Get access

Featuring the President as Free Trader: Television News Coverage of U.S. Trade Politics

Authors

  • DAVID M. RANKIN

    Corresponding author
    1. State University of New York, Fredonia
      David M. Rankin is associate professor of political science at the State University of New York, Fredonia. He is a coauthor of the book Winning the White House, 2004: Region by Region, Vote by Vote and a coeditor of Transformed by Crisis: The Presidency of George W. Bush and American Politics, and his recent articles include Borderline Interest or Identity? American and Canadian Opinion on the North American Free Trade Agreement.
    Search for more papers by this author

David M. Rankin is associate professor of political science at the State University of New York, Fredonia. He is a coauthor of the book Winning the White House, 2004: Region by Region, Vote by Vote and a coeditor of Transformed by Crisis: The Presidency of George W. Bush and American Politics, and his recent articles include Borderline Interest or Identity? American and Canadian Opinion on the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Abstract

This article analyzes national television news coverage of U.S. trade politics from 1988 to 2002, a period consisting of relatively visible debates over free trade agreements and trade relations. It examines how television news coverage of trade emphasizes foreign and domestic conflict and national threats and challenges, which coincide with the significant media focus on presidential trade leadership and the president's rhetorical support for free and freer trade. The article thus explores how media coverage of trade provides the president with a clear and consistent mediated advantage over political opposition, including congressional members and interest groups, when it comes to the nation's trade direction and policy.

Get access to the full text of this article

Ancillary