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Content Analysis of Religious and Value-Oriented Frames in the 2004 Republican National Convention

University of Florida Institutional Repository
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A CONTENT ANALYSIS OF RELIGIOUS AND VALUE-ORIENTED FRAMES IN THE 2004 REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION By DAWN ANN-MARIE HATTON A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS IN MASS COMMUNICATION UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2005

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In recognition of their support and guidance, I hereby dedicated this thesis to my parents, Ernest and Noreen Hatton.

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iii ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would like to first and foremost thank my committee chair, Dr. Marilyn Roberts, for her continued guidance, assistance and support of this thesis. I am appreciative of the time and resources she put forward. In addition, I wish to thank the members of my committee for their continued support throughout this process. Dr. Spiro Kiousis, Dr. Leonard Tipton and Dr. Ken Wald have been instrumental in the completion of this project. I would like to thank Manoucheka Celeste for the dedication of her time and assistance during the coding process. I especially would like to thank the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida for the countless resources provided to me. Lastly, I would like to thank my parents, Ernest and Noreen Hatton, for the immense amount of love, guidance, and support they have shown to me throughout the years.

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iv TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................................ iii LIST OF TABLES...................................................... vi ABSTRACT.......................................................... vii CHAPTER 1INTRODUCTION .................................................... 1 Framing in Presidential Nominating Conventions ............................ 1 Religious Frames..................................................... 3 Why Religion?....................................................... 3 The 2004 Presidential Election .......................................... 5 2REVIEW OF LITERATURE........................................... 7 Political Conventions and Framing Theory ................................. 7 News Coverage...................................................... 8 History of Political Conventions ........................................ 10 The Media......................................................... 12 Framing by Political Elites ............................................ 15 Value Framing: Religion, Politics and the Media ........................... 22 Mobilization........................................................ 25 Political Participation ................................................. 29 The Media......................................................... 31 Framing Perspectives................................................. 34 Conclusion......................................................... 39 3METHOD......................................................... 42 Recap ............................................................. 42 Qualitative Content Analysis ........................................... 42 Unit of Analysis..................................................... 43 Codebook Construction ............................................... 45 Inter-subjectivity.................................................... 46

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v 4RESULTS......................................................... 47 Brief Overview...................................................... 47 Analysis........................................................... 48 Convention Frames .................................................. 50 5DISCUSSION...................................................... 72 Summary.......................................................... 72 Conclusions ........................................................ 73 Limitations ........................................................ 75 Future Research..................................................... 76 APPENDIXCODING PARAMETERS FOR C-SPAN COVERAGE OF THE 2004 REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION .................... 78 REFERENCES........................................................ 87 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.............................................. 94

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vi LIST OF TABLES Table page 4-1Speakers role..................................................... 48 4-2Issue distribution................................................... 48 4-3Family values/other values........................................... 55 4-4Family values/other values: Compassionate (KW)........................ 61 4-5Religious values/rhetoric: Compassionate conservative (KW)............... 61 4-6Faith/God: Compassionate conservative (KW)........................... 62 4-7Faith/God: Lincoln/party of (KW)..................................... 67 4-8Faith/God: Reagan/party of (KW)..................................... 67

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vii ABSTRACT Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts in Mass Communication A CONTENT ANALYSIS OF RELIGIOUS AND VALUE-ORIENTED FRAMES IN THE 2004 REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION By Dawn Ann-Marie Hatton May 2005 Chair: Marilyn Roberts Major Department: Journalism and Communications Religious rhetoric such as faith, morals, and family values was of considerable interest during the 2004 Presidential election. The present study is a qualitative content analysis of the speeches given during the 2004 Republican National Convention. In total, 62 speeches were coded. By using frame analysis, one will see if possible religious and/or value-oriented frames emerge. The present study analyzed speeches aired on C-SPAN during prime-time. C-SPAN was chosen to best distinguish frames put forth by the campaign. A qualitative content analysis was conducted to study the emergence of frames. SPSS was used as a way to organize data. The inclusions of key words, phrases, and issues were counted. In addition, the present study also documented source of speech, speech length, tone of speaker, and camera cutaways. Four prominent religious frames were identified after analyzing prime-time, C-SPAN coverage of all four days of the convention.

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1 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Framing in Presidential Nominating Conventions Framing has become a growing element in the study of political communication; a theory that is increasingly presented as a way to seek analysis of communication applications to a mass audience. Studying how political candidates speak about an issue, and by using what language, is an important way to assess framing theory. Framing is both a noun and a verb; an active process that ends with a result (Reese, 2001). To understand the impact of analysis more fully, Entman (1993) defines framing as “To frame is to select some aspects of a perceived reality and make them more salient in a communicating text, in such a way as to promote a particular problem definition, causal interpretation, moral evaluation, and/or treatment recommendation” (p. 52). He suggests that a frame can originate from more than one entity. A frame can be located in the text, the communicator, the receiver of the message or the culture. In addition, Iyengar (1991) provides a definition of a more general nature. Framing is “subtle alterations in the statement or presentation of problems” (p. 11). Political conventions are an important part of a party’s presidential election campaign. Often these events are the very first chance for millions of television viewers to directly hear from the candidate at length. It is a familiar phrase that a first impression is often a last impression, suggesting a national political convention might possibly serve as the first opportunity for a candidate to make a lasting first impression among viewers.

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2 The convention gives political party elites the chance to frame issues and policy positions, as well as the image of the candidate and the party before the general election begins. Not only does it speak to the audience viewing at home, it is a moment for state party delegates to get excited, united and energized about the upcoming campaign. Since 1952 political conventions have become highly sensationalized, large-scale, media events (Cafasso, 2003; Fant, 1980). Although coverage of the convention proceeding on major news networks has recently shortened, stations still devote a large staff of reporters and huge sums of money to cover and promote the national conventions. Likewise, political parties continue to spend enormous budgets on the planning and implementation of the convention, using the free media time to advertise their candidate. Keynote speeches are broadcast during highly sought after prime-time viewing spots, and these speeches often contain the key ingredients for a successful political message. In addition, party films are broadcast to millions of television viewers. Often by using emotional appeals, the candidates are framed to appear in a certain light. Although political advertisements have received substantial amounts of political communication research, national conventions have gone virtually unnoticed by comparison. After reviewing literature on presidential campaigns and political communication, one can suggest that there are important reasons to further study the effects of political conventions on the viewing electorate. Not only do presidential nominating conventions often resemble political ads, there is research to suggest that because this is often the first time the candidate will speak at length and uninterrupted, effects on voters will occur. Also, the large number of frames presented by the political elites who construct the convention and the possible frames presented by the media who cover the convention,

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3 framing should be applied and studied more often in relation to national political conventions. Framing theory offers an excellent opportunity to better understand political communication and its effects on the electorate. Studying framing in political conventions will provide additional insight into how political messages are constructed and intended to change and affect voting behavior. Religious Frames As scholars have suggested, religion affects politics and politics affects religion (Page, 2004). However, it is imperative to understand what role the media play within the relationship of religion and politics. The intermediary role that media often serve is most evident during political elections, when voters rely on the media for information about candidates and issues (Dalton, Beck, & Huckfeldt, 1998). It has become apparent that religious elites and political elites have recently become much more sophisticated in their use of the media in transferring messages and building agendas (Diamond, 1989, 1998). Since research shows that the media often affect people’s perceptions of reality and define issues for public discourse, it is imperative for political and religious scholars to continue in-depth research in analyzing what contribution the media make to the overarching discipline of religion and politics. Why Religion? Religion and politics can at times be two very dependent entities. Throughout history, religion has had an impact on the politics of its day. Religion has mobilized groups, has created meaning for the individual, and has tied the individual to a set of beliefs and provided identity to a community in which to belong. Therefore, it is apparent that religion is a force that is often hard to combat or control. Religion is

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4 pervasive and has the ability to challenge and energize political movement with more support than most other secular organizations can reach in comparison. Since religion has the ability to provide meaning for people, it can often coincide within the political realm because of the sens e of identity religion often provides for, or contributes to, an individual. When a community adopts a shared system of beliefs, based on the ultimate supreme power of God and His word, it becomes difficult to translate those beliefs into every aspect of one’s life. The political discourses of societies have been developed often with prior religious values in mind. Take for example, America. Although our country was based on a freedom of religion and a separation of Church and State, common religious themes are found and promoted throughout the beginnings of this nation’s history. We, as Americans, are told by our Declaration of Independence that we were endowed by our Creator with a right to equal treatment. Such writings provided early Americans a set of political ideologies that were to many a direct reference to already formed religious beliefs. As Robert Bellah (1967) would argue, the United States had and has a “civil religion,” a set of “sacred values” that all Americans can subscribe to regardless of religious affiliation or lack thereof. The impact of religion on politics, as seen above, can be somewhat discrete, and at times it can be much more obvious. For example, the 2004 race for the presidency now has become inundated with the term “religion.” Take for instance the following quote from journalist Susan Page (2004), “Where will you spend Sunday morning? Will you go to church or Home Depot? Sing in the choir or play golf? Answer that question and you’ve given the most reliable demogra phic clue about your vote on Election Day.” Page continues by stating, “The religion gap is the leading edge of the ‘culture war’ that has polarized American politics, reshaped the coalitions that make-up the Democratic

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5 and Republican parties and influenced the appeals their presidential candidates are making.” (p. 8D) The election cycle often was comprised of a political rhetoric that spoke to those of a particular faith and used symbolic symbols to inflict religious undertones into the campaign, or in association with candidates. If one did not know better, it might be easy for him/her to assume that separation of church and state no longer existed in the recent 2004 election cycle. However, that could be considered too much of a generalization. What is true, though, is that religion is having an impact on current politics. Churches are mobilizing to oppose or support political and/or judicial decisions such as Roe v. Wade stem cell research, the legalization of civil unions, the war in Iraq, healthcare reform or the constitutional amendment to prohibit gay marriage. Churches are having an enormous effect on politicians and legislation. Not only have the religious leaders amongst various sects become heavily involved (in some instances outright telling congregation members which political candidate God is smiling upon and thus when to vote for), but massive mobilization has occurred on behalf of the GOP to recruit and organize election day votes based on the main criterion they would argue the church member and the President share—faith. The 2004 Presidential Election The topic of religion and politics was of considerable interest during the recent 2004 Presidential election. Although many argue that religious rhetoric is what won the election for President George W. Bush, many religious scholars are not yet convinced that the “religious vote” was drastically different from that of previous presidential elections. However, many individuals woul d think otherwise when analyzing how the media covered the “value vote.” The topic of religion was dominant in the media

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6 coverage this year with specials airing devoted to the “religious issues” of the campaign, extensive coverage of Kerry’s “Catholic dilemma,” religious elites such as Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell making multiple media appearances before the election, and popular news magazines featuring cover stories such as the one issued by Time Magazine entitled, “Faith in the Oval Office.” Though the dynamic between the three elements (media, religion, and politics) is extremely complex, the researcher hopes to show, through a review of the literature on media framing, that the media serve as a key component to the mobilization of religious groups, act as a carrier of elite framing messages, and often define and shape public opinion on prominent value-oriented issues in the election environment. After briefly outlining the importance of studying political conventions, in relation to framing theory, the researcher contends that study of the 2004 GOP Convention will add valuable knowledge to the study of communication. Specifically religious frames, their inclusion or exclusion, will be analyzed within television content of the 2004 GOP Convention. Religious frames were chosen because many scholars have noted that religion served as a mobilization tool for the campaign and was given salience by the media. Because politicians work hard to frame media coverage of the message, the national convention provides an important venue for this engagement. As Republicans have become more dependent on evangelical Protestants, religious imagery and rhetoric have assumed an increasing importance in their message. Therefore, a systematic test using framing theory should reveal strong evidence of religious framing. Chapter 2 presents a literature review; Chapter 3 outlines the methods; Chapter 4 presents findings and results; and Chapter 5 presents a discussion, conclusions, limitations, and direction for further research.

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7 CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE Political Conventions and Framing Theory The way political elites “frame” issues in a political campaign and the way the media give attention to those issues, and/or frame the campaign by their own salience of coverage, has been a topic of considerable interest to both political and communication scholars. As Gulati, Just and Crigler (2004) note, “News about political campaigns represents an ongoing negotiation among key actors in the campaign process: on the media side—journalists, editor, and owners; on the campaign side—candidates, campaign staffers, and party activists” (p. 237). It can be assumed that all news is based on a perceived construction of reality. However, the attention given to that perceived reality by the media has the ability to shape and form public opinion. As Entman (1993) states, framing is “to select some aspects of a perceived reality and make them more silent in a communicating text, in such a way as to promote a particular problem definition, causal interpretation, moral evaluation and/or treatment recommendation” (p. 52). Or as Gamson (1992) suggests, framing provides a “signature matrix” of symbols, images, metaphors and reasoning devices. A frame is a “tool” that uses media texts to construct social meaning. Framing is a theory beyond the mere inclusion or exclusion of information and can be approached in a variety of ways (Reese, 2001). The theory of framing, although it has been applied to numerous disciplines, continues to be significant in understanding the role the media serves in political life.

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8 Not only is it important when researching how the media cover political events, it is important in understanding when and how political elites use the media to carry a message and/or political agenda. Recent research continues to suggest and affirm that political elites have become more sophisticated in using the media. Gulati et al. (2004) suggest this by stating, “In the past 20 years, presidential candidates have become savvy about how to stay ‘on the message’ and how to get journalists to cover what they want the public to hear.” Entman (1993) notes frames can be ignited by various entities; from the communicator to the receiver to the culture. News Coverage There has been more than 60 years of research on how political campaigns have been covered by journalists. Many early studies show that journalists cover the “horse race” in political campaigns more than issues or candidate policy positions. The “horse race” can be interpreted as suggesting that the media cover more about the campaign itself and the competing strategies of the candidate and competition. This type of coverage is even more apparent in the primary elections. This, however, can be attributed to fact that the primaries are contests between candidates of the same party, with even fewer differences in policy issues and positions. Scholars contend that one reason the “horse race” is seen as dominating coverage is due to time constraints, pressure upon journalists and constant deadlines; covering in-depth issue stories would take considerably more time that often can not be described in lay terms. Television journalists have increasingly taken the political stage, through reporting or commentary, thus leaving less time for candidate “sound bites” (Hallin, 1992). “Because of network TV’s mass exposure, decisions made under preparation time and air time limitations can make lasting viewer impressions in seconds” (Lowry &

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9 Shidler, 1995). Candidate “sound bites” have significantly been reduced in recent elections, suggesting the heightened responsibility on the campaign to manipulate the media. For example, many cable news stations devote a complete newscast to “pundits talking to other pundits,” often blurring the line between expert and reporter (Gulati et al., 2004, p. 243). Therefore the campaigns must know how to promote out their agenda, frame issues, and use the media as the message carrier—the campaign must be savvy in controlling their message. As previously stated, framing can be studi ed and presented in a variety of ways. One source of frames, which can be linked to how the political elites organize messages, can be summarized in the following explanation by Hertog and McLeod (2001). The authors suggest that a source of frames “is the deliberate attempt of individuals or groups to structure public discourse in a way that privileges their goals and means of attaining them” (p. 146) Political campaign professionals make use of several important media moments to structure public discourse and frame issues to their advantage during the election cycle. Political advertisements, presidential nominating conventions, and television debates all serve as significant media opportunities for the campaign to transmit messages to a mass audience. These “media opportunities” serve as a chance for campaigns to control the message, persuade individuals, construct candidate images, and present policy/issue initiatives; all in a specific framework that aims to elicit votes for their candidate. As stated in the introduction, this paper seeks to review presidential nominating conventions in relation to framing theory, and hopes to encourage more research dedicated to analyzing the frames presented within political conventions. There is little research to date on political conventions and how the media cover them.

