Daniel Mesick, Principal
740 Rose Ave. W, St Paul, MN 55117
(651) 293-8800 | Get Directions
Almostevery home in Americacontains a TV. It is a major part of our lives a part that has proven to shapethe way Americans live (Campbell).News cameras allow us to first hand experience breaking news, and allowsAmericans to feel involved and united. For example, when the World TradeCenters were attacked Americawas glued to its TV. By watching and listening, Americans from coast to coastfelt involved in the tragedy. The same goes for politics; TV allows citizens tobe involved and have a sense of “direct contact.” (Campbell)Americans should feel as if they know their leaders, after all, they are theones who each day make decisions that effect our futures. Personally as anAmerican citizen, I like feeling as if I really know my president, not just asa formal relationship but rather more as a friend. TV is the way for Americansto reach that sense of comfort with their candidate. (Hart) TV involves an intimacythat cannot be obtained by radio.
Radio hasbeen replaced by TV over the years because it gives us another view on ourpresidential candidates although radio is a great way to listen to debates, itdoes not let us see the way the candidates carry themselves. Image is importantto Americans, and they more than likely don’t want a president who has badmanners and does not carry himself well. If someone is going to be the image ofthe free world that image needs to be one that represents Americawell. (Menand) Televised debates draw millions of viewers per election, becauseAmericans want to be involved visually with the candidates (Hart)
Although TVin elections is helpful to the voters, it is only affective when usedcorrectly. For example, during the Vietnam War, Americans felt dis-connectedfrom the troops. Walter Cronkite traveled to Vietnamto uncover the real story, and when CBS aired his report Americawas stunned. Their opinions on the war changed, and Johnson knew he would haveto end it. (Ramsey) Americans do not deserve to be lied to by their leaders,and if it wasn’t for TV who knows how long our soldiers would have stayed in Vietnam.This is also an example of TV’s power; broad casting companies should always betruthful, and not try to sway the public’s opinion towards one candidate oranother. Ted Koppel recalls a debate when he felt the wrong image was convey;“Because we were able to pull the best three or four minutes of theninety-minute event, Nightline made the whole thing look pretty good. That’sthe ultimate irony” (Koppel). Especially during election times, broad castersshould always try to display the true image of each candidate.
Overall,the tool of television has changed the face of American politics as we know it.It helps bring Americans into the action in Washington,and allows a citizen to be able to know the personality of the presidentialcandidates. Although TV is a great tool to use during elections, Americans mustalso be mindful and careful not to persuaded by certain news stations. Theyshould also use other sources of communication to learn about each candidatebefore reaching their final decision. If TV is used in a positive and helpfulmanner, it will bring back the involved government that our nation was based on.
Daniel Mesick, Principal | 740 Rose Ave W, St Paul, MN 55117 | (651) 293-8800 | Get Directions
Grades: 9-12 Hours: 7:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. Fax: (651) 293-8806