Sunday, December 2, 2012

NYTimes.Com: Fiscal Reporting Falls Off a Cliff

Kaitlyn Crist

Washington Pulling a "Thelma and Louise" 

With the "fiscal cliff" looming, it is the biggest political story since the election.

There web is plastered with stories about the U.S. falling off a metaphorical cliff and plunging into unknowable finical uncertainty.

But is there a serious threat, or is most of this just hype? Is there truth to the gloom and doom associated with the cliff?

A Dramatic Twist 

On, the politics section is covered with stories of the lack of compromise in Washington, and how the cliff is too fast approaching with no solution to be found.

The headline of the NYT fiscal cliff blog
The Times is referring to the negotiations as a "showdown" with the fate of America on the line.

One of the more outrageous ploys to create fiscal cliff hype is the title of an opinion blog - calling it "Debt Reckoning." Making the impending cliff sound like a day at the guillotine for America.

The only story on the site that even manages to relieve the stress of the end of the tax break is a post on the blog called If Deal Is Not Reached, the Impact Won't Be Instant.

The blog recognizes that there will be an impact if a deal is not reached by Jan. 1, 2013, but that the whole government system won't shut down.

As Clear as Mud

Something I would hope the media would do is make the fiscal cliff negations more clear.

A political cartoon poking fun at the fiscal cliff hype
Photo Credit, Dave Granlund
What exactly is this cliff? What negations need to be made? What really will happen if a deal is not reached?

I would like to see more facts, and less about the bickering between the left and right.

Leave the hype stories to grocery store magazines, and lets focus on the facts.

Because the government won't shut down if we fly off this "cliff."

Less hype more facts. It's our responsibility.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012 Splitting the Lines

Kaitlyn Crist

Kept Promises or Empty Words? 

Every election (this one not excluded) comes with a myriad of promises.

President Obama promises to cross party lines on his final 2012 election stretch.

One big promise that always seems to be on the table is to reach across party lines. To take bipartisanship to a whole new level and get rid of the split policies that are said to be "ruining Washington."

Now that the elections are over, is that the case? Are promises being kept? Are those on Capitol Hill doing the best to compromise with testimonies on the attacks on the Libyan Embassy underway, and the fiscal cliff looming?

Back to Old Ways

The stories this past week seem to show that these promises were yet again soon forgotten.
This photo pokes fun at the often volatile relationship
between Republicans and Democrats

With headlines such as Foreign Policy’s Bipartisan Trio Becomes Republican Duo and
G.O.P. Senators Not Satisfied as Rice Concedes Error on Libya, the top stories look like they have for the past four years. 

The G.O.P is still pointing fingers at the Democratic administration over the Benghazi attacks. 

There is little compromise as the Bush Tax Cuts are set to expire not only from both sides but also from the businesses that beinfit with them. 

Will Things Ever Change?

For the past decade, promises have been made to bring the left and right to the center. 

Will this change ever be made? It is always discussed that the voters will make the change. 

Voters will eventually vote into office those in the middle who will reach across party lines. 

That has not yet been the case with voters, and as newly elected officially don't seem to be doing any better at closing the gap. 

With this election over, the focus has been on rebranding the Republican party. 

Lets hope with this rebranding comes a shift towards the middle, and that the Democrats will follow suit.

Monday, November 26, 2012 - Procrastinating the Cliff

By: Rob Schreier

With the 2012 Presidential Election on the back burner, major news websites and television programs are turning their focus to the notoriously dubbed "Fiscal Cliff" that is rapidly approaching dated for the New Year.

Hit the Breaks! (
It seems as though this critical date to the world's economy has slid under the radar somehow because of the election media fire and close-knit contest that was Romney/Obama.

Now, current politicians and media outlets are in "hurry-up" mode to get the public, and themselves, aware of the current bargaining chips for either party in Washington standoff between Republicans and Democrats.

