DEPARTMENT OF POLITICAL SCIENCE AND INTERNATIONAL
RELATIONS Posc 150
THE MASS MEDIA AND POLITICS (Part I)
1. Finish discussing the constitutional context ofAmerican politics
2. Film, “Illusion of News” that starts the discussion of the media.
II. WHAT THE CONSTITUTION DOES:
1. èCreates a republic.
2. èTries to control political power and social power exerted through
3. èCreates a presidential system
1. Ours differs from a parliamentary or unified government. D.A“moat” around
1. The electoral college and the indirect election of the president.âFragmentation of
power and the shattered sword:
1.T Separation of powers: three semi-autonomous branches i.Article 1: The Congress
1) Bicameral legislature - two houses of Congress
ii. Article 2: The President
iii. Article 3:An independent judiciary
1) TJudicial review
1. a) The Supreme Court has extraordinary power.
2. b) Marbury Vs Madison
2.T Checks and balances (e.g., veto, advise and consent, tax legislation, etc.) i.
3. T Federalism
i. National and state governments.
ii. Enumeration of specific powers; others left to the states.
iii. The Bill of Rights: restraints on national government.
1. 1) Incorporation controversy
2. 2) Recall the discussion of the FourthAmendment.
4. T Independent constituencies
i. Members of different branches have different “bosses” they need to listen to.
5.T Geographical representation
6. èMadison’s extended republic
1. Pit interest against interest
2. See Federalist Paper No. 10
Class 9 The Mass Media Part I Page 2 2.
III. AVIEWERS GUIDE
A. Read on your own.
i. ii. iii. iv. v.
Delays, even prevents collective action.
Thwarts majority rule.
âRewards or gives advantage to those with most resources. May not be adaptable.
Protection of rights.
Flexibility: it has adapted to changing circumstances, maybe.
TO “ILLUSIONS OF NEWS”:
1. The film illustrates how politicians “coopt” (form unholy alliances) with the
people they cover.
i. It shows, for example, how candidates use the media to their (the
2. Lots of important events and problems occur and persist.
3. But surprisingly many are hardly mentioned in election campaigns an