Category Archives: General Political Science

Media Bias

News bias is the ideological slant that you find in a news story.  You may also find the same ideological slant in a column.  A column is where you would find an opinion, and therefore, you would expect to find an ideological slant.  In a news story, where you are supposed hear only the facts, you may find yourself listening to a reporter’s bias.  Where do you believe that the bias in the media lies?  Is the media, conservative, liberal, libertarian, or socialist?

Hillary Clinton’s Announcement

Negative Messaging

According to Fridkin and Kenney, “negative campaigning is not uniform.”  The mechanics related to negative advertising are based on three criteria:
1.  The content of the negative message (issue driven vs. personality driven)
2.  The source of the message (who’s running the ad:  a candidate or an outside group)
3.  The characteristics of the citizens hearing the message (political novices)

Which of the criteria above is the most important factor as to how successful a negative message will be?

Your Opinion on the Parties

You might be thinking, “There’s not a dime’s worth of a difference between the Republican and Democrat parties.”  However, there has to be some sort of difference between the two, otherwise, you would have one political party instead of two competing parties.  Where do you think the biggest difference arises between the two?

This Week’s Quote

This week’s quote is attributed to the 9th President of the United States, William Henry Harrison.  Harrison is notable for serving the shortest term of any President.  He served for only 31 days after contracting pneumonia.

“There is nothing more corrupting, nothing more destructive of the noblest and finest feelings of our nature, than the exercise of unlimited power.”

What are your thoughts on this quote?

This Week’s Ad — JFK for President (1960)

Here is an ad from 1960.  Senator John F. Kennedy was running for President against Vice President Richard M. Nixon.  In this ad, the Kennedy team decided to use President Dwight Eisenhower’s own words against Nixon.  This is a classic “Them on Them” type of ad.  Do you think a “Them on Them” ad is an effective ad to use in a campaign?

Media Moguls as Presidential Candidates

In 1940, Frank Gannett of the Gannett Media Corporation decided that he would run for President as a Republican.  He did not receive the nomination, as he lost to Wendell Willkie for the nod.  Gannett’s campaign was not a forceful one, and it did not lead to more media leaders running for President.  With the talk that Donald Trump would seek the Republican nomination for 2016, it brings about a question:  Do you believe that a media figure could run for President and be accepted as a serious candidate?

Only Those Officially In…

This poll is only offering those candidates for President who as of Monday, April 6 have officially stated that they are running for the highest office.

The Path to Victory

From the 1964 Ralph G. Martin book, Ballots and Bandwagons, a compilation of events from five political conventions in the early half of the twentieth century:

“Political Axiom Number One says that the brighter the presidential prospect of victory, the greater the crop of available candidates.”

It is a pretty simple rule, but do you agree with such an axiom?

The Media’s Roles

The media typically plays three roles. In no particular order, the media plays the role of a gatekeeper, scorekeeper, and a watchdog. The media as a gatekeeper simply means that the elites who control a particular news entity decide what gets on the air or in a newspaper. Thus, if the story runs, it becomes news. When the media plays the role of scorekeeper, it tends to add numbers to spice up the content of the story itself. For instance, a reporter may tell you a story about three people injured in a crash or that stock prices dropped by 22 points. Numbers and statistics bring life to a story. When the media plays the watchdog, they are acting as a protector or as an investigator regarding events that might have an impact on your life. An example would be an investigation into government corruption and how that corruption has affected your wallet or pocketbook.

Which of these roles, if any, do you believe is the most important role that the media plays?