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March 18, 1988 - Image 3

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1988-03-18

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The Michigan Daily-Friday, March 18, 1988- Page 3
Experts discuss media's role in
presidential candidate selection

The presidential campaign of
1988 has turned into a "couch potato
campaign" as viewers with "eyes and
no brains hunker down" to watch
television coverage of the race, 1980
Presidential candidate John Anderson
said yesterday.
Television coverage doesn't get
viewers "engaged (in the campaign)
besides superficial interests, like
does Paul Simon have the long ear-
lobes that everyone is talking
about," Anderson said.
Anderson spoke at a n
Undergraduate Political Science As-
sociation conference yesterday on
candidate selection and the media be-
fore about 100 people. At the con-
ference, experts debated whether the
media is adequately covering the
ANDERSON argued that media
coverage is superficial and doesn't
engage citizens in thinking about the
issues, and University graduate stu-
dent Donna Wasserman said the me-
dia favors "horserace" (who's doing
well) and personality stories over
stories concerning the issues.
On the other hand, University
political science prof. Gregory
Markus defended the media, saying
that personality factors are impor-
tant, and voters use "horserace" cov-
erage to judge candidate "viability."
Research on campaign stories

published in The New York Times
during the first half of 1984 revealed
that 42 percent of the stories con-
cerned "horserace" coverage, 32 per-
cent concerned candidate characteris-
tics, 14 percent concerned candidate
endorsements, and only 12 percent
concerned policy issues, Wasser-
man's study showed.
M A R K US, however, argued
that speculation stories over who is
doing well are important to many
Research has shown that a sub-
stantial factor influencing Gary
Hart's support in 1984 was his pei -
ceived likelihood of obtaining the
Democratic nomination.
Markus does not complain that
there is "horserace" coverage of the
candidates, but that the speculations
are often wrong. He noted the incor-
rect predictions that Bush would do
well in Iowa, that Gore would falter
on Super Tuesday, and that Simon
was "sinking like a stone" in Illi-
M A R K U S also defended
"personality" stories. "I'd want to
know whether a candidate - Bob
Dole, for example - hasn't watched
a movie in years, doesn't eat dinner
with his wife, or is likely to go off
at any moment and fire half his
staff," Markus said.
Research has also shown that
voters look at "job-relevant" person-


.. .speaks against
broadcast journalism


Doily Photo by JOHN MUNSON
Jackson in action
Rev. Jesse Jackson shakes hands with supporters after speaking at a Chappel Hill church in Detroit where he
called on his fellow Democratic nominees to stop attacking each other. He called up the ghost of primaries
past saying, "Democrats beat Carter in the spring, Reagan beat what was left of him in the fall." Throughout
the rest of the day he attended fund-raisers in several Detroit locations.
Former Soviet dissidenr
discuss violated human rights

ality characteristics, like leadership
ability and integrity.
In an earlier panel discussion, ex-
perts talked about the powerful, ef-
fects of television.
Television, not the print media,
influences people most, said John
Herbers, a former national corre-
spondent for The New York Times.
Print media's influence is in
telling television cameras where to
focus, one panel member said.

Tatyana Osipova and Ivan Ko-
valev were convicted as criminals,
but they were not guilty of theft or
murder. Guilty of promoting human
rights in Russia, they were sentenced
to five years of imprisonment fol-
lowed by five years of exile.
Osipova and Kovalev, husband
and wife who were released from the
Soviet Union last spring, spoke to
about 75 people at Angell Hall last
night about human rights, glasnost,
and the treatment of political prison-
ers in their former homeland.
In the speech sponsored by
Amnesty International of Ann Arbor
and the University's Center for Rus-
sian and Eastern European Studies,
the former Soviet dissidents spoke in
their native tongue but their speeches
were translated for the audience.
Dissidents are punished for at-
tempting to improve the lives of

