ORLANDO, FL — Reporters gathered for tonight’s Fox News/YouTube debate here are being treated to a little slice of Silicon Valley finery.
Google has set up a jaw-droppingly posh filing center that has surprised media gathered here used to drafty hotel ballrooms and stale coffee. The white carpeted, furnished and walled room in the Orange County Convention Center sports a smoothie bar, a “movie theater,” candy bar, full meals, and Google-logo beanbag chairs.
It’s actually slightly less tech firm than Google wanted — the Florida GOP (another co-sponsor of the debate tonight) made the Internet giant pull out pinball machines and other arcade attractions they originally installed in the filing room.
Google has sponsored debates before, and is leveraging its YouTube platform tonight to pull in thousands of questions from users, some of which will be posed to the nine candidates who’ll share a stage tonight from 9-11 PM.
Apparently the company also wants to show reporters they know how to leverage their huge profits into turkey wraps and and couscous salad.
Some scenes from Google’s filing center:
The smoothie bar:
The “movie theater”:
The bean bags:
Some stickers for some reason:
The tables where most people will be likely be sitting tonight: