Monday, September 22, 2008 Jargon, Change and the Teleprompter

by Julie Hartz

This week on CNN online, I realized just how in-depth the election coverage has become based on how many different articles and sections there are online. There was one section that was particularly interesting to me, mainly because I have never seen this as an option before. The section was titled, Jargonbuster. Basically, it has a huge list of commonly used Election-related words, and their given meanings. It was quite easy to navigate, and for those who are new to the election extravaganza can now understand what all of those crazy words are spouting out of the candidates' mouths.

Example from Jargonbuster:
Wedge Issue: A key issue used by one or both parties to show clear differences between the two parties or candidates. Wedge issues are often raised to get each party's "base" supporters out to vote. The abortion issue is used to get out supporters of a woman's right to choose, and supporters of the unborn child's right to life. Gun control is a wedge issue generally separating Democrats who often support stricter gun control legislation from Republicans who are generally against gun-control legislation.

The best article that I saw this week on CNN online was one about 'change' and the election. The article details how, with McCain's choosing Sarah Palin as his running mate, he has jumped on Obama's change-fueled campaigning efforts. It also talks about how both Obama and McCain's choices of running mates are purely political. But can you really blame them? It would be silly to have a choice that was not political, considering this IS a political race they're running in. Both Palin and Biden
pick up where their Presidential nominees leave off. Palin makes McCain a more social, appealing choice as president. Biden brings more experience, particularly overseas, to a candidate that has been criticized for being too young and new to Washington.

Another aspect of the article explores how the election has turned into a blame game, with both Obama and McCain accusing the other of falsehoods through biting, below-the-belt political ads. The election has become more about the candidates' mistakes and blunders rather than focus on their issues. It made me think about how our nation needs to look at the candidates for who they would be as President, and what they believe they can do for our country. No more nasty political ads. No more 'he said, he said'. Research each candidate's stance on what is really important to you and don't necessarily believe everything you see on TV.

The worst article I saw this week was this silly three-paragraph blurb about Senator Obama's teleprompter. The information in the article basically says just that he uses a teleprompter to give his speeches and now it's coming with him on the campaign trail. Who cares?? And, does that really merit an article on CNN online? I'm not sure if people were disappointed and upset about this, but I thought it was a trivial matter to focus on, and a waste of space.

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