Friday, August 27, 2010

Effect of media on political issues

While issues are not central to election campaigns, they can affect
the outcome. In 1932 the New York Times reported Hoover claiming,
"You aren't as hungry as you think." The times reported Roosevelt's
position was that people were hungry. Roosevelt, of course, won the

An example of how television and Hollywood affect political issues is
crime and punishment, according to Dan F. Hahn (Political
Communication, Strata Publishing Co., State College, PA, 2003, p.
259). As television critic Walter Goodman has pointed out the
melodramatic portrayal of crime and westerns on television has led
people either to support capital crime or gun control. While
statistics show that the amount of violent crime is lessening,
politicians dare not support a reasoned approach to crime control for
fear of being labeled soft on crime.

Politicians realize the stands they take on the campaign trail and in
office may have later consequences. One effect of political decision
making is the impact on television ads, not the positive ones but the
negative ones that can destroy a politician's career. According to
former senate majority leader George J. Mitchell of Maine, politicians
worry about "what kind of campaign commercial could be made from a
particular vote as they stand in the well of the senate and prepare to
cast their yeas or nays."

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