Jon Stewart, Rachel Maddow and Bill O'Reilly:
The Political Sparring Arena in the U.S.
Kevin Wagner
Lifelong Learning Society Distinguished Professorship in Current Affairs, 2013-2014

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This series will explore the way that mass media influences American politics. Using engaging visuals and the latest political happenings, this lecture series will show what to take from newscasts, campaigns, and polls, and where conventional wisdom is often wrong.  Dr. Wagner will present survey results, media reports, and analysis of the latest happenings in American Politics. The lectures will illustrate how the political system is shifting with new technology and unrestricted money from political action groups. He will also explore the implications of the new Super-Pacs and what it means for future campaigns. Combining visuals, data, and occasional humor, Dr. Wagner will show how events, technology, media, and politicians are shaping the political discourse and what it means for America.
1. Media and Politics: The rise of the media machine.
2. Media Bias: Is there bias? Do we care?
3. Blame the Audience: Why the political media is all our fault.
4. The Death of Journalism: Ending standards.
5. Humor and Politics: Is it news or entertainment?
6. Whose Poll is it anyway? The rise of political horse race coverage.
7. O'Reilly and Stewart: Humor v. Hubris.
8. Looking Forward: The internet and media coverage.
BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Dr. Kevin Wagner received his J.D., M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from the University of Florida. He is the director of graduate studies in political science at FAU and is the 2013-14 LLS Distinguished Professorship in Current Affairs. His research and teaching interests include campaigns and elections, and media and politics. 

His work has been published in leading journals and law reviews including American Review of Politics, The Journal of Legislative Studies, The Political Chronicle, and Politics and Policy. Dr. Wagner has presented at national conferences including the American Political Science Association and the Midwest Political Science Association. He is one of the leading authorities on the effects of technology on politics and has published a book with Rowman and Littlefield Press entitled Rebooting American Politics: The Internet Revolution. His next book Tweeting to Power: The Social Media Revolution in Politics, is due out this year from Oxford University Press.
Dr. Wagner has lectured extensively on American Politics and has been cited in many leading newspapers, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, New York Newsday, Dallas Morning News and Miami Herald.  He has been featured on many national television shows, including MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports and NBC’s The Today Show, and is the regular political analyst for the local CBS affiliate.

Time: 2:00 pm - 3:45 pm
Date: Wednesdays, January 8, 15, 22, 29; February 5, 12, 19, 26
Location: Barry and Florence Friedberg Auditorium, Boca Raton Campus
Fees: $68 member / $98 non-member