Joe the Plumber Should Not Make My Policy, He Should Fix My Drain

So this line, from Brown’s Spinning the War, really threw me for a loop:

“Given that media representations of the conflict are how policy makers as well as the public usually learn about events, this is an argument for paying more attention to communication rather than less.”

I guess I knew this already, at least intellectually.  God knows that I should have realized this based on my “fact finding” at various internships, (notice the quotes) as well as from all of the discourse we’ve reviewed so far this semester.

But man, I really really REALLY want to belive that  policy makers have sources above googlenews or CNN, and that they’re smart and savvy enough to move beyond media framing to look at other aspects of issues, to get more information, and to consider how the medium they’re getting information through is influencing the content.

And if they’re not, then I wonder where all those people got their master degrees, and would like to put this out there:

I’m available for hire, starting in May.

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One Response to Joe the Plumber Should Not Make My Policy, He Should Fix My Drain

  1. Mariam S. says:

    I also hope policymakers are considering other factors beyond media content, but this goes to show the importance of the role of open source content and its scope of influence. The el-Nawawy/Powers article on Al Jazeera also offers a couple of telling lines which corroborate the implications from Brown’s quote you mentioned above, and really drive home the point that transnational media networks are playing a role in international politics:

    “United Nations secretary general Boutros Boutros-Ghali once commented, ‘CNN is
    the sixteenth member of the Security Council’.”

    – and from the point of view of the Bush Administration-

    “Al Jazeera is one of the critical political players in the region, so much so that the State Department and Department of Defense have separate dedicated working groups for monitoring the network’s programming twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.”

    Like it or not, they have a great influence, and most disconcerting is that there is no such thing as “unbiased” or “fair and balanced” news.

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