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This Just In: July 10 - 17 

Cloud 9(11)

Summary: People see the glass half full at a local Independence Day parade. Station: KDKA Channel 2 Reporter: Andy Sheehan When It Aired: July 4 Running Time: 2 minutes, 46 seconds Visuals: * People clapping with blissful abandon as they watch the parade. * A hillbilly "float" in the parade, featuring a guy in a bathtub. Highlights: * When anchor Patrice King Brown surmises the state of the union: "The war, and Iraq, and the upcoming presidential election [threaten] to divide Americans. [Sheehan] took the patriotic pulse, if you will, of the region today." * When Sheehan asserts, "[T]here's just no way around it, the news has been bad. The high cost of gas, the foreclosure crisis, the continuing war in Iraq. But somewhat surprisingly, everyone I spoke with were optimistic about the country, saying that hard times always pass, and that America always bounces back." * When Sheehan surmises from the crowd around him, "Despite all the bad news, the mood here at the Brentwood Fourth of July parade was decidedly upbeat." * When a parade-watcher says, "Yeah, it's gonna be tough, yeah, sure. Then we'll get through it, you know, we're Americans ... it's what we do." * When a woman at the parade, whose husband served in Iraq, says, "I think when times are tough, people pull together." * When Sheehan elaborates, "She feels the future's a bright one for their [1-year-old-son]. ... People know the country is facing tough times, but they also say we've faced tough times before. And America has always proved itself to be resilient." * When he continues, "Many here say don't lose hope and don't lose your sense of humor. After all, they say, times are what you make of them." * When a young man offers, "Our family's doin' good. ... I think the immediate future may be a little bit dicey, but I think in the end, Americans always have a way out of things." * When Sheehan surmises, "Now there's still a lot of worry out there about the future, but people I spoke with today say the country's history is one of facing challenges and then overcoming them." What We Learned: If you want everyone to show up for an event -- tell them you are having a parade! Unanswered Question: What is so surprising about people at a celebration being optimistic? Have you ever seen anyone unhappy at a parade? News Value: 3. I suppose even the pragmatic Sheehan deserves a light story on a holiday. But the message he conveys reminds me of something Oscar Wilde once wrote: "The basis of optimism is sheer terror."

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