The Bush-Iraq Speech
Slow news day, but this still qualifies. As reported earlier by most news services, the major networks declined to carry the Bush speech in Cincinnati on our policy towards Iraq, and the possibility of war. Apparently, there was a lot of disagreement at the local level because the situation here in Memphis was pretty good!
Only CBS's local affiliate, NewsChannel 3, ran regular programming. (And PBS, but do they count?) Channel Five, the NBC affiliate, carried the feed from MSNBC, with Chris Matthews and some B-team newsreader setting it up. Channel 24, ABC, did a local cut-in with anchor Bill Lund doing presenter duties. I don't know where they got their feed from; it wasn't labelled. Channel Thirteen, FOX, started with the baseball game, but quickly went to the FOXNews coverage.
The speech was billed as a 20 minute one, but it ran long, ending slightly past the half-hour. No station carried any post-speech analysis. All went pretty briskly back to regular programming.
The speech itself was somewhere between Bush's stem-cell research speech and his memorable one to Congress launching the War on Terrorism. He patiently laid out the case of Saddam's violations and deceptions, then exhorted on the need for action, maybe including war itself. It seemed to answer his critics' demands well enough.
I have to say, it was good to see local stations take the lead over their indifferent and imperial networks as they did. It shows who's in touch and who's out of it. Special kudos to ABC24 for putting together a local show on their own. Now that's patriotism and civic service!
Until next time.