Politics | KBIA

Politics

Political news

Commentary: Realignment Potential

Sep 17, 2020

In a July commentary I gave three of the nine reasons why America has a strong and durable two-party system, and why it is difficult for third parties to gain traction.  Sometimes they behave like supernova, blowing up an election, then going away almost without a trace.  But usually, to continue the astronomy analogy, they are just background radiation.


Commentary: Conversation with Insiders, Part 2

Sep 1, 2020

Last time my two political insiders and I looked at local and state races.  Now we’ll look at the national scene. 

We agree that there are more uncertainties and variables than ever before.  I would add that there is also less conventional wisdom to use as a crutch.  I’ll mention only two examples: The 240-Electoral Vote Lock that Democrats are supposed to have – and did until 2016 – just thirty short of the necessary  majority -- is one new uncertainty. 

Commentary: Conversation with Insiders, Part 1

Aug 18, 2020

Recently I got together with my two political insiders – one a progressive Democrat, the other a conservative Republican, both highly respected, well-connected and deeply informed – to survey the lay of the political land right before Labor Day.  I’ll try to condense an hour and a half of conversation and analysis.

Commentary: Two Party System (Part 2)

Jul 23, 2020

Last time I suggested our two-party system is deeply embedded in our political DNA.  In my American political parties class we examine the nine reasons for the persistence of the two-party system, but they can be summarized by three:

·      Most people feel an affinity, strong or mild, for either the Republicans or the Democrats, and the attachment is usually inherited.

Commentary: Two Party System (Part 1)

Jul 7, 2020

One of my favorite lectures to my students at Columbia College is about the stability and durability of the two-party system in America.  I draw a diagram across three whiteboards that dramatically demonstrates this.  It is two very long, almost uninterrupted parallel lines that begin in 1789 with the ratification of the Constitution and end with the present day.


Commentary: Handicapping the November Election

Jun 22, 2020

“Little doubt an election held today would be a Biden landslide/GOP wipeout,” an editor for the respected nonpartisan Cook Political Report said on June 8.

But by law national elections are held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November, despite Jared Kushner’s off-hand comment that the pandemic might change election day.  And there are at least seven reasons why no sane analyst would stake their reputation on predicting even a Trump/Republican defeat, not to mention a “wipeout.”  Here they are in no particular order.


Commentary: The Long Game

Jun 9, 2020

It is said that the Balkans in southeast Europe “produce more history then they can consume.”  I feel that right now the United States is producing more history than it can consume: A pandemic that has killed more Americans than the total population of Columbia, a bitterly divided country led by a president who is not interested in national unity, and now the worst civil unrest in many decades. 

Commentary: The Politics of Ort Gaukel

May 29, 2020

When I was in graduate school at Michigan State I got a job with grounds maintenance because the graduate assistantship wasn’t paying the bills.  In the morning I was a garbage man, riding around on the back of the truck and humping trash and incinerator ashes into the “packer,” as it was called – the technology hasn’t changed.  It was dangerous but interesting work.  You can’t believe what people throw away.  I salvaged a perfectly good night stand, a kid’s tricycle and a baby bed that was missing only one small piece of hardware that cost a quarter.  We supplemented our wages with deposit

Commentary: Rural America

May 14, 2020

Until I was eight years old I lived on the edge of a small town in eastern Illinois.  Every morning I looked out on big sky and corn or corn stubble.  I also lived as an adult in Kirksville for 18 years.  Kirksville is not as small as Oblong, Illinois but it is definitely rural.  All told I’ve lived half my life in rural America.

My early days in the country were especially formative.  I recall them being simple, quiet, safe and boring.  We did not farm, possibly the first generation of my line of Smiths not to.  Life was family-oriented: both sets of grandparents and an aunt and uncle lived on my one-mile walk between grade school and home.  One day was pretty much like the next.\


Commentary: Unlikelies

May 1, 2020

During the Easter egg hunt my two-year-old grandson announced that he had found a rooster egg.  This got me thinking: What are some fascinating but unlikely occurrences in the political world?  With the help of family and friends, here are some possibilities, and feel free to add to the list:


Commentary: Climate Change

Apr 16, 2020

I tell my students at Columbia College that when they are finished with this class and they don’t know if I’m a Democrat or a Republican, a conservative or a liberal, then it’s been a successful class in at least one way.  I tell them it is none of their business what my political beliefs are.  


Political Commentary: Virus

Apr 2, 2020

I have not read Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ novel Love in the Time of Cholera and it appears the plot doesn’t have much to do with disease, but it certainly has a memorable title and one that is going through my head now, especially “love,” which I’m feeling in abundance toward my family even though, or maybe especially because, we are all isolated from each other in strange and, for us, extremely rare and unfamiliar ways.

How do you cover the COVID-19 virus – and all of the other news of the day – without putting your staff at an additional risk? It’s a question newsroom managers are grappling with right now.

Journalists across the United States are finding themselves affected by the spread of the coronavirus. What’s the biggest challenge facing the news media as the epidemic spreads? Also, Chris Matthews’ departure from MSNBC, the end of Judge Judy and getting the Marquee Sports Network into midwest households before MLB's opening day. From Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Kathy Kiely: Views of the News.

