“where’s my interview?”
I’d heard about the media orchestrating their own version of the news, slanted toward the liberal agenda, the sensationalistic, the gory bottom line of every prurient, paranoid instinct. I’d even witnessed for myself as a viewer.
But two weeks ago, on a Friday morning, I was a victim of it.
Seattle Times reporter Erik Lacitis took me for a ride, ostensibly as a follow-up source to the third anniversary special edition of post-9/11 coverage. I’d had my letter included in last year’s, and he was assigned the task of calling me, along with others who had that privilege, to find out if our feelings and thoughts had changed.
Apparently my feelings and thoughts weren’t sexy, controversial (or liberal-sounding) enough, because come the 9/11 anniversary on Saturday, I find the article online with two or three of the sources quoted, but not a sign of boring little ole Republican me.
I knew the phone interview was starting off poorly when Lacitis kept asking, “Why?” to what I believed were obvious, straightforward answers. I didn’t feel any better or any worse since three years ago. I didn’t know what the war in Iraq had to do with justice against Al Queda and Osama bin Laden—reportedly responsible for 9/11, but at least President Bush was doing something, and destroying terrorist networks wasn’t as simple as finding one man and cutting him down.
I have pretty much given up on hoping for a happy ending, since the frequent terror alerts and what happened to those children in Russia at a faction’s terroristic hands (rumored now to be the work of Russia’s own government to distract the U.S. and Iraq from its own climb for power), waiting for the shoe to drop, for another 9/11.
“What do you mean war in Iraq?” he asked.
At first I thought I used the wrong term. Did I call it the Iraqi war by mistake?
“Um, you know, the war the U.S. is fighting in—“
“You mean the war in Iraq? That the war, you don’t think it has anything to do with 9/11?”
“Well, it doesn’t appear that way, but I don’t know everything the government’s doing to address 9/11.”
Somewhere along the way, the subject got changed to the upcoming presidential elections – his idea, not mine. “So, who are you gonna vote for?”
My father’s voice reverberated in my head. “Who is this idiot? You never tell anyone who you’re voting for. It’s none of their business.”
“I’m actually not sure. I like Kerry, he seems solid.”
“That surprises me. I thought for sure you’d know.”
(What, this reporter’s a psychic now... or do I feel a lead-in sentence coming on?)
His surprise pressured me to fork over a definitive answer, “In the end, I’ll probably vote for Bush.”
“Really???” Surprise reaching incredulous heights.
“Whether I think he’s doing a thorough job or not, at least he’s doing something. There’s a lot I don’t know that he’s probably doing, too. And Kerry might be nice, but he’s an armchair quarterback. He wasn’t the president when 9/11 happened. He’s just throwing stones at this point. Bush is already in control, let him finish the job.” (Something to that extent... this is all paraphrasing. Hey, I’m not the reporter, he is. <VEG>)
It degenerated from there. I could tell the guy wasn’t interested in talking to me anymore. Just going through the motions of gathering the basic bio, name, husband’s name, jobs, blah blah.
As soon as I hung up, feeling as if I’d just gone through the wringer of an FBI interrogation, Lacitis called me up again, forgetting to ask for my jpeg. I forgot to send it in the first e-mail, re-send, done.
I even told everybody at another message board to look for the article. They kindly kept their mouths shut after Saturday.
Little do they know, Lacitis was only looking for his story, extremes of patriotism and politics. Not the bland truth.
Little does Lacitis know, his job as a reporter is to put together a story based on the directives of a general lead and his required sources. That would include me.
His questions also were supposed to elicit better responses. A reporter is only as good as his questions, you know. And if the following were better, then I’m Damian Lewis in drag.
“Why did you submit your letter last year about 9/11? Well, I know why, but, mumble, mumble, um, “ (“To get a byline, you moron,” I wanted to blurt out.)
“Are you patriotic? I mean, how patriotic would you say you are?” (What the heck does this have to do with the ooze in my vulva?)
“Does being a Korean-American still pose problems after 9/11... are you, I mean,” (I think he meant, do I feel threatened that I will be singled out because I am not traditionally American-looking. I think.)
“Who are you voting for, for president?”
“Is that two cups or three-fourths of a cup of flour in that flourless chocolate cake recipe?”
I suppose I should’ve taken on the pedantic of a Michael Savage or the brainiac musings of a Michael Medved, or even the pontificating generalizing of a Rush Limbaugh. Maybe I should’ve made a few off-color jokes at President Bush’s expense, gone The Stranger outrageous and talked about having sex with the Twin Tower ashes.
I don’t know.
I’m just glad I quit print journalism over a decade ago.
And that I’m usually the one asking the invasive, annoying questions. Well, at least in my case, I do it without any preconceived notions and try to make my interview pleasant and ego-gratifying, not the third degree.
You guys missed a lovely jpeg of me trying to look like Kelly Monaco (Sam, GH) on the beach, too. Here:
(Okay, now maybe I understand why I went MIA in that article...)
"cubbyhole[s ic]" archives
"General Hospital News and Gossip"