Politics

Democratic National Ritual 2004

In his essay, "A Cultural Approach to Communication," Columbia University journalism professor James W. Carey identifies two views of communication -- "transmission" and "ritual." In Carey's words, the "ritual view" is communication "linked to terms such as 'sharing,' 'participation,' 'association,' 'fellowship,' and the 'possession of a common faith.' ...

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Conventional Coverage

PBS anchor Jim Lehrer blasted the major TV networks for limited coverage of the political conventions, since "we're about to elect a president of the United States at a time when we have young people dying in our name overseas, [and] we just had a report from the 9/11 commission which says we are not safe." NBC's Tom Brokaw countered, "These conventions are so managed, so over-managed" there's not much to report.

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Not-So-Democratic Convention

"One cannot conceive of other elements [that could be] put in place to create a space that's more of an affront to the idea of free expression," said U.S. District Judge Douglas Woodlock, after touring the Democratic National Convention's "free speech" protest zone in Boston. The zone is "bordered by cement barriers, a double row of chain-line fencing, heavy black netting, and tightly woven plastic mesh," with "coils of razor wire" along elevated train tracks.

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CSE, Nader and the Hidden Power of the Brothers Koch

Center for Public Integrity examines the hidden power of the Koch brothers, the billionaires who launched the corporate front group Citizens for a Sound Economy. "CSE has found itself in hot water in recent weeks over charges it has been working illegally to get consumer activist Ralph Nader on the presidential ballot in Oregon.

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First Thing We'll Do, We'll Campaign Against the Trial Lawyer

"Tom Donohue, head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, has made a public vow: If John Edwards is chosen as John Kerry's running mate, the chamber will abandon its traditional stance of neutrality in the presidential race and work feverishly to defeat the Democratic ticket.

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GOP's Denial of Democracy Attack

The former head of a GOP Marketplace, a Republican consulting group, has pleaded guilty to jamming get-out-the-vote efforts on election day in New Hampshire two years ago. The company used computer-generated phone calls to flood phone lines that were set up so voters could call for rides to the polls.

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