Recently I noticed a couple of things about reporting, one of which is the inaccuracies that I have heard when listening carefully. Subtract from this all political commentary please although I think some of my friends might have thought that’s where I was going. Watching some coverage of the latest storm that dumped a couple of inches of April snow on the northeast, a local New York City weather expert was discussing the irony of the tulips blooming in the snow. Obviously the flowers she posted a photo of were not tulips but daffodils. This on its own is not an egregious error except for the fact that people on the news should check their stories before they blurt out things they think most people won’t even notice (in my opinion). Not worth stressing over I thought.
Then, on my drive into the city last weekend, I was listening to WNYC — New York public radio — do a piece on climate change. It was not actually reported by WNYC, rather it was a feature that they took from somewhere else. That I did not pay attention to, but I know my friend Kim will be disappointed that my reporting is not more accurate. The reporter was interviewing the mayor of Nome, Alaska, about the depth of the harbor and how it had changed over time. The basis for this was that enormous cruise ships could now enter the port and actually double the population of Nome. All this because of global warming of course. At the start of the interview, she said, “I must admit I have never even heard of Nome!” Stunned, I listened more carefully. The mayor very gracefully said, “Our slogan is There’s No Place Like Nome.” Regardless of the worth of the piece I was surprised that any reporter would admit not having heard of a city ANYWHERE much less in her own country. I am now on the lookout for other examples of careless reporting (still not counting political reporting and analysis for obvious reasons!). I’d love it if you would share your own examples!
While I have not blogged in some time (and reasons for that are fodder for another blog!) I have composed many of these in my head, thought twice about whether they would be interesting, and decided they weren’t. Then I decided to share an experience Michael and I had last Saturday in Manhattan. Soon after I retired, my friends Beth and Earl gave me a Seminole Championship novelty license plate. Since Pennsylvania doesn’t require a front plate, they put it on for me. Now…I am not a fan of novelty anythings on the car but I figured (1) it was a gift; (2) I am a Seminoles fan; (3) Earl put it on the car for me; and (4) it will help me distinguish my car from the gazillion other Subarus in the northeast. But I digress.
Michael and I picked up my car from a parking garage on Columbus and 83rd Street near Spring Natural where we had a lovely family brunch celebrating Amanda Dixon’s visit to New York and meeting her friend Chris. Seven of us squeezed into tables in a very crowded, very loud restaurant as they all are at weekend brunchtime in New York. Afterwards, we went our separate ways after toy shopping for Riley and Liam, and Michael and I decided to go to his new apartment to check out storage issues (not to mention to eat delicious pizza from Two Boots Pizza on Broadway and 95th Street).
We were on West End Avenue at 95th Street stopped at a red light. A man was crossing in front of us and kept staring at the car. Was he looking at the crack in my windshield? What was he staring at? In typical New Yorker fashion, I thought to myself (in an angry voice in my head), “He’s crazy. What is he staring at?” We live in such a strange world lately that I have become a bit paranoid! He stopped in front of the car, smiled, and started the Seminole chop. We answered his chop and Michael pointed out his FSU t-shirt. All this happened before the light turned green and we turned off and the man went on his way. What a fun thing to have happen just sitting at a red light in the middle of New York City. For those of you who think that New Yorkers are not friendly this is another example of the fact that people are people wherever you go. I hope I will be more open to these kinds of experiences and not think the worst rather than the best of people.