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ABC Uses Old Interview for One-Sided Trade Story


ABC Uses Old Interview for One-Sided Trade Story

By Amy Menefee
March 15, 2005

     ABCs World News Tonight offered up a painfully one-sided view of U.S. trade in its March 11 broadcast. Citing recently released numbers on the trade deficit, Peter Jennings lamented that The U.S. imported $58.3 billion more in goods than it exported, adding in a dire tone that A trade gap at record levels has consequences.

     But apparently there is only one consequence, according to ABC. Reporter Betsy Stark presented one undisputed claim that American manufacturing is all-but-dead. This tragic picture was illustrated by manufacturing worker Delores Gambrell, who said that if the United States keeps importing, In the next year or two there will not be nothing made here in America by American people. The interview ABC used was recorded in October 2003, so if Gambrells predictions were accurate, we should be nearing the collapse of the American economy.

     Stark interviewed one economist but allowed him to say only that the trade deficit is big. No professors, politicians or manufacturers weighed in. Just one worker who happens to be a former union organizer and media favorite was on hand to address the meaning behind the story.

     According to news reports, Delores Gambrell was one of thousands of North Carolina textile mill workers who lost their jobs when Pillowtex Corp. closed a plant in 2003. She has been interviewed by at least five different news outlets, and by some multiple times, since 1997. She has spoken out in favor of unionized labor, and reporters used her more than once as an example of someone losing a job due to the progression of global trade. According to ABCs report, Gambrell now has a job manufacturing auto parts, but reporter Stark warned that the U.S. imports auto parts at record levels, too.

     At the end of the story, Jennings let slip a note of admiration for Gambrells economic analysis. That Ms. Gambrells pretty smart about whats going on, he said. She sure is, Stark agreed.