Posters and Election Propaganda is a relatively new blog (since August 2008) dedicated to “the examination of communications in election campaigns, with a focus on posters.” The blog’s author is Steven A. Seidman, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Strategic Communication at Ithaca College. Seidman has just come out with a book on the subject: Posters, Propaganda, and Persuasion in Election Campaigns Around the World and Through History (Peter Lang, 2008).
Here’s a fun way to introduce yourself to the world of Twitter if you aren’t a Twitterer yourself or know someone who is. What is Twitter? A combination of social networking and micro-blogging that enables you to post “tweets” of up to 140 characters or less, a sort of bloggers’ Haiku (which, unlike Haiku, seems to be a waste of time!).
This site, Election 2008, filters thousands of tweets per minute and feeds you just those that have to do with the election so you get an instant public opinion meter passing before your eyes, as fast as you can read. You can also choose a more sorted view, for example, receive only those posts about Palin or Obama. For what it’s worth.
If you can’t get enough Sarah Palin the Volume 8 issue of Flow: A Critical Forum on Television and Media Culture is for you. The issue, Sarah Palin and the Media, offers insight on “the media treatment, reaction, and handling of Sarah Palin – as a politician, a woman, a “Hockey Mom,” a wife, an Alaskan, and a Conservative” by media scholars across the US and around the world.
“In the Feminine Ideal, We Trust” by Janet McCabe. From a UK perspective, an examination of Palin’s treatment by the media as the feminine ideal.
“A Girl and a Gun: Photoshop Fakes Sarah Palin” by Patrick Kinsman. Digesting the now infamous Photoshopped image of Palin with gun and American flag bikini.
“A Politically Unbiased Report on the Satirization of ‘Jesus Freak’: Sarah Palin and Her Hillbilly Family” by Eric Shouse. Looking at the role satire and TV comedy plays during election seasons.
“The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and the Meta-Silly Season in Politics: Agenda Setting in the Contemporary Media Environment” by Jennifer Brundidge. Analyzing “fake” news shows in this particularly “silly season in politics.”
“Palin’s State” by John Streamas. Covering the racial implications of the candidates’ home states.
“Reading Sarah Palin” by Bearnadette Barker-Plummer. Critically reading Palin’s role(s) and their cultural implications.
“Sarah Palin: Castration as Plenitude” by Nina Power. Analyzing Palin as an example of the crisis in defining feminism.
“Rule 34 and Epic Raids: Sarah Palin as a Victim of Internet Pranksterism” by Daniel Metz. A look at the strikes against Palin by the Internet prankster group Anonymous.
“Even Mud Has The Illusion of Depth: A McLuhanesque Reading of Sarah Palin” by Ann McKinnon. Reading Tina Fey’s satirical impersonation of Palin from a McLuhanian perspective.
“Tigh/Roslin 2008: When Politics Turn Fictional” by Emily Regan Wills. An analysis of Battlestar Galatica fans’ appropriation of the McCain-Palin ticket.
“Europe Signals its Concerns with Sarah: Experience, Education, and Etiquette” by M. Patrick Cullinane. A look at Europe’s response to the 2008 election and Palin’s nomination.
From Penn Libraries New & Noteworthy:
LexisNexis Congressional Hearings Retrospective 1824-1979
The LexisNexis Congressional Hearings Digital Retrospective Collection A 1824-1979 has been acquired in a cooperative arrangement between Biddle Law Library and the Penn Libraries.
Congressional Hearings Retro A is a work in progress, including both published and unpublished U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives legislative, oversight, investigative and nomination hearings for 1824 through 1979. When completed, Retro A will provide more than 73,000 hearings with 12.8 million pages. More than 20,000 of these hearings are unpublished, gathered from the National Archives and other archival collections. At present (June 2008), Retro A provides 27,054 hearings with 8.7 million pages for 1934-1979. An average of 2,200 hearings with 569,000 pages are added each month, with completion expected in late 2008.
Some interesting highlights of the current Congressional Hearings Retro A collection include:
The strike at Lawrence, Mass. U.S. House. Committee on Rules. March 1912.
[Wages and Hours Act.] Fair Labor Standards Act of 1937. Part 1. U.S. Senate. Committee on Education and Labor, and U.S. House. Committee on Labor. June 1937.
“The Pumpkin Patch” testimony [Hiss-Chambers Hearings]. Hearings regarding Communist espionage in the U.S. Government. Part 2. U.S. House. Committee on Un-American Activities. December 7-10, 1948.
[Kefauver Committee’s first TV broadcast.] Investigation of organized crime in interstate commerce: Part 8, Louisiana. U.S. Senate. Special Committee to Investigate Organized Crime in Interstate Commerce. January-February 1951.
Treatment of Hansen’s Disease in the Territory of Hawaii. U.S. House. Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs. Subcommittee on Territories and Insular Possessions. April 24, 1951.
“Have you no sense of decency, sir?” [Army-McCarthy Hearings.] Special Senate investigation on charges and countercharges involving: Secretary of the Army Robert T. Stevens, John G. Adams, H. Struve Hensel and Senator Joe McCarthy, Roy M. Cohn and Francis P. Carr. Part 59. U.S. Senate. Committee on Government Operations. June 9, 1954.
Nomination of Thurgood Marshall. U.S. Committee on Judiciary. July 1967.
John Kerry on Vietnam [Fulbright Hearings]. Legislative proposals relating to the war in Southest Asia. U.S. Committee on Foreign Relations. April-May 1971.
Wounded Knee massacre. U.S. Senate. Committe on Judiciary. February 5-6, 1976.