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10 Applying framing theory to political conventions and conducting research studies on this topic could provide important information to the study of political communication. History of Political Conventions Presidential nominating conventions have been around for more than 175 years and have come to serve as an extravagant close to the primary season. The convention acts as a time to unite and rally the party together before the general election campaign begins. Although political conventions have been seen in our nation’s history for quite some time, conventions were not defined within the United States Constitution. The founding fathers had quite a large amount of distrust towards national political parties. Nominations in the early part of the 19th century were done during an informal party caucus by selected members of Congress. These were often secret events, which spurred the large-scale public events conventions are seen as today. The presidential nominating convention came to be as a result of these secret caucuses. Americans wanted more direct political power, and did not feel that caucus choices reflected the will of the people. For example, in 1816 and 1820 only one presidential candidate was nominated. James Monroe won the presidency both years unopposed. This sparked negativity and protest among the people about the caucus system. In 1824 the caucus system was replaced by political conventions, when the Democratic-Republican Party held a small nominating convention. Soon to follow were national, systematic, structured, state-representative conventions; the first held by the Anti-Masonic Party, a third party, in 1831. The Democratic Party followed in 1832 and the first Republican Party convention was held in 1856, 2 years after the party’s formation. Since then, these political events have become an expected structure of the electoral process, and have grown into enormous, promotional, sensationalized media

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11 events. Ironic, some people have claimed that parties essentially borrowed this organizational form from religious camp meetings. Political conventions serve several purposes, although some scholars would suggest these functions have been recently stripped away from the convention process. However, the main purpose is still intact: To formally nominate the party’s candidate for president before the public. Today, there is no surprise about who the presidential nominee will be during the convention, but it was not always that way. Before majority rules were adopted by both political parties, early voting procedures to nominate the presidential candidate were often lengthy events. For example, in 1860 Senator Stephen Douglas was nominated on the 59th ballot. In 1912 Woodrow Wilson was nominated on the 46th ballot. Sometimes a “dark horse” candidate would prevail—a candidate who had little or no formal support before the conventions. James Polk, who went on to win the presidency, was considered a “dark horse.” His name did not even enter the balloting process until the eighth ballot. However, he received the presidential nomination of his party on the ninth ballot, and later became the 11th President of the United States of America. Political conventions serve purposes other than nominating candidates. Although many people view conventions as giant pep rallies, important political events underlie all the chanting, sign waving, singing, and celebration. Important members of committees are chosen in the opening of the convention, along with a convention chairperson. Political conventions offer party members the chance to discuss and confer political strategies, debate political issues and deve lop the party’s platform. History would suggest that for a long time the convention served as a meaningful and important time for political debate within the party. Often debates became so heated that party members

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12 would leave the convention hall. The chaotic atmosphere that regularly occurred within these early conventions quickly changed when the introduction of television came about. As Grabianowski (2005) states Suddenly, the circus of a national party convention was broadcast into homes around the country. Every floor debate, interruption, protest, and delegate squabble was there for public viewing. This gradually led to the changes in the primaries we see today—no more debates or arguments, no unplanned speeches or interruptions, and protesters are kept miles away from the convention floor. Now, the convention is a media event, attended by almost as many reporters as delegates, and broadcast in carefully selected prime-time viewing slots. (p. 3) Political parties wanted to present a structured, unified party to the electorate. This is just one effect television has had on changing the political arena. The media have covered the presidential nominating process since the 1800s. Newspapers briefly covered the secret nominating causes, and therefore covered the conventions that later followed. Radio began its coverage of national political conventions in 1924, and in 1940 the first-ever televised convention was held by the Republican Party. As previously noted, the media have continued to cover these political events, making media coverage one of the most important elements within the current convention structure. The media, therefore, ha ve historically become an integral part of the convention process; some scholars even suggesting that much of the convention proceedings are now staged, resembling one big television advertisement to appeal and persuade the at home viewing audience. The Media The emergence of media has made many contributions to political processes and has often changed the way the political process is executed. When radio rose to be a popular new medium, the way politicians and political parties transferred their messages was constructed in a new way. President Roosevelt’s “Fireside Chats” and radio

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13 coverage of political events such as conventions and debates are just a few examples of how the medium changed the political process. In 1933, Elbert Harrington wrote about radio’s impact on political conventions. He stated, “In the national nominating conventions of last June there was given to the public at large a splendid opportunity of judging almost every conceivable type of public speaking” (p. 25). Harrington goes on to say, Radio, by enlarging the number of listeners by countless thousands and by placing the vast majority of them in an altogether different speaking situation, magnified defects which otherwise would have escaped the public notice. At no other time in history had so many people participated in these conventions, and to a certain extent the importance of this unseen audience was clearly recognized in the Democratic Convention when the meetings were postponed at one time because of conflicts in broadcasting facilities. (p. 25) Thus the media, by covering political events to a mass audience, was changing the way political parties, campaigns and candidates delivered and formed their messages. It has only continued to increase in importance in the minds of campaign strategists who see the media as a vital and crucial role to winning an election. Today television and the Internet reach far beyond the thousands of individuals the radio spoke to during those early broadcasts. Literally millions of people are reached almost instantaneously in a mass audience. It is first important to understand the enormous ability the media have acquired through technological growth. Lowry and Shid ler (1995) explain that the vast majority of individuals in modern society use television to receive information about political campaigns, specifically presidential campaigns. “The vast majority of the voters in a presidential campaign never get to see and hear one of the presidential or vice presidential candidates in person; instead, voters are limited to television if they want to see and hear the candidates on anything even approaching a face-to-face basis” (p. 33).

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14 The authors also note that in a 1992 post-election survey, 82% of individuals surveyed stated that they received the majority of their news about the presidential election campaigns from television. However, si nce candidate sound bites on television news coverage have significantly gotten shorter, (42.3 seconds in the presidential campaign of 1968 compared to only 9.8 seconds in the presidential campaign of 1988; Adatto, 1990) media viewers have a restricted opportunity to hear the candidates speak for themselves expect during the national political conventions and the series of candidate debates. Therefore, one can assume that these opportunities are increasingly important for campaigns and for the candidate who must appeal to a television audience. The media began its extensive television coverage of national presidential campaigns in 1952. The direct opportunity for people to receive instant political information about the campaign via the actual political actors can be seen in the historical media coverage campaigns have received since then. As discussed previously, the candidate has three main media avenues within a campaign where the core of responsibility is in the hands of political elites to disseminate a message. These are political advertising, political conventions and political debates, although televised interviews, publicity, etc are used as well. The media’s role in political conventions however, is quite different from political advertisements or debates. The media’s role in covering a presidential convention can be seen as cooperation between the networks and the political parties. Both entities share the common desire to attract as many television viewers as possible. As Fant (1980) states, “ The cooperation between them in attempting to achieve this end has over the years developed into a strong reciprocal relationship from which the parties receive free, national exposure and the networks are given a rare opportunity to present live, emotional programming and to promote their news departments” (p. 130).

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15 The evolution of political campaign coverage begins with this unique, cooperative relationship between both the networks and the parties. Often the national committees have curtailed dull proceedings, even conducting such events weeks before the convention so that convention proceedings are more interesting to television viewers. Debates and factions within the party have been kept to a minimum so that the party appears unified. The balloting process has changed so that presidential candidates are known months in advance and there are no unexpected surprises. Convention speeches are scripted by professional speechwriters, and as Fant (1980) notes, “The 1972 Republican convention instructed young, attractive, and professionally trained speakers when to pause, nod, and accept ‘spontaneous’ cheers” (p. 132). Months in the making, whole marketing, communication and political teams assemble the perfect location, stage and theme. Thus, the convention now serves as a political “infomercial,” one big advertisement for the party’s presidential nominee. As Cafasso (2003) states, “A properly planned and executed communications program surrounding a national convention can rank near the Olympics, Super Bowl or World Series” (p. 6). Framing by Political Elites Because national political conventions are seen by many scholars as “infomercials” in support of the presidential nominee, framing can serve as an important research tool to understand how messages are being constructed by both the political elites and by the mass media. Conventions, just like advertisements, target specific groups of people. Cafasso (2003) suggests that public relation opportunities abound at political conventions, and there are five main audiences at play in transmitting the convention agenda. The five main audiences are (1) the delegates; (2) officials from local, state and federal government, including influential policy-makers; (3) like-minded

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16 activists (4) corporate, academic and non-profit influencers; (5) the over 1 million television viewers and “millions more who get their news from newspapers, radio and online services” (p. 6). Although political conventions can draw many resemblances to political advertising, research conducted on how conventions frame messages or affect voter perceptions has been widely neglected. There is very little scholarly research written about national political conventions and media effects, compared to, political advertising and political debates that have seen considerable amounts of research. One might suggest that this is because political conventions have little effect on the electorate. This, however, could be argued. For example, in the 2004 election alone, President Bush received a considerable point increase over his opponent after the televised proceedings of the Republican National Convention. This type of boost can be seen after many presidential conventions, suggesting that conventions do affect the viewing electorate. “By and large, manipulation of the content of televised conventions places these two, television and the major political parties, into an elite sphere which perpetuates itself and directs the political consciousness of the nation” (Fant, 1980, p. 138). Framing research in political communication has most often been used to study how journalists report on political issues (Gamson, 1992; Gitlin, 1980; Parmelee, 2002). This type of research is primarily focused on what type of issues gain media salience, and what story lines are prominent in coverage. Frames, as stated numerous times, can be constructed by various entities (Pan & Kosicki, 1993). Within the field of communication, there is less research specifically oriented on how those in the communication field, other than journalists, construct frames. However, this is where many scholars feel that the future of framing research will lie. Roefs (1998) states, "It is

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17 to be expected that the future of framing research will include entertainment, public relations, and advertising, which are all, of course, areas where framing is a deliberate, daily activity, perhaps even the raison d'etre" (Epilogue section, 1). Political conventions, therefore, which have been deemed by scholars as one big political advertisement, are an important avenue to study and apply framing theory. As research has previously suggested, political advertising might be correlated to behavioral effects on voters (Kaid, 2004). Several studies actually show that a voter exposed to a specific message within a political ad will vote in line with the message and/or advertisement (Cundy, 1986; Kaid, 2004; Mulder, 1979). Not only has political advertising been shown to elicit behavioral effects, but exposure to political ads are often associated with voters understanding and recalling candidate issues/policies more thoroughly, as well as the images portrayed by the campaign. In addition, political advertising affects those with lower le vels of voter involvement (Kaid, 2004). Benoit and Blaney (2000) found similarities between presidential conventions and political advertising. Benoit, in many previous studies (Benoit, 1997a, 1997b, 1998, 1999; Benoit, Blaney, & Pier, 1998; Benoit & Czerwinski, 1997; Benoit & Gustainis, 1986), has analyzed the “rhetorical situation” (Benoit & Blaney, p. 63) that political candidates face in enhancing one’s image. There are three prominent ways a candidate can increase favorability with a possible voter. Benoit describes these three mechanisms as “acclaiming, attacking and defending.” A cclaiming, attacking or defending has been applied by scholars to political advertisements and is often related to this form of political communication. Benoit has studied these mechanisms in relation to political ads, political debates, and (for purposes of this paper) political conventions.

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18 The authors studied keynote speeches in political conventions from 1960-1996. As explained previously, conventions are important for scholarly research because often the national party convention serves as the first opportunity for voters to hear directly from the candidates for more than a few “sound bite” seconds. Convention speeches have made history on several occasions. For example, George H. Bush made this pledge during the 1988 Republican National Convention: “Read my lips, no new taxes” (Zeller & Truslow, 2004). Overall, it was found that the keynote speeches during a presidential nominating convention often employ the same strategies used within a political advertisement. The speeches most often use the “acclaim” function (51%) over attacks or defenses. Also in line with political advertising, the keynote speeches more heavily address “policy considerations” (Zeller & Truslow, 2004, p. 61) than the character of the candidate or challenging the character of the opponent. Political advertising literature suggests that attacking or addressing policy positions over candidate images resonates better with the voter. More keynote speeches are considered “negative” and recently have ventured more toward a negative tone than in years past. Overwhelmingly, keynotes were found to contain utterances of past deeds and emphasize ideals. Also, the specific candidate is targeted more than the political party of the candidate (Benoit & Blaney, 2000). Keynote speeches could be possibly the most important aspects within a convention for creating candidate image and transmitting messages to voters. In recent conventions, the media have cut considerable amounts of coverage down to prime-time slots reserved solely for keynote speeches. In line with the research above, keynote speeches highly resemble political advertisements. The keynote speeches of political conventions tend to be more negative than political television spots, inaugural addresses and political debates (Benoit & Blaney,

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19 2000). “We believe that keynotes are the most negative of these campaign message forms because the speakers are surrogates; the candidate is the rhetor in all of these other message forms” (p. 71). Although keynotes tend to be highly negative, there is a vast amount of scholarly research which suggests, negative advertising has positive effects for a candidate’s campaign. Negative ads often encourage more recall of candidate information and name recognition. Another important finding regarding negative advertising is that these ads often include more issue substance than one might assume. It has been found that voters many times learn more about issues through political advertising than found in newscasts. The same might possibly be said of convention keynotes. As Benoit and Blaney state, “Contrary to what some might assume, these speeches possessed considerable substance: more utterances were devoted to policy (and especially past deeds) than to character (which discussed ideals frequently)” (p. 73). In addition to keynote addresses, films shown during the national conventions present an important opportunity to apply framing analysis. Promotional type films about the presidential nominee have become a staple of recent political conventions. In 2004 both the Democratic and Republican party played such films during the convention. Often party films are shown either directly before or after the candidate accepts the nomination to run for president. These films have increasingly become more about appealing to the television audience at home than to state party delegates or others attending the convention. As Fant (1980) notes, “The party film, directed primarily to the television audience rather than to the convention delegates, is one of the parties’ most effective resources” (p. 132). The first candidate film to be shown at a political convention was “The Pursuit of Happiness” shown to ABC and NBC tele vision viewers during the 1956 Democratic

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20 Convention. CBS viewers did not get to see the candidate film, which infuriated party elites. Instead of showing the film, CBS cut away to other convention happenings. The backlash by upset party elites and delegates resulted in the central camera platform being stormed. After that episode, there were no more incidents in which a network did not show the party film to television viewers (Fant, 1980). Since then, the convention strategists have made it necessary for television networks to air these promotional candidate films by often placing the podium direc tly in front of several projection panels. House lights are also dimmed so that cameras cannot cut away from the film to tape delegate reactions to the film or other sections of the convention hall. Many critics have called political convention films one large candidate advertisement. Though convention films have not been readily studied for their effects by communication scholars, party elites continue to suggest that these films are important in communicating the convention message and image of the party’s nominee; the convention organizers seem to believe it is necessary to have the networks broadcast party films during convention coverage. Parties have realized the significance such films hold. In 1964 Henry Cabot Lodge, while in Saigon, used televised films in place of actual appearances during the Republican primary and won. Fant (1980) explains, “Nevertheless, his use of television film in place of personal appearances in the state enabled him to win the primary, defeating Goldwater, Rockefeller, and Nixon” (p. 133). After this occurrence, political parties felt reinforced about the effects television could possibly have on political events and quickly formed a television advisory committee in collaboration with the networks to seek advice. This committee met more the 24 times in 1964 to help plan the national party conventions.