Republicans hold the position that loopholes and budget cuts are the answer to lowering the deficit. On the flip side, Democrats are preparing for a tax increase battle that will dig back into Republicans' past.


The new social media inferno this week on Capitol Hill is the Washington D.C. lobbyist Grover Norquist, who swayed Republican leaders to sign a document for satuch defense of raising taxes.

Created in 1986, it still holds strong (
The document, only 58 words long, was created in 1986. But, it has been signed by several Republican leaders, even by presidential hopeful Mitt Romney last year.

The two elements of the document pledge that the signee shall never raise taxes and shall not lessen tax deductions.

So, the right is at a standstill as the clock continues to click.

She's Movin'!

Hold that thought...

After the holiday weekend, the Right has decided to find error in dedication and loyalty to a document that was made over 20 years ago.

And frankly, there is too much on the line not consider moving off of rigid party lines in a time of needed flexibility and agreement.


Returning to the original thought of the post and refocusing to the impact of the election, this is an unprecedented story following the election.

FDR had the pen ready, Today's Congress should too (
Outside of FDR's First 100 Days in office after the Great Depression, there has not been a more critical stretch of post-election legislation in Washington between these times.

If the movement is slow paced, there may be several last-minute meetings and major decisions made as folks open holiday gifts late in December.

Still on NBC's Political Front Page, 25 days after the election (
With the exhausting news cycle that just completed over the election, I can sense there is a hangover effect of having to "gear up" for the Fiscal Cliff.

I urge to remove their electoral college map, information about Romney's campaign, and election-based political cartoons section with more pressing matters.

Here's to hitting the breaks before the Cliff!


Sunday, November 25, 2012

FOX: What to focus on now

Devin Bartolotta

FOX News is not alone in that it has run out of things to talk about with the presidential race. However,  many outlets, including FOX, have turned some of their attention to Congress. Coverage on Congress seemed to lack in this election, as expected, but it's good to know that the media is now taking the time to analyze who is in the House and how things are expected to go in the coming years. For example, this story about Iraq and Afghan war veterans, including a double amputee, that are now taking their talents to Capitol Hill.

I did find it really interesting that FOX is not choosing to go into deep coverage on the Secretary of State situation. As we discussed in class last week, the media really dropped the ball on the coverage of the fact that Hillary Clinton did resign. Now, FOX (and not just FOX, but others as well) have seemed to drop the ball once again on covering who the next Secretary of State will be. There's big talk about John McCain potentially blocking a nomination for Susan Rice to be next secretary of state, but not much coverage on the matter. I was surprised that it didn't hold bigger importance on FOX's politics homepage.

Overall, I think it's safe to say that FOX is taking an overall break from the nitty-gritty of politics for the time being, perhaps still in the haze of the "election hangover." Or perhaps there is simply so much going on in the wake of the election that it's difficult to know what to focus most strongly on.

I'd also like to point out that I've struggled throughout this blog to include multimedia. This is mostly because, unlike I've been taught all of my years as a broadcast journalist, FOX's video does not compliment its text. Their video tells entirely different stories, rather than supplementing the stories that are already on the website. It's something that has irritated me for quite a while, as it is nearly impossible for me to include video in my posts that relate to my topic of choice.

However, after lots of searching, I did find one video that supplemented the Susan Rice issue.

<script type="text/javascript" src=""></script><noscript>Watch the latest video at <a href=""></a></noscript>

Monday, November 19, 2012

Fox News, All Over the Map

Jillian Bloemer

Elections are pretty much old news, if you ask me. And from the looks of it, Fox News' Facebook Page would agree with me. Their coverage of election news has been sparse, with only a few post-election stories about President Obama.

The majority of Fox's page is a miscellaneous mess. Don't get me wrong, their posts are important, but Fox didn't seem to have much of a common theme this week.

