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Today, WaPo published a stupid, bogus trend story on how residents are adjusting to the bag tax. The upshot: people are using reusable bags! The stupid trend part of the story: Some people are using designer bags! The evidence: one business owner who claimed that she sold out of her pricey bags including a $10 “Bohemian-style Emma Bridgewater burlap” sack. The writer also mentioned that there’s been blog chatter on the subject. Shocking!
To help WaPo out with its move toward sassy, webby stories, here are some other fake bag trend stories they should tackle.
1) Write a story about people stuck without reusable bags and are too cheap to pay the five-cent tax. That’s me! A few weeks ago, a friendly Safeway cashier saw that I was upset about forgetting my trusted reusable bag. She offered to place my groceries inside the hood of my winter coat. It worked! All the canned goods fit into the hood. And I had pocket space for the oranges. You got your lede right there.
2) Write a story testing the durability of the various reusable bags. Like Consumer Reports! People like charts. You can use a chart!
3) Write a story about how the bag-tax rollout worked—-people are actually using reusable bags without complaint. The issue isn’t an issue at all.
Here’s another idea: Forget about the bag tax as a story. Get over it. The lede of your trend piece linked above is total BS:
“One of Washingtonians’ worst fears these days is being caught shopping without their own bags. As people adjust to the new five-cent fee on disposable bags in the District, everyone seems to have something to say on the subject.”
It is not one of our worst fears. We have bigger fears like paying rent on time, not having our car broken into to, dealing with another Metro fare hike, and the state of DCPS.
*photo by Darrow Montgomery.