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21 As previously discussed, one can suggest that political elites often use framing to portray issues and candidate images in a certain way. This can often be seen through the inclusion and exclusion of ideas, visuals, words or phrases (Reese, 2001). One can also claim that the media are important to the political process because they act as the carrier of messages and are sometimes responsible for the frame by the words they choose to report with, or the salience journalists choose to ascribe to a candidate or political event. Parmelee (2000) studied framing in relation to presidential primary videocassettes distributed during the early months of the primary campaign. The author found that within each campaign video, frames were constructed to “package” the candidate in a particular way. However, what is interesting to note is that in each of the videos studied, the media served as the “supplier of validation for their claims” (p. 327). Pfau, Diedrich, Larson, and Van Winkle ( 1995) claim that primary elections have a considerable amount of potential to influence voter perceptions of the candidates, especially those of low involvement. The authors’ remark on this by stating that “candidates utilize television to foster an image of themselves in precisely those circumstances in which the medium’s potential for influence may be greatest” (p. 122). Roberts and Martinez (2004) analyzed Hispanic and African American newspaper coverage of the 2000 Republican National Convention to see if both groups used similar frames in reporting news about the convention. The groups were analyzed because it was often suggested that the 2000 GOP presidential campaign targeted multicultural Americans more than the previous 1992 and 1996 campaigns. In 2000, the Republican Convention tried to promote a message of inclusion with the theme, “Renewing America’s Purpose. Together” (Roberts & Martinez, 2004, p. 5). The authors named

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22 differing frames for both ethnic newspapers and found that often newspapers were skeptical of the GOP’s message of inclusion. Finally, Paletz and Elson (1976) analyzed 1972 coverage of the national conventions of both parties and argue that ne twork news coverage of the conventions was often manipulated, suggesting a different vi ew of what was actually happening to the television audience at home. When interviewing delegates from the 1972 Democratic convention, more than 83% indicated differences between the media coverage of the event and what they felt actually occurred during the convention while in actual attendance. One of the major criticisms the authors note is that media coverage is many times overly sensational and highly dramatized. The authors concluded by stating that there were possibly “direct causal links” suggesting McGovern suffered directly from the television coverage of the convention, while Nixon benefited (Paletz & Elson, p. 128). The way the coverage shapes the convention to a television audience leads the authors to suggest, “All this leads to the general criticism made primarily by politicians, more often privately than publicly, that television convention coverage is sometimes biased in favor of or against particular candidates, issues or groups” (Paletz & Elson, p. 112). If their analysis of McGovern proved correct, one might suggest framing occurred by the media during the 1972 convention, and possibly contributed to McGovern’s defeat for the presidency. Value Framing: Religion, Politics and the Media Religion and politics are two disciplines that have been recognized as becoming ever-more intertwined. A CNN/USA Today Gallup poll in December 2000 revealed that “one out of two voters would be more likely to support a candidate who talked about his relationship with Jesus. Only a quarter said they would be less likely” (Bozell, 2000,

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23 p. 46). Survey Data collected in 2004 from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life suggests that, although Americans are divi ded on whether religious groups should become directly involved in politics, a majority of Americans do want politicians to address issues of faith. Religion has become a topic of interest recently by political candidates, the media, and the American public. According to surveys taken after the 2004 Presidential election, Bush won 79% of the evangelical vote and 52% of the Catholic vote; both groups compromising millions of individuals (Cooperman & Edsall, 2004). Not only has religion been merely a topic of interest, some would suggest that the subject has been the dominate talk in the current election cycle. As Barry W. Lynn (2004) asks sarcastically in his article, Religion And Politics: Making “The Connection” And Getting “To The Point” (on discussing the amount of religious rhetoric apparent in the 2004 race for the presidency), “Will we then see the entire presidential campaign end with a round of ‘Bible Jeopardy’ played in primetime on the Fox News Channel?” The author goes on to state, “One hopes not” (p. 23). Religious rhetoric such as faith, morals, and family values has recently permeated candidate messages, political advertisements, religious sermons, and the mass media to an increasingly captivated audience. Political candidates continue to draw reference on such rhetoric, as it can be assumed, vying for the “religious vote.” For example, Cooperman and Edsall write in a Washington Post article: In dozens of interviews since the election, grass-roots activists in Ohio, Michigan and Florida credited President Bush’s chief political adviser, Karl Rove, with setting a clear goal that became a mantra among conservatives: To win, Bush had to draw 4 million more evangelicals to the polls than he did in 2000. (p. A01) This current election cycle has proven that religion and politics have an indispensable relationship, one that makes for a significant research tool in the study of media techniques.

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24 There are several significant reasons why media techniques would be important to the study of religion and politics, especially in relation to the 2004 Presidential election. In particular, the research tool of frame analysis can help to shed light on the way events and issues in everyday life are organized and “framed,” and thus transmitted to an audience to elicit a set of meanings. Framing assists individuals in forming a schema about certain social issues and/or even ts—therefore, forming public opinion. “frames may best be viewed as an abstract principle, tool, ‘schemata’ of interpretation that works through media texts to structure social meaning” (Reese, 2001, p. 14). Frames are active structures that generate information through the inclusion and exclusion of ideas and visuals from the public forum. As Gamson and Modigliani (1989) suggest, framing is a “central organizing idea . for making sense of relevant events, suggesting what is at issue” (p. 3). Framing is a theory that primarily seeks to explain how public opinion is formed. Thus, one can understand why framing has become increasingly more important to the field of political communication. With the recent infiltration of religious rhetoric in politics, one must conclude that understanding the theory of framing might possibly be an important contribution to religious schol ars. Stout and Buddenbaum (2003) note that, “In the study of religion and media, framing has value far beyond just knowing what is in the news; it also determines the types of information that ultimately contribute to public opinion about particular religions” (p. 1). In addition to Stout and Buddenbaum’s notion, framing theory can help one understand how religion has recently been framed by political elites and the media, and thus formed into public opinion. After previously outlining the basic definitions of framing theory, this thesis sought to address how and why framing theory should be looked at more closely by religious scholars. Within the academic field, the relationship between religion, politics

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25 and the media has been neglected in comparison to other disciplinary relationships. As Judith Buddenbaum (Stout & Buddenbaum, 2003) suggests, “Among researchers, the tendency has been to study the media and religion in isolation from each other and both at least somewhat separate from other institutions and from the surrounding culture” (p. 14). Applying framing theory to religious and value-oriented communication, one can better understand elite political discourse and how public opinion is formed. Mobilization When arguing that the media have a place within the field of religion and politics, it is first important to understand the relationship between the two disciplines. Mobilization and political participation are most likely the effect that elites wish to establish when using the media to carry political and/or religious messages. This stimulation is expressed in what scholars deem “issue mobilization,” political participation that is directly linked to a value system. In recent years, one can argue that politicians have framed issues to appeal and activate those who could most easily be issue-mobilized. Therefore, religion is often a catalyst to mobilize individuals to action. As suggested in the introduction, religion and politics often constitute a circular relationship. The two can, at times, be two very dependent entities. Throughout history, religion has had the ability to provide meaning for individuals and has tied individuals and cultures to a core set of beliefs, thus creating an identity and community in which to belong. Religion is pervasive. It has the ability to challenge and invoke political movements, with more support than most other secular organizations can reach in comparison. As some would state, religion has been the prime variable in moving a significant number of individuals to the polls in an election cycle. Because religion provides meaning and identity for individuals, a religious framework might possibly be

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26 one of the best tools in reaching a large segment of society for political purposes. History suggests that the political discourse of many societies has often been developed with religious values in mind. Thus, religious rhetoric is a very powerful mobilization and communication tool. Religion has long since been used as a form of political mobilization. As suggested previously, religion often provides identity for individuals. Habits, languages, traditions, political and religious beliefs all form a network that creates the individual self. Ruth Benedict (1934) once explained culture as the key to understanding personality. Culture, to her, was a type of “group personality,” hence the significance it held. Sociologist Emile Durkheim (1915) agreed with prior scholars on the importance that one’s culture exerts. However, Durkheim added the notion that culture and religion are often interchangeable, dependent ideas. Once born into a group, feelings of obligation to members of that group begin to form. This obligation to community is inseparable from religion, and religion is inseparable from the social framework in which the individual resides. As Durkheim stated in his book, The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life “The idea of society is the soul of religion” (p. 419). Thus, culture, religion and social/political action can be viewed as a coherent chain of sociological events; religion being the fuel that feeds the political climate of a society. The meaning created through religion has certainly prompted and affected the political realm. A direct reflection of how one’s values, derived strictly through religious meaning, have led to political action is the antifeminist sentiment. A study conducted by Himmelstein (1986) showed that the social basis for antifeminism was not socioeconomic status, age, education, or dependence upon men. The basis for this sentiment was found to rest in the religious network and culture a woman belonged to.

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27 Himmelstein explains that the overwhelming religious sentiment among churches of diverse denominations is that abortion is immoral. This is found evident in speech among the religious leaders behind and outside of the pulpit. From there it is transferred, framed, and reinforced to congregation members, and among outside groups who often solicit help in diffusing the political and/or religious message that abortion is wrong and legislation must be enacted to stop the “obscene” practice. Himmelstein found that the majority of anti-abortion sentiments came from people who attended church, as well as those who were activists against the practice. Values such as preservation of the family and life were key foundational beliefs one had possibly garnered through religion; but if not formed first through religion, religion was the catalyst for many to introduce and reinforce the anti-abortion frames. Because religion creates meaning for large groups of people it is naturally used as a resource to mobilize and motivate. Religion provides the motive and the means to move individuals towards political action. Political ideas come together in religion through the group/congregation. The American civil rights movement often used two prominent themes—those that were Christian and democratic. The “prophetic force,” a frame used during the civil rights movement, elevated congregations to political action through the use of religious rhetoric. An example might be a religious figure proclaiming to his/her congregation, “Society is not living up to God’s requirements!” This is an example of civil religion (Bellah, 1967) or as Buddenbaum (2002) explains in relation to the media, “the use of religious institutions as news sources also points to the role of the press in creating or perpetuating a ‘religion of the republic.’” (p. 17). “Civil religion” or a “religion of the republic” is formed through the used of rhetoric that mirrors shared religious values (Buddenbaum, 2002).

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28 Religious frames often target culture and society to make a group of individuals believe they can work together to change an unjust situation. Church, therefore, becomes the realm where grievances among members are formed because it provides identity and reinforces meaning. When such grievances become effectively encapsulated they become part of political life. People will engage in the movement because it has meaning for them. The political action reinforces that they are doing the right thing through the religious meanings they have ascribed to; there is the presence of the “good v. evil” cognitive processes. Finally, people who believe in their group and have identified with them will contribute what resources they can to the movement. As Wald (1992) explains, religion provides a vast array of resources that promote collective action. Such resources include meeting places, formal membership in the church, organized headquarters, community networks, professional leadership opportunities, space, and publications. All of these resources reinforce community and identity for the individual. Therefore, religion develops schema for individuals, through verbal, physical and symbolic outlets, and moves individuals to political mobilization when such meanings become threatened. Lately there have been ample amounts of research suggesting that religion is an “essential catalyst” for participation in politics. As Scheufele, Nisbet and Brossard note (2002), “Various claims share the common assumption that religion promotes the essential components of political participation including motivation, recruitment, and ability” (p. 300). Scheufele et al. reference several scholars (Leege, 1993; Greenburg, 2000) who have remarked on the importance religion has had in serving as “local access points to political power” (p. 300). Such schol ars have not only suggested that religion is a marked access point but, more notably, a critical bridge that political elites utilize when

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29 developing campaign themes. As Leege (1993) suggests, such elites often use religion to provide symbols and imagery in an attempt to make religious rhetoric equal political action. Political Participation One might question, then, what moves an individual to active political participation? This is an important question when assessing the way political elites have used religion for political mobilization. Verba, Schlozman, and Brady (1995) define political participation as an, “activity that has the intent of effect or influencing government action—either directly by affecting the making or implementation of public policy or indirectly by influencing the selection of people who make those policies” (p. 38). The authors continue by suggesting that political participation is voluntary, and there are three important factors in assessing what moves an individual to participation. These influential components are resources, networks, and engagement. In addition, researchers claim that the resources that are most important in psychological engagement are those that are personal, not socioec onomic (Guth et al., 2003; Verba & Nie, 1972). For example, Guth et al. (2003) notes that if church membership provides important interpersonal resources, church leadership would have an even stronger effect on the individual. Churches often provide all three re sources to an individual (Scheufele et al., 2002). Another cause of political participation is strong attachment to a core set of beliefs. “Political scientists have long noted that strong partisan attachments and ideological views tend to stimulate activism” (Guth et al., 2003, p. 507). This stimulation is expressed in what scholars deem “issue mobilization,” political participation that is directly linked a value system. In recent years, one can suggest that politicians have

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30 framed issues to appeal and activate those who could most easily be issue-mobilized. Guth, Green, Smidt, Kellstedt, and Poloma (1997) provide an example of this in the “moral reform” and “social justice agendas” used in recent elections. For example, ministers have often been mobilized on moral issues such as abortion, gay rights, stem cell research, and school prayer. Churches then act as important sources for political information. Many times, religious leaders will contribute by linking faith to particular political goals and/or issues. “These church-based political communications are usually framed in moral terms, playing on the religious motivations of parishioners to mobilize on behalf of the morally correct candidate, cause or issue” (p. 300). Usually, this kind of rhetoric will end in a call to religious participation; suggesting that voting and other modes of political participation is simply a call of religious duty (Greenburg, 2000). Framing political issues to target religious elites has now become a common practice of politicians and interest group leaders. Because religious elites serve as opinion leaders to their church and community, they have become an important and frequent target of outside mobilization (G uth et al., 2003). Conservative organizations such as the Christian Coalition and Focus on the Family have continuously aimed at recruiting religious elites. However, recruitment efforts and membership in such conservative organizations have risen in recent years, suggesting that the mobilization effort of such groups has proven successful. As Guth et al. (2003) reported in their study of evangelical clergy in the 2000 election, 30% of the clergy reported membership in at least one conservative organization, many belonging to multiple conservative groups. In addition, Guth et al. note that membership in a conservative religious group correlates positively with political activity, and those ministers who focus on moral questions are more likely to be involved in the political climate. Thus, it is imperative to recognize the

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31 current role religion has in promoting political activity, and the possibility that political elites are using religious frames to elicit action. The Media The media have become an essential vehicle to transmit messages to an audience that can often result in millions of individuals. Organizations, interest groups and politicians often vie for favorable media coverage, as the media are used many times as the carrier of agendas. Recently, the study of media and religion has become a discipline some scholars are championing as an important field that deserves more research and attention (Hoover 1997, 2002). Those who study the interaction between the two disciplines suggest that in analyzing the role religion plays in the postmodern world, one must look at the media. Scholarly attention focused on media and religion began accumulating in the mid20th century (Hoover, 2002). Parker, Barry and Smythe (1955) published the first “landmark” study in the field, The Television-Radio Audience and Religion Since then the field has looked at televangelism in the 1970s, and in the 1980s and 1990s the field explored at how journalists (specifically the press) treated and/or covered religion. Hoover (2002) suggests that there are three paradigms that have comprised the field. The first of these the author deems “essentialism.” As Hoover explains, “It [essentialism] holds that religion is so intertwined with social and cultural consciousness that the media of a given age must be necessarily religious in that they will reproduce or replace ideal forms of practice that we have consensually understood to be typical of true religion” (p. 26). The second paradigm is entitled “propaganda or effects,” which studies how religious messages might affect a certain audience. Lastly the author suggests that a

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32 third paradigm exists, “social structure or institutional power,” which analyzes how religion might be affected or disadvantaged by the media. Lyon (2000) argues that communication and information technologies now help predict the role that religion plays in the contemporary world. Lyon claims that the our modern world, authority-based sources for identity are starting to fade and are being replaced by the need for personal identity choice. This is where he places the expanding role on providing identity for people; thus the importance of the media. Lyon explains this role by suggesting that the media provide messages through “the reproduction and multiplication of data and symbols that bring multifarious effects in their wake.” The author continues by stating, “People construct religious meaning from the raw materials provided by the media, repositioning and patterning the elements according to logics both local and global, both innovative and traditional” (p. 57). Another significant reason the media and they relationship with religion is important grounds for study is in the way important political, social, and religious groups have mastered the use of media control. As Kimberly Blaker (2003) explains, The Christian right accomplishes this [shaping public opinion] in several ways. In addition to its ownership of many media outlets, Christian organizations and denominations such as the Southern Baptist Convention and Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights have come to be known for their power over the mainstream media. They threaten lawsuits and public embarrassment and participate in letter-writing campaigns. In addition, they boycott companies that sponsor programs or publications to which the Christian right is opposed. Through such actions they are able to silence negative publicity and most programming critical of religion or in direct conflict with their views. (p. 40) This suggests that religious, political and interest group elites have considerably heightened their sophistication and use of the media in mediating their message and agenda. McCune (2003) adds to this argument by stating, “political advocates and social

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33 movements have become increasingly sophisti cated at influencing how the media frame public debates” (p. 7). Those who study the relationship between media and religion would also note the important function language plays within both disciplines. “Religion and religious movements have always been intricately interwoven with culture, and, as any religion reporter knows, language is a critical component of religion. It is through the symbolic structure of language that religious meaning must be translated into secular understanding” (Harding, 2000, p. 253). Those that wish to use the media to translate religious messages do so through the “language of faith” and provide reinforced messages for the media to carry. The way religion is depicted by journalists, either by the way elite messages are delivered or because the journalist often has the opportunity to construct issue salience, is significant (Stout & Buddenbaum, 2003). There have always been competing arguments as to the exact role that the media play in either strengthening or secularizing religious frames; often it merely depends on the context in which the frame is presented. Olasky (1990) claims that the press secularizes religion, whereas Silk (1995) assures the reader that religious values are clearly reflected in frames and reinforced. Issues framed by a values approach give political groups the chance “to legitimate themselves and to communicate to others why their choice is more moral or competent than their opponents” (Ball-Rokeach & Loges, 1996, p. 279). Scholars suggest that value-oriented language serves a great utility for political groups, because it is understood quite possibly by the widest range of individuals: those who possess political knowledge and those who do not. Journalists also are engaged because value issues are understood in lay terms and often speak to conflict (Ball-Rokeach & Lodges, 1996; Domke, Shah, Wackman, 1998).

