I Hope Molly Ball Saved Her Notes
October 22nd, 2012

With respect to the Atlantic’s Molly Ball, whose work I generally like quite a bit, she missed the real story in her weekend piece about the Romney-Obama war for women.

Ball goes to Chantilly, Virginia, and does a bunch of mom-on-the-street interviews–and I’d guess that’s exactly what her editors told her to do. But man-on-the-street pieces aren’t particularly helpful. It’s a big country and you can find some normal person to say just about anything if you look hard enough–and often without having to look very hard at all.

But in the course of her reporting, Ball meets a woman named  Zebib. She’s a 46-year-old Ethiopian immigrant. She lives in Chantilly. She’s well enough to do that her kid(s) attend a private Christian school. She’s pro-life. And she nominally supported Ron Paul.

I’d bet just about anything that whatever journey led Zebib to where she is right now in life is a thousand times more interesting than a generic horse-race piece about the women’s vote. I wish Ball had just done a straight-up profile of her. It wouldn’t have told us anything about the 2012 race, but it might have told us something about America.

I hope Ball goes back to her for another story.

  1. Ben October 22, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    One of the most interesting immigration trends in Virginia in the past decade has been the number of Ethiopians and Nigerians who’ve moved here. Surprising numbers, and very socially conservative.

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  3. jonsmythe October 22, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    Gosh yes, what would would do without the constant inflow of economic and cultural vitality of Ethiopia and Nigeria? Diversity is Strength!

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  5. Nedward October 23, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    I think the Somali immigrants are natural libertarians

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  7. Hutz October 26, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    Crap JL, it is like you are a journalist of something?! And the Somali people in my Portland neighborhood/my boys’ school/soccer team I coach are good folk. Aside from that one a-hole who tried to blow up me and the wife downtown a winter or two ago. . .