Video Exercises


Watch the videos below and answer the questions that follow.

Interest groups, like candidates’ campaigns, produce and distribute attack ads during an election year. These ads are designed to demonstrate how opposing candidates do not support the interests and agendas which the group represents, and they often provide commentary on the legislative record of a particular candidate’s opponents.

Nine Dollar Gas
American Energy Alliance

Romney’s World
American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees

Who are the targets of the attacks in each video above, and what arguments do they make to discredit the candidate? Did you identify or agree with the arguments in either of the videos? Why or why not?

The Sierra Club is the oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization in the United States. It was founded on May 28, 1892, in San Francisco, California, by the well-known conservationist and preservationist John Muir, who became its first president. The Sierra Club has hundreds of thousands of members in chapters located throughout the United States and is affiliated with Sierra Club Canada.

LB2L: Unleash Your Power
National Sierra Club

2. What message is the Sierra Club promoting in the above video? Do you agree with the video’s assertion that grassroots efforts are needed to combat global warming? Why or why not?

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.

Better Know a Lobbyist—Gun Control
The Colbert Report
Comedy Central
First aired May 13, 2008

What is the point of Colbert’s series “Better Know a Lobbyist”? Why do you think Colbert emphasizes that there could be so many installations in this series?
What arguments does Paul Helmke make in the above video? What is the intended goal of “The Brady Campaign” interest group?

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart is a satirical news program hosted by Jon Stewart. The show draws its comedy from recent news stories, satirizing political figures, media organizations, and frequently the show itself and its cast members.

Some Like It Hot
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Comedy Central

First aired June 14, 2006

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Some Like It Hot
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

What interest group and agenda does Jon Stewart highlight in this video? What commentary does Jon Stewart make on this interest group’s agenda?
Which interest groups would be involved in the debate over global warming and environmental policy? Do think some groups have been more influential in this debate than other interest groups? Why or why not?

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