The Political Impact of Evolving Media Jim Huneycutt Monticello High School
1964 Presidential Election • Lyndon Johnson (LBJ) became president after John Kennedy (JFK) was assassinated in 1963. • Johnson’s main public policy issue was poverty. • However, Johnson inherited the Vietnam War from previous administrations. (The Vietnam War started on the day World War II ended between the Vietnamese and the French. America became involved din 1954 when the French were defeated.) • Johnson hoped to end the war quickly by escalating the troops so that he could concentrate on the problems of poverty in our country. • His opponent in the election of 1964 was Barry Goldwater, who also wanted to end the war quickly. Goldwater mentioned that all options should be on the table, including nuclear weapons. • The commercial was shown one time. It is said to have been pivotal in the election of Johnson in 1964.
1960 Presidential Debate • After WWII, celebrated general Dwight D. Eisenhower became President. He served two terms, from 1952 to 1960. • His vice-president was Richard Nixon, who ran for the presidency. He was challenged by a young Democrat named John F. Kennedy. • Nixon was the more experienced politician and had greater name recognition, yet Kennedy won by less than one-tenth of one percent. • Kennedy attributed his success, as do most others, to television. • The impact of this debate was so great that there would not be another televised presidential debate for 16 years.
History of Media Influence • Oral Communication/Rhetoric • Oral History/Oral Tradition • Lincoln-Douglas Debates • Print • Gutenberg • Newspapers (owned by politicians) • Magazines • Radio • Marconi (1899-1902) • Tesla (1943 Supreme Court recognized Tesla’s patent over Marconi) • FDR-fireside chats (1933-1945) • Television • Nixon-Kennedy Debate (1960)
History of Media Influence • Talk Radio • 1988 national syndication of the Rush Limbaugh show • 1994 Republican Revolution • Change in Political Strategy (2000-2004) • Karl Rove • Howard Dean • Internet • Blogs • 2006 Democratic Takeover of Congress • Future Outlets? • Podcasts • Video downloads/Comedy central
Blogs-TPM Cafe • TPM Cafewww.tpmcafe.com • Joshua Marshall built this community blog around the popularity of his own Talking Points Memo.com site. It's a site for moderate Democrats so while there's no love to be found for President Bush, folks like Howard Dean take their lumps here as well. Click on Election Central for recent poll numbers and candidate news, such as Phil Kellam's (D) admission about his assault conviction in 1978 (his camp says it was a case of road rage). The site also hosts blogs for its readers, who enjoy writing long, thoughtful essays. A truly fine place. • BEST: Lets readers rate other reader comments, effectively marginalizing trolls and uncivil debaters. • WORST: Despite vast content, the site is often too focused on Democrat Party politics and that can get boring.
Blogs-Daily Dish • Daily Dishandrewsullivan.com • The John McCain of the political blogosphere, Andrew Sullivan's independent-minded posts are less predictable than those of other bloggers. He's an Iraq war supporter and a small-government adherent who wonders why on Earth congressman have a say in who buys major league baseball teams, but he's also a social liberal who views the same-sex marriage debate as a civil rights issue and who frets about the impact of fundamentalist Christians on society. There's something for everyone to love or get ticked off by here. • BEST: Hosts an online book club. Recently discussed: "Why Orwell Matters" by Christopher Hitchens. • WORST: No way to search within the site for a topic. The archive list is long, sorted by date, and hard to use.
Blogs-Eschaton • Eschatonatrios.blogspot.com • As his day job, blogger Atrios works for MediaMatters.org, so his media criticism tends to be his most poignant posts. For example, on Time Magazine's decision to reveal the confidential sources of its reporter, Matthew Cooper, Atrios notes: "Time taints its entire publication--you can't rely on anyone working for that magazine to protect their sources because the publishers/editors will sell out all of their journalist's sources." On Fridays, Atrios offers the surprisingly adorable Friday Cat Blogging feature: Yes, they're photos of cats but somehow they're amusing. Eschaton is a decidedly left-wing site but there are good debates in the comment windows. Warning: Other readers are hard on trolls, so don't bother. • BEST: Lets readers click a box that opens links in new windows, eliminating the need to backtrack. • WORST: Constant calls for right-wing Iraq war supporters to join the Army seem immature.
Blogs-Little Green Footballs • Little Green Footballswww.littlegreenfootballs.com • Battling "idiotarians" at ever turn, the members of Charles Johnson's prominent Internet community speak in their own literary lingo. "Idiotarians" are moral relativists. "Morlocks" are members of the fringe left who blame Israel for everything. Islam is often called "ROP" for "Religion of Peace." The main page features long and meaty posts, mostly about terrorism, Israel and the Middle East at large. Johnson digs through international media reports and posts frequently so that a post about the reaction of London's Muslims immediately follows the shooting of a bombing suspect in the London Tube to the news. • BEST: A Google powered search engine means no wading through the archives if you know what you want. • WORST: The "now playing" feature doesn't stream music, it just says what Johnson is listening to.
