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When Politicians Attack : Party Cohesion in the Media - Tim J. Groeling

When Politicians Attack

Party Cohesion in the Media

Paperback

Published: 19th July 2010
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Fostering a positive brand name is the chief benefit parties provide for their members. They do this both by coordinating their activities in the legislative process and by communicating with voters. Whereas political scientists have generally focused on the former, dismissing partisan communication as cheap talk, this book argues that a party's ability to coordinate its communication has important implications for the study of politics.

The macro-level institutional setting of a party's communication heavily influences that party's prospects for cohesive communication. Paradoxically, unified government presents the greatest challenge to unified communication within the president's party. As this book argues, the challenge stems primarily from two sources: the constitutional separation of powers and the intervening role of the news media.

In this setting, internal disputes with the president or within the congressional majority are more likely to arise; these disputes are disproportionately likely to be featured by the news media, and stories of intra-party strife become the most credible and damaging type of partisan story.

About the Author

Tim Groeling is Associate Professor of Communication Studies at UCLA. With Matthew A. Baum, he is the co-author of War Stories: The Causes and Consequences of Public Views of War. His articles have appeared in the Journal of Politics, International Organization, Political Communication, Political Behavior, and Presidential Studies Quarterly, among other publications.

'... clearly written and organized. [This book] contains engaging prose and many vivid examples to illustrate its argument. It would be a good choice for graduate classes or advanced undergraduate classes on political communication, parties, or Congress.' Jonathan M. Ladd, Public Opinion Quarterly

Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Introduction: Singing from the Same Hymnbook: Party Cohesion in the Mediap. 1
Talking Out of the Same Sides of Their Mouthsp. 2
Chapter-by-Chapter Overviewp. 3
ôMcPartyö: Cohesion and the Party ôBrand Nameöp. 3
Man Bites President: The Mediation of Partisan Communicationp. 6
Breaking the ôEleventh Commandmentö: Party Cohesion in Presidential Newsp. 7
Life in the Shadows: The President's Legislative Party as Newsmakerp. 8
When Politicians Attack: The Political Implications of Partisan Conflict in the Mediap. 9
With Enemies Like These: The Silver Lining of Divided Governmentp. 10
Conclusion: Uncircling the Firing Squad: Party Cohesion in a New Media Erap. 12
ôMcPartyö: Cohesion and the Party ôBrand Nameöp. 14
Introduction: ôBrandingö the Republican Partyp. 14
Parties, American-Stylep. 18
What Is a Brand Name?p. 20
How Are Valuable Brand Names Fostered?p. 22
Simplicityp. 22
Consistencyp. 23
Authenticityp. 26
Connection to Audience Aspirationsp. 27
General Threats to Brand Namesp. 28
Specific Threats to Party Brand Namesp. 28
Strategies for Controlling ôAgency Lossesö to the Brand Namep. 32
Institutions as Brand-Aidsp. 33
Controlling Agency Loss at McDonald'sp. 34
Controlling Agency Loss within Partiesp. 36
Conclusionp. 41
Man Bites President: The Mediation of Partisan Communicationp. 43
Introductionp. 43
Politicians and the News Mediap. 44
What Is Newsworthy?p. 47
Noveltyp. 49
Conflictp. 50
Balancep. 52
Authorityp. 53
On Message: A Typology of Partisan Messagesp. 55
Putting It Together: Building Stories from Messagesp. 58
Narrowing the Scope: President-Initiated Newsp. 59
Congress: The Greek Chorus of Presidential Newsp. 60
Making the Choice: Selecting Congressional Responses to Presidential Newsp. 62
Implications of the Novelty Axiomp. 63
Implications of the Conflict Axiomp. 64
Implications of the Balance Axiomp. 64
Implications of the Authority Axiomp. 64
Analysis and Hypothesesp. 65
A Two-Factor Model of News Contentp. 67
Conclusionp. 69
Breaking the ôEleventh Commandmentö: Party Cohesion in Presidential Newsp. 71
Introductionp. 71
The Dependent Variable: Praise or Criticism of the President in the Newsp. 72
Solutionsp. 73
CMPA Datasetp. 73
Baum and Groeling Datap. 76
Hypothesis Testingp. 81
Analysisp. 83
Inferring Rhetorical Support from Legislative Supportp. 84
Inferring Presidential-Party Support from Presidential Popularityp. 88
Changing Standards of Newsworthinessp. 92
Conclusionp. 95
Life in the Shadows: The President's Legislative Party as Newsmakerp. 97
Introductionp. 97
Literature on Congressional Newsp. 99
Building the Brand Namep. 101
Pursuit of Majority Controlp. 102
Ideological Bondsp. 103
Legislative Party Communication Institutionsp. 104
Message Success and Failure in the Legislative Partiesp. 112
Congressional Storiesp. 113
Choosing Stories for a Broadcastp. 113
Congress-Initiated Stories in the Newsp. 115
Who Can Initiate Congressional Stories?p. 115
Who Can Initiate Congressional Self-Praise?p. 117
Verbatim Transcript Searchp. 118
Who Responds to Congressional News?p. 120
Conclusionp. 122
When Politicians Attack: The Political Implications of Partisan Conflict in the Mediap. 125
Introductionp. 125
Cheap Talk?p. 126
Hypothesis Test #1: Aggregate Analysis, Baum and Groeling Datap. 130
Dependent Variablesp. 130
Control Variablesp. 131
Explanatory Variablesp. 131
Base-Model Resultsp. 131
Fully Specified Model Resultsp. 133
Analysisp. 134
Hypothesis Test #2: Aggregate Analysis, CMPA Datap. 134
Base-Model Resultsp. 135
Fully Specified Model Resultsp. 137
Analysisp. 137
Overall Aggregate Results Discussionp. 138
Experimentsp. 140
Experiment #1: Costly Credibility for Independent Viewersp. 141
Experiment #2: All Messages, All Partisan Groupsp. 143
Overall Experimental Results Discussionp. 145
Conclusionp. 145
With Enemies Like These: The Silver Lining of Divided Governmentp. 147
Introduction: Beware of Charging RINOsp. 147
Political Science and Party Governmentp. 152
Divided Control of Government and Public Supportp. 153
A Practical Preference for Divided Government?p. 156
Does Unified Government Enhance Legislative Success?p. 158
Fighting Over the Steering Wheelp. 163
Divided Government as an ôIronclad Alibiöp. 164
Divided Government and Unified Party Communicationp. 169
Divided Government and a ôConspiracy of Incumbentsöp. 173
Conclusion: Keeping One's Enemies Closerp. 179
Conclusion: Uncircling the Firing Squad: Party Cohesion in a New Media Erap. 183
Introductionp. 183
Two Factors, Revisitedp. 186
Making Party Messages More Cohesivep. 187
Controlling Message Distributionp. 189
The Partisan Press Is Dead. Long Live the Partisan Pressp. 190
Back to the Futurep. 194
Self-Selected Sources and Seeing No Evilp. 197
Closing Thoughtsp. 202
Referencesp. 205
Indexp. 233
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521603072
ISBN-10: 0521603072
Series: Communication, Society and Politics
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 256
Published: 19th July 2010
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.8 x 14.986  x 1.778
Weight (kg): 0.408