Driving to work 30 minutes ago I was listening to an NPR report on Pres. Obama's upcoming visit to Mexico.
The report included comments from Mexican citizens about Obama and what they felt his responsibilities are , regarding both countries' wars on the illegal drug trade, poverty, border security, etc.
Now, I'm a pretty damned sympathetic guy to people trying to make a dollar out of 15 cents.
But the tone of the comments struck me as misdirected. One man who said he lives in a hovel said he wanted Obama, like JFK before him, to visit shanty towns in Mexico so the U.S. president could get a close view of Mexican poverty and plan appropriately to do something about it.
Shouldn't that comment have been aimed at Mexican Pres. Felipe Calderon?
Another man quoted in the story referred to "dumb Americans" and said something to the effect that he hoped Obama would demonstrate that he wasn't one of them by treating Mexico like a neighbor and not a problem.
Yet, another man who said many friends and neighbors had slipped across the U.S. border for work, said he hoped Obama understood that these people were slipping into the U.S. for money to take home, because there were no jobs for them back home. He added that he hoped Obama might do something about the lack of working class jobs in much of Mexico.
Again, shouldn't he have been aiming that wishlist at Pres. Calderon?
Sorry, I'm not a political analyst. But I am a pretty good journalist if I do say so myself, and I think the interviewer should have asked follow-ups to these commenters. These aren't black and white, simple issues, I know. The U.S. gives foreign aid. I get it. It's part of diplomacy. I understand.
I'm just saying if someone I interviewed blamed his trouble on his next door neighbor, I'd ask him to be more specific and explain why his neighbor and not he is responsible for his troubles.
If a Canadian news outlet quoted Americans, like residents of the fictional South Park, Colorado, saying "blame Canada!" RE America's domestic problems and lack of jobs, and the Canadian interviewer did not challenge the Americans quoted to justify their arguments, Canadian news consumers would go nuts.