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34 Several scholars (Anderson 1970; Berg 1972; Gregg 1977; Kidd 1975) have claimed that the media, through rhetoric, are able to color cultural and social affairs. Gordon and Miller (2004) suggest that it is through individual values and those presented in the media that individuals are able to connect to certain issues and policies. In studying the role of religion in society, it is imperative to understand and apply the media theory of framing. Framing Perspectives Framing literature has become increasingly important to the study of various disciplines. Within the last decade, the concept of framing has integrated its way as an important methodological theory of media research. Framing as a theory has not only gained significance in the field of media research, but has moved into a number of related fields such as communication, sociology, and political science. Framing, as a theory, has evolved into a definition that incorporates fundamental techniques to advance rhetoric and enhance communication. For this very reason, framing literature has become important to the study of political science. This important field of analysis has opened the question asked by Reese (2001) “Precisely how are issues constructed, discourse structured, and meanings developed?” (p. 7). This question is at the heart of what framing seeks to analyze. Such explanations assist in understanding the basic foundation of framing and how it relates to the study of disciplines other than that of the news media. Framing is much more than a way to analyze how the media project an issue. The issue can be projected by many other avenues, with the media acting as a mere carrier of the frame. For purposes of this paper, framing is approached as an effects paradigm, centered on the audience and the way in which institutions, organizations, or individuals can use framing

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35 and/or frames to assist in mobilizing an audience—thus furthering the objective of portraying an issue(s) in a certain light. “Framing is concerned with the way interests, communicators, sources, and culture combine to yield coherent ways of understanding the world, which are developed using all of the available verbal and visual symbolic resources” (Reese, 2001, p. 11). The following passage by Ryan, Carragee and Meinhofer (2001) allow one to understand more fully how media frames work within the modern political climate. In our interventions, we stress that journalistic frames do not develop in a political or cultural vacuum. They are influenced by the frames sponsored by multiple social actors, including corporate and political elites, advocates, and social movements. New stories, then, become a forum for framing contests in which these actors compete in sponsoring their definitions of political issues. The ability of a frame to dominate news discourse depends on multiple complex factors, including its sponsor’s economic and cultural resources, its sponsor’s knowledge of journalistic practices, and its resonance with broader political values or tendencies in American culture. Given the practices of American journalism and the significance of resources in the successful sponsoring of frames, framing contests favor political and economic elites. (p. 176). Reese (2001) explains that there are six components that assist or diminish the function of framing. The six terms important to understanding the degree to which framing effects occur are organization, principles, shared, persistence, symbolic, and structure. The first is especially important for purposes of this analysis; the way in which framing is organized. As Reese explains, th ere are two primary ways in which a frame can be organized: cognitively and culturally. Culturally organized frames are important to the study of political framing, and later when the analysis of religion will occur. An example of a culturally organized frame would consist of the rhetoric included in the current political phrase, “The War on Terror.” Framing in this culturally contextual way seeks towards social mobilization of the audience by infusing rhetoric that implies a significant problem in the political/national climate of the audience member (Snow &

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36 Benford, 1988). As Gitlin (1980) suggests, frames are a direct result of the societal ideology; an ideology that subsequently finds itself manifested in the text. Another key element when assessing frames is the structure in which the frame manifests itself. That is, framing usually occurs when a set of ideas continually occur while leaving other ideas out. The presence or absence of information is vital when assessing whether or not framing has occurred. As previously noted, framing has recently been applied as a research tool to disciplines other than news media. Framing theory has especially grown within the study of political communication within the last few years. As Pan and Kosicki (1993) suggest, framing has become a strategic plan in the realm of public deliberation. “Public deliberation, therefore, is not a harmonious process but an ideological contest and political struggle. Actors in the public arena struggle over the right to define and shape issues, as well as the discourse surrounding these issues” (p. 36). Framing has been used in various political endeavors to advance an issue or portray a specific political climate. This has been used previously as a way to call attention to issues and/or create a set of values that can be attributed to a particul ar candidate, political party, and/or organization. In the same way religious elites have used the media to advance value-oriented language and promote political agendas in both direct a nd indirect ways. The constructionist model of political communication by Neuman, Just, and Crigler (1992) addresses just this: It is political elites and advocates, the media, and the public who actively construct frames, all in relation to how they perceive the reality of the issue. Scholars are beginning to address the relationship between political candidates, value-oriented language, and the media. Literature has shown that Americans use personal values to form issue opinions (Brewer, 2002). Research has previously

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37 suggested that “moral referendums,” those political issues that are framed by the media in moral terms, interact with the individual process of candidate choice (Domke et al., 1998). Literature has shown that Americans use personal values to form issue opinions (Brewer, 2002). Political issues that become framed in a way which suggests they are tied to a “core set of values” have been found to “significantly influence voting behavior” (Brewer, p. 302). Monroe (1995) cited this interaction as a moral “referendum.” Domke et al. (1998) acknowledged that the study of moral referendums interacting with candidate choice has been widely neglected by political communication scholars. Therefore, Domke et al. (1998) presented a study that found a correlation between value framing and candidate choice. “Findings indicate that, in combination, an individual’s interpretation of issues and news media framing influence the type of decision-making process used, even after accounting for a variety of demographic, orientational, issue importance, and issue position variables” (Domke et al., p. 301). In addition, the authors found that “voters with an ethical interpretation of an issue are motivated to place that issue at the center of their evaluation of a political environment and to rise their own stand on the issue as a filter through which candidate information is initially processed” (p. 311). Another significant aspect researchers (Brewer, 2002; Kinder & Sanders, 1996; Koch, 1998) have noted is the important function the media has in “connecting” values to issues. Since individuals often receive competing frames, the individual uses the media to connect values to issues. Research indicates that value-language on political issues, translated through the media in news, affects how individuals will describe their own political position on the issue. Often the language an individual will use is the language used to initially frame the issue (Brewer, 2002). For example, Brewer (2002) states, “If

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38 exposure to a value frame makes the value invoked by that frame more accessible in citizens’ memories, then people who receive the frame should be especially likely to recall the value, then they search for words to express their thoughts on the issue” (p. 305). Thus, framing becomes a “symbolic contest” (Gamson & Modigliani 1989) over which meaning will prevail and be reinforced. Religious framing, presented in value-oriented and moral terms, has become essential in the successful reach of a large electorate. Gordon and Miller (2004) express this by stating, “Whether emphasizing individualism, equality, or some other value, a fundamental strategy when building a persuasive argument is linking a particular value to a campaign issue—a process called framing” (p. 73). Rokeach (1973) defines a value as “an enduring belief that a specific mode of conduct or end-state of existence is personally or socially preferable to an opposite or converse mode or end-state of existence” (p. 5). Using values in politics can be very resourceful. Not only does it resonate with a large segment of society because the language of values is easy to understand, it also unifies diverse groups of individuals with the ambiguous nature of value appeals (Sillars & Ganer, 1982). Thus, it becomes easy for both voter and candidate to communicate by linking values to complex policy issues. Gordon and Miller (2004) analyzed value-oriented language during the first presidential debate of 2000 between Bush and Gore. The authors found that numerous value appeals were present during the debate. Appeals such as “democracy, family, morality, national security, and the world of beauty” were used by both candidates (p. 79). An example in how value appeals were constructed can be exemplified in the issue of abortion. The author concludes, “G ore framed the issue of abortion in terms of individual freedom, while Bush turned to a morality frame” (p. 87). Many can suggest

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39 that the morality frame proved successful for Bush and was thus continued during the most recent presidential campaign of 2004. Likewise, McCune (2003) found valueoriented frames present during the 1996 Tennessee debate over teaching evolution in public schools. Frames such as family, morality, values were presented by the bill’s supporters, often using the Bible as “a sym bol of rightness” (p. 12). Davies (1999) studied value framing in light of what the author describes as “frame transformation, frame extension, and frame contest” by examining religious coalitions in Ontario, Canada, that lobbied the government to fund religious schools. Accordingly, some scholars argue that whoever most effectively frames a debate will win (Robinson & Powell, 1996). Conclusion As discussed throughout this literature review, media framing can provide for an important theoretical tool when analyzing the relationship between religion and politics. Because media is so pervasive, has the ability to reach millions of people instantaneously, and is relied upon as a source of information, both religious and political elites must rely on the media to transmit messages and give salience to issues. In recent years religious and political groups have become much savvier in their knowledge of the media. This knowledge is essential to successfully infiltrating one’s message. In addition, the major reliance upon television and newspapers in today’s modern society allows the media to become an elite group in their own right. How issues are presented, what rhetoric is used and how much coverage is allotted to a topic, are all pieces of a construct that decides what is important in public discourse. As Brewer, Graf and Willnat (2003) state, “Exposure to media coverage of an issue tends to make that issue more accessible in people’s minds; this heightened accessibility, in turn, increases the

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40 likelihood that people will base subsequent evaluations on their thoughts about the issue” (p. 494). Through the inclusion and exclusi on of words and/or symbols, public opinion can often be formed and manipulated. By applying framing theory to prominent political and/or social events, one might better understand why public opinion is as it is. Without the media, one could assume religion and politics would interact very differently in the current climate of America’s culture. Therefore, one hopes to argue that the disciplines of religion and politics should pay very close attention to the field of mass communication, framing theory, and media eff ects. Conducting studies that regard all three disciplines as interconnected and often dependent entities could enhance research in each area and help scholars to better understand the way public opinion is formed. Framing theory is just one possible way to analyze the relationship between media, politics and religion; a relationship that should be studied and analyzed significantly more in the years to come. Evangelical Christians have presented to the campaign an ongoing strategic challenge to the GOP (Wald, 1992) in that this segment has often been noted as a base constituency. This consideration would therefore suggest that the use of strong religious language and/or frames will be present within the 2004 GOP convention. However, as seen in the 1992 and 1996 elections, when Republicans lost votes among more traditional Republicans (The Akron Poll), using such language often threatens votes from more liberal, mainline protestant Republicans. For example, in 1992 when the rhetoric was comprised of more "Christian Conservative" language, a substantial segment of voters were alienated and the Republican Party lost votes. Aware of such previous situations, it has been suggested that although Karl Rove had every intention of appealing to the evangelicals, he also worked to keep evangelicals off of prime-time coverage. Thus, this

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41 might be the reason for featuring more "moderate" figures within the convention such as Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Governor George Pa taki, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. These politicians represent a more moderate segment of the Republican Party, which might be viewed to appeal to a larger constituency of voters. If this is the case, one might see very little use of religious language within the frames presented during the convention. However, the language may be presented in a way that one speech may not be seen as having heavy or even moderate religious rhetoric, but in frames and, when all the speeches are compared as a whole, patterns for religious rhetoric may emerge. Therefore the following research question is asked: Are religious frames present in the 2004 Republican National Convention? If so, to what extent was religious rhetoric incorporated?

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42 CHAPTER 3 METHOD Recap This study employed the methodology of qualitative content analysis to study the frames present or absent in the 2004 Republican National Convention. As mentioned in Chapters 1 and 2, the theoretical framework used for purposes of the present study is framing. Although there are many definitions of framing, the study analyzed framing by definition as “To frame is to select some aspects of a perceived reality and make them more salient in a communicating text, in such a way as to promote a particular problem definition, causal interpretation, moral evaluation and/or treatment recommendation” (Entman, 1993, p. 52). By using this definition of framing, the current study assumes that frames can originate from more than one entity. A frame can be located in the text, the communicator, the receiver of the message or the culture (Entman, 1993). In analysis of the 2004 GOP Convention, frames may be present and/or created through visuals, verbal language (as in convention speeches), and musical performances or in the mere indirect inclusion or exclusion of ideologies. Qualitative Content Analysis As Earl Babbie (2004) states, “Content analysis is particularly well suited to the study of communications and to answering the classic question of communications research: ‘Who says what, to whom, why, how, and with what effect?’” (p. 314). The formal definition of content analysis is the “study of recorded human communications”

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43 (p. 314). The nature of the content analysis in this study was qualitative. As scholars have noted (Dreher, 1994), one of the most important elements in choosing which research design to use is to select a method that will be consistent in answering the research question at hand. For this reason, a qualitative analysis was selected for the ability to best answer the research question at hand. A qualitative analysis allows tone, themes, catchphrases and sources to all be examined and applied to the larger context of frames presented. In addition, such an analysis allowed for examination of any possible meaning construction within the content of the convention and the speeches which were presented there. Qualitative means have been employed to study the results of content analysis from the convention coding. Defined by Babbie (2004) and as used in this study, qualitative analysis is the “nonnumerical examination and interpretation of observations, for the purpose of discovering underlying meanings and patterns of relationships” (p. 370). Although there are many strengths of using a qualitative method, such an analysis is not without weaknesses. As a potential weakness, qualitative analysis posses the risk that one will be unable to replicate a study, which is often due to the fact that the analysis relies on the researcher to make various conclusions instead of only numerical data to provide results. Unit of Analysis This study used framing to analyze possible religious frames and value-oriented language, either the presence or absence, in the 2004 GOP Presidential Nominating Convention. In order to do this, video recordings taken from C-SPAN were coded and processed using the computer program SPSS as a means to organize data. Convention speeches were the unit of analysis.

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44 C-SPAN was chosen as the unit to code over other media entities for its uninterrupted, commentary-free, video record of the convention proceedings. This study sought convention coverage most closely representing the convention if one were actually in attendance. C-SPAN coverage should prove to be the best television-aired programming to achieve this end. The coding sheet was developed after research in religious/value-oriented rhetoric. Coding comprised of convention coverage on C-SPAN during the prime-time viewing hours. Prime-time viewing hours were chosen because they capture the largest viewing audience tuning-in to convention coverage. A much larger percentage of individuals watch convention coverage during the prime-time hours when keynote speeches take place, in relation to daytime convention viewing. Primetime viewing hours, for purposes of the current study, began between the hours of 6:oo and 8:00 p.m. and end at just after 11:00 p.m. Prime-time coverage of the GOP convention was coded from the following nights: August 30, 2004; August 31, 2004; September 1, 2004; September 2, 2004. It is acknowledged that a possible weakness of using C-SPAN convention coverage is also noted above as the unit’s strength. C-SPAN coverage was chosen for the uninterrupted coverage of the convention that it provides. In light of a framing analysis, one might suggest that, without commentary, several key frames will not be noted. This is true if the main focus of this study was media framing in relation to journalists who cover the news. However, as stated previously, the main objective is to understand the convention frames put forth by the campaign (political elites), and thus transmitted via television to a large viewing audience. As mentioned prior, such elites have become much more sophisticated in using the media to further advance political initiatives,

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45 messages and frames. For this reason, study of the frames presented by the campaign in the 2004 GOP Convention is pertinent to the study of political and mass communication. Codebook Construction The coding parameters for the C-SPAN coverage included the following categories: •Speakers Profession •Role of Speaker •Location of Speech •Source of Speech •Duration of Speech •Issues Discussed •Key Phrases/Words used During Speech •Title of Songs used in Musical Performances •Reaction Cutaway These categories allowed the researcher to study not only what issues and/or key phrases were presented within the speech, but also who gave the speech, where it was given, and who was shown in the audience when the camera cutaway from a speaker. The presence or absence of issues and key words within the speech were documented and the number of times each issue is mentioned was coded. In addition, the total time of the speech, the amount of time devoted to each issue, and the camera cutaways were entered as data. Timing the camera cutaways as well as documenting who was shown (i.e., race, gender, adult, child, military persons) is important when suggesting possible frames. All of these variables can present and develop frames. In addition, a speaker’s credibility, in light of his/her credentials can often be an important aspect of frame construction, which was also taken into account. For example, 54% of all musical performances (excluding those who performed the National Anthem) in the 2004 GOP Convention were done by wellknown Christian artists, who first gained their popularity among the Christian community. This careful planning could possibly resonate with the voter, especially

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46 those who are Christian and who will recognize such Christian artists. Thus, this segment of society might take a cue from this, possibly resulting in a vote for President Bush. Inter-subjectivity Inter-coder reliability was obtained in the current study by using two researchers to observe and code C-SPAN data. "Intercoder reliability refers to the level of agreement among independent coders who code the same content using the same coding instrument" (Wimmer & Dominick, 2003, p. 156). Reliability in content analysis is extremely important and will be treated as such. A lack of reliability within research can exclude important details or misconstrue information and results. Inter-coder reliability is essential to construct a study that is valid and reliable. As Babbie (2004) states, reliability is the “quality of measurement method that suggests that the same data would have been collected each time in repeated observations of the same phenomenon” (p. G9). Therefore, the use of multiple researchers was used in coding to achieve accurate results. Conflicts were reconciled by both coders, hereafter adjustments to coding were made when necessary. Ten percent of the speeches were chosen at random for another researcher to code and thus, to achieve reliability.

