Jim covered Congress and The White House during the George W. Bush administration for The Washington Times, and worked as a reporter, editorial writer and columnist for newspapers in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and California. He has appeared on the Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, and many local and national talk radio shows to talk politics and policy.
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Steve Stanek is featured in an excellent piece from Monday night on Chicago’s NBC affiliate WMAQ. It a story about the “essential air service” program, a legacy boondoggle from the airline deregulation of the 1970s.
As the piece by Stefan Holt notes, this 40-year-old “temporary” program makes sure the small airline Air Choice One flies 12 nine-seat flights a day from Decatur to Chicago and St. Louis. Cost to travelers for a ticket to O’Hare: $44. The federal government chips in $90 per flight. Cost to taxpayers: $2.4 million a year. Oftentimes, these flights are empty.
I watched Holt (who is destined for the Big Network one day) interview Steve in Heartland’s library. Holt asked the excellent “TV news” question: “How essential is ‘essential air service’?” Steve didn’t miss a beat: “It’s not essential at all.” I told Steve afterward that Channel 5 News would definitely use that quote, because it was just perfect for the use of a TV journalist.
Steve does a great job hammering home the free-market perspective in a (rare) piece that, as was clear from the interview, was going to be sympathetic to our point of view. Steve comes in at the 1:53 mark in a 3:15 story, and is featured off-and-on for about 40 seconds. Steve also brought up the ADM crony capitalism angle, which I don’t think Holt had thought of before. Holt ended up using more of that angle in the piece.
Steve did an outstanding job – put on a clinic, really, on how to handle a TV interview: Have your facts at hand, answer questions directly and in short sound bites, be passionate. Watch it below.
View more videos at: http://nbcchicago.com.