The Congressional Hearings Retro A provides online fulltext documents in searchable PDF-format files. The LexisNexis hearings search interface is integrated with other LexisNexis Congressional products including the Serial Set (1818-1969) and Statutes at Large (1789-present). Each hearing is indexed for subject, Congressional committee and relevant federal agencies, witness name, date, and SuDoc numbers and other bibliographic identifiers, and a brief abstract is provided.
Although Biddle Law Library and the Penn Libraries hold in other formats virtually all published hearings in this digital collection, many of our Great Depression- and World War II-era hearings on paper are among those government documents recognized as most in need of preservation, and most of our hearings holdings prior to 1968 are uncataloged. In addition to providing an alternative format to brittle paper and improving access to these important materials, the fulltext search capabilities of Congressional Hearings Retro A permit searches for distinctive phrases in testimony that elude subject indexing.
Not too long ago the resource environment was very unfriendly to anyone trying to study political ad campaigns. Not anymore. Still another addition to the ad campaign research landscape is brought to us by The Washington Post which hosts a free database of “political advertisements funded by campaigns, parties, committees, and independent advocacy groups.” So far the coverage is restricted to the last three years with most of the ads tied to specific presidential, House, Senate, or gubernatorial races throughout the country.
It’s a clean and usefully indexed database. Ads are accessible by year, type of race, candidate/organization, state, party, issue (corruption, crime, war, environment, gay marriage, etc.), character (“real people,” blue collar workers, children, elderly, teachers, shoppers, students, Santa Claus, etc.), cue ( Capitol building, flag, September 11, icebergs, ocean, prison, dead bodies, cowboy hats, etc. ), media (radio, TV, web), music (patriot, somber, upbeat, ominous), narrator, and type (attack, biographical, emotional, humorous, endorsement, etc.).
No one could argue with Gary Price for crowning this article the Resource Shelf’s Resource of the Week. It’s from the November/December issue of Seacher magazine by Laura Gordon-Murnane: The 51st State: The State of Online — The Presidential Campaign 2008 — Candidates and News Sources (PDF; 524 KB).
In five extensive tables the author looks at the Web sites of each of the 17 presidential candidates, as well as mainstream media sites, blogs, and aggregator tools, and shows just how much the Internet is impacting the 2008 election. The article is beautifully laid out and Searcher offers a click-through page containing all the live links mentioned. The article thoroughly provides information about online fundraising, political blogs and discussion forums, how candidates are making of use of social networking tools, and how the mainstream media is using the Web to cover the 2008 election. One detailed chart compares the features of major candidates’ websites, and includes links to candidates’ pages on social networking sites like FaceBook, MySpace, Flickr and YouTube. Another chart provides comprehensive information about what you can find on the larger mainstream media election websites. There are also brief reviews of key political blogs and aggregator tools.
The online magazine Slate.com, features a sub-website (in its News & Politics section) called Map the Candidates which tracks 2008 presidential candidate schedules and appearances back to July 2007. Besides venue and venue addresses, it provides such details as topics addressed, VIPs present, type of appearance (meet and greet, rally, fundraiser, etc.), whether there was any barbecue involved, and the like. I’ll let MTC itself brag about it’s features:
Do you want to know who spent the most time in Iowa or New Hampshire last month? Play with the timeline sliders above the map to customize the amount of time displayed.
Care most about who visited your home state? Then zoom in on it or type a location into the “geosearch” box below the map.
Choose which candidates you want to follow with the check boxes on to the right of the map. If you only want to see the front-runners, then uncheck all of the fringe candidates. Voilà! You’re left with the cream of the crop’s travels.
Follow the campaign trail virtually with MTC’s news feed. Every day YouTube video and articles from local papers will give you a glimpse of what stump speeches really look and sound like. Just click the arrow next to the headline to get started.
Take a closer look at candidates by clicking on their names to the right of the map. You’ll get the lowdown on their travels, media coverage, and policy positions.
Another post on the rhetoric front…The Annenberg Library has just purchased a collection of historic presidential campaign television ads made available by the combined efforts of Darrell West at Brown University and L. Patrick Devlin at the University of Rhode Island. The Devlin/West archive, as it is referred to in a recent NCA Mass Communication Division’s Gatekeeper, is broken down in the following sections (DVDs):
Types of Presidential Ads 1952-2004 (60 minutes) The best (according to Brown and Devlin)1952-2004 talking head, documentary, testimonial, negative attack, person-in-street, humor, music, response, party, PAC, and taxation ads
2004 Presidential Ads (107 minutes)
2000 Presidential Ads (99 minutes)
1996 Presidential Ads (107 minutes)
1992 Presidential Ads (87 minutes)
1996 Presidential Ads (100 minutes)
1988 Presidential Ads (60 minutes)
1984 Presidential Ads (47 minutes)
1980 Presidential Ads (44 minutes)
1952-2000 Short Ads, 30 and 60 second ads (95 minutes)
1952-1996 Long Ads, of two to five minutes (141 minutes)
1952-2000 Negative Ads (81 minutes)
These DVDs are Library use only.
A new e-resource just added to the Library page is The Great Speeches Series, a 22-volume collection of of political rhetoric, from historic leaders such as Douglas MacArthur, Martin Luther King and Lech Walesa, to more current leaders such as Barack Obama (his 2004 Democratic National Committee keynote address) and John McCain (his New School commencement address). Volume 22 is actually brand new and due to be added any day now. It will include Nancy Pelosi’s speech as the first female Speaker of the House and Elie Wiesel’s 2006 Dartmouth address. This collection is a password protected resource, so be prepared to authenticate before retrieving the password (which changes from time to time) to enter the site.
Another rich collection of speeches is available at the ASC Library. The Speeches Collection is comprised of 21 videos of speeches by Sitting Bull, Nelson Mandela and many US presidents, including Abraham Lincoln. They can be checked out as regular circulating items.