Go to contents

President Roh’s New Year Address Thought Botched

Posted January. 25, 2007 03:35,   


President Roh’s New Year speech, aired nationwide for one hour on the night of January 23, is under fire. People are criticizing President Roh’s speech for not finishing within the appointed time even with a prepared manuscript as well as for self-praising and blaming the opposition party and media.

Especially, presidential aides are being reproached for not preparing well for the president’s TV address in the last year of his presidency.

According to Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Yoon Seung-yong, President Roh said, “I lost my pace during my speech,” after asking about responses to his speech at a staff meeting on the morning of January 24. Cheong Wa Dae staff members are embarrassed at what happened last night.

At the staff meeting, the secretary to the president for Information and Policy Monitoring and the secretary to the president for Public Opinion reported public opinion and ratings to the president. Participants discussed responses based on the data.

Yoon thinks positively of Roh’s speech, saying, “We believe it was almost as good as we expected. Ratings are even higher than last year’s.”

However, it is reported that some staff members believe President Roh failed to make his speech as planned to make the effect of being friendlier to the people by not using the prompter.

Broadcasting experts point out that even reading the speech manuscript with 44,000 words in 61 pages will take more than two hours. According to them, it was too easy to stage such a speech even without a rehearsal.

The idea of making a speech without a prompter is known to be from the president. A source in Cheong Wa Dae admitted to being unprepared, saying, “We didn’t rehearse the speech checking time with a TV camera on.”

At a briefing, Yoon explained, “Sometimes, we cannot say everything because we work hard and have so much to say. The public feels differently about living conditions under the participatory government. We wanted to put stress on the need of dream and hope in hard times in the president’s last speech, but failed to deliver the point due to a lack of time.”

Cheong Wa Dae insiders avoided mentioning Roh’s New Year speech if possible. Asked by journalists whether any staff members told Roh about the negative responses to his speech, Yoon answered, “I’ll leave it to your imagination.”