Sunday, July 13, 2008

Proud to be a Wet Blanket

On Friday I there was a delay on the Metro, so I took an earlier stop and waited at a shopping center for Peter to pick me up. A local news crew was loitering outside the Metro, finding people to interview for a nightly news segment. Their eyes lit up when they saw me, a pregnant lady, walking by. Since I wasn't in a hurry, I let them interview me.

The topic was rising prices. The local electric company will be raising their rates by 18% in the coming months. They wanted to get my opinion. I think I was a wet blanket on the type of story they were hoping to get from me.

They pepper me with many versions of the same question. Was I outraged at the price hike? How was I, a pregnant woman, going to make it with rising prices? With gas, food - heck *everything*, costing more, was I scared about the thought of having my baby with the skyrocketing costs? How would I adjust? What types of hardships would I face?

Since their questions were basically from the same vein, so were my answers. Yes, rising costs mean we'll have to sacrifice. We'll have to cut back. We'll have to conserve our resources. However, there are very few Americans who don't have luxuries they can remove from their life to accommodate our changing world. Will I have to change my lifestyle? Yes. Is that an outrage? No.

Don't get me wrong, there are injustices in how our economy prices goods and services. I just don't see a lot of good in making a blanket statement of outrage. In reality, we all need to balance of sacrifice/frugality with fighting the specific injustices.

They couldn't seem to accept this perspective. I think I disappointed them. No heart-tugging sound bite of a pregnant lady's sacrifices to air on the news.

Next time I get irritated with the "whiny citizens" on the local news, I'll stop to question if it was really the news crew who had an agenda.


LKBrazil said...

Hi Katharine,

It's good you didn't give in to them. When we were in Brazil and I got called by journalists often, I came to the same conclusion--that they are just trying to get you to say something to support their pre-determined agenda. Whenever I hear of public outrage on a certain topic now-a-days, I try to remind myself that the media really does drive popular opinion, in what they choose to report and how they report it.


Katharine said...

Larry - it's interesting, but probably should be surprising, to hear that media bias crosses cultural lines!

Jeff said...

you should have said you were thinking of selling your baby to get gas money to get home from the hospital.