October 21

Campaigns and Elections Computer Lab
1. Read
Read The Baby by Donald Barthelme and the handout I gave you in class, The Braindead Megaphone, by Monday. I've attached the questions for the readings at the bottom of this page. We will discuss both of these readings in class. If you'd like to augment your reading, there is a Braindead Megaphone the movie video that you can watch.



2. View
Click over to The Living Room Candidate, the website of the Museum of the Moving Image.
View at least one presidential campaign ad from each of the following decades: the 1950s, the 1960s, the 1970s, the 1980s, the 1990s, and the 2000s, and explain which of these ads was the most effective, and which was the least effective. You do not need to turn your thoughts about these ads in, just be prepared to explain your choices in class on Thursday.

Watch at least 3 McCain and 3 Obama ads from 2008 and think about which were the best and the worst and wether they are negative or not. You do not need to turn your thoughts about these ads in, just be prepared to explain your choices in class on Thursday.


3. Present
On Thursday in class you will present one political campaign ad (it can be from any campaign) that you think is especially effective and explain why it is a good ad. Post a link to your ad on the Effective Campaign Ad page. Put your name under your ad with a sentence or two explaining why it is an effective ad. If you find that your ad is already on this page, then add your name to the ad and write your explanation of why it is effective under the ad. I will grade you on your post and your classroom explanation.


4. Read some more, this time about negative ads
Read Those Negative Ads Are A Positive Thing
Find a negative ad that you think works and post a link to it on the Negative Campaign Ad Page. Put your name under your ad with a sentence or two explaining whether or not you think it is an effective ad. If you find that your ad is already on this page, then add your name to the ad and write your explanation of why it is effective under the ad. I will grade you on your post and your classroom explanation.


5. Be secret
Go to Open Secrets
Go to the search engine on the Open Secrets page and type in your zip code. Check it out! You can also check and see who people you know are giving their money to. Browse the Open Secrets site and check out the list of the biggest donors from the past ten years. See what else you can find about money and politics. Post a paragraph about what your learned about your zip code and about money and politics in general on the Open Secrets Thread by Friday.

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