A lot of this is borrowed from a comment I made earlier, but I wanted to have a post up today in case people found my blog later on.
I don’t know everything that is going to be on the TV show tonight. I do know that some of it is going to be replayed from last February’s broadcast. After that broadcast, they’d asked if they could do an hour-long special on my life. I said, especially because of the problem of people taking one person as representing a wide range of people, I would rather be one among many people interviewed if I were going to take part in something like that at all. This fall, a number of people were interviewed and filmed at a conference (a conference that had both good and bad points in itself). They planned to broadcast the special next spring.
Then they had a deadline at the news station. They had not had time to sift through all the footage of the conference. They would have to repeat a lot of stuff from February. They said they wanted me to chat online with someone and have someone filming my end of the chat, so they would have more material, and more material that was not just me at that. I could not handle an extra person in the house that day, because I had previously that week been barely able to communicate with support staff, let alone new people, because of a pain crisis. They let me record myself and send them the video file. I did that. They wanted another day of that, but the entire day that would have happened I was in too much pain to talk to anyone most of the day. I don’t know whether what they did get will be used or not. But last I heard the end result was still going to include a lot more focus on me than I’d wanted or agreed to, because they just couldn’t find enough other material fast enough.
As I posted in a comment earlier, my worry is that a lot of people are going to converge on this blog believing either (a) that my life is everything CNN says it is (and only that, or rather and only what they imagine to be part of that), or (b) that I told CNN my life is everything CNN says it is (and only that). Neither of those is the case. There was a lot that happened, and that I told them, that did not make it into the final edits, and the stuff that was left out gave a very different impression than I intended when I talked to them. Sometimes they also said things in the end that I had said the opposite of (for instance I said many times that I am not trapped in my own little world, but the segment started with that). I have no editorial control and I don’t think even the reporter I spoke to has final editorial control.
As such, I’ve prepared a page for this blog called Please don’t take me as typical, to handle all the usual things that happen to me after the media shows me. In the past, the entry Editing covered a lot of what was different between the CNN show and my life. Assorted things I’ve meant to say… covered some other reactions right after the first broadcast. Again and again and again covered the way I responded to one of the questions they asked in email beforehand. And The Awful Prison of Autism dealt with stereotyping in general and sometimes how I felt during the filming in particular.
If anyone gets here through the Channel 4 segment… is a response to a different media portrayal. Let’s play assumption ping-pong is another.
Also note my about page has part of my comment policy on it (and should show yet again that while I get pigeonholed as an ‘autism blogger’ I’m really talking about something broader than that).
A lot of the things I wrote about in why I’m not posting much are still going on, although I’ve got the pain under slightly better control at the moment with assorted combinations of medications. I hope that someone will be around to field questions by pointing people at blog entries the way andreashettle and n. did last time, because I’m rarely up to that kind of thing even when I’m not in this much pain. I’ll understand if nobody can, it’d just be nice. Meanwhile I hope that whatever they do show ends up being a good thing.
Update: because of some part of the news today, it’s going to only be shown part today then part Friday.