Remote & Controlled / Edition 2

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Overview


Given how the media portray the political system, how can we educate ourselves about politics without feeling alienated? The amount of information now available to the public about government is without precedent, and contemporary media bring the political action closer than ever before. But in an age when reports on the manipulative behavior and character flaws of public figures appear as frequently as coverage of policy issues, many people are tuning out.Remote and Controlled examines the issue of widespread cynicism in an era of abundant information, asking whether it is possible to consume a steady diet of mainstream media and still understand and respect the political process. Starting with central examples of television’s political coverage and the media’s focus on the president, the author explores a variety of media—from newspapers and radio to MTV and computer networks—and political events and institutions. Both electoral politics and governance are explored through examples that range from FDR’s fireside radio chats and the Kennedy-Nixon television debates to Vietnam and Watergate, on up to Clinton’s war room, Perot’s infomercials, C-SPAN and Congress, and the Monica Lewinsky scandal.Against a historical backdrop of political, technological, and institutional change, the text raises critical questions for a society plugged into Rush, Oprah, and USA Today: How do the media both magnify and undermine the president? Can televised town meetings replace the real thing? How do politicians seek to control the flow of information, and what do the media do about it? Does the information explosion provide greater diversity or simply greater convenience? The second edition of this acclaimed text has been revised and updated to examine media coverage of recent events including the Monica Lewinsky scandal and other high-profile stories. In the process, the author sheds light on the ultimate dilemma of whether an informed public will participate in a system in which campaigns are portrayed as if they were war, policymaking is depicted as if it were a campaign, and none of the participants—reporters included—appears particularly noble or worthy.
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Editorial Reviews

Edge
. . . [Siegel] explores television's use as a lens through which to look at history, human nature, and American culture, you're going to find yourself surfing TV in a new and thrilling way, as Siegel ducks, bobs, and slaloms from concept to concept, tying together themes that seem unlikely to have many points of contact in common, and yet that snap together like puzzle pieces in Siegel's hands.
The Guardian
Siegel's pugnacious elegance runs through this collection of TV reviews for the Nation . . .
Boston Globe
Siegel is a judicious observer of television as a tributary flowing into the ocean of mass American culture
Financial Times
Siegel's feisty writing makes for a provocative read. He writes with refreshingly little regard to fashion or reputation, and does not shy from strong opinions.
Buffalo News
His is commentary that the world's most powerful medium deserves.
Times Out Chicago
. . . renowned cultural critic and blog-fiasco creator Lee Siegel turns his sharp wit on the tube with this collection of essays.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813368696
  • Publisher: Westview Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/1998
  • Series: Dilemmas in American Politics Series
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 192
  • Lexile: 1380L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 0.44 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Meet the Author


Matthew R. Kerbel has been writing about the news media ever since he stopped writing for the news media. A one-time radio and television newswriter and employee of Public Broadcasting, he is author of three books on television and politics, and is professor of political science at Villanova University. He lives in Wayne, PA with his wife Adrienne and his daughter Gabrielle.
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Preface and Acknowledgments
1 Introduction: Under the President's Clothes 1
2 Two Hundred Years of Politics and Reporting 25
3 A War of Words: Coverage of Politics and the Politics of Coverage 59
4 Presidential Governance and Other Fantasies 101
5 What About Us? 131
Discussion Questions 147
Glossary 151
Notes 157
References 161
Index 167
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