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5th Grader Turns Tables On NBC National News Crew Getting React To Obama Speech

A student at a Morton Grove school conducted an on-camera interview with an NBC national news crew getting local citizens' reaction to President Obama's Tuesday speech on Syria.


Written by Pam DeFiglio


As David Floodstrand and his fifth-grade son Ian were walking through the Skokie Library Tuesday, they noticed some photographic lights, video cameras and commotion.

"It was a film crew from NBC setting up, and the producer explained they were going to film people's reactions to the president's speech on Syria," David Floodstrand said. 

The producer invited them to participate, and they did, along with about 10 other people, watching the speech on a large screen near the northwest corner of the library's first floor. 

"It was like a mini town hall meeting," David Floodstrand continued. "We watched it together, then they turned off the TV and we talked about it."

Some of the footage of Skokieans discussing their views was aired Wednesday during the 5:30 NBC Nightly News, a national broadcast, in a segment reported by Andrea Mitchell. 

Ian Floodstrand, who said he is learning about film and video in his fifth-grade class at Morton Grove's Edison School in Skokie-Morton Grove District 69,  had the presence of mind to ask his dad for his phone and turn on the phone's video camera.  

Before the president's speech began, Ian turned the tables on the film crew by interviewing them on video as they were setting up.

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"I asked my teacher if I could show my class the video, and she said sure, at pack-up time," Ian Floodstrand said Wednesday afternoon after school. "They (kids in class) had a lot of questions. They said, 'you really get to be on TV?'"

Ian acknowledged the prospect of having millions of people watching him on TV was a little nerve-wracking. 

The NBC segment was actually very brief, showing only some of the participants.

Nevertheless, David Floodstrand said the group which viewed and commented had some great insight.

"The general consensus was that they don't think this (a U.S. military airstrike in Syria) is a really good idea," he said. "I understand people need help in the world but I don't think we need to be the world's policeman."

As to whether chemical weapons constitute a uniquely dangerous threat, he noted that whether a dictator commits atrocities with guns or with chemical weapons, it brings the same tragic results.

He also observed that the millions of dollars spent on military operations are dollars not going to improve the U.S. economy. 

"We have millions of people out of work. The war machine is not helping them," he said.
Mehy September 13, 2013 at 08:19 AM
He also observed that the millions of dollars spent on military operations are dollars not going to improve the U.S. economy. "We have millions of people out of work. The war machine is not helping them," he said. The sad part of this above statement is that the person actually believes in this. There is nothing better than investing in the military as much as possible. Reasons being, a strong(stronger than anyone) military keeps us citizens save and gives us world power(which by the way we had for a long time until now). The other reason to invest in military is, it will stimulate the economy and create endless jobs(like in the past). Anyone that does not support the military wholeheartedly is leaving us open for disaster.
ray September 14, 2013 at 12:11 AM
Hey, that's the way I feel eveytime I see Miley with her tongue stinking out.
Cheryl September 14, 2013 at 10:40 PM
Mehy: --- I don't think the billions of $$$$ spent on the military is keeping us "safe" as all the other countries now want to bomb the heck out of us or explode everything in sight since the two Bush wars. It doesn't say much for a country when the entire economy has to roll along BASED ON military expenditures and the MILITARY industrial complex being the LARGEST EMPLOYER IN THE WORLD. I don't think that say much for America and isn't much to be "proud" of. All it means is we're the biggest bully on the schoolyard. Having a strong military is one thing, but to have a military and expenditures that exceed that of the entire world is rather ridiculous. And it perpetuates a CONSTANT state of war in making it so our economy cannot survive WITHOUT WAR. HUGE MISTAKE.
Grumpy Old Man September 19, 2013 at 05:23 PM
I am amazed at the level of professional competence here. The acquired wisdom of how many years of actually knowing what one talks about. The United States historically didn't maintain a strong or even adequate military. Needless to say when we entered WWI and WWII our casualties were grossly higher than they needed to be because we weren't prepared, our men weren't trained, we didn't have the proper weaponry. I guess we should have let Adolph win. Korea was the same. Truman cut back on military spending. The American forces that went into Korea in the beginning were a pick up crew who hadn't trained for years and had rotten equipment. The two Bush wars of course were different. There the problem was not that we didn't have a properly trained or equipped military we had hubris and incompetence. Read Donald Rumsfeld and Company. Obama claims that Al Quaeda is dead - really? Oh, China and Russia have our interests at heart. The only institution which has kept this country safe is the American miitary. Period. And none of the "social spending" has done a bit of good. It never has and never will. We have spent millions in Appalachia - poverty remains ingrown. But, yes, just like the gun grabbers rant, you don't need a gun, call 911. That's so your dead body can be found while its still warm and before rigor mortis has set in. Instead of a strong military we can just call the UN. OH MY GOD!
Grumpy Old Man September 19, 2013 at 05:47 PM
We can be isolationists and leave the rest of the world to its own devices. Unfortunately that didn't work when we had two oceans and no missile threats. It doesn't work now. The world economy is interdependent and we can't just sit back and let enemies disrupt it. No, military force is not the first response but it may be the only viable one. Syria is not my idea of a viable military operation. Afghanistan in 2001 was. It is no longer. But the question remains as to what force mix we need to meet the security challenges ahead. I am not prepared to say that all we need is a few drones, some special ops and Joe Biden to drop in to bore the enemy to surrender.

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