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in the news!

This would be a regular, boring update: a couple articles that I wrote / co-wrote have migrated from my harddrive into print. One, in Political Behavior, examines the relationship between race, sex, and scandals in politics. One, in Newspaper Research Journal, explores the function of community newspapers in local political campaigns. (Versions of both articles can be found by clicking through to the articles page on this site.)

Of course I’m happy to see these articles enter the public domain. But what I’m really happy about is news coverage – OMG, I’m kind of in the Boston Globe! OK, well, if you scroll down for a bit there’s a blurb about the Political Behavior article on boston.com which mentions the first (alphabetically speaking) author by name. So I’m almost mentioned, almost in print, most of the way through the story. But hey, this qualifies as big coverage for an academic article – I’m et al! I’m breaking out of the ivory tower! (Or my home office, as it were.) Anyways, to save you the trouble, I’ve excerpted the blurb below. But, if you feel bad about taking ad revenue away from Boston journalism, you can still click through here.

Sex scandals and race In 2011, we take it for granted that Barack Obama and John Edwards have led very different political lives, but, just a few years ago, this was not the case. Edwards and Obama were upstanding family men, of similar age, both lawyers, both senators, both liberal Democrats, and both seen as charismatic seekers of the presidency. Their most obvious difference was race. Taking advantage of this juxtaposition, political scientists polled a national sample of whites before the 2008 presidential primaries to test reactions to a news story about a fictitious sex scandal involving one or the other candidate (this came before revelations about Edwards’s actual infidelity). When the news story didn’t mention race — except that the candidates were pictured next to two white women — Obama lost more approval than Edwards and was judged as more liberal, especially among politically interested and racially resentful whites. When the news story did mention race, there was no difference in how much approval each candidate lost.

Berinsky, A. et al., “Sex and Race: Are Black Candidates More Likely to be Disadvantaged by Sex Scandals?” Political Behavior (June 2011).

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