Three roles media plays in American Politics today; gatekeeper
, and watchdog
p.114). Different kinds of media: Paid ads
(2/3 of campaign spending), Free media
(Debates, News Conferences,
State of the Union), National Media
(newspapers, TV news, radio etc.), and New Media
(internet blogs, youtube).
(class, 9/28). Gatekeeper – influences what subjects become popular political issues and for how long they last.
Scorekeeper – Help make political reputations; who is winning and losing. Watchdog – expose scandals and
investigate personalities. Touch on how each kind of media plays these roles, take each role at a time when writing.
Gatekeeper – imp to note blogs threaten gatekeeper role for nat. media. WP 10/3 “Hillary Chuckles, Pundits Snort”
Hillary’s laugh, showing cleavage, is example of how all the media (TV, WP, radio, youtube, blogs, *Daily Show*)
decide what subjects to cover, and how ridiculous it can be. TV focused on it more to grab attention of viewers bc of
competing stations. Or the Iraq war focusing on blood, or 9/11, Hurricane Katrina (LA still in poor shape).
Scorekeeper – (WP, 10/4) Bush Vetoes Health Measure. Portraying Bush’s political reputation. Watchdog – (WP,
9/4) The Most Feared Man on the Hill? (Class 9/28) Mike Rogers outs Sen. Craig (also example of Gatekeeper).
Interest Groups: Domhoff
“Power in America”
“Those who have the money have the power” (D&H, p.130).
Wealthy minority (corporations, real estate, non-profit orgs. etc contrib. to economy) don’t control gov. but they
influence on legislation and issues. Wealthy stay wealthy. Power to hire and fire, Corps. hold wealth where to invest
resources, tax deductable charity to schools and gov. Think tanks of experts contributing to policy discussion
groups, influencing public opinion through media. Policy Development, Contributions to Political