Monday, May 5, 2008


Alright, so I was enjoying the YouTube searching until I found this clip:

It’s a video montage of Hillary ‘cackling.’

There are definitely humorous YouTube videos out there, as I pointed out in my last post, but this one disturbs me as a journalism student.

It was a funny clip, but the fact that it aired on Fox “News” is what is sad. This is “news?” Airing clips of Hillary laughing? Way to discuss the real political issues there guys!

This is why people don’t trust the media anymore. It IS possible to report the news without bias – especially this kind of stuff. If you’re going to air this kind of thing, don’t disguise it as news. It’s silly. Of course, that is what “Fox News” seems to mean.

Once again, you hit a home run! (please note the sarcasm)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Getting creative

This past week Obama, Clinton and McCain all appeared in pre-taped promos on WWE's Monday Night Raw on the USA Network.

I'm a huge fan of pro wrestling -- it's the field I want to work in one day (not as a's behind-the-scenes for me). I was quite (pleasantly) surprised to see all three candidates appear on the program. They took what they did seriously by putting effort into it and making it humorous.

The media had a field day with this -- mostly making fun of the candidates -- but my question is: why?

Because it's pro wrestling? Get over the stereotype that all pro wrestling fans are idiots. They have a huge fan following and if Obama, Clinton or McCain want to reach that ever-so-hard 18-34 male audience, pro wrestling is the place to start.

I appreciated the humor that was behind the three promos and I thought it was good in showing that the three candidates can be "real people" and have a sense of humor. That's always a plus in my book.

Whoopi Goldberg, I believe, said on The View that she wants to see candidates at thigns like this -- at race tracks, at concerts, etc., etc. I agree with her. If they want to reach a younger audience and get them excited (or at least mildly interested) in voting, they need to get creative and appear at different venues than they normally do.

One way or another, Bush is out of the White House in '09. It's a time for change right? Therefore, it's time to change their approaches in campaigning.

Hopefully we'll see more appearances like this in the future. I'll be waiting for them.

Oh, and I may be the proud new owner of this totally awesome t-shirt:

$20 bucks (plus shipping and handling) is a bit much, cracks me up everytime I see it! We'll see...

Later, all.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Bennett -- Chapters 13 and 14

We're reading this "Mediated Politics" book in my Mass Media and Politics class. Here are a few thoughts on Chapters 13 and 14:

Chapter 13 is about the "Big Spin" and strategic communication. It's written by W. Lance Bennett and Jarol B. Manheim.

Among several competing notions of how democracy functions, pluralism – the idea that the views of citizens are effectively and equitably represented through competing organized interests – has long held special appeal. The pluralist model is often offered as the democratic ideal in cases such as the United States …”

“In place of transparency and inclusiveness, we observe growing political communication practices that subordinate the identities and motives of the participants, along with the full disclosure of their objectives, with the overriding end of achieving pragmatic political victories.”

They mention how electoral and advocacy campaigns now often involve deception in the messages and the ways the sources of those messages are identified.

Now, specific audiences are being targeted with specified messages.

On one hand you can't really blame them. It's smart to do this. Why wouldn't you want to give a group of potential voters a specified message that appeals JUST to them?

Then again, even if the message being given isn't untruthful, it seems like a bit of an underhanded thing to do.

They mention how the consequences of the communication these days is, quite frankly, unknown. Yet, it's increasingly important.

Chapter 14 covers the impact of the new media. They talk about the new groups that use the new media (i.e. blogs, YouTube, etc., etc.) to get their messsage out.

Russell Neuman says that issues churned out by those using the new media will matter more than the the issues that are churned out by those in mass communication. The fact that some TV news shows and newspapers are now using YouTube as a source of information leads me to believe this may be true. Is this a bad thing? A good thing? I'm not really sure.

On one hand, if those using the new media are churning out info on important issues and the media is now taking note of it, then that means the important issues ARE getting out there. Then again, it seems odd that the professionals are looking to the general public to get their information.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

The "Blog"

So what exactly is this big fuss about the blog anyway? I’ve been trying to figure it out for quite some time now.

To me, a blog seems like just another online column that some person wants you to read. Perhaps it is a bit different however.

In order to properly research this, I think I’ll have to go to Wikipedia and see what it says:

“A blog (an abridgment of the term web log) is a website where entries are commonly displayed in reverse chronological order. “Blog” can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.”

So it is essentially a bunch of columns, but it is grouped with other “columns” in reverse chronological order. Interesting.

I also found some info on political blogs, in particular:

“Political dangers.
Blogging can sometimes have unforeseen consequences in politically sensitive areas. Blogs are much harder to control than broadcast or even print media. As a result totalitarian and authoritarian regimes often seek to suppress blogs, or to punish those who maintain them.
In Singapore, two ethnic Chinese were imprisoned under the country’s anti-sedition law for posting anti-Muslim remarks in their weblogs.”

As a journalist I suppose I should enjoy writing on these blogs, but I find it very difficult. I suppose I should just approach it like a journalism story. For some reason when I hear the word “blog” though I think of it as being more of a journal or diary – expressing your thoughts and opinions, which, quite frankly, doesn’t interest me one bit.

It seems like an exciting new (although old, actually) way of presenting information and ideas, so I think it’s great that these blogs exist. I’d rather tell stories and report on news in an unbiased manner (yes, it is actually possible to do so) than give my opinion on politics though.