AP US Government : Portrayal and Image of Public Figures

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP US Government

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Media Influence

A television campaign ad produced by a political candidate may feature all of the following EXCEPT

Possible Answers:

an attack against the candidate's opponent.

a short summation of the campaign's major themes.

a substantive discussion of complex political issues.

a distillation of the candidate's image.

an appeal to the candidate's political party's key base.

Correct answer:

a substantive discussion of complex political issues.

Explanation:

One of the key elements of modern campaigning is the television campaign commercial, which by its very nature has certain attributes. Among these are simplified appeals to a party base, attacks against opponents, simplified messages, and a focus on images. The one thing a short television advertisement cannot do is delve into a substantial discussion of the major issues in the campaign.

Example Question #2 : Media Influence

Which President was the first to prominently employ radio to communicate with the American people?

Possible Answers:

Harry Truman

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Woodrow Wilson

John F. Kennedy

Ronald Reagan

Correct answer:

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Explanation:

Franklin D. Roosevelt’s "fireside chats" were deeply important and influential to the people of the United States, particularly during World War Two. It was a means for the President to communicate directly with the American people to keep them informed about the war effort and the state of the economy. Roosevelt realized the great potential for mass media in keeping in contact with the masses, and it was a contributing factor to his overwhelming popularity (although not the greatest contributing factor—recovering economy and war patriotism were far more valuable).

Example Question #3 : Media Influence

Libel refers to __________.

Possible Answers:

the publication of slanderous or malicious statements designed to denigrate an individual’s reputation

the fact that the government prohibits the establishment of an official state religion

a campaign ad designed to support a controversial candidate by offering false statements about his or her accomplishments

a president who no longer has a popular mandate to carry out his or her policy goals

the government’s policy of protecting the right of workers to strike without fear of losing their jobs

Correct answer:

the publication of slanderous or malicious statements designed to denigrate an individual’s reputation

Explanation:

Libel, also known as defamation or slander, is the practice of publishing or communicating false information designed to specifically target and weaken the reputation of another group or individual.

Example Question #4 : Media Influence

Which headline is the the most consistent with the "yellow journalism" approach to reporting?

Possible Answers:

Pearl Harbor Slowly Rebuilds from the Ashes!

Frederick Douglass Loses at Supreme Court!

Referendum 9 Passes!

President Grant Exposed as Ringleader of Whiskey Ring!

United States Blocks Spanish out of Cuba!

Correct answer:

President Grant Exposed as Ringleader of Whiskey Ring!

Explanation:

Yellow journalism focused on sensationalism- violence, romance, patriotism, and exposes of government, politics, business, and society. The four incorrect answers deal with everyday news events, despite the exclamation points at the end. "Yellow journalism" would encourage reporters to investigate any scandals regardless of their validity, and if higher officials could be connected with outrageous headlines would be all the more sensational.

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