Author: Joshua Scacco

  • A Letter Concerning Agency

    After a whirlwind weekend of conferences at the Eastern Communication Association in Baltimore and the Midwest Political Science Association in Chicago, I have been reflecting on my research and the underlying assumptions that I bring to it. Sitting in a Borders Books currently overlooking a rainy Chicago street, I am currently contemplating the disciplinary and theoretical underpinnings of my research in media and politics, political communication, and presidential rhetoric.

  • When Texans Attack: Inadvertently Rejecting Part of George W. Bush's Legacy

    It is no secret that the federal government is unpopular currently. Very unpopular. In fact, the federal government is usually unpopular. People are cranky and Congress' approval rating, according to recent polls, is in the mid teens. As one politician I used to work for would joke to his audiences, Congress' approval is so bad only staffers and blood relatives support it. Jokes aside, unpopularity with Washington, D.C.

  • A Mediated Log, Secular Sermon, and Marking Capitol Time

    This is my first gnovis post regarding my master's thesis topic, the weekly presidential address or formerly known as the weekly radio address. A genre of presidential rhetoric that developed during the Reagan administration, the weekly address has evolved from a strict radio format to an internet video channel under President Obama. I am examining both content and effects to study whether the transition to a different medium is altering messages and persuasive effects. Today, I am concerning myself (and you luckily) with the content side.

  • First and Ten of the Culture Wars

    What did it mean to have two presidential candidates in 2008 downplay divisive social issues? Abortion was off the radar, gay marriage was nowhere in sight, and the death penalty...well, was hardly discussed. After eight years of an administration elected partly as a result of Christian, evangelical conservatives, the culture wars seemed to end in 2008. A global economic crisis and two wars made these political "wedge" issues politically unpopular with independent and moderate voters (not that they were ever that popular to begin with).

  • The Re-Emergence of the Terror Frame

    The attempted bombing of a U.S. airliner bound for Detroit on Christmas day and the Obama administration's incoherent response to the terrorist event has sparked the re-emergence of the "terror frame," which had been temporarily replaced in the American consciousness by more immediate and daily concerns associated with the economic crisis.

  • I Will Bow and Be Exceptionalist

    My sixth grade English teacher always told us "Good manners are better than good grammar." On an Asian Pacific tour this week, President Obama exhibited what it means to have "good manners" and in the process drew the fire of conservative grammar regarding the infamous bow seen round the world.