Student Association for Voter EmpowermentPosts RSS Comments RSS

Unveiling CNN: The Most Incompetent Bureaucracy on Cable Television

Written By: Noelle Petrillo
Jim Walton once said, “At CNN, our view is that good journalism equals good business.” Not quite, Jim. Not unless you call good business a totem pole of incompetent publicists and a long list of astonishingly disorganized schedulers who can’t seem to understand the simple principles of what it means to be prompt, cordial and receptive to their American viewers.
After all, doesn’t CNN always take pride in the fact that they are the “network of the people?” After three weeks of reaching out to all of the major news outlets (including but not limited to Fox News, MSNBC, NBC, ABC, The Washington Post, The New York Times etc.) the only real problems I encountered seemed to all hover beneath the dark cloud of what I like to call the Conceited Nasty No’s (also known as CNN).
Virtually every network on television other than CNN that I contacted on a frequent basis be it a scheduler, publicist or producer was receptive to our humble requests, gracious throughout our communication and most importantly, honest about how they could help our cause. However, CNN seemed to like to march to the beat of their own drum. But it wasn’t all bad. Curious, and frankly, baffled at how such a powerful media conglomerate could be as disorganized as it was, I decided to try to find out just how the totem pole at CNN really worked, starting from the very bottom. As it turns out, CNN seems to be the only news network on cable television where the anchors, reporters, broadcasters and other “talents” are completely and utterly controlled by their PR Department; so much so that I cant help but feel bad for them.
In preparing for our big summer event, I reached out to many of CNN’s [...] Continue Reading…

No responses yet

Tragically (Un)Hip?

Written by: Anna Salzberg

Helping is hip these days. From eco-vacations, where even the rich and famous are roughing it, to riding your bike instead of driving your gas guzzling SUV, every day citizens are trying to make the world a better place—a trend I think we can all agree is worth sticking with.

Why is it, then, that voting isn’t culturally cool? It’s not for lack of trying. Everyone remembers the “Vote or Die” campaign of 2004, when P. Diddy turned from his usual musical and entrepreneurial endeavors to launch a large-scale registration campaign. And organizations like Rock the Vote and Declare Yourself still, somewhat successfully, turn to celebrity faces to promote their cause and reach their young constituents. In fact, Rock the Vote’s website videos of Christina Aguilera, NERD, Wale and others encouraging young people to “make a difference” and vote this year. We are asked to “Join Christina and Register to Vote” by simply pressing a button. We have seen th enormous impact that celebritizing an issue can have on involvement, and these organizations have done a terrific job honing in on this.

And yet, it would be tough to argue that the average young person would associate the words “cool,” “hip,” or “trendy” with voter turn out. Perhaps this is because it is difficult to make voting a quantifiable experience until one has gone to the polls. There is no Sigg water bottle, clean park or completed homework assignment to show a young person that they’ve made a difference. Or perhaps it is because, despite what we would like to tell ourselves among young, progressive circles, that people still think voting and political participation don’t matter, that their vote “doesn’t count.”

When voting is arguably the only social issue [...] Continue Reading…

No responses yet

Obama Losing Progressive Votes?

Written by: Noelle Petrillo
The recent Obama controversy seems to have gotten its latest punch from the New York Times as it quoted a young radical leftist from Oregon stating she is “disgusted with him” and “for all the independents he’s going to gain, he’s going to lose a lot of progressives.” The article reports that Slate planned to switch back to the Green Party due to the “Obama moving to the center” controversy. The article quotes many leftists including ‘rabble rouser’ David Sirota who is less concerned about Obama’s recent statements understanding that he is a “transformative politician, but he is still a politician” and that there is an process that needs to take place in order for him to win the Presidency. Although the polls show many progressives still supporting him in high numbers, others warn that Obama’s recent statements run him the risk of being perceived as the late blooming flip-flopper of the 2008 Presidential election. Is this really “change we can believe in?” Let me know what you think about the recent controversy: info@savevoting.org and check out the Times article at: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/13/us/politics/13liberal.html?_r=2&hp=&oref=slogin&pagewanted=print&oref=slogin

No responses yet

National Voter Awareness Month - Why We’re Espousing It

Written by: Chris Dhanaraj

In light of the fact that SAVE is espousing the idea, it would probably be appropriate for us to actually explain why we think it’s important to have one. I’m sure many would immediately scoff at the idea, remarking that anything and everything has some day allotted for it. They would call the idea trivial, with minimal impact. Look at Lincoln’s Day, or Memorial Day – school kids look at those days with little other than the glee of a day off of school. Having an official month would do nothing.

