I take a keen interest in U.S. politics, regularly listening to podcasts of Meet The Press, Bill Maher’s Real Time and Fareed Zakaria’s GPS. I used to watch CNN’s State of the Union too but that on top of the others was a bit much even for me.
Why do I take this interest? Cynically I will say that U.S. politics is my spectator sport. It certainly is presented quite a lot like entertainment. Non-cynically I would say it is because I believe the battles in U.S. politics are both interesting and extremely important. The decisions America makes will reverberate around the world.
So imagine my surprise when a producer for Fareed Zakaria’s show GPS reached out to me. I had stars in my eyes. Did they want me on the show to talk about my old hobby of going to ruins? Maybe they wanted to discuss how my zombie novels are an incredibly incisive allegory for the state of the world today?
Sadly it was nothing like that. What in fact they wanted was to get the link and attribution for a photo in a post I did years ago about the ruins of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, here.
The image they wanted to know about was the one in the middle, with a top-down shot from one of the swords, with a U.S. Soldier on patrol. It came from a New York Times article. I told them and gave them the attribution, and now I expect they’ll go negotiate for a license to use it. I get nothing, except the satisfied glow of being part of the ‘big game’ ever so briefly.
At the end of GPS Fareed Zakaria always says- “Thank you for being part of my show this week,” which I think always sounds a bit strange, because what did I do? I listened.
Not this time. If you watch GPS in weeks to come and see that image of Iraq pop up, you’ll know it passed through my hands on its way to the small screen, and I made my contribution to the changes in the world.
“Thank you for being part of my show.”
You’re welcome, Fareed :).