Week 10 Reading: Direct Mailing

In our readings, A Functional Analysis of Presidential Direct Mail Advertising gave us some insight as to how effective mailing voters can be. Voters show to be more likely to vote for the candidate that mailed them a brochure or flier. These types of brochures or fliers allow for longer, more detailed messages about the candidate so voters feel they know more about this particular candidate over the other. It adds a certain personal touch to campaigning, and unlike spot campaigning on television or radio, it is more private. When an attack or message against an opposing candidate is broadcasted via television or radio or other media, that candidate has ample opportunity to respond and send back either a defense or a counterattack. Mailing voters usually provides somewhat private campaigning between the candidate and the voters. This election has, I feel, mostly been about attacks and everything being public and broadcasted. The last presidential debate was nothing but “he did this” “well she did that.” It is extremely tiring. I also have not seen any fliers or brochures in my home mailbox from either candidate. They may have been thrown away or overlooked but I have not seen any, and that to me would be very effective and in a way a bit more professional than the back-and-forth arguing I have been seeing. There was also the 2016 Election Forecast in our readings, but I could not see how that related to the analysis reading. It basically showed Hillary Clinton winning all the things in pretty much every area. Back to direct mailing, voters also feel more informed on candidates’ policies when they receive brochures or fliers in the mail. With these two candidates though I would expect nothing less than some slander or attacks in their brochures and only some information about their policies. That seems to be the theme for this election.


Reading Post Week 9: Do your research

One of our readings this week was about how being online or social media could affect the election. Their article focused more on how much Facebook groups affected the 2008 election between Barack Obama and John McCain. Thousands of groups were created and many people were talking about all the topics of race, religion, age and everything else under the sun that people were considering when it came to deciding for whom they would vote. Not much has changed with the presidential election between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. I checked on Facebook and there are numerous groups for Donald Trump, the top one consisting of 170,609 members as well as many for Hillary Clinton with her top supporting group having around 82,000 members. Her verified Facebook page though has over six million people that like it. Trump’s consisted of over eleven million. For me, I check Facebook daily, but have only seen a few advertisements about the election on the ad section off to the side of my page. Twitter is another story though. Twitter has been abuzz with comments on the election, everyone was talking about the first presidential debate and so many “prominent” figures in society are voicing who they are voting for and who their followers should vote for too. Social media is now a huge influencer of elections and who people will vote for. I highly disagree with famous actors and actresses telling their followers, many of whom are too impressionable, who to vote for because many of them will just because their favorite actor or actress told them to. Politicians presence on social media this election has been just as much a circus act as it is on other media like televised debates, interviews, etc. Social media is a force of nature like never before with all its petitions and how immediately and completely it connects people. Politicians should take advantage of that platform though because it does directly link them to their supporters and the people in general. If someone has a question, they can tweet it or post it somewhere and the candidate or someone in their team can respond. It’s a pretty incredible tool that’s sometimes beneficial to the candidate’s cause and sometimes harmful. That’s just the risk of all social media. But again, I really encourage people to do their own research on the candidates and decide for themselves who they believe the better candidate to be and not just rely on the opinion of some actor or actress. I recently saw a video on this topic and I’ll leave the link below because I can’t tell you how many celebrities vying for a certain candidate and all these fetus followers of there, many of whom are too young to even vote, liking and retweeting the post and claiming they support that candidate too all in the hopes of just gaining that celebrity’s attention for a millisecond. Social media is a powerful tool, very influential, but everyone should do their own research.



Week 9 News Post:Don’t Let Social Media Decide Your Vote

As I stated before in my reading post, social media is a powerful tool. It has become a major influencer of people, especially Millennials, on how they will vote regarding this year’s election. University of Hawaii researchers did a study at   about how social media affects politics and their findings were pretty interesting. According to their article How Does Social Media Affect Our Political Decisions? people born after 1980 are seemingly “bumping into” information about politics instead of actively seeking it and how and from whom they see it matters in how they feel about the candidates. “Researchers found that those who were engaged with social media were more sensitive to public officials’ relationships with the community than those who were not using social media. And, the type of posts they saw affected the way they felt about candidates” (Riker, Marina). Looking at how the candidates using social media posted or responded was also very influential in how people viewed them. “The way candidates, or their social media staff, responded to comments also affected opinions of candidates. The tone and grammar used, as well as responsiveness to comments, led study participants to develop feelings about candidates’ intelligence and involvement in communities” (Riker, Marina). So from what I can see is that the statistics show people my age aren’t actively seeking information about the candidates but are happening upon it. They tend to like the candidate more if the post about them is from someone they know or admire, and their opinions about the candidates are based on many visual elements such as pictures of them with voters or who tweeted about them. It all seems very lazy to me, and I’m sticking with my original statement that people need to do their research.

