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.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Are Republicans "Over It?"

Sara Nealeigh

ABC News writer Michael Falcone suggest they are. In fact, he does more than suggest; he states it outright. The lede for his latest story for ABC Politics is short, sweet, and to the point, just like all journalists are taught ledes should be.

“Republicans are over it.”

While Mitt Romney was busy blaming his loss on “gifts” from the President to groups over a conference call to his donors, apparently Republicans across the nation were busy coping with the election results. Especially, Romney thinks these “gifts” were given to Hispanic voters.

If you ask me, it sounds like someone is a sore loser. Romney explained other reasons in his conference calls that he says caused him to lose the election. It appears the Republicans got over their pain and suffering much more quickly than Romney.

For those like myself who are just glad the entire campaign process is over regardless of political view, ABC’s OTUS (Of The United States) has a “best of” piece that stirs up some memories from the campaign. Some are humorous, some painful, but there are a few entertaining entries. Best dressed and biggest upset are two categories in the slide show.

Screenshot from
In addition, ABC briefly discusses a photo that went viral in the last week. A photo taken by Ohio University alum Pete Sousa shows Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney and President Obama making one of Maroney’s infamous candid faces.

How can Republicans still be upset after seeing a picture that humorous? How can anyone be upset, really.

Luckily, most of the drama that I noticed consuming the headlines last week has really died down. Purely sticking the main page of ABC politics, there is only one story that talks about Jill Kelley, and a sidebar story that talks about a possible book deal for Paula Broadwell. Republican or not, the media seems to be getting over that soap opera. 

Is the Race Over???

Amanda Walters
Twitter: @amandawalters

Nearly two weeks after the election and after all the ballots have been counted and recounted, the final races are finally over – or at least that’s what it seems. While most people have moved on, one race has been too close to call.

The race for the House of Representatives Florida’s 18th Congressional District is one of the closest of the election season with a difference of 0.58 percentage points between the two candidates.

That number may seem really close but it’s still more than the 0.50 percent that is needed to trigger an automatic recount.

This congressional seat isn’t a stranger to controversy. It is currently held by Rep. Allen West, who is an outspoken member of the Tea Party who was first elected in 2011.

West is known for making many outlandish statements since being elected to the House including an incident at a town-hall meeting where he said "I believe there's about 78 to 81 members of the Democratic Party that are members of the Communist Party” and remarks on Islam.

Although most news organizations have not called the race, his challenger has declared victory in the race for the second time, after one county missed its deadline to certify results. According to Florida, the unofficial results now stand. Despite West not conceding the race, she is already in Washington DC for freshman orientation.

West’s campaign is calling for an emergency hearing because of what it believes is problems that were raised in the voting process. They have also filed a large number of legal complaints in order to get a recount.

This is a story that I knew about but pretty much thought had been decided already until I read the article. By using this story, CBS reminds us just how contested this election really was and shows us that while many people have already moved on, for some the election still isn’t over. 


Seaira Christian-Daniels

President Obama recently met with several Presidential historians to best see how he could preserve his legacy after he completes his second term. Lincoln, Reagan and the ilk were strewn through the conversation until one historian highlighted a President NPR reports will serve as President Obama’s historical guide to a transformative legacy: Theodore Roosevelt.  

Teddy Roosevelt

President Obama

Take Notes from Teddy

One of the most interesting articles NPR reports on Teddy Roosevelt stems from a novel written by Deborah Davis. Davis chronicled the dinner date between President Roosevelt and Booker T. Washington, the first black man to have enjoyed a meal in the White House with the President.

President Obama, the first African-American President of the United States, can learn much from this historic visit. Davis describes the visit as a tension-filled reunion between the most influential white and black man in the country at the time. Douglas’ framed portrait graced the walls of many black American homes as a symbol of hope. Uncoincidentally, President Obama and his family are placed in living-room frames, plastered on t-shirts, and clicked into the desktop backgrounds of African-American families today.

