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Media Relations

AU in the Media: 10/30/09

Top story

Recognizing Fox News’ Credibility

Jane Hall, professor of journalism, discussed the White House’s views of the Fox News Channel during an in-studio appearance on CNN’s Reliable Sources. “I think you do have to differentiate between their commentators and their news. I don’t think this is a good strategy for the Obama administration,” she said “I personally think they’ve made a point. Now move on. Put Obama on O’Reilly. Go on Chris Wallace’ show. I think they look like whiners.” Hall recently left Fox News Channel as a commentator, stating a decline in the quality of debate and discussion. (10/25/09)

Other Features

Big Bank Profits a Problem?

"I would argue we are in the midst of a period wherein compensation norms in financial markets are very much under scrutiny, under the microscope," said Jared Bernstein, Vice President Biden's chief economic adviser, during a speech at American University this week. An analysis of his speech appeared on’s Economy Watch blog. The analysis included questions from a faculty member and student including psychology professor Stanley Weiss who said the banks such as Goldman Sachs should not be able to keep its profits after receiving aid from the TARP loan plan as well as the taxpayer bailout of AIG. AU senior Carolina Peguero said Bernstein’s explanation was not fully appeasing. “It did not give me peace of mind. There should be some kind of repercussions,” (10/29/09)

Faculty and Quotes

Making a Compelling Argument in Congress

James Thurber, director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies, discussed the difficulty in making a case on less popular policy matters in a Time magazine story about the GOP push for credibility. “To make those cases is going to be very hard," Thurber says. "Even in terms of deficit and debt — and we are in trouble on that front — it's very hard to get people excited about that in America. Candidates have tried it for years; it's a hard issue to get people to focus on." (10/29/09)

Is This the Same Man We Elected?

Allan Lichtman, professor of history, explained his views on President Obama a year after he was elected to office in a story by USA Today. "He may be even more pragmatic than Bill Clinton, which has surprised me," he said. "He's basically moved to the position that, 'I'll take whatever I can get.' I thought he'd be more of a crusading, turning-point president. Is this the next liberal renaissance or not?" (10/29/09)

A Presidential Pardon is in Order

"Because the treatment of Jack Johnson was so shameful in our history, his case is beyond controversy, except perhaps in the eyes of the most contentious bigots," said Leonard Steinhorn, professor of public communication, in a Los Angeles Times story about Jack Johnson, the first black heavyweight boxing champion who was convicted of crossing state lines with a prostitute, and the push for a presidential Pardon. After seeing Steinhorn quoted in that article, producers at ABC News contacted him for an interview. “He was a black man who didn't play by the white rules and he also was involved with white women. All of those were no-no’s to White America in those days,” he told ABC.  The segment was broadcast on more than 25 ABC local affiliate stations and also was posted to (10/26/09)

United States and United Nations relations with Cuba

William LeoGrande, dean of the School of Public Affairs, discussed the United Nation’s recent vote, denouncing the United States’ trade embargo on Cuba in a Miami Herald article. `The vote represents the fact that the continued consensus around the world is that the United States policy doesn't make any sense,'' he said. ``The more time passes without the Obama administration doing something significantly different than [former President] George Bush did, the more hollow the promise of change for Cuba policy looks.'' In a related article, also in the Miami Herald, Robert Pastor, professor of international relations, talked about the United States’ relations with Cuba, and the outlook on future negotiations. ``Except during a crisis, the United States can afford to forget Cuba, and indeed, the political incentives within the United States encourage the status quo,'' he said. (10/29/09) (10/25/09)