journalism’s monitor function

In the campaign journalists provide (we would hope) a valuable check on the validity of political claims.  In this analysis Larry Rohter examines a McCain ad claiming Obama supported sex-education for 5-year-olds, a discredited charge about legislation intended to help younger children be able to identify potential threats from predators.  Whether the facts catch up to the charges is another matter (see the United Airlines post below)


3 Responses to “journalism’s monitor function”

  1. W. Anderson Says:

    Who, aside from devout McCain supporters, looked at these charges of perversion against Sen. Obama and immediately said, “Wow, he’s not getting my vote!” without first checking the validity of said charges? It’s not that Mr. Rohter’s writing is unnecessary, but one would hope the American public has more sense than such accusations would lead us to believe.

  2. Kevin Allred Says:

    Political ads are trying to send a succinct message to voters, and, as a competitive component to the Presidential race, are often extremely aggressive in their language. They are only about 30-45 seconds long at most, and attempt to (in the case of attack ads) tear down their opponents in the fastest manner possible.

    Trouble is, many people are unable or unwilling to spend more than 30-45 seconds looking at policy and fact-checking the arguments a candidate will make. It’s more important than ever, in a time period in which a large number of people will spend more time color coordinating the furniture than thinking about who their next President should be, that the media analyze this kind of ad. But then again, who has time to read the news? I’d rather make sure the couch matches the drapes.

  3. Emily Rosenfeld Says:

    I think the fact that political ads coming from the campaigns are even seen as necessary to run for a major office is telling- shouldn’t the campaigns state their agenda, with the public taking it upon themselves to view the agendas and choose a candidate based on their views, and leave it up to the journalists (NOT the campaigns) to act as watchdogs? However, as we’ve discussed in class the public is out of touch with many current issues and events, thus advertisements are seen as a major component of campaigning with tons of funds going towards them. I think there’s a fundamental flaw in this system and the way candidates feel they need to market themselves, resulting (at least in part) from an under informed voting base.

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