Douglas’ visit sparked controversy among many white Americans who did not believe a black man had a right to be situated so intimately with a white man. However, President Roosevelt is viewed as a President who understood the plight of the “common man.” Roosevelt, according to NPR, had the gumption to withstand a blazing wildfire of criticism from the American people.

Because NPR suggests President Obama desires to leave a legacy like Teddy Roosevelt, it may be interesting to take a look at how the two American leaders stack up against each other.

Comparable and Contrasting

Roosevelt—Like President Obama:                                                                                                   
            1. Entered the White House on a wave of youthful vigor and change-driven policies.
            2.  Ranked as one of the nations “coolest” Presidents
            3. Roosevelt’s family created a new image of the “first family” with his children growing up in the White House.
            4. Supported Universal Healthcare

 President Obama—Unlike Roosevelt:
            1. Does not do an exhaustive amount of entertaining  Capitol Hill decision-makers
            2. According to NPR: Has not established a “day-to-day” relationship with the American people.
            3. Has not created a “Burn to Save the Forests
                        **President Roosevelt stated that sweeping forest fires actually saved the nation by strengthening the U.S. Forestry Service. Perhaps, President Obama should assert the same prerogative

NPR reports that solving the issue of the fiscal cliff is an opportunity for President Obama to show he can work with Congress to make a change that will allow him to solidify a place as one of the most influential American Presidents.

 President Obama Quotes Teddy Roosevelt

Al Jazeera's Coverage: Final Verdict

By Matt Digby

So another presidential election is in the books, and already some outlets have began speculating over who may run in 2016. While I think it is too early to start projecting who will run, I do look forward to being part of what will undoubtedly be another historic event in the history of our country.

But back to this election. I was excited to cover Al Jazeera not just because they were a foreign outlet, but also because I was aware they had received criticism in the past for supposedly being anti-American in their content. I was genuinely intrigued by the coverage they had to offer.

Unfortunately, they did not cover the election in the manner I had hoped. In their defense, there were many worldwide events in the months leading up to November that were more "immediate." But to say I'm disappointed at their lack of election coverage is a partial understatement.

This is a presidential election we just went through! Some are more exciting than others, but this is something that happens only EVERY FOUR YEARS! It doesn't matter who you vote for, but the fact that you can make your voice heard is truly empowering.

I sincerely hope Al Jazeera takes a different approach to covering the 2016 election than they did in 2012, which would include writing daily stories in the two months prior to Election Day; maybe getting exclusive interviews with the candidates so the audience can hear firsthand the views on foreign policy, and maybe increased efforts to expand their U.S. audience. I think they can do it; the question is, will they?

What have you thought about this "review" blog and my other posts about Al Jazeera? Have you monitored any other foreign outlets, and how has their coverage been?

Final thought: in case anybody was wondering who I voted for, let's just say I have a 1.000 percentage...

...of voting in every presidential election I could participate in! Thanks for following!

No More Elections on NBC... Let's Turn to the Web!

Carolyn Menyes

It appears that two weeks out of the 2012 election, the journalists at NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams are just as sick of election coverage as the average viewer. In a week's worth of shows, there were very few stories about President (and President-elect) Obama at all. This could be due to more pressing news stories: General Petraeus' sex scandal, the tension between Gaza and Israel, the impending doom of Black Friday...

But, I can't sit in silence and write nothing about politics! So, I turned to the @NBCPolitics Twitter feed to find some story about the election. We're only two weeks away from the biggest news story of the year! There had to be some follow-up stories about the election.

I found two. NBC journalists must be REALLY sick of the elections.

The first story was an interesting take on the election and a smaller story. A Florida congressman backed by the Tea Party refused to concede the race to his democrat challenger and demanded a recount. The recount was done, Congressman Allen West still lost, but has still claimed the race is not over.

I appreciated this story, albeit a little bizarre and uncomfortable for the people of Florida. But, generally, the idea of finding little interesting stories about this expands NBC Politics' reach. It's also a much more interesting spin on post-election coverage than the barrage of stories about which demographics of the country showed up and in what amounts.

