In today’s media environment, most major news stories are accompanied by healthy doses of spin.
This week, BP issued a 193-page report that attempts to shift much of the blame for the world’s biggest offshore spill to two other companies. Last month in New Jersey, when the state lost out on $400 million in federal education because of a clerical error on its application for the funds, Governor Christie attempted to turn the table and blame the Obama Administration for acting “like mindless drones” and not contacting state officials for the needed information.
Since the media and elections course I am teaching this summer is in Rome, I wanted to add a little international flavor to the curriculum, especially since my students are from five different countries.
Over the past few weeks, in addition to politics and campaigns in America, we’ve explored issues in media and elections in places such as Italy, Chile, France and Japan. But when it comes time to illustrate points about specific items, I always seem to come back to New Jersey.
When we discussed polls, I used an example from the Monmouth University Polling Institute. For the class on political consultants, the students read David Chen’s New York Times piece on Message and Media. To demonstrate new media models, we looked at New Jersey Newsroom.com and The Alternative Press. And to prompt discussion on trends in the relationship between reporters and politicians, we watched the YouTube video of Governor Christie’s exchange with Star-Ledger columnist Tom Moran.
Summer 2010 made its official arrival on June 21, but the slow news cycle that generally accompanies the months of July and Augusts has already begun in the Garden State.
Sure, there has been plenty of shouting and name-calling going among our leaders in Trenton. But there has been a dearth of actions that are tangible. Even the June 8 primaries were largely uneventful.
It is no wonder then that one of the more intriguing news items to emerge in recent weeks was Continue reading →
As the race for Governor enters its final few weeks, Chris Christie must make a strategic decision that could determine the outcome of the election:
Should the GOP candidate put forth a detailed economic plan that addresses property taxes and other fiscal issues? Or should he continue to speak only in broad generalities and quick sound bites? Had Christie maintained his double-digit lead in the polls, the decision would have been a no-brainer. Why risk getting into details when you’re riding high and it looks like you have a clear road to the State House? Continue reading →
Late last month, the Star-Ledger ran a story indicating that Governor Corzine had yet to formally announce his plans to seek re-election.
While it is true that the Governor has not held a large major campaign kick-off event, it is clear that — as the story noted — he is in fact seeking re-election. He has submitted the required papers to the Division of Elections to be on the ballot in November; he has a campaign web site, staff and headquarters, and he has been keeping a public schedule that suggests he is in campaign mode. Continue reading →