Week 8 News Post: They’ve Got Whats-its and Gaffes-its Galore

Slapstick comedy is a pretty base form of entertainment and yet it has thrived for centuries. Everyone likes to watch someone else fall flat on their face or make a mistake or get flicked on the nose for saying something stupid, and the same thing goes with judging politicians. Gaffes are the slapstick of politics. In our readings it talks about how closely politicians are judged for veering even slightly from their portrayed image whether it be in action or words and how they try to make amends for their blunders. This election has had PLENTY of gaffes and the media have done its job in covering them right along with the public’s job of judging them.

In the article at http://www.theatlantic.com/notes/2016/09/gaffe-track-trump-wants-clintons-bodyguards-to-disarm/500633/,one such gaffe naturally comes from Mr. Donald Trump when he said, “I think that her bodyguards should drop all weapons. I think they should disarm. Immediately. Let’s see what happens to her. Take their guns away. O.K. It’ll be very dangerous” (Graham, David. Gaffe Track). Trump’s team has not bothered to get him to defend the statement or apologize for it. It just seems like another one of Trump’s word-vomit moments when he is either too arrogant or too dense to realize what he said was offensive. Clinton is not innocent in this area either. She might have 30,000 gaffes she will have to explain and apologize for later. Stay tuned.

News Post 6 Whoppers from Trump

As stated in our readings, political scandal is a profitable trade. It brings about revenue and reach for the media outlet, and this election is a gold mine. There has undoubtedly been many instances where the candidates’ actions were under public questioning and attention. The New York Times article titled A Week of Whoppers From Donald Trump by Maggie Haberman and Alexander Burns examines 31 false claims from Trump and how such investigative journalism revealed these fallacies. This is not to say Hillary Clinton is above lying either, obviously. As stated in the article, “All politicians bend the truth to fit their purposes, including Hillary Clinton. But Donald J. Trump has unleashed a blizzard of falsehoods, exaggerations and outright lies in the general election, peppering his speeches, interviews and Twitter posts with untruths so frequent that they can seem flighty or random — even compulsive.”

His inaccurate statements, to put it lightly, range from declaring the presidential debate moderators to run an unfair system because “they’re all Democrats” to how African Americans and Hispanics are pulling for him in the polls. Both statements have been negated through such “watchdog journalism” referenced in Fogarty’s article. The Times’ article may not be an example of “scandal” per say but it is an example of how closely examined the candidates are by the public and media outlets.

Reading Post 6 News, a necessary evil

It’s no secret that news is news regardless of what type. A scandal is even better. A political scandal during election time is just icing on the cake. Fogarty’s “Scandals, News Coverage, and the 2006 Congressional Elections” touches on how media reports on scandals in politics.


Not much has changed over the last decade in how the press and media report on news and especially scandals involving politicians. For one thing, it’s very beneficial to the media outlet. They gain attention, reach, hopefully peer prestige and an increase in revenue based on their “investigative journalism” of these politicians and their shady actions. That has been evident especially in this election. Both candidates have been under scrutiny for their past and current decisions.


This “dogwatch journalism” is a necessary evil. The people do need to know about candidates’ past decisions to show their character, their decision-making and problem-solving skills, how they handle under pressure, and so on. Although sometimes it can get as tedious as the tabloids still reporting on whether or not Jennifer Anniston cares about “Brangelina’s” divorce. Especially with this election, it has been a sort of blood bath pinning the two candidates against each other, but the candidates themselves have also done this through their social media outlets. So, again, a necessary evil that they’re not alone in. The prominent information about these candidates needs to be known, compared, and shared, and the media are the best at covering that. There is money in this type of news coverage and it sells, it’s necessary, so why not cover it?


Only a few things have to be taken into consideration such as things being recalled for comment, which candidate wins and how whatever was written will affect whatever media reported on it. Either way it is publicity for the media outlet, and that’s a good thing for them.

Reading Post 4 Politics Then and Now

This reading post was kind of interesting to see how things hundreds of years ago were progressing in politics and comparing that to today’s and also apologia. Apologia can be summed up pretty quickly as candidates having to apologize publicly or disassociate themselves from someone in their campaign or someone they are connected to for misspeaking. It was ironic that this was part of our reading because when I went on Twitter the night I read this post, I saw where Hillary Clinton had quoted Donald Trump’s tweet reading, “While Hillary said horrible things about my supporters, and while many of her supporters will never vote for me, I still respect them all!” She responded, “Except for African Americans, Americans, Muslims, Latinos, immigrants, women, veterans—and any so-called ‘losers’ or ‘dummies.’” It seems with these two candidates, it’s not so much that anyone close to them is misspeaking, but they themselves keep word-vomiting. It’s also very unlikely for Trump to apologize for anything he says, but Clinton seems to recognize when she missteps.


What I found really interesting though was the look into politics back in the 1800s. People were taking surveys on the public opinion of the government and whether having a third party was a good idea or not. Today, we do have a third party so, obviously they deemed it a good idea. But also similarly back then, these surveys revealed that the people weren’t too happy with how the government was running things. Also similarly, the vast majority couldn’t really pinpoint who was doing the most damage, Republicans or Democrats or even specific officials, but they knew they weren’t happy with how things were going. Today, it’s very much the same story except people today I believe are more informed and more involved with government policies, what bills are passed, and who is making these decisions.