The Pono Way: A Solarpunk Novel by Kirsten M. Corby

The Pono Way: A Solarpunk Novel by Kirsten M. Corby

Author:Kirsten M. Corby [Corby, Kirsten M.]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Kirsten M. Corby
Published: 2021-09-29T22:00:00+00:00

Chapter 14

The CNN taping that afternoon turned out to be a total circus.

Jake bathed, shaved, and dressed in what one might think of as Ponoan business casual — a collared hemp shirt and a linen vest, with a puka shell necklace. Miriam trimmed his curly hair. He drew up a list of bullet points and projected them in the heads-up in his contacts, to keep himself on track.

He logged in and hooked up with the CNN production team well before 2220 hours for sound and video checks, and listened carefully as they described the setup and how the segment would play out. He spoke briefly with Anton Cherenkov, the anchor, who complimented him on his work and asked him a few questions about the political climate on the island. Everything seemed to be going fine. Jake was excited: his first prime time live feed, it was a feather in his cap, hopefully the first of many. Consulting or being a stringer for the big global newsnets could be a lucrative gig.

However, the instant they went live, things ceased to be fine.

Anton Cherenkov described the situation on Pono in a very inflammatory way, emphasizing the rough living conditions of the refugees in the gym and the park, and the Ponoan government’s lack of firm statements on the situation. On the monitor window in his screen, Jake noticed they were running drone footage of the park: people crowded around trashcan fires at dusk, kids running around and fugees sleeping on the ground. With dismay, Jake realized it must look far worse to people abroad than it was actually was, although it was in fact bad enough. He didn’t know where they had acquired the footage. It wasn’t his. One of his competitors, perhaps. He wasn’t the only journalist on Pono. There were a few others. The drone footage switched to an overflight of the dirty, crumbling fugee fleet still huddled inside the lagoon of Pono, everything from tiny, patched zodiacs to filthy, reeking commercial fishing boats like the one that belonged to Victor Nasruddin’s cousin.

As concerned as he had been all this time, seeing his home displayed with the clipped narration of a CNN anchor, devoid of context or understanding, made it seem far, far worse. A cold ball of anxiety formed in his stomach, like it hadn’t since he was in j-school doing his first live interviews.

“Now with us today, we have Jacob Weintraub, an indigenous Ponoan journalist who published an anti-refugee video that quickly went viral yesterday,” Cherenkov said, opening the broadcast up to discussion. “Good evening, Mr. Weintraub.”

Indigenous? Jake thought, but then the drone camera perched before him on his desk lit up and he had to talk.

“Good evening, Anton,” he started. “I wouldn’t call my video ‘anti-refugee.’”

“But you called for an end to the Ponoan refugee crisis,” Cherenkov said.

“Yes, but that doesn’t mean I want the Cascadians to be expelled, or anything like that. Just that a decision has to be made about where and how to house them.


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