I hate “man on the street” interviews. Who cares what some random yahoo thinks about pressing issues? When I was a radio reporter, I despised collecting tape for MOS pieces (also known as “vox pop” – voice of the people). Invariably, the most thoughtful opinions were expressed by those who declined to be recorded. So I was always left with lots of tape from loudmouths who loved the sound of their own voice expressing half-baked opinions.
Given my disdain for the forum, on those rare occasions when the shoe has been on the other foot, and I have been asked to express my opinion for an MOS piece, I have always declined. Until recently.
I was passing through Richmond, Indiana. I was headed into the library to do some research for the book. Out front, standing in the cold, was a reporter from the local newspaper (the wonderfully named Palladium-Item). He couldn’t have been more than 24. He was shivering. He had been sent out to get some MOS on the government’s kooky tax-rebate scheme. He didn’t seem to be having much luck. I felt so sorry for him that, for the first time ever, I submitted to an MOS interview.
Here is the result.