I've been approached by news media exactly twice in my life, both times with my youngest child in tow, both times with said child in mismatched, stained, old clothing. Ug. Will I EVER learn that it is ALWAYS a good idea to look presentable when you leave the house?
The first time this happened, I was still living in NJ. I was out for a walk with my baby and was approached by a newscaster intent on getting my take on the latest rabid-raccoon-in-the-neighborhood story. Turns out, my neighbor (a friend) had been attacked by the raccoon the previous day, and the story had made local news the previous night. Now, the reporter was looking for people who would say the following things, "I'm so scared," "You don't expect that around here," and "I'm telling my kids to stay inside." Of course, I said none of the above. The reporter was so frustrated with me, he did the leading question thing. (DO NOT do that to an academic, or anybody with half a brain, because THEY. ARE. NOT. THAT. STUPID.) Even though I refused to agree with any of his assertions, he STILL used my footage, concluding that 'neighbors around here are pretty shook up'. I'm telling you, getting fifteen minutes of fame just isn't that hard; just don't go looking for accuracy.
Today's story: Little did I know, when I left this morning, to take my four-year-old for a haircut, that it might matter that he was wearing his shirt backwards, his torn jeans shorts, and his sandals on the wrong feet, and that I was wearing neither contacts nor makeup. Together, the two of us looked like...well, we looked like very average mall-goers. A tired Mom and a frazzled toddler. In other words, so average that a newscaster would want our (tired and frazzled) opinion.
We had just finished the haircut battle and were leaving the mall with the promised candy-as-reward in hand. The local news here (KEZI-9) is apparently so desperate for a story that it decided to do a segment on the mall's new facelift. The newscaster approached me, asking if I'd care to be interviewed. I said no. I said I rarely go here. I said I'd just moved here. I said that I only go to the mall for a movie or to get my sons' hair cut. I said that I'd be giving her just an impressionistic take and that it might not be terribly accurate.
"That's fine," she said. "Someone else just told me the same thing. You don't have to be an expert." God, not that I expected that anybody interviewed by local media WAS an expert, but gosh? Shouldn't she be TRYING to talk to people who actually have lived here awhile, pay attention to local politics AND use the mall regularly?
So, she interviewed me. I'm telling you, if she uses my segment, she is truly desperate. Not only did I look like HELL (and so did my child), but I said nothing of import. When pressed with the question, 'Well, do you think that the mall should be doing this exterior painting?,' I said, "Well, it looks like it could stand a facelift, so I'll say 'yes'".
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- My interests include veganism and vegetarianism, health, ethics, politics and culture, media, and the environment. I have three kids; I teach college part-time, study piano and attempt to garden. I knit. I blog on just about anything, but many posts are related to my somewhat pathetic quest to eat better, be more mindful of the environment, and be a more responsible news consumer. Sometimes I write about parenting, but, like so many Mommy bloggers, my kids have recently told me not to. :) Thanks for reading.