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Speech Therapy

Summary: Reaction to President Bush's plan to send 21,000 more American troops to Iraq. Station: KDKA Channel 2 Reporter: John Shumway, "Live on the North Shore" When It Aired: Jan. 11 Running Time: 2 minutes, 26 seconds Visuals: Clips of statements from Bush's Wednesday-evening address to the nation, followed by comments from people concentrated on the Pitt campus in Oakland. Highlights: * When Shumway sets us up: "The president knew before he went into the White House library for that address last night that he had quite a selling job to do for his plan to the American public. And based on what we heard on the streets of Pittsburgh today, he's still got some more work to do." * When a young woman, probably a student, from Jacksonville, Fla., responds to Bush's contention that the situation in Iraq is "unacceptable" by calling him on it: "He's the one that made us go to Iraq in the first place. So how's it unacceptable to him right now?" * When an older man in a suit, from Mount Lebanon says, "I guess in a way I'm pleased that he [admitted his mistakes], although I think the problem is it's too late where there would be any consequences associated with the fact that he's now culpable." * When a middle-aged man comments on Bush's statement that there weren't enough troops from the beginning: "We shoulda known that years ago. ... We haven't really won a real war since World War II." * When a young woman identified as being from New Jersey -- probably another student -- says, "The death tolls are just goin' up, and it's about time for us to get out of there." * When a young man wearing a "Pitt" cap posits, "I don't understand what victory means if it doesn't mean that you're going to have one side that doesn't win and one side that doesn't specifically lose. It's kind of vague." * When a veteran concurs with Bush's statement that we owe our troops a future worthy of their sacrifice: "I agree with that 100 percent. 'Cuz I did my time, and that's why we're all still here today." What We Learned: Bush isn't very popular right now. Unanswered Question: Wouldn't it be fair to hear from someone who supports his plan? News Value: 5. The one problem I have with this "polling" is that Bigelow Boulevard, in the heart of the University of Pittsburgh campus, doesn't exactly count as the "streets of Pittsburgh." And why do TV reporters seldom venture to places like the Hill District, except when there's a shooting, or a dead child found in a closet?

Party On, Pittsburghers!

Summary: The scene of a party held in honor of Bill Cowher in honor of his tenure with the Steelers. Station: WTAE Channel 4 Reporter: Ari Hait When It Aired: Jan. 11 Running Time: 2 minutes, 11 seconds Visuals: * A bartender standing on the bar, pouring drinks directly into a patrons' mouths. * Rowdy Steelers fans doing what they do best -- acting rowdy! Highlights: * When anchor Mike Clark announces, "Once coach Cowher announced his resignation last week, he left behind the players, the fans and the city, but he also left without a going-away party." * When anchor Wendy Bell picks up, "Tonight, one bar on the North Side changed all that." * When Hait, speaking loudly over the commotion in the bar, observes, "Football season obviously ended much too quickly for Steelers fans this year. But there's one bar on the North Side that is refusing to let go of both the season and of the now-former coach. So tonight, we're at a 'Thank you, Bill Cowher' party." * When the bar's owner says, "He won a Super Bowl for us ... and I didn't hear anybody say, 'Let's salute the man that did so much for this town.' So I said, 'If nobody's gonna do it, then I'm gonna do it.'" * When a male fan screams, "Thank you Bill Cowher for all the great years you've [given] us!" * When Hait discloses, "Well, before you hear the [Cowher impersonations], I need to point out one thing. Coach Cowher himself did not make an appearance at this event tonight. And it may be a good thing, because there's no telling what he may have done to these guys." * When Hait concludes, "And later on tonight, they're gonna wrap up this party by showing the entire Super Bowl from last year, as well as having one final toast to Coach Bill Cowher." What We Learned: That there is at least one smart bar owner on the North Side. Unanswered Question: C'mon Ari -- "one final toast"? Fifty years from now people will still be toasting Bill Cowher! News Value: 1. He left behind the players, the fans and the city? A little over-the-top, to say the least. Now, let's all breathe deep ... and let bygone eras be bygone.

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