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47 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS The present study looked at the use of religious and value-oriented language in the 2004 Republican National Convention to suggest possible frames. Framing analysis was employed to study speeches within the convention. A qualitative content analysis was conducted to study the speeches, while employing framing analysis to thus understand possible frames in which the campaigns message was constructed. All quotations from speeches were obtained from C-SPAN. Brief Overview After all of the coding was completed, data was entered into a SPSS computer program to organize and analyze data derived from the codebook. The majority of the data used to suggest frames was compiled into the codebook. However, various notes were taken throughout viewing the C-SPAN prime-time coverage of the 2004 GOP Convention in its entirety for those elements such as musical performances, tone, and interviews from the floor that would not be included within the SPSS data list for speeches. In total there were 62 speeches coded from the sample of convention coverage this study sought to analyze. Table 4-1 describes how many speeches were given each night and the distribution of speeches gi ven (Introduction, Main, Transition, Invocation, Benediction, Other). When suggesting possible frames for analysis a cross-tabulation was conducted on the presence or absence of issues correlate d to religion. The themes of “Faith in God,”

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48 “Religious Rhetoric” and “Family Values” were used to define the total percentage of speeches that such issues were present in. As seen in Table 4-2, a significant number of speeches incorporated the use of one of the following three issues. This suggests that a message involving religious frames was incorporated in the 2004 Republican National Convention. Table 4-1.Speaker’s role Convention dateTotal 8-30-048-31-049-01-049-02-04 Speaker's roleIntroduction234110 Main speaker378422 Transition963321 Invocation11114 Benediction11114 Other00011 Total1618171162 Table 4-2.Issue distribution Issue % Distribution speeches (n = 62) Issue presence in speeches Faith in God3421 Religious rhetoric4226 Family values5031 The percentage does not equal to 100. The number of speeches that an issue appeared in was divided by the total number of speeches to reach the percentage. Total issue presence noted the number of times appearing within context of convention speeches. Analysis Research question Are religious frames present in the 2004 Republican National Convention? If so, to what extent was religious rhetoric incorporated? Differences in how the campaigns and candidates treated the issue of religion in the 2004 election year were very stark, with the Republican Convention appearing at times to be a “praise service,” according to religion writer Amy Sullivan,

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49 especially before the prime-time television coverage. The Bush campaigns chief political strategist, Karl Rove, made no secret of his intent to reach out aggressively to conservative religious voters. (Wallis, 2005) The 2004 Republican National Convention, when analyzed for possible frames, was found to include more than just 9/11 or the current war in Iraq. Held in New York City during the month of September, and appearing at times to be a memorialized service to the vast horror and loss of September 11th, 2001, the convention also included rhetoric deemed ethical values, which often become most explicitly apparent in discourse about rights, morals, and basic principles (Shah, Domke, & Wackman, 2003, p. 227). This rhetoric was seen in many of the convention speeches. The convention was divided into four themeseach of which were assigned a night to represent the convention. These four themes, which were encapsulated by a title or catchphrase, were shown imprinted on signs given out to delegates, on-screen behind the podium and incorporated within speeches. According to the 2004 Republican National Convention Web site, under the section entitled Week in Review, the following themes were outlined: Monday, August 30, 2004A Nation of Courage Tuesday, August 31, 2004People of Compassion Wednesday, September 1, 2004Land of Opportunity Thursday, September 2, 2004Safer World, Hopeful America ( http://www.2004nycgop.org). Although the rhetoric presented in the speeches could very well be categorized into the above mentioned titles that were defined by the campaign, the following list presents a more precise list of frames that were clearly apparent within the speeches and evident across all four nights of coveragenot cons trained to only a specific convention day. Each of the frames presented use of religious and/or value-oriented language within a subgroup of speeches to either (a) further the frame or (b) connect the frame to morality,

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50 religious appeal and/or specific values. The following four frames, identified by the researcher, were presented by the campaign through use of speech text and visuals during the four nights of prime-time, C-SPAN coverage of the Republican convention and were identified as the most common dominant frames: •“Protecting Against Evil, Keeping America Safe” •“The Republican Party: Encouraging and Defending American Values” •“The Republican Party: Compassionate Conservatism” •“The Lincoln Vision, Reagan Vi sion, George W. Bush Vision.” After identification of the above mentioned frames was defined, an analysis of the presence and/or absence of religious and/or value-oriented language have been examined. Convention Frames Protecting Against Evil, Keeping America Safe Many who viewed the 2004 GOP Convention can attest that the “War on Terror” was a primary frame exhibited within the construct of the convention as well as within the rhetoric of a substantial portion of political speeches. Key words such as, “terrorists,” “terrorism,” “Iraq,” and “9/11” were fre quent. Often such catchphrases were not only used within the text of the speech but developed into a primary issue the speech was directed at addressing. The forces of “Good vs. Evil,” were often equated to America’s quest to stop terrorism around the world. Within the “Good vs. Evil” construct, one can find numerous references to America’s ideology—an ideology that is based on freedom, values, and faith. Such references alluded to the notion that America loves freedom and is serving to protect freedoms at home and fight for the oppressed abroad. One speaker noted, “We are again engaged in a war that will define the future of humankind. Responding to attacks on our soil, America has led a coalition of countries against extremists who want to destroy our way of live and our values” (Silver, GOP

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51 Convention: August 30, 2004). The suggestion was that America is fighting for the oppressed because of the values Americans hold dear and because Americans are inherently “good.” The “Ideology of Hate” is what is condoned of the terrorists; that such individuals hate freedom, freedom of relig ion and all that America stands for. For example, a speech given on the second night of the convention by Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Republican Governor of California, said this of Bush, He [Bush] knows you don’t reason with terro rists. You defeat them. He knows you can’t reason with people blinded by hate. They hate the power of the individual. They hate the progress of women. They hate the religious freedom of others. They hate the liberating breeze of democracy. But, ladies and gentlemen, their hate is no match for America’s decency. (Schwarzenegger, GOP convention, August 31, 2004) At first glance one might not notice the value frame presented within the overarching frame of “Protecting against Evil, Keeping America Safe.” Out of a total of 16 speeches during the first night of the convention, 50% of those speeches included the presence of religious rhetoric. This is noteworthy when linking religion to the frame, “Republicans as Defenders against Evil, Keeping America Safe, because as stated previously this was the same night titled by the campaign as, “A Nation of Courage” according to the 2004 Republican National Convention official Web site ( http://www.2004nycgop.org ). However, the text does speak to people of faith, as well as many others as it mentions some very powerful catchphrases. Phrases such as, “power of the individual,” “religious freedom,” “democracy” and “America’s decency” all allude to the fight for good and that righteousness will ultimately prevail: America will prevail. As was stated in a speech given by Ron Silver, “General Dwight Eisenhower’s statement of 60 years ago is true today . ‘United in this determination and with unshakable faith

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52 in the cause for which we fight, we will, with God’s help, go forward to our greatest victory’” (Silver, GOP convention, August 30, 2004). Another similar example can be found in the speech text of George Pataki, Governor of New York who said, But let me ask you: What is this election about if it isn’t about our love of Freedom? A love for all we are, and can be—for that old Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, for Constitution Hall, for that island, Ellis Island, where the whole world’s people came to share in our freedom. On this night and in this fight there is another who holds high that torch of freedom. He is one of those men God and fate somehow lead to the fore in times of challenge. And he is lighting the way to better times, a safer land, and hope. He is my friend, he is our president, President George W. Bush. (Pataki, GOP convention: September 2, 2004) John McCain actually defined the fight between good vs. evil in a statement within his speech explaining the fight Ameri ca is holding against the “terrorists.” The Senator from Arizona made this remark, in which the excerpt reads, It’s a fight between a just regard for human dignity and a malevolent force that defiles an honorable religion by disputing God’s love for every soul on earth. It’s a fight between right and wrong, good and evil” (McCain, GOP convention, August 30, 2004). Later in the speech McCain also noted the following, It’s an honor to live in a country that is so well and so bravely defended by such patriots. May God bless them, the living and the fallen, as He has blessed us with their service. For their families, for their friends, for America, for mankind they sacrifice to affirm that right makes might; that good triumphs over evil; that freedom is stronger than tyranny; that love is greater than hate. (McCain, GOP convention, August 30, 2004). Mayor Rudy Giuliani followed McCain and had this to say about freedom as he described the way in which the terrorists attacked on September 11th and “hijacked not just airplanes” referring the attack against the American “way of life,” We stood face to face with those people and forces who hijacked not just airplanes but a religion and turned it into a creed of terrorism dedicated to eradicating us and our way of life. Have faith in the power of freedom. People

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53 who live in freedom always prevail over people who live in Oppression. That’s the story of the Old Testament. (Giuliani, GOP convention, August 30, 2004). Within all of the above examples there is mention of a good and evil force, the “good” force being the United States and the quest to fight for such goodness around the globe and in countries where “freedom” does not exist. Some reference to “God” or “religion” is present within each of thes e examples, illustrating the use of religious rhetoric as it applies to the “good vs. evil” construct. Another way in which religious rhetoric was used within the frame of “Protecting against Evil, Keeping America Safe,” is that of the “Thank God” construct. Several prominent speakers used this reference when alluding to Republican efforts in keeping America safe from the threat of terrorism. There are two leading examples that will be given. The first comes from Mayor Rudy Giulia ni who spoke about September 11th, the days to follow and the “faith and hope” it took to “get through those first hours and days.” He followed by saying, “Spontaneously, I grabbed the arm of then Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik and said to Bernie, ‘Thank God George Bush is our President. And I say it tonight, ‘Thank God George Bush is our President’” (Giuliani, GOP convention, August 30, 2004). The second example was spoken by Governor Pataki when he said, “I thank God that on September 11th, we had a president who didn’t wring his hands and wonder what America had done wrong to deserve this attack. I thank God we had a president who understood that America was attacked, not for what we had done wrong, but for what we do right” (Pataki, GOP convention, September 2, 2004). Finally, “America’s Saving Grace” construct presents the idea that America is delivering many people in Iraq from the forces of tyranny that keep them in oppression.

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54 Because of America’s fight for Iraqi freedom, hope exists in the hearts of those who live there. From my heart, I offer you the traditional Muslim greeting: As Salam Alikum—Peace be upon you. I am honored to stand here tonight. When I came to the United States from Iraq 12 years ago, I would never have imagined myself speaking to a group like this. Living under Saddam Hussein, we could not gather as we do now to discuss things like democracy and freedom. We could dream of a day when we could speak freely, and worship God in ways of our own choosing. (Al-Suwaij, GOP convention, August 30, 2004) This quote was given by Zainab Al-Suwaij, Di rector of the American Islamic Congress during the first day of the convention. This example shows text in which the speaker makes the appeal that Iraq is better because America is fighting for freedom. It is because of American efforts to liberate Iraq that there is hope and the ability to “worship God in ways of our own choosing.” George W. Bush touches on this frame when he concludes, “I believe that millions in the Middle East plead in silence for their liberty. I believe that given the chance, they will embrace the most honorable form of government ever devised by man. I believe all these things because freedom is not America’s gift to the world, it is the Almighty God’s gift to every man and woman in this world” (Bush, GOP convention, September 2, 2004). Last but not least, this is illustrated in an Invocation speech given by Archbishop Demetrios when he said, “We thank you [God] for the gifts of liberty and prosperity and for the call to be the defenders and promoters of justice and freedom for all people” (Demetrios, GOP Convention, September 1, 2004). Republicans as Encouragers and Defenders of American Values The issue of “Family Values” was seen a substantial amount within the 2004 GOP Convention. Half of all the speeches coded included the presence of “family values” as an issue, and the issue was prominent on all four nights of the convention

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55 (Table 4-3). The second night of the convention was the dominant night to present the issue of family values with 67% of the sp eeches including the presence of this issue. Table 4-3.Family values/other values Convention date Total 8-30-048-31-049-01-049-02-04 Family Values/other Values Yes4129631 No1268531 Total1618171162 As had been discussed at length in the Literature Review, value-oriented language has the ability to resonate and mobilize individuals to action. Thompson (2003) explains how framing works by stating, “For example, people living in the United States are familiar with the phrase ‘the American dream,’ and certain ideas and connotations are associated with that phrase” (p. 16). Th e frame, “Encouraging and Defending American Values,” focused on specific issues that were deemed “values” within the 2004 election cycle by the campaign and often reinforced by media. These include issues such as stem cell research, gay marriage, and abortion. Another dominant frame within convention speeches was President George W. Bush’s values and his consistency to stay true to what he believes. For example, Laura Bush said this of her husband, “You can count on him, especially in a crisis. His friends don’t change—and neither do his values” (Bush, GOP convention, August 31, 2004). Within the frame “Encouraging and Defending American Values,” one can find a substantial amount of value-oriented language. This language was used often in the convention and many appeals were made to relate the politician’s love, hope and dreams for his/her family to those of the American citizen watching the convention at home on television. There were numerous references within speeches of spouses, children, and grandchildren—the Republican Party was the Party of Family; the Party who has

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56 American families at the heart of their policies. For example Senator Rick Santorum when speaking about his grandfather stated, “He passed on a wealth of truth to guide us in life. To love God. To love your neighbor as yourself, and to care for those less fortunate than you.” Zell Miller, a Democrat Senator from George and also a keynote speaker, made a very serious and passionate keynote address. As Miller states, Since I last stood in this spot, a whole new generation of the Miller Family has been born: Four great grandchildren. Along with all the other members of our close-knit family—they are my and Shirley’s most precious possessions. And I know that’s how you feel about your family also. Like you, I think of their future, the promises and the perils they will face. Like you, I believe that the next four years will determine what kind of world they will grow up in. And like you, I ask which leader is it today that has the vision, the willpower and, yes, the backbone to best protect my family? The clear answer to that question has placed me in this hall with you tonight. For my family is more important than my party. There is but one man to whom I am willing to entrust their future and that man’s name is George Bush. (Miller, GOP convention: September 1, 2004) As explained above, this appeal “the family appeal,” was used throughout the convention and was sometimes followed by strong religious rhetoric. In continuing with the example above, Miller described within his speech the importance of family. He stressed that “family is more important than my party” and made the correlation that the Republican Party had put forth the best candidate to protect the family he holds so dear. Later in his speech, Miller stated the following of President Bush, I am moved by the respect he [Bush] shows the First Lady, his unabashed love for his parents and his daughters, and the fact that he is unashamed of his belief that God is not indifferent to America. I can identify with someone who has lived that line in “Amazing Grace,” “Was blind, but now I see,” and I like the fact that he’s the same man on Saturday night that he is on Sunday morning. He is not a slick talker but a straight shooter and, where I come from, deeds mean a lot more than words. I have knocked on the door of this man’s soul and found someone home, a God-fearing man with a good heart and a spine a tempered steel. (Miller, GOP convention, September 1, 2004) This is the relationship that speakers often made within the convention speeches. If family values were mentioned, often either the candidate’s relationship to God or the