Soviet citizens, Kovalev said.
Political prisoners are sent to camps
to forget ideas of freedom. When they
refuse to do this, which most do,
they are at risk of solitary confine-
ment and loss of all privileges, in-
cluding bedding and clothing.
Yet, the unfair treatment - the
isolation and deprivation - are not
only characteristic of the harsh prison
camps. "(The camps) are a reflection
of the way we live outside. Camp
colors are a little more concentrated,"
said Kovalev.
Despite the West's continued
support of glasnost in the Soviet
Union, Soviet General Secretary
Mikhail Gorbachev's plan is making
situations worse instead of improv-
ing them, Kovalev said.
Although Kovalev and Osipova
were two of the 200 who were
granted pardons since Gorbachev's'
glasnost program was initiated, they
said there are 372 people they can

name.who are still in custody.
Kovalev and Osipova were strong
participants in the Moscow Helsinki
Watch Group, which was formed to
monitor human rights within the
USSR. This group issued state-
ments, wrote letters, formed appeals,
and worked on an underground news-
paper to protest the Soviet's cruel
and unfair treatment of its citizens.
Kovalev and Osipova said Ameri-
cans should write letters to prisoners
to voice oppositon to the Soviets'
treatment of human rights activists.
Although most letters will never be
received, Kovalev said, such interna-
tional interest makes the government
more conscious about how it treats
Both Kovalev and Osipova praised
the work of Amnesty International
whose constant support and
'adoption' of prisoners of conscience
continously help Soviets in exile and

Daily.Photo by KAREN HANDELM
MSA officials, Ken Weine, Mike Phillips, and Robert Bell, L-R, speak out against President Fleming's code to
the Board of Regents at yesterday's meeting.


Group works to preserve rainforests

Every 15 minutes, 135 acres of
land in tropical rainforests are de-
stroyed by logging, the cattle indus-
try, and the shortage of available
As campus group alarmed at this
fact, the Rainforest Action Move-
ment has made this week Rainforest
Awareness Week.
Formed in September, the group
of about 35 students, faculty, and
Ann Arbor residents, has organized
films, speakers, a panel discussion, a
skit on the Diag today, and a bucket
drive tomorrow - all to increase
awareness of the destruction of rain-
THE GROUP seeks to tell
people in the northern hemisphere
what they can do to preserve the
rainforests, said Monica Tomosy, a
An Apology
Yesterday's Newsweek on
Campus, a publication inserted in
the Daily, contained sexist ads that
were offensive to many. We have
created a policy designed to reject
any sexist insertion or
advertisement, but are in the initial
stages of implementation.
Yesterday's error was not caught
before the policy was adopted. The.
Daily regrets this error.
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graduate student in the School of
Natural Resources.
"Tropical forests have an intrin-
sic right to exist and all the species
in them and all the people in them,"
Tomosy said. "They're on their way
to disappearing."
Tropical rainforests make up
only about 6 percent of the world's
land mass, but 50 to 80 percent of all
species of plant and animal life exist
in the rainforests.
SCIENTISTS have developed
many medicines and pharmaceuticals
from rare tropical plants, including
an effective treatment for leukemia,
according to Mare Cromwell, an
Natural Resources graduate student
who founded the group with four
Rainforests are a complex envi-
ronment that the world cannot afford

to lose, she said. If the current de-
struction continues, it is estimated
that all rainforests will have been
removed by the year 2025.
PRODUCTS such as teak
stereo cabinets and Minute Maid
orange juice come from rainforest
land, said Cromwell. Burger King
used to use tropical beef, but has
recently stopped.
In the future, the Rainforest Ac-
tion Movement hopes to organize
protests outside stores that sell prod-
ucts made of tropical hardwood,
Cromwell said.
The group, which meets weekly,
is trying to arrange a relationship
with an organization in Costa Rica,
the country which is facing much
rainforest destruction, to gain a local
source of information.

behavior must be reviewed by the council was ineffective.
Proposal council, a nine-member panel of¢
students, staff, and administrators. Fleming has maintained that be-
Continued fromn Page 1 Philosophy Prof. Shaw Liver- cause of intense protest of campis
more, council' co-chair, however, racism at public comments sessions
ing for bypassing the University told the regents that because students of regents' meetings last term,t4
Council process. Regental bylaw on the council were so strongly op- University should take steps soon Jo
7.02 states that all rules for student posed to any academic sanctions, the deter such behavior. F
I __ ___ ____ ___ ____ ___ ____ ___ ___

University of Windsor
author, feminist, social critic

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