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Editor's note: As election season heats up, we're profiling interesting iReporters who have plenty to say when it comes to politics. Want your chance in the spotlight? Share your political commentary here.
Matt Sky, 27, is a web developer from New York City. He's perhaps best known in the iReport community for something pretty unique: From time to time, he subs out his mug for a plush marionette named Ted.
"I wanted to see what kinds of unusual reactions I could get from people when I interviewed them," he said. "What I found out about using the puppets was that, sometimes, people answer more honestly to the little furry thing on your hand than an actual person, because a puppet lets you bypass the serious, personal aspects of an interview."
Master of puppets, Matt is this week’s pick for iReport’s Pundit of the Week.
Affiliation: "I often find myself on the liberal end of things when it comes to social issues and most economic policy, but that always varies from issue to issue. I would never consider myself someone who goes straight down a party line."
How did you get interested in politics and current affairs?
"In my teen years, I was in a political science class. I almost failed it, because I never turned in any of the work. But the teacher let me pass because I was engaging in dialogue, and constantly debating my classmates.
"I remember there were students arguing that there would never be a woman president, and I said no, there definitely will be. That’s a moment I always trace back to when I think about where my fascination with politics came from."
Why do you share your opinion on iReport?
"It’s important to our democracy that we have a dialogue. Everything that I try to do goes back to understanding people. It’s not just about ranting and raving, it’s really about listening."
Who is your political or journalistic hero?
"I’ve been very impressed with Piers Morgan, lately. I love his style. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Larry King too, he had a very reasoned and structured approach to interviews. But what I like about Morgan is his ability to tap into some unusual and intimate areas when he interviews someone.
"... What I love is when you get them to open up enough to reveal who they are. Even if it’s someone you disagree with, you can still see that shared humanity. And it’s great when an interviewer can cut through to that, because it reveals how, in the end, we’re all more similar than we think."
What’s going to be the defining issue of the 2012 election?
"I would look to the Republicans, honestly. It’s going to be about what they present to voters. ... I do think if they pick Romney it’s going to be harder for Obama because of the sheer number of disenfranchised Democrats right now. And they’re not disenfranchised because they’re hungry for a Republican or conservative alternative, but because they feel that Obama’s presidency didn’t live up to what he said it was going to be."
What’s something people might be surprised to learn about you?
"My dad was a 'hidden child' – A Jewish Holocaust survivor. He married my mother, who is a Lutheran Christian from Duluth, Minnesota, where I grew up. So I celebrated both holidays as a kid, double the fun with Hanukkah and Christmas presents. I think that’s always shaped who I am. Learning about different faiths and ideas and ideologies is a big part of who I am."
Follow Sky here on iReport and you’ll get to see his timely commentary (and maybe a puppet or two) on your customized homepage. And if you’d like to take your shot at becoming the next Pundit of the Week, there’s no better place than here, no better time than now: Join in the discussion on iReport.
Wow he is an amazing iReporter thanks for sharing