INFLUENCE OF THE MEDIA
The powerful influence of the media in certain political situations such as its revealing pictures and stories from Teapot Dome scandal, Iran-Contra Scandal, and recently the former President Bill Clinton love affair are a few which gives evidence of how the media attempts to control the public by what they put out and how it is covered. The impact of news stories on politicians and citizens concerning their view on public policies and public officials demonstrate well how mass media can influence U.S politics (Graber, 2006 pg. 2). It is clear that the United States has a strong Media outlet that either changes the minds of individuals or gives light and information to new situations and issues affecting various people. Even though the majority of prior agenda setting research has been conducted in an election setting, there are still plenty of reasons why the 2008 election would be an enticing case for yet another study.
First, the 2008 presidential election was historical in part because of the election of Barack Obama as the first African-American president. As a relatively unknown political figure in the US Senate from 2002-2006, how did people come to know about him both as a person, but also as a politician and what his view points was on various issues? The most likely answer is mass media.
Secondly, the 2008 presidential election was exceptional in the sense that, with the exception of Hubert Humphrey’s comeback in 1968, the candidate leading the polls after Labor Day usually ends up winning the general election a few months after (McKeever, 2006 pg. 113). In this election cycle Obama trailed McCain by 3 percentage points in the week following Labor Day (RealClearPolitics.com)
Thirdly, the 2008 election campaign saw a record high voter turnout. In fact, the voter turnout has not been higher since John F. Kennedy ran for President.
Lastly, it was exceptional in the sense that it was the first...