I’m not sure why anyone would think it’s a good idea to send a reporter to accost a bunch of disinterested college kids about the upcoming midterm elections, but that’s exactly what the Today Show did today.
MSNBC reporter Jacob Soboroff surprised a group of California students minding their business at a bus stop to shout questions about voting. And to the surprise of absolutely nobody (except, apparently, Soboroff, who called the experience “shocking”), things played out pretty much exactly as you’d expect.
“Is anybody gonna vote in the congressional election in November?” Soboroff yelled, as a gaggle of bewildered University of California students appeared to do their absolute best to ignore this crazy person shouting at them while they’re just trying to wait for a damn bus.
After being snubbed by an entire street full of people, Soboroff finally found a few students willing to momentarily tolerate being bombarded with questions. Unsurprisingly, they did not seem super into being put on the spot by a random guy with a TV camera, because, well, no shit.
The larger point that Soboroff—a legitimately good journalist who earlier this year was instrumental in bringing to light the deplorable conditions in undocumented immigrant youth prisons—was trying to make is a valid one; So-called “youth voters” do indeed head to the polls at rates well below that of other age groups. And there are, in fact, serious grassroots efforts to reverse that trend.
But, uh, it seems there might be better ways to highlight this problem than ambushing a bunch of college students waiting for a bus.