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Journalists’ Roundtable: A year in review

Source: Arizona PBS

Date: December 24, 2021

Each year on Arizona Horizon, we sit down with local journalists to do a year-in-review show, during which we also look ahead to some predictions for 2022. Horizon host Ted Simons was joined by Steve Goldstein of KJZZ Radio, Laurie Roberts of the Arizona Republic and Howard Fischer of Capitol Media Services.

First up, we took a look back to see how everyone did with their predictions made during the show, one year ago. One issue our panel had discussed was whether now-former President Trump would attend the inauguration ceremony for Joe Biden. At the time, all three panelists predicted that Trump would be a no-show at the inauguration. “I think he will be planning his first campaign rally for 2024,” said Roberts. Sure enough, Donald Trump was not in attendance at the January 20th, 2021 ceremony.

Another question Ted asked the panelists last year was whether they thought the infrastructure package would come to pass. The panel members all had their doubts. But, the $1.2-trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act did pass in November. The measure includes $550 billion in new funding for roads, bridges, water and climate change mitigation.

Next up: the race for Arizona governor. No one foresaw that former FOX 10 anchor Kari Lake would throw her hat in the ring to become a GOP candidate. Lake announced her candidacy on June 1, 2021, describing her platform as “common sense conservatism.”

As for sports predictions? Ted asked whether anyone though the Phoenix Suns would make it to the playoffs.  “I haven’t believed that in years,” Fischer had said at the time. “I just don’t think that the team has it in it.” The Suns proved them wrong, not only making it to the playoffs, but advancing to NBA finals, where they eventually lost to Milwaukee.

The panel then turned to the pandemic. Ted asked if anyone thought things would go back to normal in a year. At the time, Fischer had said yes, that he expected things to return mostly back to how they were. “I do think we’ll see some return to normalcy,” Goldstein agreed. “No way will we be wearing masks,” Roberts had predicted. “Many of us aren’t wearing them now. I think we’ll be back to normal by fall.”

The panelists then looked ahead to what’s coming in 2022. It’s a year that includes at the Arizona governor’s race.  Current Governor Doug Ducey isn’t able to run for re-election, due to term limits. “I think Kari Lake will flame out,” said Fischer, predicting that Karrin Taylor Robson will win. Roberts agreed. “She’s got the money to get the messaging out when the time is right and she’s got the establishment behind her. Goldstein felt the same.

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