October 9, 2008
Thanks, but no thanks, Charlie...
If this was Racine's big close-up, our exposure on national TV to the rest of the country -- well, thanks, but no thanks.
For the first half of Charlie Gibson's ABC-TV World News broadcast from Racine tonight, all we were was a lake backdrop and a place to park the program's bus. Charlie stood on a balcony of the Johnson Building downtown and if you looked closely you could see the lake behind his head. The entire first half of the broadcast was taken up with a report on the stock market decline, and a Milwaukee interview with John McCain, who once again told us of his "passion" and his "courage."
At the mid-broadcast commercial break came the first real reference to Racine, "a city with the worst unemployment rate in the state." That was it, except for a promise of a story about a program we have to deal with unemployment. But first, a report on gas prices -- they're down -- and a plug for an investigation coming up later in the broadcast about more government eavesdropping on American citizens.
Finally, at about 5:53, "Coming up, the unique way this city is matching jobs with the people who need them." But first, these messages...allergy medicine, Grey's Anatomy, etc. etc.
And then, "Finally, tonight..." it was our turn. Charlie referenced our 9.6 percent unemployment rate, gave Mayor Gary Becker a 10-second sound bite (under his face was a promo for Channel 12's 6 p.m. broadcast: GAS BELOW $3/GAL), and spent about 90 seconds at Gateway Technical College, talking briefly to three students in a CNC retraining program, Julie Langenfeld, Joe Lori and David Linda. "And we have heard a lot about job retraining here in the midwest..." Charlie summed up, closing the broadcast.
And that was it. Blink, and you coulda missed Racine.