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This Week: In the Dark
This Week
July 23, 2004


This week on NOW:

  • If voters are relying on local television news to help them make decisions in this important election year, recent studies show that they may be left in the dark. By some estimates, more than half of local news broadcasts may not cover politics at all in the weeks before the election, and important local races and issues are often completely ignored. In a nation where the public owns the airwaves, are local stations driving corporate profits at the expense of the communities they are supposed to serve? David Brancaccio takes a hard look at how local broadcasters are covering politics. With stations expecting record earnings from political ads, the program examines the winners and losers in the battle for localism and profiles one station that is getting it right.

  • Everybody's talking about the 9/11 Commission report and what it means for this country's security in the future. But for all the talk of a bi-partisan effort on getting to the bottom of what went wrong on 9/11, partisan and political struggles were rife throughout the process. Bill Moyers gets the insight of author and political analyst Kevin Phillips on the success or failure of the commission, and the other news of the week, including what Kerry might say at the Democratic Convention and the realities of the so-called economic recovery. Kevin Phillips was the chief political strategist for Richard Nixon's victory in 1968 and wrote the bombshell book EMERGING REPUBLICAN MAJORITY. Ten years ago his best-selling book on the politics of rich and poor influenced the 1992 elections and his recent WEALTH AND DEMOCRACY: A POLITICAL HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN RICH looks at how big money and political power are the invisible hand in the hidden story of the American experience.

  • This Monday when the lights go on in Boston at the Democratic convention, speakers will be center stage and working hard to deliver messages that connect with voters. Analysts say that for two decades conservatives have done a much better job than progressives to frame and talk about their values and some say the convention could be a make or break moment in the election. Do words really have the power to win not just hearts and minds, but votes? David Brancaccio gets a few words on the subject from world-renowned linguist George Lakoff. Dr. Lakoff is a founder of the Rockridge Institute, a new political think tank set up to reframe the terms of political debate to make a progressive vision more persuasive and influential. Lakoff is a professor at UC Berkeley and is the author of 8 books, including the influential MORAL POLITICS: HOW LIBERALS AND CONSERVATIVES THINK and most recently DON'T THINK OF AN ELEPHANT! WHAT EVERY AMERICAN SHOULD KNOW ABOUT VALUES AND THE FRAMING WARS, which is due out next month.

In Depth

Elections

Resources for Local Election News

Election Boards Map

Media Consolidation Roundup


Woman reading newspaper
Political Analyst Kevin Phillips

Tracking Campaign Ads

Professor of Linguistics George Lakoff

Republican Pollster Frank Luntz


Party politics
Defining Liberals

The Roots of Conservatism

Election 2004: Culture Wars


Discussion



Talk about the election on the message boards.

Resources

Learn more about the issues discussed on NOW.

Read the complete transcript.

Streaming Video



[NOTE: RealPlayer is required to view NOW segments.]

Local Media Coverage of the Election (14:32)

David Brancaccio talks with George Lakoff (19:10)



Credits



In the Dark
Producer: Peter Meryash
Editor: Alison Amron




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