A Choice Highly Recommended Title—January 2017
This book is an interpretive analysis of political campaigns in America: instead of focusing on how campaigns are designed and run, it investigates the role campaigns play in our American politics, and the close symbiosis between campaigns and those politics. The text examines how campaigns are an important manifestation of how we "do" politics in this country.
Hallmarks of this text include:
- showing how campaigns can undermine our democracy and asking how democratic they—and by extension, our politics--really are;
- demonstrating that the ability of the media to accurately, fairly, and deeply report on campaigns has been severely compromised, both because of the growing "distance" between campaigns and media outlets and because of the structure of "Big Media" corporate ownership and its tight relationship to "Big Money." It asks important questions about the media including:
- How do the media, reporters in particular, cover campaigns? What pressures and forces shape what and how they present campaigns?
- What is the impact of the ever-increasing chasm separating campaigns and the media?
- How does the close tie between corporate mainstream media and Super PAC money affect campaign coverage?
- How does the ability of campaigns and media to segment voters into ever-smaller slices influence how campaigns are covered?
- tracking the continuing growth of unregulated, private, unaccountable "dark money" in campaigns as a threat to our democratic elections and politics. Democracy rests fundamentally on transparency and accountability – sunlight – and our campaign laws and norms now allow and encourage exactly the opposite, largely because of decisions by the United States Supreme Court.