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This book makes an important contribution to the study of political communication. Its chapters analyse forms of media talk associated with contemporary political elections. Key topics include: changing forms of political interview, televised political debates, and the use of multimedia in promotional discourse.
Throughout the contest for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, politicians and voters alike worried that the outcome might depend on the preferences of unelected superdelegates. This concern threw into relief the prevailing notion that—such unusually competitive cases notwithstanding—people, rather than parties, should and do control presidential nominations. But for the past several decades, The Party Decides shows, unelected insiders in both major parties have effectively selected candidates long before citizens reached the ballot box. Tracing the evolution of presidential nominations since the 1790s, this volume demonstrates how party insiders have sought since America’s founding to control nominations as a means of getting what they want from government. Contrary to the common view that the party reforms of the 1970s gave voters more power, the authors contend that the most consequential contests remain the candidates’ fights for prominent endorsements and the support of various interest groups and state party leaders. These invisible primaries produce frontrunners long before most voters start paying attention, profoundly influencing final election outcomes and investing parties with far more nominating power than is generally recognized.
Through a new interpretation of contemporary political communication encompassing news making, election campaigning, citizen activism, and government, this book shows how the interactions among older and newer media technologies, genres, norms, behaviors, and organizational forms now shape power relations among political actors, media, and publics.
No longer preoccupied with the East-West divide, contemporary foreign policymakers now have to confront regional conflicts, peace-enforcing and humanitarian missions, and a host of other global problems and issues in areas such as trade, health, and the environment. During the Cold War a widely-shared consensus on national interest and security in the United States and western Europe affected news reporting, public opinion, and foreign policy. But with the end of this Cold War frame of reference, foreign policy making has changed. As we enter the new century, the question is how and to what extent will the new realities of the post-Cold War world_as well as advances in communication technology_influence news reporting, public attitudes, and, most of all, foreign policy decisions on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. In this volume, American and European scholars examine change and continuity in these important aspects of the foreign policy process at the beginning of the 21st century.
American democracy has become coin operated. Special interest groups increasingly control every level of government. The necessity of raising huge sums of campaign cash has completely changed the character of politics and policy making, determining what elected representatives stand for and how they spend their time. The marriage of great wealth and intense political influence has rendered our country unable to address our most pressing problems, from runaway government spending to climate change to the wealth gap. It also defines our daily lives: from the cars we drive to the air we breathe to the debt we owe. In this powerful work of reportage, Wendell Potter and Nick Penniman, two vigilant watchdogs, expose legalized corruption and link it to the kitchen-table issues citizens face every day. Inciting our outrage, the authors then inspire us by introducing us to the army of reformers laying the groundwork for change, ready to be called into action. The battle plan for reform presented is practical, realistic, and concrete. No one-except some lobbyists and major political donors-likes business as usual, and this book intends to help forge a new army of reformers who are compelled by a patriotic duty to fight for a better democracy. An impassioned, infuriating, yet ultimately hopeful call to arms, Nation on the Take lays bare the reach of moneyed interests and charts a way forward, toward the recovery of America's original promise.
Particular themes explored include:. the so-called 'dumbing down' of news and current affairs in increasingly 'conversational' forms. the design of particular forms of talk to appeal to target, or niche audiences. the development of new forms of 'reality' programming featuring ordinary people in unscripted verbal performances.
Political correctness has ripped through America, turning life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness into lifelessness, suppression and the pursuit of mediocrity. Meanwhile, Europe is in its death throes, completely infected by the political correctness disease. Australian Nick Adams believes only America has the cure. But the race is on. Will America be able to save itself in time, and lead a stunning turnaround–or will it succumb to a European fate? With creativity, flair and his trademark wit, Australian Nick Adams deftly exposes why political correctness is behind every problem in America today, and why it is every American’s patriotic duty to defy politically correct mandates. He explains Americans face a momentous choice in this election year, and lays out a roadmap for an American renaissance.

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