Tag Archives: Obama

MPSL VLog:The Demographics of Voting

As the American electorate continues to diversify, will Democrats continue to have an edge?  Professor Gaffaney explains.


MPSL VLog: Building a Cabinet

Each President of the United States nominates people to serve as his advisors. If confirmed, these officials are collectively called his Cabinet, and are able to influence national policy. Professor Gaffaney explains.

Weekly Poll: How is Congress Handling the Benghazi Incident?

Some prominent members of the Republican Party in the Congress have harshly criticized the Obama administration for its mishandling of the incident in Benghazi on September 11, 2012; even calling for a Watergate-style of congressional investigation. What do you think?

The Abdication of Fact Checking

English: Arriving in a horse race in Strasbour...

Strasbourg, le 14 septembre 2008. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last week, the University of Denver hosted the first 2012 presidential debate between President Obama and Governor Mitt Romney. However, the media coverage of the debate and the resulting political fallout will be the same; both republicans and democrats will try to spin the outcome of the debate in a way that benefits their side. Meanwhile, the news media will overflow with coverage concerning the political impact of the debate, but will ultimately fail to explain if the facts actually fit the claims made by either candidate. Instead, the American electorate was given nonsensical and derivative sports analogies purely to oversimplify what should have been journalistic analysis of policy claims.

By lazily relying on the typical horse-race coverage of elections (i.e. the news media’s focus on which candidate is up or down in the latest public opinion polls), the news media, especially cable news, have abdicated their role as fact checker. These actions further exasperate the inescapable certainty that presidential debates are more about presentation than substance. Consequently, the big news story following any and all debates will inevitably be which candidate “won” divorced from any assessment concerning which candidate, if any, actually had the facts on their side.

This week, the news media will predicatively bombard the American audience with poll numbers along with a bloviated analysis of said poll numbers with a pretentious and misguided sense of accomplishment for delivering the very “news” that they themselves have shaped with their utter lack of journalistic examination. Get ready for hundreds of hours of useless analysis and flagrant political spin; well, until the Vice Presidential debate feeds the horse-race coverage even further.

What changes, if any, would you make to the American news industry to ensure reporting of political events involved more fact checking and less horse-race coverage?


MPSL VLog: Does Salient = Economy?

Even though each candidate has a platform of beliefs and policies, often elections are decided based one one or two key issues.  Will the economy trump all other issues this November? Professor Gaffaney explains.

Weekly Poll: Your Opinion on Romney’s 47 Percent Comment

In a recently released video surreptitiously recorded, Romney is heard saying that he is not concerned about the 47 percent of voters who will vote for Obama because they don’t pay income tax and see themselves as dependents of government funded programs. Some political analysts see this as damaging evidence that Romney is out of touch with the general population. What do you think?

MPSL VLog: Incumbent Here Often?

Are there certain advantages that incumbency brings in the race for the White House? Professor Gaffaney explains.