AP Has NO Problem Finding People Who Didn't Like President's Speech

September 17th, 2005 10:17 AM

As reported here yesterday by the Media Research Center’s Brent Baker, Dean Reynolds of ABC News had a hard time Thursday evening finding people who didn’t like President Bush’s address to the nation concerning Hurricane Katrina. Oddly, the Associated Press’s Angie Wagner didn’t have such difficulties. Of course, the AP went to seven different states to ensure they got the answers they were were looking for:

“‘He had no intention of coming to help us,’ said Samuel Lewis, 31, an evacuee who watched the speech in a Houston shelter. ‘He should have been there 24 hours after. He is telling me he is going to rebuild my city. Still, when I go back home, you are going to rebuild my city, but what about all the stuff I lost? What about jobs?’"

“‘A day late and a dollar short,’ said 18-year-old Wayne State University student Rachel Aviles in Detroit. ‘I think he's more responding to the negative media than responding to fix the problem.’"

In the end, eight people were interviewed for this story. Only two had anything positive to say about the president. This of course must have taken a lot of effort and planning given recent polls indicating that most people place a greater responsibility for the problems in News Orleans associated with the hurricane on the state and local governments there. At the end of the article, we got a hint just how much work:

“Contributing to this story were Pam Easton in Houston, Ben Dobbin in Rochester, N.Y., Melanie Dabovich in Albuquerque, N.M., Anna Johnson in Chicago, Peggy Anderson in Seattle, Matt Apuzzo in Ocean Springs, Miss., Vicki Smith in Gulfport, Miss., and JoAnne Viviano in Detroit.”

One would think that if you sent nine reporters to interview people around the country for a 546-word article, you might be able to end up with a more balanced assessment than three dissenting opinions for every positive one…or am I dreaming?

Maybe ABC News should learn from the AP: To ensure proper responses to your questions, go to more than one location.