Video Exercises

Watch the videos below and answer the questions that follow.

1. President Obama has said he wants to make it "cool" again to work for the federal government. Washington Post Online Sketch columnist Dana Milbank offers some useful tips for government workers eager to raise their profiles in the following humorous video.

Washington Sketch: Mr. Cool Is in the Building
The Washington Post Online

1a. As a college student, would you consider a job in the federal government upon graduation? Why or why not?
1b. Do you think that the Obama administration is making it "cool" again to work in the federal bureaucracy? Why or why not?
1c. What do you think are some of the advantages of working for the federal government? The disadvantages?
2. The Colbert Report, hosted by Stephen Colbert, is a parody of personality-driven political opinion shows such as those found on the cable news networks, wherein Colbert hosts the show in character as a right-wing pundit.

In the following video, Stephen Colbert interviews former FEMA director Michael Brown about his role in the bureaucratic failures surrounding Hurricane Katrina.

Michael Brown
The Colbert Report
Comedy Central
First aired March 28, 2006

2a. In the above video, do you find Brown’s explanations for the failure of FEMA after Hurricane Katrina convincing? Why or why not?
2b. Can large bureaucratic organizations like FEMA or the Department of Homeland Security ever run effectively? Explain your answer in terms of the discussion of bureaucracy in your textbook.

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About this exercise

This exercise asks you to view engaging videos and think critically about how they connect to the chapter's key concepts.