This is primarily a horse-race story. The news reader does not explain why Michigan is a battle ground state for the White House, assuming viewers already know why.
Reporter Rick Albin begins by summarizing Kerry’s job creation plan. He does mention that will happen through “corporate tax cuts” and “ending subsidies to corporation who export jobs.” Viewers would have been served well to get some analysis of how “corporate tax cuts” will create jobs and what kind of corporate tax cuts already exist. (See Citizens for Tax Justice) The issue of ending subsidies is also not explained or clarified. Go here for more information.
The story goes onto quote Kerry and a West Michigan Union representative, but both comments have little meaning for viewers. What WOOD TV 8 could have done that would have been instructive for viewers was to look at Kerry’s voting record on jobs, the economy and trade policies.
The reporter also mentions that Kerry and Rep. Dingel make critical comments about the Republicans. Kerry says “They have run the most arrogant, reckless and ideological foreign policy in the modern history of our country.” Unfortunately, this claim is not substantiated.
The story ends with a comment that is somewhat out of context, regarding Kerry’s silence on fuel efficiency standards in front of a UAW audience. This would have been a good opportunity to discuss how political campaigns have targeted audiences and try to avoid address larger issues, especially if it might alienate those audiences.
Newsreader – Michigan will be a battle ground state in the race for the White House and today John Kerry enlisted the support of one of the state’s largest unions. 24 Hour News 8 political reporter Rick Albin was with the Democratic candidate tonight and Rick joins us live now from the election desk.
Reporter Rick Albin – Suzy, John Kerry says if he’s elected he’ll create 10 million jobs in his first term. He says he’ll do it by cutting corporate taxes and ending subsidies for corporations that export jobs. Kerry’s themes were consistent today, more jobs and less George W. Bush.(Cut to video b-roll of Kerry rally in Warren, MI.) Kerry’s high octane entrance was enough to rev up these United Auto Workers who endorsed him for the job he wants, while he promised to help keep the jobs they want.
John Kerry – “I want those cars built by UAW and the big 3 here in America. And that is what we are going to try to fight to guarantee…”
Reporter – A notion that sat well with one West Michigan union member.
Union member – “Today he said in his speech if he’s elected and I told him when we had a private meeting this afternoon he ought to say when he’s elected. He said he didn’t want to be presumptuous, but I’m going to be.”
Reporter – The message of the day was jobs, but Kerry’s approach is the same as it has been for months, hit President Bush hard, then hit him again. To that end Kerry repeated the line he uses in every stump speech.
Kerry – “They have run the most arrogant, reckless and ideological foreign policy in the modern history of our country.”
Reporter – And when it came to Bush bashing, Kerry got a little help from some of his friends. Rep. John Dingel said the first issue was to get rid of Bush, then he added
Rep. Dingel – “…after you and I finish with him, we want to send all of those miserable Republicans back home.”
Reporter – By the time Kerry wrapped up his Motor City visit, he left with the endorsement he wanted from a state many observers say is a must win if the Democrats are to take the White House. Kerry avoided any talk about fuel efficiency standards in front of the auto workers. The candidate has proposed higher gas millage mandates that have previously not set well with the UAW. Tomorrow Kerry heads to Missouri, another potential battle ground state.
Total time: 2 minutes and 15 seconds