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Political Comedy Shows

According to Baumgartner and Morris political comedy shows, such as the daily show with John Stewart of the Colbert Report can enhance the audience members’ confidence in their own ability to understand political issues.  Finkel and
Muller used this observation to illustrate how one’s internal political efficacy can stimulate their political participation.  While it is definately a plus to get more people into politics and out  to the polls, uneducated voters can be dangerous.  In reality how much can you actually learn from a comedian.  While most of the hosts are biased and certainly may use there positian to push their political agenda, we must still remember that they are first and ofremost comedians.  In my opinion, these shows should be nothing more then a form of entertainment.  While, it is perfecttly okay to watch them, they certainly should not be your primary source for news.

Elections and the Media

In chapter 8, Graber discusses the impact of the media on elections.  In 1952 television brought the contenders into the living rooms of millions of Americans.  According to Graber prior to this time, they had to rely on the media’s assessment of the candidates, but now, they could actually make their own.  During the year of a presidential eclection, coverage of the event occupies 13% of newspaper and 15% of television political news.  Here is where the problem lies.  Currently, we are almot a year and a half out from the 2012 election, and the major news with all that is currently going on around the globe is about the candidates.  Part of this is due to the fact that according to Graber, contenders must maximize their chances of recieving media attention by focusing on events which attract reporters, even though they may be insignificant to the election, such as the Iowa caucus and the New Hamshire primary, simply because they take place erly on in the process.  Social networking sites, such as Facebook played a huge part in mobilizing young voters to vote for Obama, which definately helped him to take the lead over McCain.  The ability of candidates to do interviews on talk shos such as Larry King live, takes the candidates away from the highly critical national press and uts them into a friendleir, more personal environment.  Public opinion polls are conducting simply to see how voters are feeling about a particular issue or candidate.  However, these findings are often taken out of context and become the benchmarks for voters.   Unfairly, those who are viewed by these polls as the frontrunner, are declared the winners while those who fall short are considered the loser.  This is unfortunate becuase many people who would otherwise support the weaker candidate may not go out to vote, feeling that their candidate will lose anyway.

Media Influences

the present day, the media has a much greater impact on us as individuals than in the past. According to Graber those who read print media convey more knowledge than those who view or listen to audiovisual media. She believes that print aficionados come from a higher socioeconomic status and have a better formal education. Given that 32 million American adults are functionally illeterate, I would have to agree with her. Also because many factors; as to include education along with the region where one is living have a significant impact on their news habits, this certainly does make sense.

An individual’s political views are usaully established early on in life and a basically set in stone. Due to selective exposure, people like only to view media from outlets that support their way of thinking. Therefore, it is almost impossible to alters one belifs, but rather only help realize those which have already been established. I believe that this could also be a reason as to why Graber says that even though many people understand the important political issues facing them, they are not fully aware of the details behing them. This works not only from the media but from personal experiences. Seeing the failures in this coutnry’s social welfare system firsthand, helps strengthen my beliefs. This is because and am no longer just hearing it from someone else, who may or may not be accurately portraying it. But if I actually witness it myself, then I know it to be true.

In the present day, the media has a much greater impact on us as individuals than in the past.  According to Graber those who read print media convey more knowledge than those who view or listen to audiovisual media.  She believes that print aficionados come from a higher socioeconomic status and have a better formal education.  Given that 32 million American adults are functionally illeterate, I would have to agree with her.  Also because many factors; as to include education along with the region where one is living have a significant impact on their news habits, this certainly does make sense.

An individual’s political views are usaully established early on in life and a basically set in stone.  Due to selective exposure, people like only to view media from outlets that support their way of thinking.  Therefore, it is almost impossible to alters one belifs, but rather only help realize those which have already been established.  I believe that this could also be a reason as to why Graber says that even though many people understand the important political issues facing them, they are not fully aware of the details behing them.  This works not only from the media but from personal experiences.  Seeing the failures in this coutnry’s social welfare system firsthand, helps strengthen my beliefs.  This is because and am no longer just hearing it from someone else, who may or may not be accurately portraying it.  But if I actually witness it myself, then I know it to be true.

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