On Thursday April 28 WZZM 13 ran a story about the President’s press conference from that evening. The story was provided by their parent affiliate, ABC news. The ABC news piece is fairly short, about a minute and 15 seconds long. In it the viewer is told that the president talked primarily about energy and social security, with the emphasis on social security. Two clips are played of the president, a 14 second clip of him speaking on social security and a 21 second clip about embattled UN ambassador candidate John Bolton. The reporter also mentions that the president talked about Russia and Iraq but gives on details on what he said on these issues.
Immediately after the ABC news story, WZZM 13 news decided to get local reactions to the presidents plans on Social Security and Energy. Rather than talking to people that might actually have informed opinions on these topics, the reporter went to a bar and interviewed patrons. The reporter interviews four people in the bar, all of whom are white males The first two people interviewed are two young men sharing a table, who are given a combined 35 seconds of airtime to speak, more than the president got in the preceding ABC report. Both men say that they do not expect to ever get social security nor do they think the President’s plan will work, although they do not back these claims up with any facts. To quote the second man, “I’m 29, 30 years old and just like the youth of America we’re not really dependent on Social Security.” Viewers should ask themselves what value is there in a clip of a 30 year old bar patron claiming to speak for “the youth of America”, and why would a reporter choose to run it.
Newsreader – So what do you think about the president’s proposals? We talked to tax payers in Grand Rapids to hear their reaction to the plan. WZZM’s Gita Pullapily continues our big story coverage now with local reaction.
Reporter – Lee, most people we spoke with think they’ll never get social security and they don’t think President Bush’s plan will really affect them, especially young people.
Bar Patron #1 – I don’t think I will ever see Social Security. I honestly don’t think that it, the president’s plan on social security will work. I don’t thin we will ever see Social Security for me to retire.
Bar Patron #2 – I’m 30, 29 years old and just like the youth of America we’re not really dependent of social security. the way we see it now we’re dependent now more on like 401 k plans, investing in the stocks, stuff like that. Social Security is just something I never think I will get that will be a certain amount of money that will ever help me out when I’m old at all so it’s just something you don’t depend on.
Reporter – (pause)… and help reduce the cost of gas. For immediate relief the President has asked oil producing countries to put more crude oil on the market. In addition he has offered several proposals for relief and is calling on Congress to send him legislation he can sign. And with gas prices well over two dollars, congress is taking some heat. taxpayers here want answers.
Bar Patron #3 – All I can say is that they are just too high.
Bar Patron #4 – I think there is a lot of stuff that we don’t know what’s going on, but, I mean there’s not much but, like I say you have to have it. So, I wish they would step in and do something about it.
Reporter – And the President says to help fight these high prices we should also conserve energy and find alternative sources.
Total Time; 1 minute 35 seconds