CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer was in Oklahoma reporting on the devastating tornado when he came across a woman and her baby. Through a lens of false caring, he managed to majorly put his foot in his mouth. Oh yes, the journalist asked the woman if she "thanked the lord" for her survival. Which would have been a fine question.
Except she is an atheist.
See the cringe-worthy moment below:
For many people who live on either coast of the U.S., there is a stereotype of the kind of person who lives in the middle of the country and it's very often incorrect. Blitzer ran into that (like a brick wall), but he was also guilty of something else besides ridiculous pandering to his viewers for cheesy soundbites.
He underestimated the intelligence of both his viewers and of the person he was interviewing. He assumed she would have a simplistic, easy thing to say that would make CNN look good and wrap it all up in a neat bow.
Well, guess what? It didn't work that way and I would bet a million dollars he wouldn't have asked that of someone from New York or San Francisco. It was his way of marginalizing a woman from the Midwest.
TOTAL cringe-fest. But you know what? Her response was fantastic. "We are here, and I don't blame anyone for thanking the Lord," she said. It was a kind response to a very rude question, and really, that's all you can ask for. It was terrible journalism that makes me embarrassed for Wolf, but she handled it beautifully and she is right.
My takeaway lesson is to assume nothing and to allow people their own beliefs no matter how different they might be from our own. Maybe she should run for Congress!
Do you think Wolf's question was rude?