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57 faith of George W. Bush followed shortly after. Key words or phrases such as “family” or the “protection of family” fell within a speech text that often made reference to religion or to God. Lt. Governor Michael Steele of Maryland spoke about the fight against “poverty, poor education and lost opportunity.” From this he mentioned the struggles for equality and for minority families in which he challenged them to “create legacy wealth for your children.” Directly following this mention of family was religious rhetoric, this time a quote from Bible explaining that one cannot just have “hope,” policies must be enacted. Steele said, “As the book of James reminds us, ‘it is not enough just to have faith. Faith that does not show itself by good deeds is no faith at all’” (Steele, GOP convention, August 31, 2004). The “Encouraging and Defending American Values” frame also included the widely discussed issues of gay marriage, abortion and stem cell research. These frames used religious language or at the very least made reference to the Republican Party and the defense of such “values” and respect for life. Elizabeth Dole referred to this as a “moral compass” that leads her party and was one of the most dominant speakers of the entire convention with regards to the value frame. The theme of Dole’s speech revolved around what are deemed by the campaign as “values” and was very clear about beliefs regarding the institution of marriage, abortion, and defending religious freedom. As one will see in the following three excerpts of her speech, “defending” such values is stated various times as an objective of the Republican Party. This objective becomes a dominant frame in the convention. The first paragraph touches on the issue regarding defense of marriage between a man and a woman; the second paragraph discusses “prolife” and “the treasured life of faith;” and the third explains the belief in allowing religion

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58 to be involved in the public sphere, where God’s name should not be taken from schools, courthouses or American currency. Dole stated the following, We [Republicans] believe in the dignity of every life, the possibility of every mind, the divinity of every soul. This is our true north we believe in life. The new life of a man and woman joined together under God. Marriage is important not because it is a convenient invention or the latest reality show marriage is important because it is the cornerstone of civilization, and the foundation of the family. Marriage between a man and a woman isn’t something Republicans invented, but it is something Republicans will defend. We [Republicans] value the sacred life of every man, woman, and child. We believe in a culture that respects all human life including the most vulnerable in our society, the frail elderly, the infirm, and those not yet born. Protecting life isn’t something Republicans invented, but it is something Republicans will defend. We believe in the treasured life of faith. Two thousand years ago a man said, “I have come to give life and to give it in full.” In America I have the freedom to call that man Lord, and I do. In the United States of America we are free to worship without discrimination, without intervention and even without activist judges trying to strip the name of God from the Pledge of Allegiance; from the money in our pockets; and from the halls of our courthouses. The Constitution guarantees freedom of religion, not freedom from religion. The right to worship God isn’t something Republicans invented, but it is something Republicans will defend. These are just some of the principles that guide our party. (Dole, GOP Convention, August 31, 2004) This sample from Dole’s speech provides one of the best examples of how religion was used within the frame, “Encouraging and Defending American Values.” Although, several speakers mentioned the hotly contested “moral” issues in the election—abortion, gay marriage, stem cell research—often it was only briefly spoken of. For example, Senator Bill Frist, who ma de a point in his speech to discuss the fact that he is a doctor, discussed at length President Bush’s stance on healthcare. However, he did briefly discuss stem cell research when he said the following, “An embryo is biologically human. It deserves moral respect. The President will not use your taxpayer dollars to destroy human life or create human embryos solely for the purpose of experimentation” (Frist, GOP convention, August 31, 2004). Not only did this excerpt

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59 address stem cell research, but it also made mention to pro-life values when he said “destroy human life.” Finally the frame, “Encouraging and Defending American Values,” included those speeches which described the pursuit of the American dream. This key word was spoken many times within the convention, often by those speakers such as Mel Martinez and Arnold Schwarzenegger (keynote speakers); individuals who were not born in the United States but were able reach their dreams because “anything is possible in America.” In Martinez’s speech he describes the journey he took to America as a young child, when his parents decided to send him he re, “out of a Communist land,” to give him the chance to live in a country where there is “freedom and opportunity.” As Martinez states near the beginning of his speech, But, with faith in God, and Faith in a country—that truly stands as a symbol of hope to people around the worldmy family provided me with life in a free and secure land. Tonight I stand before you—eternally grateful to this nation . where dreams come true. I have lived the American dream, and I am determined to ensure the possibility of that dream for others. (Martinez, GOP convention, September 2, 2004) This theme was common, especially when there was mention of minorities or of immigrants and opportunity. The United States was often referred to as the “Land of Opportunity.” Republicans as Compassionate Conservatives The term “compassionate conservatism” is something that became widely used by George W. Bush and the Republican Party in the 2000 Presidential election. Although it was not as widely used during the election cycle in 2004, it did reinvent itself in the 2004 GOP Convention. There was a theme running through the convention that focused on the term “compassion.” According to Webster’s dictionary, “compassion” means

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60 “sympathy.” In the convention one might assume that the term was used in this context, but also in the larger definition of being able to understand other people and identify with their plight. There were numerous attempts to pull on the heartstrings of the delegates and the television viewing audience. The second night of the convention was even titled “A People of Compassion.” Not only was the term “compassion” often interweaved within campaign speeches, signs were distributed with this phrase and it appeared onscreen behind the podium during most of the second day of the convention, primarily during and in-between speeches. Although, the term “compassion” was seen visually on night two, it was used in speech text and video appeals throughout the entire convention. “Compassion” was used in several contexts. The term was used often when describing President Bush and his character. It was also used in describing Republican policies. Finally, “compassion” was used in the issues that speakers presented such as: the fight against breast cancer, adoption programs for those who can’t ha ve children, HIV/AIDS funding, and faithbased initiatives. Several video appeals were used to reaffirm the “compassion” of the Republican Party. The “compassionate conservatism” was chosen as a frame because value-oriented language and occasionally religious rhetoric was used in conjunction with the idea of compassion; these two variables seemed tied together (Tables 4-4, 4-5 and 4-6). Senator Sam Brownback’s speech focused primarily on the issue of HIV/AIDS, which he described as “the greatest moral and humanitarian crises of our time.” In discussion of the President’s initiatives aimed at fighting the disease, the key word “compassion” was used several times, followed at the end by religious rhetoric. First Brownback mentions the term “compassion” when he states that President Bush has “marshaled an army of compassion to combat the disease” (speaking of AIDS).

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61 Brownback continues in discussing the importance of protecting human life and follows with this statement when addressing why life should be protected, Why? Because each is wonderfully made, and what we do for the so-called “least of these,” we do for our Creator. We are leading the world in a heroic rescue of human life. This is the essence of compassionate conservatism. It is the metal of George W. Bush. (Brownback, GOP convention, August 31, 2004) Table 4-4.Family values/other values: Compassionate (KW) Compassion (KW) Total YesNo Family values/other values YesCount131831 % within family values/other values41.9%58.1%100.0% % within compassion (KW)81.3%39.1%50.0% % of total21.0%29.0%50.0% NoCount32831 % within family values/other values9.7%90.3%100.0% % within compassion (KW)18.8%60.9%50.0% % of total4.8%45.2%50.0% TotalCount164662 % within family values/other values25.8%74.2%100.0% % of total25.8%74.2%100.0% Note : X2 = 8.42, d.f.=1, p<.01 Table 4-5.Religious values/rhetoric: Compassionate conservative (KW) Compassion (KW) Total YesNo Religious Values/Rhetoric YesCount101626 % within religious values/rhetoric38.5%61.5%100.0% % within compassion (KW)62.5%34.8%41.9% % of Total16.1%25.8%41.9% NoCount63036 % within religious values/rhetoric16.7%83.3%100.0% % within compassion (KW)37.5%65.2%58.1% % of Total9.7%48.4%58.1% TotalCount164662 % within religious values/rhetoric25.8%74.2%100.0% % of Total25.8%74.2%100.0% Note : p value 0.5

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62 Table 4-6.Faith/God: Compassionate conservative (KW) Compassion (KW) Total YesNo Faith/GodYesCount81321 % within faith/God38.1%61.9%100.0% % within compassion (KW)50.0%28.3%33.9% % of Total12.9%21.0%33.9% NoCount83341 % within faith/God19.5%80.5%100.0% % within compassion (KW)50.0%71.7%66.1% % of Total12.9%53.2%66.1% TotalCount164662 % within faith/God25.8%74.2%100.0% % of Total25.8%74.2%100.0% Note : p value was not significant In addition to this example, several other speakers used the word “compassion” within their speech. For example, Martinez stated: “I believe in George Bush’s idea of ‘compassionate conservatism.’ From the time I first heard him talk about it, I said ‘compassionate conservatism is the story of my life” (Martinez, GOP convention, September 2, 2004). Dole stated, “We [the Republican Party] believe in the compassionate life of service” followed by several references to ‘Love your neighbor’ (Dole, GOP convention, August 31, 2004). Rebetzin Esther Jungreis, Founder of Hineni New York, spoke of “the healing balm of fa ith, the magic of compassion and love” in her benediction speech on Day 2 of the Convention. Santorum said when speaking of character and values, “As President Bush defines it—Compassion. Remember ‘the greatest of these is love’” (Santorum, GOP Convention, August 31, 2004). Franks spoke of President Bush and said, “This is a commander in chief who is as compassionate as he [Bush] is courageous” (Franks, GOP convention, September 2, 2004). Secretary Rod Paige said, “This election may be multiple choices, but there’s only one correct choice.

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63 To go forward, not back. To choose compassion, not cynicism. To set high standards, not settle for second-best” (Paige, GOP convention, August 31, 2004). These are just several examples of the “compassionate conservatism” frame and how it was used within speech text in the convention. However, “compassion” was often an appeal being used even though the term “compassionate conservatism” was not present. The theme of compassion was able to resonate in several other ways during the four days of the convention. For example, a video following Representative Ann Northup’s speech on Day 2 of the convention, that ran a total of 2 minutes and 46 seconds, featured an emotional appeal about a young couple who could not conceive a child. Th e video continued by explaining how George W. Bush understands how important adoption is and how as President he has provided resources and programs to make adoptions easier. The couple, while crying, explained their story of adopting a baby from Guatemala and how they were able to finally start a family. They exclaimed, “We’re a family! We’re a mom and dad!” Issues very dear to many Americans such as breast cancer and the environment were also given speech time in the convention. As an example speaker Elizabeth Hasselback spoke of the “war on breast cancer” and said, “Most importantly, help me reelect a leader in the fight against breast cancer who does not simply wish this disease away; he wills it away through action” (Hasselback, GOP convention, August 31, 2004). Erika Harold, when speaking about faith-based initiatives and volunteering said, “Although we will never be able to thank all those who waged war against despair, we are able to join them in their crusade of compassion.” She followed by stating this of faith-based initiatives, “And in the solitary, uncelebrated moments, in a soup kitchen, a homeless shelter, or orphanage, perhaps we will then truly know what it is to see the face

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64 of God” (Harold, GOP Convention, August 31, 2004). Steven McDonald also spoke about faith-based groups and community service and said, “Then and especially now, I have followed St. Paul’s guidance that all of us really walk by faith” (McDonald, GOP Convention, August 31, 2004). Family and values were also incorporated and linked to compassion. There were ample examples given, through text and video, of how the President spends time with his parents, wife, and daughters; how he is a loving and compassionate father. There were even videos dedicated to the President’s dog Barney—called the “Barney Cam.” The idea was to present a very compassionate and family-oriented candidate that could relate to the average American and his/her family. The Lincoln Vision, Reagan Vi sion, George W. Bush Vision The frame “Lincoln vision, Reagan vision, George W. Bush vision” is the final dominant frame drawn from the convention that was mostly comprised of values and religion. In this frame, speakers often mentioned Abraham Lincoln and/or Ronald Reagan and the likeness toward these individuals that George W. Bush represents. It is within these frames that comparisons are drawn between President Bush and/or either Lincoln and Reagan, and often it is during such comparisons that the values and religious beliefs of these persons are identified. A dominant catch phrase in this convention with regard to this frame was, “Reagan’s ‘Shining City on a Hill.’” Several speakers made mention of this phrase, examples include (a) Steele said, “American remains that place President Reagan called ‘a shining city on a hill;’” (b) Martinez said, “This nation, that is Ronald Reagan’s Shining City on a Hill” la ter again proclaiming, after addressing the crowd in Spanish, “In English: My America . is Ronald Reagan’s ‘Shining City on a Hill.’”

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65 Often the “Lincoln vision, Reagan vision, George W. Bush vision” frame was used in reference to “The Grand Old Party” and moral values. Quotes given by Lincoln were used in speeches when comparing character, values and the decision to go to war. A good example of this can be seen in a section taken from Elizabeth Dole’s speech that said, “The party of Abraham Lincoln has not wandered in a desert of disbelief or uncertainty. Led now by President Bush, this Grand Old Party is still guided by a moral compass, its roots deep in the firm soil of timeless truths. We still believe that character is king. We saw that lived out in the life of Ronald Reagan” (Dole, GOP convention, August 31). Another example, as was stated by Izak Mu’eed Pasha during an Invocation, I am convinced that today the majority of Americans want what those first Americans wanted, a better life for themselves and their children; a minimum of government authority. On the farms and on the street corners, in the factories and in the kitchens, millions of us . asking nothing more, but certainly nothing less than to live our lives according to our values; at peace with ourselves, our neighbors and the world. This comes from May, July 6, 1976 by our late President Ronald Reagan. May God’s peace be on him and his family. (Pasha, GOP Convention, August 30, 2004) In many of these attempts the character, values and faith of George W. Bush was also noted. Franks said speaking of George W. Bush’s leadership, “In the years ahead, America will be called upon to demonstrate character, consistency, courage, and leadership. Lincoln once said, “Character is like a tree and reputation is like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it, the tree is the real thing.” Franks ended the speech with, “God bless our Country and our Co mmander-in-Chief” (Franks, GOP convention, September 2, 2004). This frame was also used in relation to the 9/11, the war against terrorism and Iraqi liberation. Comparisons about prior wars and the current U.S. military situation were made, often citing Lincoln and Reagan. The U.S. efforts towards war and liberation

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66 that these previous presidents made were often presented as a possible justification for the decisions that the current administration has made in dealing with foreign relations. Laura Bush gave this explanation about her husband’s decision to go to war, “No American President ever wants to go to war. Abraham Lincoln didn’t want to go to war, but he knew saving the union required it” (Bush, GOP convention, August 31, 2004). Miller said when speaking of those who have earned freedoms on account of war, “Tell that to the half a billion men, women and children who are free today from the Baltics to the Crimea, from Poland to Siberia, because Ronald Reagan rebuilt a military of liberators, not occupiers” (Miller, GOP c onvention, September 1, 2004). Giuliani noted after speaking on terrorism, “Ronald Reagan saw and described the Soviet Union as ‘the evil empire,’ while world opinion accepted it as inevitable and belittled Ronald Reagan’s intelligence” (Giuliani, GOP convention, August 30, 2004). The comparisons between the three presidents is an important frame with regard to religion because it has been widely known that each president—Lincoln, Reagan, and Bush—have beliefs rooted in Christianity. In discussing Lincoln and Reagan’s beliefs and values, it was eluded that George W. Bush will continue this legacy and lead the party in the same direction as these two previous presidents. This is one frame that the convention clearly made apparent and one might assume it was in partial reason to link the faith of these three presidents. Thomas M. Freiling, who recently wrote a book entitled George W. Bush: On God and Country also wrote two previous books: (a) Reagan’s God and Country ; and (b) Abraham Lincoln’s Daily Treasure All three books focus on the common denominator of faith in God, which each of these presidents seem to have shared. In linking these three presidents during the convention, the frame of “faith in God” was being disseminated (Tables 4-7, 4-8, and 4-9).

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67 Table 4-7.Faith/God: Lincoln/party of (KW) Faith/God Total YesNo Lincoln/party of (KW) YesCount5510 % within Lincoln/party of (KW)50.0%50.0%100.0% % within faith/God23.8%12.2%16.1% % of Total8.1%8.1%16.1% NoCount163652 % within Lincoln/party of (KW)30.8%69.2%100.0% % within faith/God76.2%87.8%83.9% % of Total25.8%58.1%83.9% TotalCount214162 % within Lincoln/party of (KW)33.9%66.1%100.0% % within faith/God100.0%100.0%100.0% % of Total33.9%66.1%100.0% Note : p value was not significant Table 4-8.Faith/God: Reagan/party of (KW) Faith/God Total YesNo Reagan/party of (KW) YesCount8311 % within Reagan/party of (KW)72.7%27.3%100.0% % within faith/God38.1%7.3%17.7% % of total12.9%4.8%17.7% NoCount133851 % within Reagan/party of (KW)25.5%74.5%100.0% % within faith/God61.9%92.7%82.3% % of total21.0%61.3%82.3% TotalCount214162 % within Reagan/party of (KW)33.9%66.1%100.0% % within faith/God100.0%100.0%100.0% % of Total33.9%66.1%100.0% Note : X2 = 9.01, d.f. =1, p<.01 For example, as was stated by Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, “But it is the generosity of spirit and strength of our character, molded by the light of faith, that makes us that ‘Shinning City on the Hill’—‘For the greatest of these is love’” (Santorum, GOP Convention, August 31, 2004). “Shinning City on a Hill” was used many times in the convention. This phrase was coined by Ronald Reagan, as a description of America—“The Shinning City,” while he presided as President of the United States.

