside the meeting room to take pictures. The camera guy protested, but it didn't do any good. (See update below)
Here's the deal: This is billed as a public hearing. And it's a public hearing on social media. Can you say, "ironic?" And it doesn't end there. I'm being told the building the FDA chose for the hearing doesn't have WiFi. Again, a meeting on social media and there's no WiFi for SM-devotees to do their thing?