Damn. After the BBC producer interviewed me, she explained the format of the show and who would be on. I told her I didn't want to be involved in a debate format, an American-style shouting match.
She assured me that wouldn't be the case. She said it was gentle discussion, each person given their say, all points of views represented - not a debate.
Then they don't even call me til the show is half over, and there's a conservative talk-show host spouting inanities about Michael Moore and the "Northeast media". The next thing I know I'm debating US abortion rights with someone whose position is "That's a blatant lie!". The man lived in the US for five years, he should know, right? Well, I'm a 25-year veteran of the reproductive rights movement, and my claims are facts. What's more, most American women don't even know how tenuous the right to abortion is right now - why would a conservative Canadian man know?!
Damn. I'm annoyed. I hate debating with those types and never would have wanted to do it on the air.
I sat down to email my dissatisfaction to the producer, but she had already emailed me to apologize. She wrote some very nice things, and I'm sure, as she says, it was out of her control.
I know this is what happens when you deal with the media - you can't control how your message is used, or even if it's heard. But it's hard to resist a chance to try.
Well, if you were listening, I hope I didn't sound like a complete git. If you weren't listening, I'm relieved!