Who the media pay more attention to the president or congress?
The media pay more attention to the President than to Congress. By focusing on personalities, the media encourages individualism and discourages teamwork.
What is newsworthy?
Government does well is less newsworthy than what government does badly.
First question media raises after debate?
What is the rule that the nonpartisan commission started and what does this mean for independents?
A nonpartisan commission established a rule that explicitly states that presidential candidates must have an average of at least 15% support in 5 national polls in order to take part in the fall debates. This is bad for indepedents.
Commission on Presidential Debates?
Commission on Presidental Debates was established in 1987 as a permanednt part of every general election. It’s primary purpose is to sponsor and produce debates for the presidential and vice-presidential candidates. They are nonprofit,and a nonpartisan corporation.
The media in nominating conventions
Since the primary process for nominating candidates was instituted in 1972, the conventions are not nearly as important as in earlier eras, and media coverage has dropped accordingly. Consequently, the parties now treat the conventions as huge infomercials.
where reporters unanimously decide something is newsworthy and attack it like wolves tearing apart their prey.
Who is the media harder on? (incumbents or challengers) Is the media liberal or conservative? What tone does the media have?
One researcher concluded that the media are harder on incumbents than challengers. The fact that the media are business enterprises pulls them in a conservative direction. Scientist argues that the negative tone of the media has become much more prominent in recent decade.
Media may also be responsible for directing the public to think along certain lines such as evaluating a president based on a particular issue.
Agenda Setting and the CNN effect
media may not tell people what to think, they could tell people what to think about. This has been dubbed the CNN effect.
people were receptive to what they already believed and screened out what they didn’t believe.
What was the fairness doctrine and do we still use it?
The fairness doctrine, which basically forced stations to provide balanced political view points to be expressed, but the rule was repealed in 1987.
What are the other new media and who regulates it? Unlike print media, what is electronic media constrained by?
Other devices included in the term “new media” would be VCRs, fax machines, cell phones, satellite dishes, CDs + DVDs, modems, answering machines, and email. Federal Communications Commission regulates the electronic media. Regulations concerning what could be broadcast were upheld by the Supreme Court. Unlike print media, electronic media was constrained by technology.
Prime time network programming has lost how much of it's audience? What is the single largest information source for Americas? What can cable TV be described as?
Prime time network programming has lost more than a quarter of its audience. Network television continues to be the largest single sourse of information available to Americans. Cable television is probably the best known example of what is generally described as the new media.
First president to take advantage of TV during his campaign?
TVs owned in American households? and the large networks?
About 99% of all households have at least one TV and with an average of 4 per household. The industry was organized under 3 large networks: NBC, CBS, ABC.
Most important recent development in radio?
Probably the most important recent development in radio communications is the rapid increase in talk shows. Talk-show format is now sixth most popular radio format.
Who made effective use of radio with his fireside chats?
Important trend in newspapers?
Most important modern trends in the newspaper industry are the declines in the number, and the independence, of newspapers.
What is exaggeration of a story by the media?
Sensationalism (yellow Journalism)
What and when was the birth of the media in America?
The rise of the penny press (newspapers selling for a penny) in 1883 marks the birth of the media in America. The press became more indepent from political parties.
means of communication that are technologically capable of reaching many people and are economically affordable to most.
When are groups most influential?
1)when they act on low-profile issues,
2)when they attempt to block action rather than originate it,
3)when they are unopposed by other groups or politicians, and
4)when they have plentiful resources.
Iron triangles have been replaced by what?
Many scholars argue that subgovernments (iron triangles) have been replaced by issue networks - bigger, broader, and much looser connections of interest groups
from peaceful sit-ins and demonstrations to riots and even rebellion.
What is one modern communication technique?
Direct mail of computer generated letters, faxes and other communications to people who might be sympathetic to an appeal for money or support.
Are PACs effective?
While the media often portrays them as corrupt, most PAC contributions are small and most research indicates there is no significant relationship between PAC contributions and a politician’s votes.
What is the purpose of a PAC?
Most PAC’s tend to give to candidates who are likely to win, in hopes of establishing good relationships and access to Congress. Thus most contributions are to incumbents, regardless of party.
What is a political action committee (PAC)? Examples?
PACs are specialized organizations that raise and spend campaign funds.
Some examples: RPAC (realtors), AMPAC (doctors), SixPAC (beer wholesalers)
What is Hard and Soft Money?
Hard- given directly to candidate;
Soft- given to groups for non-candidate type activity.
Why do people join?
75% in at least one interest group. On average every one is in 2.
Professor James Q. Wilson has identified three incentives:
(1) solidarity – social reasons; the need to associate with particular kinds of people. (religious groups, campus Greek organizations)
(2) material – economic rather than social incentives. Membership may convey actual tangible benefits. (trade associations, taxpayer associations, those supporting government subsidies)
(3) purposive – people committed to and wishing to advance the group’s political and social goals.
Who is more immune from influences of group pressure than Congress and why?
2)constituencies are more homogeneous. President is representative of all people and needs to keep as constituents, so no inherent advantage.