Out of this week's posts, four were about the CIA and Petraeus, two about President Obama, one about Hurricane Sandy recovery, three about Benghazi and Libya, two about the Jerusalem bombing and 7 miscellaneous stories about Hostess, Korea, the BP oil spill and Santa giving firearms for Christmas.

Additionally, I was surprisingly unimpressed with how the stories were presented. There weren't any big, attention-grabbing pictures or headlines, this week. Fox's Facebook page was very 'blah'. On some of the posts, Fox didn't even add their own captions (see above).

Perhaps they had other things going on in the newsroom, or maybe they were just lazy. Either way, Fox News' Facebook page was not very interesting this week. - RNC Analyzes Romney Loss, Ohio Among Reasons

By: Rob Schreier

Post election evaluation is fully underway inside the Republican Party as the Presidential Election now becomes a distant memory as incumbent Barack Obama faces national security challenges from several angles.

The Republic National Committee compiled a report, detailing election numbers and outlining areas where candidate Mitt Romney and his campaign fell short.

Data provides more concrete answers to a tight race that came down to a few key categories. All of the numbers collected stemmed from a 250K exit poll survey.

O-H--Oh No!

Ohio, one of four battleground states determined by the RNC report, served as the primary focus of the group from the national media perspective.

African American Voters helped Obama take Ohio (NBC)
The Republican candidate was able to take 10 percent more of the independent vote, but a increased presence of Democratic voters neutralized that gain.

But, what is more troubling for the Red is the minority vote, a category that Republicans were crushed in throughout the general elections. 178,000 more African American voters went to the polls, and Obama won 96% of the vote.

Yes, 96% of a growing demographic that could potentially see minority votes becoming 1 in every 3 voters. Keep in mind that Obama won the Buckeye state by 103,00 votes.

What will be the threshold moving forward with specifically targets adds, speeches, appearances, for the minority vote. Customized YouTube ads, emails, and demographic research tools should lend to more minority targeting, especially for Republicans based on this information.

One more note about Ohio, the vote tally was 123,550 less that the turnout in 2008 (McCain vs. Obama). It was the only battleground state that had a deficit of voters on the hells of the last election.

Late Deciders Swinging Democratic

Noticeable changes in the undecided voters seemed to coincide with major media events in the election.

What sign to I vote for? (NBC)
Romney received a 53-45 boost after the first presidential debate, but Obama seemed to pick up steam in the later stages of the race.

Could it have been the infamous 47% video leaked at a private function, or was it a negative response of the Republican hopeful mishandling the response to Hurricane Sandy one week before the election.

What is clear is this: 70 percent of voters had decided on a candidate before September with the next 20 percent deciding in September and October. Those two stretches are the most critical for the mass numbers, but there was still 6% deciding in the final days leading up to the election.

Those last impressions indeed could have been the difference for Romney/Ryan as the exit polls showed a 50-45 favor for the Democratic ticket.

What the casual, uninformed voter swayed by the late stages of the campaign trail, both parties must handle the final moments of their trails carefully.

Facebook Use Changes After Election

Mike Bundt

Both President Obama and Mitt Romney have both changed how they use social medial following this year's historic presidential election.

With President Obama now elected into office for the next four years, he has stopped his propaganda campaign and attacks on Romney in favor of using facebook to try to send positive messages and unite the country.

This makes a lot of sense for the president to use his page this way since the election is over now.

While he has posted less often since the campaign has ended, his page still gets updates and is a nice way for the President (or whoever is running his facebook page) to interact with his supporters.

Romney on the other hand, appears to have stopped his social media use for the present moment.

The former Massachusetts governor has only posted once since election night and hasn't posted anything since November 10th.

Photo from Romney's last fb post.
With Romney no longer in the race for President and his political career on hold, it makes sense that he might not post anymore on facebook.

His last post thanked his followers for their support.

While it would be nice to see both men continue to actively use facebook, it makes sense if they don't as often from here on out considering they now have nothing to gain from the use besides continuing to stimulate their followers.