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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Oct. 22, 1996)
LANDSCAPE SERVICES employees Ibdd Wright, left, and Angela Goin plant daffodil bulbs outside the College of Business
Administration Monday afternoon.
Panelists pit politics vs/press
Journalists, politicians review co-dependent relationship
By Erin Schulte
Politicians are “assholes” and reporters are “excitable;” but raw news
will reach the public anyway.
A panel of journalists, educators and politicians debated the dysfunc
tional and co-dependant relationship between media and politics Mon
day night in the Nebraska Union in front of a crowd of about 200.
Stephen Ansolabehere, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology and co-author of “Going Negative: How Political Advertis
ing Shrinks and Polarizes the Electorate” and “The Media Game,” said
eyen if people thought the media were biased, they had straight news
available to them as the media splintered into hundreds of facets.
“People are not paying attention to any one channel,” Ansolabehere
said. “We can get information of any ilk that we want.”
But the adversarial relationship between journalists and politicians,
while necessary, is a constant problem, other panelists argued.
Kathleen Rutledge, city editor of the Lincoln Journal-Star, said when
she was a rookie political reporter, a mentor warned her that politicians
were all “assholes.”
Journalists wer§jgpalled in 1992 when the nationally-televised Re
publican National cBuv'pijtion failed to air former President Ronald
Reagan,the “great communicator,” during prime time, said Andy Abboud,
executive director of tile Nebraska Republican Party.
This year, helsai^rjhe Republican party responded to the complaints
and aired key speakers during prime time.
“And then they screamed because they were manipulated,” Abboud
said of journalists.
Ansolabehere also commented on the lack of in-depth political re
porting. During deadline crunches, reporters are forced to spew out quotes
He cited one case in Virginia where an often-interviewed university
professor would simply ask “What quote do you need for the story?” and
give the reporters what they wanted.
He said the media were reinforcing “blurbs” to editorialize stories.
Although it was agreed that media and politics feed each other, one
panelist said the media was definitely in ultimate control of the relation
“Neva- pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel and
paper by the ton,” Abboud said. “... They always get the last word.”
_:_:___:..__ ' .. •
By Chad Lorenz
Although U.S. senators don’t have direct
power over mayors in Nebraska cities, Gov. Ben
Nelson said he would not ignore them if elected.
“You’re going to have Hoc best idea of what
the real problems are and the best idea of how to
solve them,” Nelson told a dozen Nebraska may
ors Monday at the Governor’s Mansion.
They represented more than 50 mayors in
Nebraska endorsing Nelson for the Senate.
Lincoln and Omaha Mayors Mike Johanns
and Hal Daub did not attend. Neither endorsed
Phil Odom, mayor of Hastings, said his city
wouldn’t be where k is now if Nelson hadn’t been
in office, looking out for its best interests.
Hastings’ hassles with federal environmental
regulations have shown Odom that Nelson now
needs to be looking out for him in Washington,
Odom agreed with environmental law, but he
had problems with the way it was enforced by
the Environmental Protection Agency.
“Most of that is spent on lawsuits and consulta
Paul Korslund, mayor of Beatrice, said Nelson
had been helpful in cutting red tape to get state
relief for rebuilding Beatrice after a tornado tore
through the town this summer
“Frankly, it is in our best interests as mayors
to have Nelson in Washington,” he said.
Mayor Inez Boyd of Bellevue said Nelson’s
state policyhad benefittetl her city, particularly
by opening the Kennedy Ffeeway to bring traffic
and trade from Omaha.
Mayors who spoke in support of Nelson also
pointed out their problems with his senatorial
opponent, Chuck Hagel.
Boyd said Hagel was scaring Nebraskans
away with proposed education cuts in programs
such as Head Start and subsidized lunches.
“Chuck Hagel doesn’t understand the cuts he’s
making. In education, he would throw the bur
den back to the individual municipal govern
Harold “Andy” Anderson, mayor of La Vista,
said he was shocked by Hagel’s advertising jabs
at Nelson’s tax record as governor.
“If Nelson’s been raising taxes, how come ours
in La Vista is so low?”
Registration deadline nears
From Staff Reports
Friday is die last chance for Nebraska vot
ers to register and be a part of this year’s big
Lancaster County residents can register at
the Lancaster County Election Office at 555 S.
9th St from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. today through
Thursday, and from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday.
Registration will also be at the following
times and locations:
• Today at the Lincoln Square Food Court,
121 S. 13th St, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.;
and at Rivas Medal Products, 3100 N. 38th St,
from 3:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.
• Wednesday at the Gateway Mall Food
Court 6100 O St, from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
• Thursday at the Lincoln Square Food
Court 121 S. 13th St, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30'
p.m.; East Park Plaza, 220 N. 66th St, from 3
p.m. to 8 p.m.; and at the Northeast YMCA,
2601 N. 70th St., from 7:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
• Friday at Pfizer Animal Health, 601 W.
Comhusker Highway, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.;_
and at East Park Plaza, 220 N. 66th St, from J
noon to 6 p.m. 3
Absentee voting for Lancaster County Vot
ers will be Saturday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at
the election office.
Students who are registered to vote in a
county other than Lancaster County can write
the county in which they’re registered and re
quest an absentee ballot.
Their letter must include their name, the
address at which they are registered, the reason
they are voting absentee and the address to
which they want the ballot mailed.
The completed ballots must be returned to
the county in which they are registered by Nov.
7, at 10 a.m. For a list of addresses of the Ne
braska county election offices -— or to find out
where to vote oh election day — call the
Lancaster County Election Office at 441-7311.
•,* .r- ■ _ . • - ......
_ Lane Hickenbottom/DN
HEATHER OVIATT (left), an undecided sophomore, registers to vote while Susan Janssen
and Lancaster County deputy election commissioner Kelly Guenzel operate a voter
registration booth in the Harper Schramm Smith cafeteria building Monday afternoon.
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