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68 Another example is when Reverend Greg Laurie, said the following in his invocation speech, “In the wise words of Abraham Lincoln, ‘We have forgotten You [Lord] and have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts and all these blessings that we see in our country were produced by superior wisdom and virtue of our own.’ It’s true Lord that we have forgotten you” (Laurie, GOP Convention, August 31, 2004). Table 4-9.Reagan/party of (KW): Religious values/rhetoric Religious values/rhetoric Total YesNo Reagan/Party of (KW) YesCount8311 % within Reagan/party of (KW)72.7%27.3%100.0% % within religious values/rhetoric30.8%8.3%17.7% % of total12.9%4.8%17.7% NoCount183351 % within Reagan/party of (KW)35.3%64.7%100.0% % within religious values/rhetoric69.2%91.7%82.3% % of total29.0%53.2%82.3% TotalCount263662 % within Reagan/party of (KW)41.9%58.1%100.0% % within religious values/rhetoric100.0%100.0%100.0% % of Total41.9%58.1%100.0% Note : X2 = 5.20, d.f. =1, p<.05 Additional Frames In addition to the four dominant frames presented by the campaign, all of which included the use of religious and value-oriented rhetoric, musical performances, invocations and benedictions were integrated during the four days, tying religion to the convention and presenting religious frames. Th e biographies of several individuals and musical groups show that the campaign was working to incorporate prominent Christian figures, and the numbers show that is was more than just adding diversity to the convention line-up. For instance, musical performances have become an important part of the convention line-up, now offering famous singers and bands performing to endorse

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69 the candidate. A lot of time has been dedicated to the musical performance, with the 2004 GOP convention featuring 13 individual singers, choirs and bands—not including those who sung the National Anthem each night. The musical performance is often done to fill time within the convention or as a noteworthy transition among prominent speakers on prime-time. Out of the 13 artists, 7 artists have gained their popularity in the genre of Christian music and five were country bands and/or singers. Many of the performers live or originated from the state of Texas; the state where George W. Bush previously presided as Governor. This is important because the Christian artists featured within the convention were prominent figures within the Christian community such as six-time Dove award recipient and three-time Grammy nominee Jaci Velasquez, leading Christian rock band Third Day, and vocalist Michael W. Smith who gave a moving performance to a video about the days after 9/11, which was aired in its entirety on all networks during primetime coverage. Such individuals, even though they might not sing songs about their faith in God—although many did—resonated with the Christian community and appear as a credible source. When participating in the convention, such sources are often endorsing the candidate and may have the possibility of influencing segments of the electorate, in this case Christians who have already identified with these individuals by listening and purchasing their music. The Invocation and Benediction speeches also presented another opportunity in which religious language and visuals could be incorporated into the convention. Although it might be common for these types of speeches to have references to God within them, the tone with which these speeches were given, the amount of religious language present, and the many camera cutaways to delegates praying was very

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70 substantial. For example, below outlines some of the rhetoric that was presented within each of these types of speeches during each day. Invocation and Benediction Speeches On Day 1 of the convention, New York City police chaplain, Izak-El Mu’eed Pasha of the Malcolm Shabazz Mosque, said this of God and faith in which he quoted the Koran during his Invocation speech, All people be careful of your duty to God, who created you from a single being and the same created its mates, and spread from these two many men and women. And be careful of your duty to God by whom you demand one of another, your rights and the ties of relationships. God watches over you. Over you who believe, be careful of your duty to God and speak the right words, He will put your deed into a right state for you and forgive you your faults. Whoever obeys God and his messenger, will indeed achieve a mighty success. (Pasha, 2004, GOP Convention, Night 1) Archbishop Demetrios of the Greek Orthodox Christian Church, after thanking God for calling on America to be defenders around the world for justice and freedom, prayed for the leadership of President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney and followed by saying in the Invocation, “For the good of our nation, for the peace and happiness of the world, and for the glory of Your holy name. For Yours alone is the dominion, and the power and the glory forever. Amen” (Demetrios, GOP Convention, September 1, 2004). Reverend Max Lucado spoke this in his benediction speech, “Oh, Lord, God of our fathers, You direct the affairs of all na tions. You made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth. We echo the declaration of Job: ‘God makes nations great, and destroys them; He enlarges nations, and guides them.’ Please guide us’” (Lucado, GOP Convention, August 30, 2004). In addition to being a pastor, Max Lucado is a very well-known Christian author, primarily among the evangelical

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71 community. Reverend Greg Laurie, a pastor, author and crusade evangelist, said in his invocation, “You [God] loved us so much that you sent your son Jesus Christ to voluntarily die on the cross for our sins, that we will put our trust again that we will be forgiven. Thank you Lord for second chances” (Laurie, GOP Convention, August 31, 2004).

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72 CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION Summary The present study was a qualitative content analysis of the 2004 Republican National Convention. The Convention was held on August 30 to September 2, 2004. The analysis used framing theory as a basis for study. Specifically, the study looked at possible frames which would include religious and/or value-oriented language. “Valueoriented language,” was mention of those issues which were defined by the campaign and media throughout the election cycle to be targeting the “moral vote.” These issues at times correlated to religious language as they were often talked about within religious communities and churches. Examples of such issues included abortion, gay marriage, and stem cell research. Religious frames were looked at in the current study because of the salience religion was given in the 2004 election. Although the national exit polls are not without their flaws, one particular poll question piqued a heated debate after the election. When voters were asked about what “issue” influenced their vote the most within the election, 22% (which was a majority) said that it was “moral values.” Those that chose “moral values” were 80% more likely to vote to reelect President George W. Bush. As Jim Wallis, author of God’s Politics states, That poll result has sparked a firestorm in the media and in Washington’s political circles about who gets or doesn’t get the moral values issue. The conventional wisdom claims that the Republicans do and the Democrats don’t get it, that the moral values responders simply meant voters who are against abortion and gay marriage, and that religious conservatives won the election for George Bush, which was Karl Rove’s strategy all along. (p. xvi)

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73 Statements such as the one above give a general example as to why a study such as this one is important to research, specifically to religion and media scholars and those who study political communication. As stated in the Literature Review, the convention is often the first chance the campaign has to speak with the public at-length. It is an opportunity to make a first and lasting impression with a substantial percentage of the electorate (Lowry & Shidler, 1995). Was religious framing present within the 2004 GOP Convention? After coding a total of 62 convention speeches, (those speeches including Invocation, Introduction, Main, Transition, Bene diction, Other) one must conclude that religious and value-oriented language was present, often comprising a large percentage of the frames presented and that the research question was answered and supported. Religious rhetoric was present within the dominant frames of the convention. Conclusions The purpose of this study was to analyze the 2004 Republican National Convention’s message with regards to religious and/or value-oriented language that might be present (such language being identified by previous literature, campaign coverage, and the campaign), to identify the dominant frames within the convention and the presence or absence of such language within these frames. As stated previously, four dominant frames appeared throughout the convention, all of which included the message of faith and values. This study attempted to answer the question, “How did the campaign use religion and value-oriented language in the convention? Was this rhetoric present within the major frames presented? If so, to what extent was it incorporated? Using content analysis, results after coding a combined 62 convention speeches suggest four main frames within the 2004 Republican National Convention.

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74 The frames identified within the convention consisted of the following: “Republicans as Protectors against Evil, Keeping America Safe” frame, which consisted of the “good versus evil” force, in which America was a cause of goodness around the world. This construct suggested that America is fighting against those who hate freedom, liberty and the American way of life. This often included language that alluded to the notion that America has done nothing wrong and that its offenders suffer from an “ideology of hate” (Schwartzenegger, GOP Convention, August 31, 2004). The frame also made mention of God, faith and that America has been called upon by God to be defenders of freedom around the world (Demetrios, GOP Convention, September 1, 2004). The “Republicans as Defenders and Encouragers of Family Values” frame suggested the campaign was trying to appeal to those who are concerned with the “moral issues” of the campaign such as, abortion, gay marriage, stem cell research, and family. These issues were presented as issues that “Republicans would defend” (Dole, GOP Convention, August 31, 2004). Third, the “Republicans as Compassionate Conservatives” frame played upon the key word, “compassionate conservative,” which was heavily used by the Republican Party in the 2000 Presidential campaign. However, in the 2004 campaign this frame was often linked to religious rhetoric and Bush’s “compassionate” policies toward issues such as breast cancer, the environment, adoption, and faith-based initiatives. Finally, the “Comparative Visions: Lincoln, Reagan and George W. Bush” frame presented comparisons among either Lincoln and Bush or Reagan and Bush, often quoting Lincoln and Reagan in relation to a characteristic President Bush was presented to similarly hold. One such characteristic all three presidents held was a common faith in God.

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75 Limitations The limitations of the study include that there were many issues to code within the convention. Although the codebook was very exhaustive, due to time constraints and the sheer amount of data that would then be involved, not all the issues candidates discussed in the convention were assigned as a variable. In addition, though videos presented in the convention were watched, timed and analyzed for content, they were not included among the 62 speeches of the convention to compare for issue mentions. The same was true for musical selections and interviews from the floor. However, these entities were viewed and included within the paper when necessary to provide framing examples. Due to the sheer volume of text, visuals, and data that the convention entailed, various subjects and issues could have been analyzed for possible frames. For example, the frames presented of minorities, specifically Latinos in the convention. As was previously stated, time constraints limited this study to those frames that directly incorporated the use of religious and/or value-oriented rhetoric. Finally, a limitation to the research was in the actual function of timing issues and counting mentions. Because many of the speeches cannot be obtained by text to follow when watching the convention, it is often hard to get an accurate count of every issue mentioned within a speech text. In addition, timing can become problematic. Making sure that each time starts and ends on a consistent basis can be difficult. The same limitation applies to timing camera cutaways. Though inter-subjectivity was used, it is difficult to say whether an exact replication of the study in its entirety could be achieved.

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76 In addition, it must be noted the amount of time it takes for one to transcribe and code convention coverage. Roughly 17 hours of convention coverage was viewed. However, it took an estimated 51 hours to code 17 hours of coverage, about three times the length of the actual footage. Future Research Future research can investigate the comparisons between the 2000 GOP Convention and the 2004 GOP Convention with regards to religious frames. This type of analysis would provide further insight to how the campaign frames their message. If rhetoric is similar, then one would assume that all of the pre and post election talk about religion and the GOP’s appeal to “moral voters” was overrated. If, though, one sees a substantial difference in the message strategy and rhetoric in a comparative study of the 2000 GOP Convention and the 2004 GOP Convention, it might be suggested that the campaign was in fact trying to specifically appeal to the evangelical community during the 2004 Presidential campaign. Another suggestion for further research is a comparative study between the results found in relation to religious frames in the 2004 GOP Convention and that of the 2004 Democratic Convention. It would be interesting to see if religious rhetoric was substantial in comparison to the Republican Convention. Future Research might also take this a step further and compare the Democratic Convention of 2000 to that of 2004. Finally, further research may want to compare the term “compassionate conservatism” for the suggested message it alluded to within the 2000 Republican National Convention with that of the 2004 Republican National Convention. One might see that there is indeed a difference in the way the phrase “compassionate conservative”

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77 was used. It would be interesting to see if the term carried more religious tone in the 2004 convention as compared to the 2000 convention when it was used heavily by Republicans and the campaign to elect George W. Bush for President.

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78 APPENDIX CODING PARAMETERS FOR C-SPAN COVERAGE OF THE 2004 REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION Speaker’s Profession <1> Politician/Congressman<16> State Worker/Police <2> Politician/ US Senator<17> State Worker/Fireman <3> Politician/State Representative<18> State Worker/Other <4> Politician/Mayor<19> Entertainer/Actor-Actress <5> Politician/Governor<20> Entertainer/Christian Perff. <6> Politician/Cabinet Member <21> Entertainer/ Country Perf. <7> Politician/State Senator <22> Entertainer/ Gospel Choir <8> Politician/ GOP Official <23> Entertainer/ Comedian <9> Politician’s Family/ Wife <24> Blue Collar Worker <10> Politician’s Family/ Child, Children <25> Housewife <11> Family/Other <26> Business Person/CEO <12>Educator <27> Child <13> Clergy/Minster <28> Author <14> Clergy/Rabbi <29> 9/11 Victim <15> Clergy/Other <30> Other_________________

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79 Role of Speaker Time <1> Introduction :________ <2> Main Speaker :_________ <3> Transition Speaker :_________ <4> Invocation :__________ <5> Benediction :__________ <6> Other ______________________________ :__________ Location of Speech <1> Convention Hall <2> Church <3> School <4> Other____________________________ Source of Speech <1> Live Convention Center <2> Live Satellite <3> Videotape

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80 Duration of Speech Minutes______________________ Seconds______________________ Issues Discussed Time in Seconds Frequency <1> September 11th ___________________ <2> Terrorism __________ _________ <3> Democracy __________ _________ <4> Affirmative Action __________ _________ <5> Healthcare/Cost __________ _________ <6> Healthcare/Availability __________ _________ <7> Healthcare/Minorities __________ _________ <8> Healthcare/Elderly __________ _________ <9> Healthcare/Medicare __________ _________ <10> Healthcare/Medicaid __________ _________ <11> Healthcare/Prescription Drugs__________ _________ <12> Healthcare/Legislation __________ _________ <13> Welfare __________ _________ <14> Military __________ _________ <15> Military/Prayer __________ _________ <16> War in Iraq __________ _________ <17> Social Security Programs __________ _________ <18> Social Security Privatization __________ _________ <19> Social Security Funding __________ _________ <20> Education __________ _________

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81 Issues Discussed Time in Seconds Frequency <21> Education/Funding ___________________ <22> Stem Cell Research __________ _________ <23> Homosexual Equality __________ _________ <24> Gay Marriage __________ _________ <25> Civil Unions __________ _________ <26> Abortion __________ _________ <27> Partial Birth Abortion __________ _________ <28> Abstinence Programs __________ _________ <29> Faith/Country __________ _________ <30> Faith/President __________ _________ <31> Faith/God __________ _________ <32> FV/Divorce __________ _________ <33> Family Values/Other __________ _________ <34>Political Parties/GOP Efforts toward Equality __________ _________ <35>Political Parties/GOP Efforts toward Minorities __________ _________ <36>Political Parties/Lack of Democratic Efforts __________ _________ <37> Employment/Jobs __________ _________ <38> Employment/Equal Opportunity __________ _________ <39> Social Concerns/Drugs and Alcohol __________ _________ <40> Social Concerns/Teen Pregnancy __________ _________ <41> Social Concerns/ Crime __________ _________

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82 Issues Discussed Time in Seconds Frequency <42> Social Concerns/Housing _________ _________ <43> Social Concerns/Unemployment _________ _________ <44> Social Concerns/Religious Values _________ _________ <45> Social Concerns/Moral Values _________ _________ <46> Social Concerns/ Family Values _________ _________ <47> The Integrity of the President _________ _________ <48>Diversity/Bringing Americans together _________ _________ <49> Taxation/Less Taxes _________ _________ <50> Patriot Act _________ _________ <51> Kerry Attack _________ _________ <52> Other _____________________ _________ _________

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83 Key Phrases/Words Used During Speech # of Times <1> September 11th ________ <2> International Relations ________ <3> Inclusive/Inclusion ________ <4> Brothers and Sisters ________ <5> Party of Lincoln ________ 6> Ronald Reagan/Party of ________ <7> No one will be left out ________ <7> No child will be left behind ________ <8> Pray for our troops/military ________ <9> God Bless America ________ <10> Moral Values ________ <11> Family Values ________ <12> The Faith of our President/Bush ________ <13> Faith in our President/Bush ________ <14> Crusade ________ <15> War in Iraq ________ <16> God Bless ______ ________ <17> A Safer America ________ <18> Mighty Power ________ <19> Hope for Tomorrow’s Future ________ <20> Terrorism ________ <21> Support our troops ________ <22> A Nation of Courage ________

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84 Key Phrases/Words Used During Speech # of Times <23> People of Compassion ________ <24> Land of Opportunity ________ <25> Other_______________________ ________

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85 Reaction cutaway used when speaker makes reference to family or moral values # of Times # of Seconds <1> Wide shot of crowd _________ _________ <2> Medium Shot of Crowd _________ _________ <3> Close-up of Crowd _________ _________ <4> Close-up of Minority Male _________ _________ <5> Close-up of Minority Female _________ _________ <6> Close-up of White Female _________ _________ <7> Close-up of White Male _________ _________ <8> 2-Shot of Male and Female _________ _________ <9> 2-Shot of Adult and Child _________ _________ <10> Pan of Audience _________ _________ <11> Shot of American Flag _________ _________ <12> Shot of Clergy/Priest _________ _________ <13> Shot of Celebrity Guests _________ _________ <14> Shot of Military Persons _________ _________ <15> Shot of Police/Firemen _________ _________ <16> Shot of First Lady _________ _________ <17> Shot of First Lady with Daughters _________ _________ <18> Shot of Political Couple _________ _________ <19> Other _________ _________

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86 Coding Guidelines 1.Name of Speaker: Please write name of speaker. 2.Day: Indicate day of convention. 3.Speaker’s Profession: Circle category which best represents speaker. If coder cannot determine speaker’s profession indicate “Other.” 4.Speaker’s Role: Determine from observation the role of the speaker. There are six categories for “Speaker’s Role.” These include, Introduction, Main, Transition, Invocation, Benediction and Other. 5.Location of Speech: Circle location of speech. These categories include, 6.Convention Hall, Church, School and Other. 7.Source of Speech: Circle one of the following choices, Convention Center, Satellite or Videotape. 8.Duration of Speech: Code for length of speech in minutes and seconds. Times will be cumulative. 9.Issues Discussed: Please circle the appropriate number and indicate length of time that issue was discussed. If issue was mentioned more than once, code accordingly. 10.Key Phrases: Circle appropriate terminology used and the number of times used by a speaker within a speech. 11.Camera Shot: Camera shots have been separated into type. Circle the correct camera shot used during the speech. Indicated the number of times that shot was used and the number of seconds for those cutaways. Times are cumulative.

