It’s a Friday, and I have the pleasure of teaching two of my classes of seniors: one at 8:10 in the morning,, and one at 1:00 in the afternoon. Both classes are sleepy; the ‘just rolled out of bed’ crowd and the ‘post lunch drowsies’ patrol. The morning class was my journalism class and we screened Chris Hegedus & DA Pennebaker’s The War Room. This idea came to me after the criticism that George Stephanopoulos received after the most recent ABC debate between Clinton and Obama.
I asked the class at the time of the debate if they thought that GS had a vested interest in Hillary’s campaign. Blank looks followed. I forget, because the students here posture as politically active and aware, that they were two years old when Bill Clinton was running against George HW Bush.
So we began looking at the film, and they are amazed at how James Carville works the press. We had to stop at a point where there was some question about what would happen next, and lo, and behold, they were all awake and engaged. I know that the campaign manager did not participate in this documentary and because of it we see the “spin” part of the campaign. But as student journalists, they need to think about how we are being spun. Note to self… keep it real.