29

SUNDAY

The one comical aspect of the countless tragedies in New Orleans was the sight of reporters grilling hordes of poor people stuck at the Superdome and in other hellholes. Why didn’t you get out of town? Do you have any savings? The culture clash was painfully obvious: Either Rupert Murdoch’s and Time Warner’s reporters had just never talked to poor people before, or they’d never spent time trying to understand how the disenfranchised lived. Precious few reporters and editors seem willing to understand what it’s like to get by on $330 every two weeks. Or without health care. Or by working day care. Authors David K. Shipler—The Working Poor: Invisible In America—and Beth Shulman—The Betrayal of Work: How Low-Wage Jobs Fail 30 Million Americans and Their Families—shed light on the “other America.” Hear them take on the living-wage issue and paint moving portraits of what politicians quaintly call “working families” when they read at 1 p.m. at Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 364-1919. (Jason Cherkis)