Channel 7, Episode 4
(SCENE: Election night in the main studio of WFLK, Channel 7 - Columbus. Anchorpersons Bob Hart and Marsha Collard skittishly sit through the three-minute multimedia extravaganza that opens the show. As the graphics, pictures, and sound fade away to a clear, frontal picture of Hart and Collard, they begin to recite their script.)
HART: Hello, I'm Bob Hart. Welcome to election night coverage on WFLK, the only channel for news in central Ohio. I'm proud to announce that WFLK has projected a winner in the presidential race...
COLLARD: But first we want to show you our new studio. We had it redecorated this weekend; isn't it just great?
HART: Yes it is, Marsha. We have our desk front sheathed with imported marble; our chairs covered with fine Corinthian leather; wall colors specially chosen by top New York designers and painted with only the finest mineral paint; and our desktop and everything else that the viewer can't see constructed with top-grade American particle board.
COLLARD: Only the most-watched news channel in central Ohio could afford to spend six figures redecorating their studio. We did it because we care about you, our viewers, and want you to like what you see as well as like what you hear.
HART: As the premier news station in Columbus, we also feel a special responsibility to send our reporters to where the action is happening. Who can forget the sight of Rick Ashcroft in Florida sharing the pain of Hurricane Andrew survivors or Sara Baggi walking through the ruins of San Francisco's Marina District or Paul Drewry being arrested for stealing a television in South Central Los Angeles? These are moments that have touched the hearts of Ohioans, and made us the station to watch for news in Columbus.
COLLARD: In that tradition, we have sent Darcy Fieser down to Little Rock to report on the celebration surrounding the Bill Clinton camp down there. Darcy, what can you tell us?
FIESER: Oh, Marsha, this is so wonderful! I'm having such a great time, and everyone else is, too. They're playing "Don't Stop" over the PA system for the 27th time in a row, but people are still dancing. Bill Clinton has been a great governor for the state of Arkansas, and the people here are showing their appreciation.
HART: We didn't bother to send anyone to Bush headquarters in Houston, Darcy. Can you take a guess at how things are going there?
FIESER: I'm sure they're depressed. They ran a terrible campaign, the economy's the worst it's been in 50 years, Bush is the failed president of a large industrial nation, the United States is the laughingstock of the world, Saddam Hussein is still in power, and Bill Clinton...he's just so dreamy, isn't he?
COLLARD: Thank you, Darcy, for that report.
HART: This election year has brought charges that the media is politically biased. To dispel these baseless charges, WFLK will give equal air time to reports on each candidate. Here's a snippet from an interview we did with George Bush when he came to Columbus:
HART: Mr. President, you've faced a strong, well-run campaign from two younger, fresher opponents who know that America needs change in the face of the intellectual bankruptcy of your party and your generation. How do you respond to that?
BUSH: Well, Bob, I gotta tell ya, these guys I'm facing don't have the dignity and bearing necessary to be president of this great nation. The American people need to ask themselves if Ozone Man and Hillbilly Boy can represent this nation before the world with as much dignity and grace as I've done. These two bozos just don't have the manners necessary to make us look good and stand tall.
HART: That was President George Bush, whose exclusive interview with us ran 20 seconds longer than the exclusive interviews he gave to the other three Columbus stations. Even the president knows that we're the channel for news in central Ohio.
COLLARD: And now we'll switch to my interview with Ross Perot, which I did via satellite two weeks ago.
COLLARD: Mr. Perot, what do you plan to do if you are elected to the White House?
PEROT: As I've said before, I'm going to clean out the barn, let out the crazy old aunt we've been keeping in the attic, and get under the hood and fix the engine.
COLLARD: But what does that mean specifically?
PEROT: Oh, I see. You want specifics. Is this the way the game is played? Is that what you people in the media want me to do - give you specifics? Well, the first thing I'm going to do is take all those lobbyists in their $1000 alligator shoes and kick them out of the White House. Then I'm going to pull out all the great plans that the Washington lobbyists have kept hidden from the American people, and I'm going to implement them. Then I will personally pay off the national debt. There - there's my specifics. Are you happy now? Did that satisfy you?
COLLARD: That was an interview with Ross Perot.
HART: Well, look who's just walked in! It's our sportscaster, Buddy Blake. So what do you think, Buddy?
BLAKE: I am truly sickened. This man was put into office in 1988, and all he has done is destroy what he was entrusted with to build. His advisers have been ill-chosen, his policies have been ill-considered, and his actions have been ill-advised. Did you see his commercials? They were a disgrace, a travesty!
HART: So you didn't vote for Bush?
BLAKE: Of course I voted for Bush - he's our president, isn't he?
HART: But didn't you just say...
BLAKE: No, no, I was talking about John Cooper. I'm too busy with my charity work to follow politics. Did you know that Channel 7 raises more money for charity than any other station in Columbus?
HART: Not to mention also devoting more air time than any other local station to the charitable activities of our staffers. Just two more reasons why Channel 7 is the one to watch for news in Columbus.
COLLARD: We have to return to the network now. Stay with Channel 7 for more of the best election day coverage in central Ohio. See you in an hour.
Steve Casburn is a senior from Benicia, California majoring in economics. He thanks John Campanelli for giving him the Cooper/Bush idea.