Monday, May 9, 2011

The Shirtless Congressman

As we know the media loves to highlight random and insignificant facts about political figures. I am sure we all recall comments made on the candidates' wardrobe and hair styles. I can't help but wonder if the media is actually to blame in the case of Aaron Schock. Schock is a 29 year old congressman from Illinois, was on “Today” on Monday to talk about how he stays in shape and his “Fit for Life Summer Challenge.”

On “Today,” Schock’s appearance was promoted with this tagline: “Congressman bares chest to promote fitness.” The First shot is of Schock in a lunge position wearing nothing but baggy shorts and black Nike sneakers. The question that “Today” host Matt Lauer wanted answered: How does he do it? “You’re on the banquet circuit,” Lauer pointed out.

The congressman went on to talk about how he stays fit. “When I’m sitting at the banquet table, I don’t grab the bread basket. You eat the vegetables, you ask for a side of fruit,”
Discussing Schock’s challenge to Americans to lose a few pounds this summer, Lauer brought up the issue of time. How can busy Americans find a few minutes to hit the gym?

Is this what congressmen should focus on? What do you think?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Two birds one stone

After writing a paper on media bias and immigration it is clear that two distinct ideologies exist regarding immigration. The liberals support it, while the conservatives are against it, but not once has any group suggested what Bloomberg has recently suggested. Bloomberg proposed that America allow immigrants in, provided that they move to Detroit and live there for ten years. Apparently Detroit’s population has dwindled recently and allowing immigrants to move there would “kill two birds with one stone.” From a scientific management point of view, he is offering a potentially helpful solution. Yet on the other hand it seems like Bloomberg is letting go of his humanity for the sake of efficiency! What do you think?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Obama and the NFL

We recently read an article discussing Jon Stewart’s role in advocating for 9/11 rescue personnel. Politico presents an article about a similar phenomenon but with somewhat of a reversal of roles. NFL players have requested Obama’s support in the players’ labor fight against NFL owners. According to politico- he dismissed the players as millionaires fighting billionaires, saying he was more concerned about Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s attack on state-employee unions.
Apparently the NFL fight is a serious attack on unions. In mid-March, team owners locked out the players, who decertified their union to challenge the league’s antitrust protection.
One of the players lamented “If you make money, it’s OK to have less rights. It’s just part of the public’s perspective,” said Ruettgers, who was in his third season with Green Bay when NFL players 
It seems to me that despite their SES all people deserve the support of their government. The article we read told us about the idea of someone in the entertainment industry extending support to a political issue. Do these same principles guide the degree of political support extended to celebrities?  

Monday, April 4, 2011

New Media to the max

We recently spoke about the use of new media and advertisements in modern presidential campaigns. Mr. Obama is no exception to the rule; he has kicked off his campaign for the 2012 election using a web video. The Obama campaign managers are personalizing to the maximum in order to establish a sense of personal attention. His website told visitors "This campaign is just kicking off. We're opening up offices, unpacking boxes, and starting a conversation with supporters like you to help shape our path to victory. 2012 begins now, and this is where you say you're in." Shortly after the web video was posted, an e-mail went out to supporters. In the e-mail, signed simply "Barack," he noted he's focused on the "job you elected me to do" and said that "we've always known that lasting change wouldn't come quickly or easily." According to Fox News republicans have been slow to join the race.
We spoke extensively about how the new media is a big part of recent campaigns. Fox’s comment got me thinking about the extent to which the so called ‘new’ media tools are actually new. Have circumstances shifted so much that any candidate that neglects to use new media tools is characterized as “slow to join the race”?

Monday, March 28, 2011

The war against Fox ?!

Media matters, a liberal group which was originally meant to be a media critic has virtually removed its attention from every news source it covered in the past and is now focusing its efforts exclusively on fox news. The group's founder David Brock described it as an all-out campaign of “guerrilla warfare and sabotage.” The first question that came to my mind was WHY?! According to politico, the shift reflects the centrality of the cable channel to the contemporary conservative movement, as well as the loathing it inspires among liberals- especially those running this group. Media matters is investing a whopping 10 million dollars a year for the sole purpose of challenging the factual claims of the channel and attempting to prevent them from reaching the mainstream media." This organization has put its resources into lassembling a legal team to help people who have clashed with Fox to file lawsuits for defamation, invasion of privacy or other causes. And it has hired two experienced reporters, Joe Strupp and Alexander Zaitchik, to dig into Fox’s operation to help assemble a book on the network, just to name a few.  Fox has retaliated by poking fun of the group in its various shows.
In some views, the war between Media Matters and Fox is not, necessarily, bad for either side. Media Matters has transformed itself into a pillar of the progressive movement with its aggressive new brand of media campaigning. And the attacks cement Fox’s status on the right. “Fox is happy about it — and it makes their position more vivid among their supporters,” said Paul Levinson, a media studies professor at Fordham University. “One way of keeping your core supporters happy is to be attacked by people your core supporters don’t like.”
When we spoke about media bias in class the idea of having a group actually try to make a news station unbiased didn’t seem realistic in the slightest. Surprisingly enough Media matters has exactly that mission and it looks like it will not relent.

Read more:

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Is the media training our politicians?

Everyone knows the media wield an exceptionally important power; its rendition of candidates can virtually make or break the candidate's chances. Sharon Angle clearly understands the importance of maintaining a good relationship with the media and assuring that she is on their good side.

In her first press conference as a candidate for Congress, Sharron Angle called for "mutual respect" with members of the media.
The Reno Gazette-Journal said the former Senate candidate took questions for more than 30 minutes:
"Let's show mutual respect for one another," she said. "I am here respecting you, and I want you to offer me that same respect."

She even made sure to do away with an hard feelings by apologetically justifying calling the media the "lame stream media" in her previous election.

Sharron Angle gave her first press conference in the race for Congress Monday, telling a gaggle of local reporters that "we were just playing with them" when she referred to the mainstream media as the 'lame stream media' during her failed  2010 campaign against Harry Reid.

The extent of the media's control over political figures is impressive to say the least. Is it just me or is this relationship reminiscent of a dog and a trainer?