1)potential for gridlock – if there is massive interest group lobbying;
2)lots of budgetary inefficiencies can create budget deficits, programs are hard to terminate after they are set up. Especially through logrolling, which adds to pork;
3)interest groups tend to promote unequal outcomes – those who get their policies enacted tend to be better funded.
What are the Consequences of Interest Group activities?
1)Lots of lawmakers know what is important – source of information;
3)provide policy analysis;
4)link between public and political elites;
5)have to be careful not to lose legitimacy;
6)influence public opinion – give cues to mass public.
“grassroots lobbying,” involve using group members or the general public to pressure congressional lawmakers to support an interest group’s agenda. The oldest and still most frequently used tool of grassroots pressure is the letter-writing campaign.
What are the two strategies of interest group/Legislative lobbying?
Inside –making face to face contact with legislators or staff. (Testifying before committees, campaign contributions.)
Outside – grass roots organizations to influence legislator.
What is an iron triangle and who does it consist of?
Iron triangles are policy subsystems that exert great control over policy in their area of expertise. Typical iron triangles consist of a bureaucratic regulatory agency, a legislative committee, and an interest group/corporation.
A final theory is of regulatory capture, which asserts that certain interest groups, especially under the influence of “iron triangles,” may capture agencies and influence policy with very little dissent.
The neo-pluralist argument is that there are interest groups, and they are influential, but that some interest groups (i.e. business and corporate interests) are significantly more powerful than others.
The pluralist theory of interest groups is that groups compete for influence throughout the policy process, and that no single group dominates across the arenas of government. Under this theory, interest groups play a critical role, but their power is widely dispersed.
Who is targeted by interest groups and why?
U. S. Congress.
1)Groups have many points of access to Congress
2)Members of Congress also have incentives to listen to interest groups.
organizations that can act in a unitary manner to achieve policy goals
Who joins interest groups?
Individuals who want to influence public policy about an issue
Classifications of interest group?
Classifications:1)economic – trade associations, unions, corporations; 2)ideological - a clear slant; 3)public interest organizations; 4)single issue groups; 5)inter-governmental associations – counties that organize to get policy changes at federal level; 6)personality-based interests (i.e. Rush Limbaugh)
Are one kind of political entity intended to obtain some kind of collective good and shape public policy.
What group used violence and sabotage for lobbying?
Environmental Liberation Front(ELF)
Sit-ins and occupations
Sit-ins and occupations were widely used during the 1950s and 1960s in the struggle for civil rights in the South and in protest of the Vietnam War throughout the nation.
One technique for exerting political influence is bribery, which is always done out of public sight.
Drawback to Legal Action
This strategy can be very expensive and is best suited to those groups and interests with substantial financial resources
Benefit to Attending public Meetings
Attending public meetings can be especially effective on the local level where meetings – say, municipal school board hearings – are often sparsely attended.
How do interest groups influence Legislature?
Petitions, Letter Writing, and Phone-in Campaigns; Public Demonstrations; Media Campaigns; Attending Public Meetings; Legal Action; Illegal Action (bribery, Sit-ins, and Violence and Sabotage)
permanent employees of a group
temporary employees of a group
Law of 1991 about campaign contributions.
1991 Texas Ethics Law defined as a felony the receiving of campaign contributions with an agreement to act in the contributor's interest.
direct, private, face-to-face contact with public officials to explain your position on political and social issues in order to shape policymaking.
What do interest groups do (4,5)?
4) Organizing Sub-Government: interest groups generally do not put their own members into elected office, they do often seek to put their members into appointed offices, where they can carry out their state responsibilities in ways which favor policies supported by the interest groupsIn Texas, the Governor is responsible for appointing the members of approximately 125 multimember boards and commissions. Representatives of organized interests and businesspeople who contribute to political campaigns frequently become appointees to boards overseeing areas of public policy related to their expertise and their interests.
5) Linking the State to the National Political System: Many national organizations attempt to set broad political objectives, then to integrate their state- and local-level affiliates in their larger strategies.Interest groups in the state also try to affect policy by suing under federal law in the federal court system, linking state politics to other institutions of the national government. Example: redistricting plans for state legislative and congressional representation are routinely contested in the U.S. court system.
What do interest groups do (1,2,3)?
1) Organize individuals with similar interests: Many motorists join the American Automobile Association (AAA). The AAA lobby the federal and state government for new and improved roads.
2) Inform the public and elected representatives: Interest groups often provide "interested expertise" – facts and analyses designed to shape opinions in a way that reflects their objectives and interpretations of issues.
3) Organizing Electoral Competition: Interest groups also participate indirectly by: 1) producing voter guides and summaries of the issues designed to aid voters. 2) buying television advertising 3) work to increase voter participation
Some public policy decisions allocate substantial benefits to only a few individuals or small groups. Ex. Stadium construction projects
Public goods are often spoiled or not provided at all because people can use, consume, or enjoy them without paying the associated costs.
A key characteristic of private goods and services is that individuals can be prevented from using, consuming, or enjoying them by pricing mechanisms, the costliness of production, and scarcity.
something people may use, consume, or enjoy. But a public good is non-excludible: no person can restrict the use, consumption or enjoyment of a public good by another.
those we normally think of as subject to market forces and laws of supply and demand.
competing interests balance each other by bringing resources and arguments to bear on different sides of important public policy decisions.