Jul 29, 2011 in Politics
CNN’s been doing segments all morning at a senior citizen’s center in Pasadena and they keep ignoring what these people are actually saying in order to create a narrative that these people are upset by the “sausage making,” when what they are actually upset by is the fact that the safety net programs are on the chopping block. They jsut refuse to acknowledge the substance of their complaints.
(Some patronizing talk about feisty seniors followed by a one on one)
Randi Kaye: Are they alarmed by what they see happening, or not happening, in Washington?
Sandra Endo: Absolutely Randi. A lot of emotion, strong opinions coming from a lot of the seniors we’ve spoken to. People are scared, they’re worried, they’re angry about what’s going on in Washington. A lot of people are just frightened because they rely on their social security and of course Medicare and Medicaid for their livelihood. Let’s talk to Bobbie right now.
You were talking to me earlier about what’s going on in Washington right now. Tell me how angry are you?
Bobbie: very, very angry. It’s because I wouldn’t be able to live the lifestyle I live if I did not have my social security, even though I work part time, 36 hours a week. I could not live on either one of them alone.
Sandra Endo: So you would be out on the street?
Bobbie: probably worse than that because I don’t think, the way I see some people on the street, I don’t think I would be able to live that kind of life. I wouldn’t be able to function. So I hate that that might be staring us in the face.
Anastasia, what do you think of all the back and forth bickering?
Anastasia: I think I would like to see all of them have to trade places with us and let them try to live on what we don’t have and what they’re trying to cut even more of. Social Security has not even contributed to the deficit and yet they’re more than happy to take it and use it wherever they’d like.
And all the back and forth, the fighting?
Anastasia: The political games that they play. It’s a bad role model for our kids I must say. Truth has become obsolete. And that’s very sad. And yet we claim to be a country that tells the truth and that’s democratic and yet we’re not doing a very good job of that ourselves.
Sandra Endo: Alright. Thank you so much for sharing your opinions. Obviously a very emotional time for seniors and they wait, as the whole country waits Randi for some kind of deal, some kind of compromise, something, answers to come out of in Washington.
Randi Kaye: It sounds like some folks are worried about the long term and any changes that might happen to entitlements, social security, medicare, medicaid?
Sandra Endo: Oh absolutely, they are relying on these checks to come. And even president Obama when he spoke saying we will be in limbo that if the country is broke and they won’t have enough money to send out these checks…
It’s a buzz here, people grabbing me wanting to say what they think is going on in Washington, they’re angry feeling like they’re being held hostage.
So, yeah, they’re oblivious but what else is new? Every journalism major I knew in college could afford to spend their summers at unpaid internships. In one class I distinctly remember a few students rushing up to the professor and asking him what they should write in their papers in order to get an ‘A’ and thinking to myself that they’ll probably be very successful in their professional careers. (It was around this point in my life when I was starting to realize the rewards that frequently accompany obedience.) If journalists were truly concerned about the welfare of the aged they would travel to their local nursing home and shoot some footage of those seniors that suffer from common maladies like senile dementia, Alzheimer’s, chronic respiratory illnesses, arthritis, etc. Perhaps they could ask the charge nurse what percentage of those people are dependent upon Medicare/Medicaid for their treatment? It wouldn’t be difficult story to write but there are a few factors that prevent it from being pursued. First, old people are out of sight and therefore out of mind. Normal 8-5 working stiffs don’t see them. How could they? Unless you work with them directly you would have no idea. And if you’re like most people you just assume that you get old, have a heart-attack in your sleep and pass on. If only that were case. Furthermore, regardless of what right-wing urchins would have us believe, receiving government assistance isn’t a badge of honor that you enthusiastically pin to your shirt for all to see. The sick and debilitated don’t stand up for themselves either because they can’t or they’re too ashamed to do so. So I think it’s safe to assume that if you’re wearing Bruno Mali loafers and Barth & Sons golf putters are on your Christmas wish list then you’re not going to be concerned about a stroke victim that spends their days living in subsidized housing.