Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Political Discourse 2010

Shooting the Messenger?

“This year will likely go down in the history books as the year of the angry voter. But 2010 will also be an election year notable for another kind of ire: when politicians let their contempt for the news media boil over. From New York to Alaska, the 2010 campaign season has been rife with hostile and downright bizarre encounters between candidates and the news media.”
—Jeremy Peters, “Politicians Are Fighting Mad, at the News Media,”
The New York Times, Oct. 31, 2010

And . . . “As politicians use social networks to connect directly with voters, some have turned ‘bypassing the filter’ into a cause, openly criticizing the news media and journalists. Of course, tensions between reporters and politicians is nothing new, but this year, ‘the civility that has generally kept relations from breaking into outright feuding has been shattered,’ writes The New York Times. There were several strange run-ins between candidates and journalists, including when a reporter was arrested by security guards for [Alaska] Republican Senate candidate Joe Miller or when [New York] Republican candidate for governor Carl Paladino held a shouting match with a reporter that included the words ‘I’ll take you out, buddy.’ This seems to be a natural progression from the broad attack against the news media as an institution that many politicians have launched this year. As a political strategy, it might very well make sense. After all, Republicans have long held the news media in low esteem, but that sentiment is growing within Democrats as well.”
—Slate, Oct. 31, 2010 URL

Meanwhile, “WASHINGTON—Former Governor Sarah Palin launched a broadside attack on the news media Sunday, charging the industry with wholesale corruption in support of liberals and insisting that a local CBS affiliate was staffed with ‘corrupt bastards.’”
—Sam Stein, Huffington Post, Oct. 31, 2010 URL

Photo (above): Reporter Tony Hopfinger, far right, after being handcuffed by the security detail for Joe Miller, a Senate candidate. Bill Roth/Anchorage Daily News, via Associated Press

Editorial Comment: Shoot, beat, shred and mangle the messenger?

PeezPix: Golden Fall MorningOn Election Day 2010, we can only hope for better days now the campaigns are over....

JCOM News Note: NPR foreign correspondent ANNE GARRELS comes to Utah State TOMORROW! for class meetings and to deliver a Morris Media & Society Lecture: “Bearing Witness—One journalist’s take on covering the world.” Garrels comes to USU fresh from several weeks in Russia. When the U.S. “shock and awe” bombing started in Baghdad, Garrels was one of 16 U.S. journalists who stayed to cover the invasion to topple Saddam Hussein. Her 2003 book, Naked in Baghdad, tells that story. Over three decades, Garrels has been in Russia, China, the Middle East and elsewhere in war and peace to bear witness and tell the rest of us what she has seen. JCOM student session Wednesday 11/3, 2:30 p.m. AnSc 303. Public speech Thursday, 11/4, 2-3:15 p.m., USU Performance Hall. Free & open to everyone.

JCOM @ USU is hiring. A search for a new tenure-track faculty member to focus on the teaching of writing. Revolutionary! See job posting at Utah State University HR or email ted.pease@usu.edu.

NOTE: Today’s WORD on Journalism is now on Facebook! Join up and rant daily! And join USU JCOM Alumni & Friends on FB.

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