The politics of distraction
Politicians, skilled ones anyway, are adept at changing the subject when the news is unfavorable. The most recent example is probably President Obama’s speech on the use of drones as a weapon against terrorist activity (coming at a moment when several pieces of bad news, in some circles referred to as scandals, were dominating the headlines). The timing of the speech was curious, but reporters quickly combed it for news and analysis for several days. This probably happens more often than we would like to think. Another example, this from the Bush/Cheney Administration, was the periodic ‘terror alert’ that was unspecified, and usually occurred around the time of other bad news for the administration.
There is a link in the ‘Assignments Folder’ in Blackboard titled ‘Reflection Paper.’ Follow the instructions in terms of assigned readings and videos. You will need to watch the film Wag the Dog. This is available for view through Amazon and Netflix. Occasionally you will find a youtube version of it that the copyright lawyers have yet to discover. I have also provided links to a couple of stories from early in the Iraq War–the ‘rescue’ of Private Jessica Lynch, and the cover-up of Pat Tillman’s death in Afghanistan. There is one reading on each and some video links to watch.
I will provide you with a list of questions to answer, and you can submit these in Blackboard. I expect that you will spend a minimum of an hour responding to the questions (I can almost always tell when it’s been less ….). The reflection paper assignment is due July 27 th.
Papers will be evaluated based on the thoughtfulness of your responses, and your ability to demonstrate you did the readings and video assignments, and gleaned something from them. You couldn’t do this assignment thoughtfully in less than 3 pages. I would recommend that you take notes while you’re watching the video content, the film and the excerpts on Jessica Lynch and Pat Tillman’s death.
50 points possible