Journalists across the United States are finding themselves affected by the spread of the coronavirus. What’s the biggest challenge facing the news media as the epidemic spreads?

Commentary: Trump Explained

Mar 3, 2020

I’m old enough to remember when Ronald Reagan was elected governor of California.  The received wisdom at the time was: How did this second-rate, washed-up actor get elected governor of the biggest state in the country?  Fourteen years later a version of this same narrative wondered how he got elected president, except the pejorative “old” was added.


Disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein awaits his sentence for rape and criminal sexual action. With calls for people to keep coming forward to report misconduct, what’s next in the reporting of the #MeToo movement? Also, a departure from non-disclosure agreements, dozens of #Bloomberg supporters are blocked from #Twitter, and #Netflix says it will publish list of its most popular programs. From Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Monique Luisi and Kathy Kiely: Views of the News.

Disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein awaits his sentence for rape and criminal sexual action. With calls for people to keep coming forward to report misconduct, what’s next in the reporting of the #MeToo movement?

Former ABC News White House Correspondent Sam Donaldson endorsed Michael Bloomberg for president. Does offering such an opinion compromise a retired journalist in the way it does those still working in the newsroom? Also, McClatchy files bankruptcy, and British Prime Minister wants to end the licensing model that’s funded the BBC for 100 years. From Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Kathy Kiely: Views of the News. KBIA 91.3 FM

Commentary: Frantic Fortnight

Feb 18, 2020

Some first impressions as things happened during a frantic fortnight:

Monday, February 3: Iowa Democrats intended to influence the presidential nominating process by being first in the nation to select convention delegates.  Instead they influenced the general election process by trying to use untested technology to report caucus votes.  It was a total FUBAR.  Republican ads will write themselves: “How can you trust a party that can’t run one state’s election to run all the business of the country?”  This is the same party that was so good at technology in 2008 and 2012.

Sam Donaldson appears at the Kaplan Fellowship 25th Anniversary Celebration.
Missouri School of Journalism

Former ABC White House Correspondent Sam Donaldson endorsed Michael Bloomberg for president. Does offering such an opinion compromise a retired journalist in the way it does those still working in the newsroom?

The Pentagon’s latest budget request to Congress includes a significant cut to the Stars and Stripes. If passed, Defense Department officials say, the money could be moved to warfighting efforts, and it could communicate to troops directly. But, would it still meet the mission of an independent press? Also, analysis of the coverage of the Coronavirus from around the globe, the launch of the new 24-hour cable news network, Black News Channel, and history made at the Oscars. From Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Kathy Kiely: Views of the News.

The Pentagon’s latest budget request to Congress includes a significant cut to the Stars and Stripes. If passed, Defense Department officials say, the money could be moved to warfighting efforts, and it could communicate to troops directly. But, would it still meet the mission of an independent press?

He’s been called “grandfather of mid-Missouri media,” a nod to his decades of leadership at KBIA 91.3 FMKOMU 8 and the Missouri School of Journalism. This week, we remember this show’s creator, Rod Gelatt. He died Sunday at his home in Arizona. He was 93. Also, coverage of the #impeachment hearings, and The New York Times tries to bring transparency to presidential endorsements. From Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Stacey Woelfel, Ryan Thomas and Mike McKean: Views of the News.

He’s been called “grandfather of mid-Missouri media,” a nod to his decades of leadership at KBIA, KOMU and the Missouri School of Journalism. This week, we remember this show’s creator, Rod Gelatt. He died Sunday at his home in Arizona. He was 93.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have reached an agreement with the rest of the Royal Family, and will spending more time in Canada. What responsibility did the British press have for their decision? Also, a call for White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham to step up to the podium from 13 of her predecessors and Oprah Winfrey pulls out of a Sundance-bound documentary targeting Russell Simmons From Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Kathy Kiely: Views of the News. KBIA 91.3 FM

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have reached an agreement with the rest of the Royal Family, and will spending more time in Canada. What responsibility did the British press have for their decision?

Commentary: Disco Through the 2020 Election Cycle

Jan 10, 2020

Columbia College Political Science Professor Terry Smith is a regular commentator on KBIA's Talking Politics. Every few years, he looks for some musical inspiration to tell the story of our political moment. This year, it's disco.

This week, an in-depth look at the coverage of the airstrikes in Iran: why the punditry is giving some flashbacks to 2003, why we might want to think twice before throwing out words such as “assassination,” and where we’re seeing misinformation and #deepfakes slip through. Also, what audiences want from us, and how we can resolve to give them that in 2020. From Missouri School of Journalism professors Amy Simons, Earnest Perry and Kathy Kiely: Views of the News.

This week, an in-depth look at the coverage of the airstrikes in Iran: why the punditry is giving some flashbacks to 2003, why we might want to think twice before throwing out words such as “assassination,” and where we’re seeing misinformation and deepfakes slip through. Also, what audiences want from us, and how we can resolve to give them that in 2020. 

Pages