Monday, September 24, 2012

Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story


  1. 1. The main theme of the film, from what I grasped, seemed to be whether or not the ends justify the means. Throughout the video, Katie frequently mentioned the dirty tactics practiced by Lee Atwater. It was also said that Lee did not care about what tactics he used and whether he thought they were moral or not, as long as he won.
    2. The general pacing of the broadcast satisfactory. In my opinion, it moved a little slow but the pace worked well for me as I was watching and reviewing at the same time. Throughout the video Katie kept moving along through all of her points and hit every one of them well. The volume was very good. She spoke clear and loud; her voice was even and steady throughout. It looked like Katie had a script prepared or at least a list of talking points. Katie did really well with staying on topic and making sure she answered all of the questions necessary. Since she had something planned, her video was very easy to follow along with and she provided good examples.
    3. Katie seemed very informed on the information that she was relaying. She was confident and knew what she was talking about. Throughout the entire podcast Katie did not falter or stumble. Katie’s notes and points regarding the documentary seemed to be very organized and easy to follow. She did not seem uncomfortable in front of the camera/webcam and seemed to be entirely at ease.
    4. The Congressional race of 1978 between Campbell (Rep.) and Heller (Dem.) was listed by Katie as the first emergence of “push and pull politics”, as it was named. Push and pull politics is that whatever question is asked is used to draw suspicion. The example used was that Heller was a Jewish immigrant and Campbell would ask questions such as: “You do not believe in Jesus? Or religion?” He would ask such questions to create a divide between the religious people of the region who would not want a godless man representing them, even though such was not the case.
    Another example used by Katie was the South Carolina primary between Reagan and Connelly. Since Reagan’s chances of winning South Carolina looked very slim at the time, Atwater started telling the media that Connelly was trying to buy the black vote since he was spending a lot of his time there. It is then inferred that Reagan wins the South Carolina primary.
    5. The film itself seemed quite interesting to me. Since negative advertising and the generally perceived sketchiness of political campaigns is so prominent, it would be interesting to see where the whole idea came from, and how it has completely reshaped the modern-day political campaign process.
    6. Katie mentioned that the film used multiple interviews to depict the kind of person that Lee Atwater was. I think that seems very interesting. They used interviews with people that Atwater’s tactics negatively affected as well as people who were close to him. This kind of personal touch seems to be the best way to describe a person’s personality. Katie also mentioned that the film showed a lot about the political campaign process and that even people on the inside, such as Lee Atwater himself, find it revolting.

  2. I believe Katie did an excellent job describing the main premise of the Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story, the dirty tactics that Lee Atwater used in political campaigning and how that effects us today and how that is going to affect campaigning in future generations. I knew a great deal about Lee Atwater already and his dirty tactics but after watching Katie’s youtube video I didn’t realize how that has carried on and became the main source of negative campaigning today. I liked how Katie personally thanks Mr. Lee Atwater for that at the very end of her second youtube video, which not going lie caused me to laugh out loud. I also liked how in the beginning of Katie’s video she related the fakeness of wrestling to how that paralleled to the political tactics of Lee Atwater. Only a couple critics I would have to make is the general sound of the youtube video was hard to hear but I understand that problem because I was having a tough time with my own sound due to our state of the art tablet equipment. Another critic I would have to make is it was a bit distracting when watching your analysis of the documentary while you were chewing on your pen and the swiveling of the chair but beside that I think you did an excellent job describing the documentary. Katie was very informed and confident going into detail describing different political tactics Lee Atwater used in order to win. This was especially noteworthy during the 1988 campaign between Dukakis and H.W. Bush. Katie describes how Lee Atwater knew the importance of image, perception being everything and how people voted their fears, which Is all especially true when it comes to politics. Lee Atwater showed this with a Willie Horton ad used against Dukakis, making Dukakis appear soft on crime. The film sounded very interesting to me and I would gladly watch it. I love documentaries and learning more about the history of a person. It would be especially interesting to watch a documentary of a person whose life revolved around telling lies all in order to win. The strengths of the film appeared to be learning what goes on behind the scenes of the political process. Just after watching Katie’s video I feel a sort of anger toward Lee Atwater and how he backstabbed and used tricks against others all in order to win. All of this makes me want to see the documentary even more. Katie points out the weaknesses of the film and what could have made the film better if it portrayed the relationship better between Karl Rove and Lee Atwater. Katie also relates this video with what is going on in class describing class discussions we have had on how and why people vote. I just think that it is extremely noteworthy to know how much this negative advertising is going to especially affect our 2012 campaign, sadly showing that negative advertising is how elections are won.