Purpose: The primary goal of this weekly summative assignment is to probe and scrutinize a major political scandal.
Prepare: Review Chapters 11 and 12 in the course text and the following website:
25 Biggest Political Scandals In History.
Reflect: As we have learned over the last few weeks, politics is often about power and the efforts to gain and maintain power. In their efforts to gain and maintain power, some politicians violate widely held ethical and moral limits and even established laws. These violations are often revealed to the public by the news media. Sometimes, political scandals abruptly end promising political careers and sometimes, political scandals are used to gain electoral and political advantages over opponents. The more we know about how scandals affect politics, political actors, and the media, the more we know about how public and private actions impact and are impacted by rights, justice, and what is considered acceptable or unacceptable political behavior.
Write: In your essay of at least 600 words, research one major scandal involving politicians (Watergate, Bill Clinton, Iran-Contra Affair, Silvio Berlusconi, etc.). The scandal does not have to be a U.S. political scandal. First, describe how the media portrayed the politicians involved. Next, discuss the outcome of the scandal. Did the individuals gain greater political power and exposure? Did they resign from office or were their political careers cut short due to the scandal? Lastly, explain what effect, if any, the scandal had on the political environment and the media and why.
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