But yet, look at the month of February, the official Black History month. Elementary schools, high schools, even colleges showcase a startling amount of information and activities during this month designed to educate and inform our youth of cultured history of the African Americans. And it has worked to an absolutely phenomenal degree. When Black History month was first instituted in 1926, African Americans in general were still looked down upon. The sheer amount of inventions and learning that African American’s had committed into history was barely recalled in American history books. Yet with time and hard work, African Americans regained their rightful place in history books. Most now can instantly recall the names of George Washington Carver, a man who discovered and invented hundreds of items, or W.E.B. Dubois, one of the founders of the NAACP.

So we at SAVE are applying that successful model to the . Currently, there is tragic lack of revolving around the concept of registering to vote and voting itself. A survey conducted by the Utah Statesman showed that in collegiate students, 93% percent of the population said they weren’t registered to vote simply because they didn’t know how, and 48% of registered students didn’t know where [...] Continue Reading…

No responses yet

Huffington Post: Education Voters

Written by: Chris Dhanaraj

The Huffington Post released an article a week ago entitled “ Voters” featuring our Executive Director Matthew Segal amongst other young, politically involved persons. The article’s exposition starts off with author looking at Matthew Segal’s work, and then transitions into the pressing issue of making the voters that organizations like SAVE get to the poll educated voters.

Terris traveled south to Charleston, South Carolina and met with a young woman where she related to him the problems of the gap in America especially concerning her, an aspiring elementary school teacher who sees first hand the problems public schools face in America. Terris moved south to the Georgia Institute of Technology and ran into a Teachers for America seminar, where they related to him much of the same problems.

The essence of the article rings that , and policy, is an issue that is becoming more and more relevant to American citizens. From those most involved with the issue to just everyday citizens, the problem is becoming paramount. The disparity between public schools has become outrageous, and this article seeks to show that the American populace is, thankfully, realising this as well.

Check out the full article at the Huffington Post - Voters

No responses yet

Youth: In the campaigns, but not at the polls?

Written by: Noelle Petrillo

The was a hot topic this weekend for CNN, as their news brief
declared young voters make noise “in campaigns but not at polls.”
According to Carol Costello’s hot button story, youth voters are important
because they bring an “energy and enthusiasm that no one else can” to a
campaign. However, the article focuses on the concern that this enthusiasm
is not translating into votes. DNC Chairman Howard Dean commented on the
issue stating that Democrats are “getting 61 percent of the vote under 30.
Republican candidates look like the 1950s.” The story notes that the web
has been huge in influencing young voters as candidates, particularly
Senator Barack Obama reached out to them using networks like My Space and
MTV. But is this “energy and enthusiasm” enough? According to the
University of Virginia’s Youth Leadership Initiative, in 2006 there were
50 million people between the ages of 18 and 29 but only about 7 million
cast a ballot. Do you agree this energy among youth in the current
Presidential campaign won’t translate into votes?

Watch this news cast at:
http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/11/19/young.voters/index.html#cnnSTCVideo
And let us know what you think!

No responses yet

Hillary’s Defeat Unveils Need for Young Voters

Written by: Matthew Segal

Hillary Clinton could have been the next Democratic nominee - if she had genuinely courted young voters. Mark Penn, her former top adviser, agrees. In a New York Times op-ed piece covering what went wrong, he admitted, “From more aggressively courting young people earlier to mobilizing the full power of women, there are things that could have been done differently.” Unfortunately for Mr. Penn however, this realization came much too late.

Hillary’s campaign recognized her critical mistake in Iowa and at least paid lip service to the idea of targeting younger voters during the New Hampshire primary: “We worked very hard to get young people out in Iowa and didn’t do as well as we should have,” said Clinton spokesman Jay Carson. “So we’re redoubling our efforts here in New Hampshire in hopes of turning out more young people.”

Yet “redoubling” seemed much more like dividing as the primaries and caucuses unfolded. Whereas Obama built a grassroots infrastructure, ubiquitously coordinating “Students for Barack” volunteer chapters on college and university campuses throughout the country, Hillary held a single conference call in conjunction with her “Hillblazers” program. I, along with 800 other young people, was on this call and heard about five hand-picked questions briefly answered before the Senator eventually hung up the phone. The whole event lasted about a half an hour and no future “young voter call” was ever scheduled.

Where Obama held frequent town hall forums with young supporters, rallied constantly on college campuses, sent op-ed pieces to student newspapers and challenged young people to prove the skeptics wrong, Hillary merely sent Chelsea to university lecture halls and thought Ugly Betty’s star, America Ferrera, would be a better ambassador to younger voters than she would. Young voters viewed this as classic political pandering; plus, contrary to conventional wisdom, [...] Continue Reading…

2 responses so far