That’s all that stories about Ann Romney’s speech—and similar stories—need: a response from the actual people the story is talking about. If we’re going to shape a narrative about the way one group of people feels about something, we need to get a quote from at least one person in that group saying that he or she indeed feels that way.

When we’re talking about Latinos, we need to quote Latinos. Not just white, talking-head experts discussing what they think Latinos might be feeling. When we’re talking about African Americans, we need to quote African Americans.

And when we’re talking about women voters, we need to quote women voters. Not “experts on women voters,” but actual women voters. They shouldn’t be that hard to find. After all, they’re over half of the electorate.


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Jennifer Vanasco is a is a news editor at WNYC and the former editor in chief of MTV Network's LGBT news site She writes about social minorities, national politics, and culture. Her award-winning newspaper column on gay and women's issues ran for 15 years.