We got that in another NBC story.

After a preacher lectured that Christians did not come out and vote in the election, NBC Politics fact-checked him. In this article, NBC proved the preacher wrong by looking at the evangelical vote in key swing states, including Ohio, and their turnout in the South. The article proved that evangelicals voted and voted for Mitt Romney in similar numbers as they have in the last few presidential elections, so the pastor's claim was not valid.

I for one got sick of the demographics stories a day after the election, though I do find them interesting in some regards. Just find another post-election story for once!

A Presidential First

Sandhya Kambhampati

President Obama is visiting Myanmar (Burma) to show support for the reform process by Burmese President Thein Sein.

It's a presidential first and Twitter is making note of it.

@chucktodd  tweeted many pictures including this one below to show how the people are getting ready for POTUS.


Personally, it's an exciting thing that the President is visiting a country which has never been visited by another president before.  It shows that we are moving forward in our thinking of establishing better relationships with other countries.

Once President Obama touched down on Myanmar(Burma),  I immediately saw my Twitter feed flooded with information on his every move.

Various tweets from Twitter feed 
I also came across this tweet from @HannaIngber which mentions that President Obama's grandfather spend time in Burma as a cook for a British Army.

This tweet made me think about how different this visit would of been if it happened before during the time (WWII) that his Kenyan grandfather was in Burma and how Twitter really is the  bridge to letting people know about this historic event.

Some people on Twitter chose to see this event as one that is bad for the country, as President Obama is focusing on other affairs rather than what is happening at home.

Personally, this presidential first shows that as a country we are working to expand our help and also that people need to realize that while yes, we need to take care of the U.S., it is important for us as Americans to understand what is going on around the world.

I will be following this trip on Twitter in the next few days and along with many other journalists and tweeters am interested to see the outcome.

Reuters has more about this visit here:Myanmar--Reuters

A Tale of Two Pachyderms -- CNN highlighting the rift in the Republicans heading into 2016

Keara Vickers

CNN’s election page has been (understandably) devoid of content. The votes are in and the Obama family renewed their lease at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for another four years.

Now the question for the Republicans is how to move forward. CNN has made much ado about the stalwart GOP leadership violently rejecting Romney’s post-election remarks about Obama’s “gifts” to his voting blocs. The former Republican front-runners have come out of the woodwork to criticize Romney’s campaigning. Newt Gingrich railed against Romney’s comments, calling them “insulting.”
Rick Santorum said the campaign was run on the defensive and that Romney lost because he didn’t come out swinging to defend his personal beliefs. 
Relive? I'll politely decline.
Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal called the gift gaff “totally unhelpful” in trying to rebrand the Republican party. Jindal has his own important role to play in the next four years -- he’s an early contender for a 2016 bid.

And speaking of 2016, there’s no rest for the wicked as speculation for the next horses to race is already off and running.
Paul Ryan isn’t quite out of the spotlight yet, as many have been highlighting him as the right candidate to pull a GOP win in 2016. He’s taken his VP loss in stride and with much less of the sore-loser attitude the “gifts” comment. Ryan is returning to his leadership role in the House armed with a heavy helping of political clout and a good chance at retaining the votes of the fiscal conservative and tea party Republicans. 
Florida senator Marco Rubio is an up-and-coming Republican rock star with a good chance at making a bid for 2016. 

The question that really should be asked, though, is not who will run in 2016 but why do we care already? Its almost like waiting for the new season of your favorite reality show -- just like we couldn’t wait to see what Snooki and JWow got into on the Jersey Shore, we’re already anticipating the next round of mudslinging. As it is, we’ve got a president still fighting a limping economy that could soon take a long walk off of a steep fiscal cliff, an escalating conflict in the middle east and enough scandal in the CIA to keep anyone busy. Maybe we should all step back and report on how the man in the White House is dealing with today’s problems rather than speculate on who will solve 2016s.

Someone had better change that "2" to a "6." I'm sure the new page will be up soon.