Creatures of Politics: Media, Message, and the American Presidency

By Michael Lempert; Michael Silverstein | Go to book overview

Seven
WHAT GOES AROUND …

How much of what a candidate or incumbent says and does makes it through the concentric layers of media filtration to reach at least a segment or sector of the public? And in what form do the doings and sayings as they are represented by media reports advance or counter the Message intended by the occasion of those doings and sayings? Here we deal with the circulation of Message—that is, with the chains of reports of reports of reports of … happenings or events the apparent movement of which through social space-time is controlled, in our political public sphere, by the organized political press across a variety of media.

Reporting a prior event, in print journalism or elsewhere, is never merely a report, never a passive, disinterested relay of narrated event in the past to addressees in the present. It is well known that one’s personal or organizationally derived attitude toward how a prior event should or should not become newsworthy colors how we report it, and that this coloring can have consequences—“media effects” as students of communication are wont to say. Less obvious is the fact that our very sense that we can follow the principals of a reportable political event by tracking the circulation of their Message-worthy images in social spacetime depends on many such events of reporting. As prior events get reported and re-reported, extended chains of interdiscursivity form, and these chains across events of reporting events that themselves report events … elaborate a network across which we feel the palpable illusion

-200-

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Creatures of Politics: Media, Message, and the American Presidency
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents ix
  • Preface & Acknowledgments xi
  • One - Introduction- "Message" Is the Medium 1
  • Two - Getting It "Ju … St Right!" 58
  • Three - Addressing "The Issues" 105
  • Four - Ethno-Blooperology 122
  • Five - Unflipping the Flop 144
  • Six - The Message in Hand 170
  • Seven - What Goes around … 200
  • Notes 231
  • References 245
  • Index 257
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