While discussing the readings of Garry Wills and Katherine Boo, I would like to begin with some similarities between the writers’ works. First of all, I want to point out that both writers describe the issues, which are related to political journalism, but not political science as some persons suppose. General context of both fragments is another striking demonstration that the writers were unfamiliar with some specific data on political science.
They mostly appeal to the senses of the readers, their imagination, etc. To emphasize the readers’ perception, the writers use a descriptive method all over. For instance, let’s consider one of the descriptions of Nixon in the book written by Garry Willis: “His grades were good, his debating excellent, his political skills already apparent. But there was, then as always, a deep distrust of brilliance in him” (159).
Boo’s description: “The older woman’s lacquered fingernails were the same shade as her lipstick, pants suit, nylons, and pumps, which also happened to be the color of the red clay dust that settled on Sooner Haven every summer” (1). However, I want to point out that political journalism also requires some specific skills. It means that Garry Willis as well as Katherine Boo studied numerous articles and reports of political science bloggers, etc. to write their own works on specific topics.
The thesis statement
Although political journalism can’t affect political science, political science can impact on political journalism. It is obvious, that the science influences structural context, various approaches to political news, historical trends development, and some confused questions.
Another important point I want to touch on is that both fragments unable to affect various political phenomena. For this reason, one is to make a conclusion that numerous storylines do not impact on persons’ decisions in relation to political aspects. However, when I was analyzing the context of both fragments, I understood that the writers neglected numerous points they didn’t comprehend well enough. It means that there were some basic factors the writers relied on. Thus, Boo says:
Traditionally, singleness has been viewed as a symptom of poverty. Today,
however, a politically heterodox cadre of academics is arguing that singleness
– and particularly, single parenthood – is one of poverty’s primary causes, for
which matrimony might be a plausible tonic (1).
The adverb traditionally shows that the writer relies on her basic knowledge. In other words, she uses the facts nobody can deny, as traditionally means a well-known detail from the history. On the other hand, when it is easy to show a logical development of a thought, the probability to convince the readers of some viewpoints increases. So, it is obvious, that singleness is one of primary causes of poverty and it can be easily explained.
Important empirical claims were omitted as there was no evidence to confirm some assumptions. On the other hand, Wills and Boo had no time to find relevant sources. However, it doesn’t mean that they lost some opportunities or didn’t do their best. On the contrary, political journalism means the writers or journalists are to disclose the current issues and academics are to investigate and explain various political phenomena. Thus, both fragments reflected political points at a faster pace. So, Wills states:
The true significance of nineteenth-century liberalism was not so much that
products are tested on the open market of free enterprise, or that truth will
triumph in the free market of the academy, as that man himself must be
spiritually priced, must establish his value (“amount to something”), in each
day’s trading (165).
Using federal money to raise the marriage rate among the poor – the House
recently approved a three-hundred-million-dollar White House plan to help
states experiment towards this goal – is an effort to complete what the
Administration considers the unfinished business of the 1996 federal welfare – reform law (1).
So, both writers do not consider the points in details. There are only the facts they rely on.
When talking about the differences in both fragments, I would like to point out one of the most significant characteristics of American politics. Thus, the economic aspect is considered to be one of the most popular subjects of discussion. Of course, everyone knows that economic issues and politics depend upon each other.
However, the point I want to highlight is the difference between the fragments. So, there is a need to notice that Katherine Boo’s fragment is related to “economic pressures, security and mainstream” (1); while the fragments written by Garry Wills do not contain information on some economic points. It doesn’t mean that Boo’s work is better; no, it means that the journalists had different purposes and described different issues.
Boo used economic aspects to draw the readers’ attention to some details of the topic she disclosed; while Wills mostly highlighted the issues of faith and politics as well as their interdependence: “There are many people who simply can’t have faith in God because they have no faith in themselves. How can they have, when the trading system for made and unmade selves has put a price tag on them?” (167).
The writers relied on political science to provide the readers with more details. The actual effects of various political situations are mostly restricted and do not reflect the interdependence between certain events. In most cases, political changes are reflected in such a way to arouse the readers’ interest, but they are not explained in a proper way.
2. Obama Promotes Economic Plan in Election Swing States
The article is written by the journalist Kent Klein. He describes the promises of the President of the USA to speed the economic upswing of a manufacturing plant.
In my opinion, Klein’s article is effective, as the journalist uses the quotations in order to convince the readers of his mediated interview:
Companies get all kinds of tax breaks when they move jobs and profits overseas. Think about that. A company that chooses to stay in America gets hit with one of the highest tax rates in the world. That’s wrong. That does not make sense No personal opinion is added (1).
In other words, there is no personal opinion – the facts only. The journalist’s ability to combine quotations and paraphrases is considered to be his secret technique. The journalist uses political terminology to be specific: “The president also advocated policies that discourage companies from shifting profits to overseas tax havens” (Klein 1).
Boo, Katherine. The Marriage Cure, 2012. Web. 26 Jan.2012.
Klein, Kent. Obama Promotes Economic Plan in Election Swing States, 2012. Web. 26 Jan.2012.
Wills, Garry. Nixon Agonistes: The Crisis of the Self-Made Man, 2012. Web. 26 Jan.2012.