Quoted at Washington Times on Anti-Obama Movie
Matthew C. Nisbet, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Communication Studies, Public Policy, and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University. Nisbet studies the role of communication and advocacy in policymaking and public affairs, focusing on debates over over climate change, energy, and sustainability. Among awards and recognition, Nisbet has been a Visiting Shorenstein Fellow on Press, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, a Health Policy Investigator at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and a Google Science Communication Fellow. In 2011, the editors at the journal Nature recommended Nisbet's research as “essential reading for anyone with a passing interest in the climate change debate,” and the New Republic highlighted his work as a “fascinating dissection of the shortcomings of climate activism."
There's an anti-Obama documentary in release and don't underestimate its potential impact. McCain needs something to intensify his base and research shows that political documentaries--whether Fahrenheit 9/11 or Inconvenient Truth--are fairly good at mobilizing supporters and the already committed.
Not surprisingly, the anti-Obama film (which I won't link to) is getting a fair amount of buzz in the conservative media including the Washington Times which ran a story on Monday. Below is the analysis I provided for the story:
Matthew Nisbet, an assistant professor at American University's School of Communication, said a political documentary has the potential to amplify the news of the day.
"People might not actually directly see the film, but the movie itself becomes part of the media discourse," Mr. Nisbet said. That could happen if something on the campaign trail mirrors or reinforces an argument made in the film.
A film like "Hype" also could serve as a mobilizing force for the conservative base. Mr. Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" proved to be an "intensifier" for supporters of Sen. John Kerry in 2004, he said.
Political documentaries often take complex issues and boil them down to easily digested narratives that appeal to the base.
"Preaching to the choir isn't necessarily a bad thing," Mr. Nisbet said.
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