College Reaction Paper

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Addressing how you plan to work as a U.S. Senator while dealing with people who have opposite beliefs than you. I would like you to specifically cite three separate politicians who have lost their tempers with reporters; how their stories impacted their career and personal lives; how you personally reacted to reading the politician’s stories; what you learned from the stories; and how you plan to control your emotions in the future. Only college level work will be accepted. Your paper should be in Times Roman Font, Size 12, with 1 inch margins.

Answer

Title: REFLECTION

            In politics, one must be ready to work with people who hold divergent views. A politician can never be successful if he fails to listen to the views of other people and to accommodate their beliefs and norms. As I prepare to work as a U.S. Senator, I am aware that the media provides politicians with an excellent platform on which to demonstrate that they respect the beliefs and views of other people. Therefore, it is important for one to address journalists with respect and decorum.

Unfortunately, reporters the world over are known to be extremely inquisitive people.[1] They may request an interview to address one issue only to end up discussing a totally different issue.[2] Politicians who fall victim to such machinations naturally become extremely upset.[3] Some even go the extent of losing control of their emotions and consequently confronting the reporters in an undignified manner. Yet the ability to control emotions is a very critical attribute for a politician. There are many stories of how some U.S. politicians lost tempers with reporters and how this behavior impacted their career and personal lives.

One of those politicians is Congressman Michael Grimm who was elected into office in 2010. The Congressman became extremely angry when a reporter went off-topic during an interview.[4] The reporter had requested Grimm for his views regarding the State of the Union address. Towards the end of the interview, the reporter went off-topic and asked the politician to talk about allegations relating to his campaign finances. Grimm, who had already started walking away, suddenly returned and confronted the reporter, threatening to throw him off the Capitol balcony.

Senator John McCain is another politician who loses his temper very often during interviews.[5] In March 2008, McCain lost his temper and became irate when questioned about a private conversation he held with John Kerry about the possibility of being appointed as his vice president in 2004.[6] The reporter kept insisting on McCain’s comment regarding the conversation. At the same time, the senator continued losing his temper by continually interrupting the reporter. Finally, McCain angrily declared the issue closed. McCain’s frequent tantrums during interviews with journalists have earned him the nickname “Senator Hothead”.[7]

Like McCain, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is known for losing temper in front of reporters. In July 2012, Christie held a press conference to solely address the water problems affecting Monmouth County.[8] Just like in the case of Congressman Michael Grimm, one reporter stood up and went off-topic by questioning the governor about a joint legislative session that the governor had called. At that point, the governor lost his temper and called the reporter “idiot” for going out of topic. This incident triggered a debate about Christie’s chances of reelection as New Jersey Governor.

I personally reacted to these three stories with extreme anger and disappointment primarily because the politicians’ behavior was unacceptable. It showed that they were unwilling to accommodate people with views that were different from their own. The most important lesson that I learnt from these incidents is that it is important for a politician to think before saying anything.[9] The three politicians exposed their careers and personal lives to needless risk of a damaged reputation simply because they were unable to control their emotions in public. For this reasons, I will always make sure that I will be a senator who takes all my time to quell my anger and frustrations when addressing reporters, particularly those who hold beliefs that are different from mine.

 

References

Brock, David & Waldman, Paul. Free Ride: John McCain and the Media. New York: Random House, 2008.

Brooks, Arrivanna. Chris Christie Loses His Temper with Reporter. Yahoo Voices, 2 July 2012. Retrieved from http://voices.yahoo.com/chris-christie-loses-his-temper-reporter-11527122.html?cat=9 on March 1, 2014.

Clayman, Steven & Heritage, John. The News Interview: Journalists and Public Figures on the Air. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002.

Farberov, Snejana. (2014). Congressman who threatened to throw reporter off ‘f***ing balcony’ and ‘break him in half’ after State of the Union apologizes. MailOnline 29 January 2014, Retrieved from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2547887/Rep-Michael-Grimm-caught-camera-threatening-TV-reporter-asking-campaign-finance-probe-State-Union.html on March 1, 2014.

Huffingtonpost.com (2008). McCain Loses Cool With NYT Reporter. Huff Post Media, 28 March 2008, retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/03/07/mccain-loses-cool-with-ny_n_90428.html on March 1, 2014.

Leahy, Michael. McCain: A Question of Temperament. 20 April 2008, retrieved from http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/19/AR2008041902224.html on March 1, 2014.

Perloff, Richard. Political Communication: Politics, Press, and Public in America. Chicago: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2013.

Renshon, Stanley. “Psychological Reflections on Barack Obama and John McCain: Assessing the Contours of a New Presidential Administration.” Political Science Quarterly 123, no. 3, (2008): 391–433.

Ritchie, Donald. Press Gallery: Congress and the Washington Correspondents. Boston: Harvard University Press, 2009.

Schudson, M. Why Democracies Need an Unlovable Press. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2006.

End Notes

[1] Ritchie, Donald. Press Gallery: Congress and the Washington Correspondents. Boston: Harvard University Press, 2009.

[2] Schudson, M. Why Democracies Need an Unlovable Press. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2006.

[3] Clayman, Steven & Heritage, John. The News Interview: Journalists and Public Figures on the Air. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002.

[4] Farberov, Snejana. (2014). Congressman who threatened to throw reporter off ‘f***ing balcony’ and ‘break him in half’ after State of the Union apologizes. MailOnline 29 January 2014, Retrieved from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2547887/Rep-Michael-Grimm-caught-camera-threatening-TV-reporter-asking-campaign-finance-probe-State-Union.html on March 1, 2014.

[5] Brock, David & Waldman, Paul. Free Ride: John McCain and the Media. New York: Random House, 2008.

[6] Huffingtonpost.com (2008). McCain Loses Cool With NYT Reporter. Huff Post Media, 28 March 2008, retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/03/07/mccain-loses-cool-with-ny_n_90428.html on March 1, 2014.

[7] Leahy, Michael. McCain: A Question of Temperament. 20 April 2008, retrieved from http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/19/AR2008041902224.html on March 1, 2014.

[8] Brooks, Arrivanna. Chris Christie Loses His Temper with Reporter. Yahoo Voices, 2 July 2012. Retrieved from http://voices.yahoo.com/chris-christie-loses-his-temper-reporter-11527122.html?cat=9 on March 1, 2014.

[9] Perloff, Richard. Political Communication: Politics, Press, and Public in America. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2013.

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