Meet Jaden Jefferson, the 11-year-old political media star in the making
Last night concluded the second Democratic Primary Debate of the 2020 election, where Presidential hopefuls like Senators Cory Booker (N.J.), Kamala D. Harris (Calif.), and former Vice President Joe Biden took the stage to show why they’re worthy of the oval office.
The debate was spicy. Booker told Biden he was dipping in the Kool-Aid but didn’t know the flavor, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called out Biden for failing to directly respond to his challenge on the millions of deportations under President Barack Obama.
Plus, entrepreneur Andrew Yang called the whole thing a reality television show.
None of them, however, seemed to make the splash or waves like one 11-year-old aspiring journalist from Ohio.
His name is Jaden Jefferson and after scoring an exclusive one-on-one interview with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) for Tuesday’s debate and checking Fox News pundits on Wednesday, the big story wasn’t who’s dethroning Trump but who the heck this kid is.
Well, Jaden is a native of Toledo, Ohio who has gained something of a celebrity status in his hometown by carrying around tripods, cameras, and microphones to record video news packages on everything from local sports to the closure of two Steak ‘n’ Shake restaurants and traffic accidents.
Much like anyone else in 2019, Jaden has used social media to boost his profile, sharing his videos on YouTube, Instagram, and accumulating a staggering 13.5K Twitter followers as part of his “Eyewitness News” coverage.
Jaden has a real passion for this, too. He reportedly wakes up at 5 a.m. to watch local TV news, and when he forgets to clean his room, his parents take away his reporting privileges.
“I wasn’t nervous,” the 11-year-old told Boston Magazine over the phone, as his parents drove him to Detroit for the debate. “Not at all,” he added.
Jaden says when he heard the debate was going to be in his hometown, he was determined to land an interview with someone. Little did he know it was going to be one of the leading Dems in an exclusive one-on-one.
“I visited her website and her Twitter pages,” he said. “I had a plan in mind to get an interview,” he told Boston Mag.
Guys, Jaden has a lesson for all of us reporters: Keep your questions short and simple. He killed it. pic.twitter.com/UdNTbSDGps
— MJ Lee (@mj_lee) July 30, 2019
Well, after bravely getting a short, quick and effective question during a presser, he didn’t have to do much. Warren and her staff noticed him and invited him for the one-on-one and he didn’t decline.
That’s when he asked Warren a couple of hard-hitting questions that went on to go viral.
“What are you doing for equal opportunities for people of color?”
“So, that’s a really good question,” Warren responded, before launching into a description of the intersection of race and economics, the black/white wealth gap, and her housing policy. “We have to face up to what the government did wrong on behalf of all of America, and say we’re going to at least take steps to try to make that right,” she concluded.
The interview got him noticed by Fox News who had him on their program last night following the debate and, again, he didn’t disappoint. When asked to give his opinion on candidates like Marianne Williamson, he declined, stating what he thinks really didn’t matter.
“Well, when I think of Marianne, I can’t comment on that because that’s just one of my journalistic responsibilities,” Jefferson told Perino on The Daily Briefing. “That would be wrong because that would show bias, right,” Perino said backtracking and agreeing with Jefferson. “We are teaching people here.”
Fox News went on to ask where he got his passion for journalism and he replied that it was something that was always in him.
“The spark that interested me is the aspect of writing, shooting and editing video. Something I’ve always been good at and something I like to do. When you connect the dots, that spells out journalism,” he told Fox News.
As the election gears up it appears Jaden might be the clear winner, no matter how the candidates play out.