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Ever since The King’s Speech took the Oscar for best picture, reporters have been asking John Stossel to weigh in.
The broadcast journalist who spent two decades with 20/20 at ABC before joining Fox Business Network has dealt with a stuttering problem — much like the lead character in King’s Speech — since childhood, and reporters want his story.
Stossel was on Mike Gallagher’s syndicated talk-radio show recently giving the film a tentative thumbs-up but warning that those who stutter might find the movie too painful because it will bring back humiliating memories.
On Wednesday, Stossel penned a column acknowledging reporters’ renewed interest in his speech problem and laid out how he went from someone who stammered and dreaded public speaking to becoming an Emmy-winning broadcaster.
Stossel began his TV career at KGW-TV in Oregon as a researcher, and one day was forced to cover a fire, he wrote in the article. He accomplished the task by avoiding words starting with positive sounds, like D, G and B.
He was made a live broadcaster on some days, and he was so fearful of stuttering on air that he quit.
He credits a three-week clinic in Roanoke, Va., at the Hollins Communications Research Center for finally helping him manage his stuttering — he says he’s not “cured” — and he hasn’t shut up since.
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