I’m still thinking today about that public hearing I went to Wednesday where federal environmental officials were supposedly listening to the public’s concerns about pollution. I know it’s impolite to point out something this obvious, but they weren’t there to listen to citizens. They were there to perform for TV cameras.
I heard the emotional appeal about children several times during the meeting. (Remember that I’ve produced plenty of manipulative political material over the years, so I’m very sensitive to the pious invocation of kids’ needs.) Ignacia Moreno, the assistant attorney general who was headlining Wednesday’s show, spoke of having to be away from her children traveling around the country. A man in the audience talked about his two daughters’ health problems. There were others, too.
Here’s the question, though. Why did they bother to put on this public show? Was anything said that anybody didn’t already know? I knew walking in what the various players on the federal side were going to say. The state and federal officials knew, too. The truth is that we weren’t there for the content of what was being said. It was all about putting on a show for the television cameras.