Week 16: Discussion Questions

This post may be done for extra credit and is not required. Your original post is due by Thursday on your class blog.

What role does the American media, especially television, play in political campaigns and how might these campaigns use media to try to influence voters? Use a specific example from the 2008 presidential campaign- it may come from your readings or a personal experience.

American media plays a huge roll in political campaigns. Campaigning uses the media to get their message out. Most of the money that is spent in these campaigns is used for political campaigning, especially television. The 2008 campaign would not be a very good example for me to use since I have nothing to compare it too (My first voting experience). But I do remember seeing a lot of ads for the campaigns. I remember receiving a ton of emails relating to the campaigns too. It seemed like every couple hours I would receive a email from David Ploufe or David Axelrod. They also use the media in ways in which they do not need to spend money. The campaign just needs to send one of their media relations people out in front of some cable news camera. Since that was my first election, I was very in-tuned with the 24-hour news cycle. And every time I changed the channel I saw Robert Gibbs speaking to some reporter. This is a very good tool to use.

And I do not know if this relates to this topic or not but I remember something specifically in the Obama campaign and Fox News. The Obama campaign, and still to this day for that matter, does not treat Fox News the same as they would to other news related organization. They did this early in the campaign saying that they are not a legitimate news organization. Which is true, that network openly wanted him to lose and McCain to win. Maybe they thought if people saw that Obama would not appear on the network than  the network’s might be distorted or untrue. Which in return would allow the viewer know real facts about the candidate, instead of hearing about his “terrorist fist jabs” with his wife. But I do not think they did that for that specific reason. They know that Fox is a niche audience of a niche audience. It is for those who want to watch their right wing talk radio on television. Basically the people who were going to watch Fox are going to watch Fox anyways.

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