Term Paper: Booker T. Washington

Pages: 13 (4684 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 13  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Government  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] It is concluded that a dearth of widely held comprehension of the abilities and aspects of propaganda has complicated its use as an effective foreign policy instrument.

Contemporary Political Communications: Audiences, Politicians and the Media in International Research

Sally Young, Saskia Bourne and Stephanie Younane

This article investigates the rapid expansion of research focusing on political communication, differentiating between quantitative and utilitarian studies to encompass a wide variety of research questions and theoretical frameworks. The article seeks to chart and analyze data pertaining to technological advancement in an age of globalized political communication through interconnected media.

Political Communication and Social Theory

Darren G. Lilleker

This article examines the concept of the crisis debate in the context of political communication as an established method of justifying public disengagement from electoral politics in recognized, stable democracies. The authors establish the crisis debate theory as a commonly occurring phenomenon and explore its causes through a detailed analysis of British politics.

Managing Political Communications

H Krause Hansen, R Langer and D. Salskov-Iversen

This article investigates the attitudes which support the rise of political communication as a disparate 'governmental domain' by examining the dispersion, local adaptation and conversion of the administrative concepts of image building in public organizations. The article concludes that a link exists between image management and identity within the realm of managerial methodology.

Interactivity and Political Attitude Formation: A Mediation Model of Online Information Processing

Erik Bucy

This article examines the advent of interactivity as the central focus of studies concerning political communication and information technology. The author attempts to locate interactivity within the context of interface features and user perceptions, by testing the mediation model of online information processing. The article concludes that Internet self-efficacy was among many significant moderators in the relationship between interactivity and political communication.

Strategic Diversion in Political Communication

Roger Larocca

This article explores the ways in which an educated advisor can utilize selective revelation of certain information to alter the agenda of decision makers. The author concludes that an advisor is apt to use diversion when the decision maker is limited in the ranger of his or her actions by institutional, time, or resource constraints.

A Comparative Analysis of Political Communication Systems and Voter Turnout

Mijeong Baek

This article investigates the ways that political communication can affect international variances between voter turnout rates in democratic elections. The article attempts to gauge how the structure and methodology of conveying political messages affects the voter turnout rates of 74 different nations. The article concludes that reducing the cost of political communication, in the form of voting information for citizens, will invariably increase a country's voter turnout rates.

5.) The 1997 black comedy Wag the Dog, directed by Barry Levinson and written by David Mamet, was prescient in its prediction of an American political landscape dominated by each party's ability to successfully "spin" their message to the public. The film depicts the machinations of an administration engaging in a massive conspiracy to create a fictitious war, in an effort to distract the electorate from a looming sex scandal. Robert de Niro plays Conrad Brean, a Washington D.C. spin doctor expert in the art of crisis control who is contracted by a president recently accused of engaging an inappropriate relationship with an underage girl. Brean's personal motto is "to change the story, change the lead" and the political mercenary devises a plot to deceive the American public with a phony foreign conflict. In order to produce a modern, media friendly war which will captivate the public and deflect attention from the president's indiscretions, Brean hires Hollywood mogul Stanley Motss, who is played by Dustin Hoffman. Through a campaign which includes an official war logo, faux footage of "enemy" war crimes and even an anthem penned by Willie Nelson, Motts successfully engineers a media blitz which diverts voter scrutiny and propels the president to reelection. While employing a satirical tone which often borders on the absurd, Wag the Dog plays on the relative ignorance of late nineties audiences regarding political message control and media manipulation to emphasize its warnings.

While it may appear that Wag the Dog draws inspiration from the sex scandal which embroiled the latter years of the Clinton administration, in actuality the film was released nearly a month before Monica Lewinsky was thrust into the headlines. Many political theorists have drawn a connection between the message delivered in Wag the Dog and the Clinton administration's increased willingness to deploy the American military during the height of the Lewinsky scandal. With the national media was whipping itself into its usual ratings-fueled frenzy as the Lewinsky scandal and impeachment proceedings dragged on, President Clinton authorized the use of force in both Serbia and the Sudan, providing news outlets and reporters with an unassailable topic of conversation. Whether or not Clinton was directly inspired by Wag the Dog is of course highly debatable, it is clear that Levinson's film presents a highly cogent analysis of American sociopolitical tendencies. The voting public's tendency to align itself with a candidate who has proven themselves triumphant on the field of battle is one of the film's central themes, and indeed, public support for Republican led impeachment efforts waned in response to Clinton's perceived victories.

While the apparent relationship between President Clinton's military policy during time of scandal and the plot of Wag the Dog is a curious coincidence, the film was actually derived in part from the novel "American Hero" by Larry Beinhart. This controversial work theorized that President George H.W. Bush launched Operation Desert Storm in Iraq, a campaign which was highly successful both militarily and in terms of media delivery, to assure victory in his 1992 reelection bid. The concept of an easily misled media which forsakes its objectivity in times of war is highlighted throughout Wag the Dog, and the tendency of reporters to engage in cheerleading was demonstrated time and again during the Gulf War. Renowned film critic Roger Ebert was cognizant of this within his review of Wag the Dog, stating that while armed conflicts are often necessary and quite real, "the packaging of them is invariably shallow and unquestioning; like sportswriters, war correspondents abandon any pretense of objectivity and detachment, and cheerfully root for our side" (Ebert 1). The frightening import of a film like Wag the Dog is that, with today's continuous news cycle, the American political structure now produces elected officials who are unflinching in their willingness to exploit the media to control public opinion.

The conspiratorial tone imbued in Wag the Dog was echoed by the often nefarious actions of the second Bush administration, which utilized the partiality of certain media outlets to advance its platform to the point of perfection. Bush's use of patriotic iconography to garner undivided support following the tragedies of September 11th evokes the actions of the unnamed president in Wag the Dog. The Jessica Lynch incident during the Iraq War, in which the government falsified records and advanced a fantasy narrative of Lynch as a military hero to inspire public support, echoes one of the film's more jarring scenes. The Bush administration's attempts to fabricate a hero to popularize its war efforts is a near recreation of the "good ol' Shoe" character in the film, "who is allegedly rescued from the hands of the Albanians to be flown back for a hero's welcome" (Ebert 1). Although Wag the Dog was released in 1997, it appears that a political entity capable of mastering its message of media manipulation would not ascend to power until the year 2000, when Mr. Bush took office and immediately crafted his own policy of governance through alternative reality.

6.) In the tumultuous first years of President Barack Obama's current term in office, the confluence of popular dissatisfaction with governmental performance and policy and the devastating impact of economic recession resulted in the birth of a new national political movement known as the Tea Party. Reportedly taking their inspiration from the revolutionary act of protest against undue taxation which was the Boston Tea Party, this upstart third party initially developed as a grassroots effort decrying federal spending programs such as the so-called "banking bailouts" and the "stimulus package." The moniker Tea Party is also said to be an acronym for proponent's rallying cry of "Taxed Enough Already," and indeed its member's utter opposition to new taxes in any form have proved to be the lynchpin of the group's political platform.

Major figures within the Tea Party movement invariably lean to the right of even highly conservative Republican politicians, espousing highly divisive views on issues like gun control and abortion. Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin has become a Tea Party icon as a result of her continued opposition to the Obama administration's every position. Congresswoman Michele Bachman (R-Mn.), herself a controversial figure known for expressing conservative ideals… [END OF PREVIEW]

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