Blogs-Power Line • Power Linewww.powerlineblog.com • Three conservative bloggers offer up frequent, substantial posts about the media's "faux outrage over the link that President Bush drew between September 11 and the Iraq War.." as well as the career of conservative thinker Thomas Sowell, who just turned 75 and exhortations to read "The Claremont Review of Books." It's a breezily written, wide-ranging and fun blog that supports the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with enthusiasm and reason. It's genteel in its militancy. • BEST: Lots of links to other sites, magazines and articles that are sometimes easy to miss. • WORST: No comments. Power Line could be as big as Daily Kos, but by not giving readers a voice, it gets about a tenth the traffic.
Blogs-Wonkette • Wonkettewonkette.com • Bloggers Ana Marie Cox and Greg Beato mix political analysis with gossip journalism to great effect. Broke its biggest news story in 2004 by drawing attention to Jessica Cutler, a staff assistant to Senator Mike Dewine who blogged about her below-the-beltway D.C. sexcapades and got fired for it. While not exposing sex scandals, Wonkette manages to find governors who call reporters "MoFos" and photos of President Bush, his arms outstretched, smiling at the heavens, that can be captioned "Gayest. President. Ever." It's meant to be a fun site, after all. Skip the site if you get uptight about jokes of that nature. • BEST: Provides drinking games to go along with Presidential speeches. Wasting away in Gitmojitoville, indeed. • WORST: Would be fun to have a raucous reader's area.
Blogs-Crooks and Liars • Crook and Liarscrooksandliars.com • One of the few prominent video blogs in the arena, Crooks and Liars offers links to live news reports and policy debates from CNN, MSNBC, Fox News and news from abroad. Crooks and Liars featured hilarious footage of conservative writer Anne Coulter claiming, falsely and on Canadian television, that Canada had sent troops to Viet Nam. This blog serves as a memory system for easily forgotten or missed television segments. • BEST: Entertaining headlines and captions: "John McCain punks Grover Norquist!" • WORST: The servers really slow down when traffic is high.
Blogs-Daily Kos • Daily Kosdailykos.com • The Shangri-la for the unabashedly left wing, Daily Kos is a group blog that, on its elegant home page, features posts and links from readers along with commentary from the site's founder, under the name Kos. The site is frequently updated and the readers are active, generating 12 million unique page views every month and half a million visits a day, making it the most popular political blog on the Web. Comments often top 100 per post, and discussions are lively. Though Iraq, military recruitment and Tom Delay's ethics troubles dominate the discussion, this is also a place to find the occasional "outside the mainstream" post on topics like pot legalization. • BEST: Site is ad free if you sign up for a free membership. • WORST: Quotations from other sources are too often longer than the posts themselves.
Blogs-Kausfiles • Kausfilesslate.com • The once independent Mickey Kaus has moved his blog over to Slate.com, where it floats around the site with all of the other articles. It's easy to find, though, as Slate almost always gives him a spot in the top banner. Kaus updates the blog a few times a week, leaving politics aside occasionally to tell jokes about the car industry. His political content usually involves quotes from speechwriters and pollsters, as Kaus seeks to explore what's effective and what's not in campaign and Presidential rhetoric. • BEST: It's on Slate, so it's got the whole site's infrastructure behind it. • WORST: Slate's discussion forum isn't ideal for a blog. Ideally, all reader posts would be grouped with the Kaus post they belong to.
Blogs-Michelle Malkin • Michelle Malkinwww.michellemalkin.com • The site for columnist and author Michelle Malkin--known most for her book defending the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II--dishes conservative politics with panache. Recent entertaining entries include "Land of the Meek" about a New York City public school program to combat bullying through sensitivity training has Malkin observe, "The metrosexualization of America marches on. Who needs enemies.." There are often cute posts about her getting her daughter in on the righty antics--for example, sending a letter to Ohio Senator George Voinovich, seeking to cheer him up after he fought back tears during debate about John Bolton's nomination as ambassador to the United Nations. • BEST: Also maintains an "immigration blog" devoted to border security. • WORST: Eliminated reader comments section. Perhaps she's too sensitive to online vitriol.
Blogs-Redstate • Redstate.orgredstate.org • Redstate.org is a group blog, driven by its readers, and designed to counter the notion that blogs are "the liberal talk radio." The posts highlight easily missed news stories, like one about the five former Iranian hostages who have identified Mahmoud Ahmadinejad--cheekily referred to here as the President "Elect" of Iran--as one of the hostage takers. Dissent within the Republican Party isn't tolerated here, either. One blogger took on Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, who has expressed doubts about the Iraq war saying, "Hagel wants to be a maverick, a media god like John McCain. He does not want to be President." • BEST: Diverse voices, substantive posts. • WORST: Bans "Nazis, Islamists, Communists and racists." A few of those things are not like the others.