Party Accusations

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Analysis:

This story basically plays into and perpetuates a limited debate between the two major political parties in Michigan. This is underscored by how the reporter frames the issue at the beginning when he says “it feels like fall doesn’t it. That is what happens when you combine the cool weather with a campaign for Governor that is already quite hot.” Viewers should ask themselves what is hot about the two major political parties making different claims?

The story is premised on claims by both sides having to do with job creation and job loss in Michigan. Viewers hear both Michigan Democratic Party Chair Mark Brewer and GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Dick DeVos. They both make claims, but by the end of the story viewers have no idea which is telling the truth, especially since the reporter does not seek to independently verify either of the claims made. Viewers could ask themselves if an independent perspective or organization that looks at job loss or job creation in Michigan was also included in the story would that change your understanding of the issue?

Story:

WZZM 13 TV News reader – In other news today the Democrats made the claim months ago about the GOP’s leading contender for Governor sending jobs overseas. Now the Republicans respond. Today the fight for Michigan’s top seat heats up.

Reporter – Lee, it feels like fall doesn’t it. That is what happens when you combine the cool weather with a campaign for Governor that is already quite hot.

Reporter – It’s about this, Amway’s $200 million dollar investment in China. In the 90’s Republican Gubernatorial candidate Dick DeVos was President of the company and helped open a plant there. While here in Michigan the company was trimming 600 jobs.

Dick DeVos – We expect that majority of the impact was going to be in the administrative areas as opposed to manufacturing.

Reporter – Michigan’s Democratic Party chairman…..

Mark Brewer – This is the record. Reduce employment in Michigan and invest overseas.

Reporter – ….has goaded DeVos about this for eleven weeks.

Mark Brewer – …..but he has not done a single thing in his tenure, as head of Amway, which has benefited the people of Michigan in terms of creating and keep jobs in this state.

Reporter – Finally, Monday DeVos responded.

Dick DeVos – Well it’s an absolute falsehood what the Governor is perpetuating, but it is understandable because the Governor would clearly rather talk about me than talk about the failed agenda of the Granholm administration.

Reporter – DeVos says China required Amway to build manufacturing there if they wanted to sell there.

Dick DeVos – The net result of the investment has been hundreds of jobs in Michigan, but not one job was moved from Michigan to China.

Reporter – Democrats Monday also alleged Amway imported product from China to America. Something DeVos’ spokesman denied.

DeVos Spokesman – Alticor has been a great success story for Michigan. The Governor on the other hand has been a big failure for Michigan.

Mark Brewer – I think we need to have a debate. I think we need to have a debate….

Reporter – And I think there will be plenty of debates. In fact, they are already underway for an election over 14 months away.

Total Time – 2 minutes and 3 seconds