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94 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Dawn Ann-Marie Hatton was born and raised in Winter Park, Florida. She completed a B.S. from Florida State University in communications and a B.S. in political science in May 2003. The following spring, Dawn began work on her masters degree at the University of Florida. She earned her M.A.M.C from the University of Florida and graduated in May 2005.


Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0010532/00001

Material Information

Title: Content Analysis of Religious and Value-Oriented Frames in the 2004 Republican National Convention
Physical Description: Mixed Material
Language: English
Creator: Hatton, Dawn Ann-Marie ( Dissertant )
Roberts, Marilyn ( Thesis advisor )
Kiousis, Spiro ( Reviewer )
Tipton, Leonard ( Reviewer )
Wald, Ken ( Reviewer )
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2005
Copyright Date: 2005

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: Journalism and Communications Thesis, M. A.
Dissertations, Academic -- UF -- Journalism and Communications
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )

Notes

Abstract: Religious rhetoric such as faith, morals, and family values was of considerable interest during the 2004 Presidential election. The present study is a qualitative content analysis of the speeches given during the 2004 Republican National Convention. In total, 62 speeches were coded. By using frame analysis, one will see if possible religious and/or value-oriented frames emerge. The present study analyzed speeches aired on C-SPAN during prime-time. C-SPAN was chosen to best distinguish frames put forth by the campaign. A qualitative content analysis was conducted to study the emergence of frames. SPSS was used as a way to organize data. The inclusions of key words, phrases, and issues were counted. In addition, the present study also documented source of speech, speech length, tone of speaker, and camera cutaways. Four prominent religious frames were identified after analyzing prime-time, C-SPAN coverage of all four days of the convention.
Thesis: Thesis (M. A.)--University of Florida, 2005.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
General Note: Vita.
General Note: Document formatted into pages; vii 94 p.
General Note: Title from title page of document.

Record Information

Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
System ID: UFE0010532:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0010532/00001

Material Information

Title: Content Analysis of Religious and Value-Oriented Frames in the 2004 Republican National Convention
Physical Description: Mixed Material
Language: English
Creator: Hatton, Dawn Ann-Marie ( Dissertant )
Roberts, Marilyn ( Thesis advisor )
Kiousis, Spiro ( Reviewer )
Tipton, Leonard ( Reviewer )
Wald, Ken ( Reviewer )
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2005
Copyright Date: 2005

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: Journalism and Communications Thesis, M. A.
Dissertations, Academic -- UF -- Journalism and Communications
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )

Notes

Abstract: Religious rhetoric such as faith, morals, and family values was of considerable interest during the 2004 Presidential election. The present study is a qualitative content analysis of the speeches given during the 2004 Republican National Convention. In total, 62 speeches were coded. By using frame analysis, one will see if possible religious and/or value-oriented frames emerge. The present study analyzed speeches aired on C-SPAN during prime-time. C-SPAN was chosen to best distinguish frames put forth by the campaign. A qualitative content analysis was conducted to study the emergence of frames. SPSS was used as a way to organize data. The inclusions of key words, phrases, and issues were counted. In addition, the present study also documented source of speech, speech length, tone of speaker, and camera cutaways. Four prominent religious frames were identified after analyzing prime-time, C-SPAN coverage of all four days of the convention.
Thesis: Thesis (M. A.)--University of Florida, 2005.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
General Note: Vita.
General Note: Document formatted into pages; vii 94 p.
General Note: Title from title page of document.

Record Information

Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
System ID: UFE0010532:00001


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A CONTENT ANALYSIS OF RELIGIOUS AND VALUE-ORIENTED FRAMES IN
THE 2004 REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION















By

DAWN ANN-MARIE HATTON


A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF ARTS IN MASS COMMUNICATION

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


2005















In recognition of their support and guidance,
I hereby dedicated this thesis to my parents,
Ernest and Noreen Hatton.















ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I would like to first and foremost thank my committee chair, Dr. Marilyn Roberts,

for her continued guidance, assistance and support of this thesis. I am appreciative of the

time and resources she put forward. In addition, I wish to thank the members of my

committee for their continued support throughout this process. Dr. Spiro Kiousis, Dr.

Leonard Tipton and Dr. Ken Wald have been instrumental in the completion of this

project. I would like to thank Manoucheka Celeste for the dedication of her time and

assistance during the coding process. I especially would like to thank the College of

Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida for the countless resources

provided to me. Lastly, I would like to thank my parents, Ernest and Noreen Hatton, for

the immense amount of love, guidance, and support they have shown to me throughout

the years.

















TABLE OF CONTENTS

page

ACKNOW LEDGM ENTS .................................. ......... iii

LIST OF TABLES ................ ................................ vi

ABSTRACT ................ ................................... vii

CHAPTER

1 INTRODUCTION ........ ..........................................1

Framing in Presidential Nominating Conventions ............................ 1
Religious Frames ........ ........................................... 3
Why Religion? ........... ........................................... 3
The 2004 Presidential Election ................ ....................... 5

2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE ................ ........................ 7

Political Conventions and Framing Theory ............................... 7
News Coverage ....... ............................................. 8
History of Political Conventions ................ ..................... 10
The M edia ............................................. 12
Framing by Political Elites ................ ......................... 15
Value Framing: Religion, Politics and the Media ........................... 22
Mobilization ................ ................................. 25


Political Participation ............
The M edia ...................
Framing Perspectives ............
Conclusion ...................

3 M ETHOD ...................

R ecap .......................
Qualitative Content Analysis .......
Unit of Analysis ................
Codebook Construction ..........
Inter-subjectivity ................


. . . . . . . . . 2 9
.....................................31
. . . . . . . . . 3 4
............................. .......39

............................. .......42

....................................42
. . . . . . . . . 4 2
....................................43
. . . . . . . . . 4 5
. . . . . . . . . 4 6











4 R E SU L T S ...................................... ................... 47

Brief Overview ...................................... ................ 47
Analysis ............. ............................... .48
Convention Frames ............................................... 50

5 DISCUSSION ........ .......................................... 72

Summary ....... .......... ............................ ........ .72
Conclusions ........ ............................................ 73
Limitations ......... .................................... ......... 75
Future Research ........ ......................................... 76

APPENDIX CODING PARAMETERS FOR C-SPAN COVERAGE OF THE 2004
REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION .................... 78

REFERENCES ....... ............................................. 87

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .............................................. 94















LIST OF TABLES

Table pagg

4-1 Speaker's role ........ ........................................... 48

4-2 Issue distribution ..................................... .............. 48

4-3 Family values/other values ............... ........................ 55

4-4 Family values/other values: Compassionate (KW) ........................ 61

4-5 Religious values/rhetoric: Compassionate conservative (KW) ............... 61

4-6 Faith/God: Compassionate conservative (KW) ........................... 62

4-7 Faith/God: Lincoln/party of(KW ) ................................... 67

4-8 Faith/God: Reagan/party of (KW ) ................................... 67















Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts in Mass Communication

A CONTENT ANALYSIS OF RELIGIOUS AND VALUE-ORIENTED FRAMES IN
THE 2004 REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION

By

Dawn Ann-Marie Hatton

May 2005

Chair: Marilyn Roberts
Major Department: Journalism and Communications

Religious rhetoric such as faith, morals, and family values was of considerable

interest during the 2004 Presidential election. The present study is a qualitative content

analysis of the speeches given during the 2004 Republican National Convention. In total,

62 speeches were coded. By using frame analysis, one will see if possible religious

and/or value-oriented frames emerge.

The present study analyzed speeches aired on C-SPAN during prime-time.

C-SPAN was chosen to best distinguish frames put forth by the campaign. A qualitative

content analysis was conducted to study the emergence of frames. SPSS was used as a

way to organize data. The inclusions of key words, phrases, and issues were counted. In

addition, the present study also documented source of speech, speech length, tone of

speaker, and camera cutaways. Four prominent religious frames were identified after

analyzing prime-time, C-SPAN coverage of all four days of the convention.















CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

Framing in Presidential Nominating Conventions

Framing has become a growing element in the study of political communication;

a theory that is increasingly presented as a way to seek analysis of communication

applications to a mass audience. Studying how political candidates speak about an issue,

and by using what language, is an important way to assess framing theory. Framing is

both a noun and a verb; an active process that ends with a result (Reese, 2001). To

understand the impact of analysis more fully, Entman (1993) defines framing as "To

frame is to select some aspects of a perceived reality and make them more salient in a

communicating text, in such a way as to promote a particular problem definition, causal

interpretation, moral evaluation, and/or treatment recommendation" (p. 52). He suggests

that a frame can originate from more than one entity. A frame can be located in the text,

the communicator, the receiver of the message or the culture. In addition, lyengar (1991)

provides a definition of a more general nature. Framing is "subtle alterations in the

statement or presentation of problems" (p. 11).

Political conventions are an important part of a party's presidential election

campaign. Often these events are the very first chance for millions of television viewers

to directly hear from the candidate at length. It is a familiar phrase that a first impression

is often a last impression, suggesting a national political convention might possibly serve

as the first opportunity for a candidate to make a lasting first impression among viewers.







2

The convention gives political party elites the chance to frame issues and policy

positions, as well as the image of the candidate and the party before the general election

begins. Not only does it speak to the audience viewing at home, it is a moment for state

party delegates to get excited, united and energized about the upcoming campaign.

Since 1952 political conventions have become highly sensationalized, large-scale,

media events (Cafasso, 2003; Fant, 1980). Although coverage of the convention

proceeding on major news networks has recently shortened, stations still devote a large

staff of reporters and huge sums of money to cover and promote the national

conventions. Likewise, political parties continue to spend enormous budgets on the

planning and implementation of the convention, using the free media time to advertise

their candidate. Keynote speeches are broadcast during highly sought after prime-time

viewing spots, and these speeches often contain the key ingredients for a successful

political message. In addition, party films are broadcast to millions of television viewers.

Often by using emotional appeals, the candidates are framed to appear in a certain light.

Although political advertisements have received substantial amounts of political

communication research, national conventions have gone virtually unnoticed by

comparison.

After reviewing literature on presidential campaigns and political communication,

one can suggest that there are important reasons to further study the effects of political

conventions on the viewing electorate. Not only do presidential nominating conventions

often resemble political ads, there is research to suggest that because this is often the first

time the candidate will speak at length and uninterrupted, effects on voters will occur.

Also, the large number of frames presented by the political elites who construct the

convention and the possible frames presented by the media who cover the convention,









framing should be applied and studied more often in relation to national political

conventions. Framing theory offers an excellent opportunity to better understand

political communication and its effects on the electorate. Studying framing in political

conventions will provide additional insight into how political messages are constructed

and intended to change and affect voting behavior.

Religious Frames

As scholars have suggested, religion affects politics and politics affects religion

(Page, 2004). However, it is imperative to understand what role the media play within

the relationship of religion and politics. The intermediary role that media often serve is

most evident during political elections, when voters rely on the media for information

about candidates and issues (Dalton, Beck, & Huckfeldt, 1998). It has become apparent

that religious elites and political elites have recently become much more sophisticated in

their use of the media in transferring messages and building agendas (Diamond, 1989,

1998). Since research shows that the media often affect people's perceptions of reality

and define issues for public discourse, it is imperative for political and religious scholars

to continue in-depth research in analyzing what contribution the media make to the over-

arching discipline of religion and politics.

Why Religion?

Religion and politics can at times be two very dependent entities. Throughout

history, religion has had an impact on the politics of its day. Religion has mobilized

groups, has created meaning for the individual, and has tied the individual to a set of

beliefs and provided identity to a community in which to belong. Therefore, it is

apparent that religion is a force that is often hard to combat or control. Religion is









pervasive and has the ability to challenge and energize political movement with more

support than most other secular organizations can reach in comparison.

Since religion has the ability to provide meaning for people, it can often coincide

within the political realm because of the sense of identity religion often provides for, or

contributes to, an individual. When a community adopts a shared system of beliefs,

based on the ultimate supreme power of God and His word, it becomes difficult to

translate those beliefs into every aspect of one's life. The political discourses of societies

have been developed often with prior religious values in mind. Take for example,

America. Although our country was based on a freedom of religion and a separation of

Church and State, common religious themes are found and promoted throughout the

beginnings of this nation's history. We, as Americans, are told by our Declaration of

Independence that we were endowed by our Creator with a right to equal treatment. Such

writings provided early Americans a set of political ideologies that were to many a direct

reference to already formed religious beliefs. As Robert Bellah (1967) would argue, the

United States had and has a "civil religion," a set of "sacred values" that all Americans

can subscribe to regardless of religious affiliation or lack thereof.

The impact of religion on politics, as seen above, can be somewhat discrete, and

at times it can be much more obvious. For example, the 2004 race for the presidency

now has become inundated with the term "religion." Take for instance the following

quote from journalist Susan Page (2004), "Where will you spend Sunday morning? Will

you go to church or Home Depot? Sing in the choir or play golf? Answer that question

and you've given the most reliable demographic clue about your vote on Election Day."

Page continues by stating, "The religion gap is the leading edge of the 'culture war' that

has polarized American politics, reshaped the coalitions that make-up the Democratic









and Republican parties and influenced the appeals their presidential candidates are

making." (p. 8D)

The election cycle often was comprised of a political rhetoric that spoke to those

of a particular faith and used symbolic symbols to inflict religious undertones into the

campaign, or in association with candidates. If one did not know better, it might be easy

for him/her to assume that separation of church and state no longer existed in the recent

2004 election cycle. However, that could be considered too much of a generalization.

What is true, though, is that religion is having an impact on current politics.

Churches are mobilizing to oppose or support political and/or judicial decisions such as

Roe v. Wade, stem cell research, the legalization of civil unions, the war in Iraq,

healthcare reform or the constitutional amendment to prohibit gay marriage. Churches

are having an enormous effect on politicians and legislation. Not only have the religious

leaders amongst various sects become heavily involved (in some instances outright

telling congregation members which political candidate God is smiling upon and thus

when to vote for), but massive mobilization has occurred on behalf of the GOP to recruit

and organize election day votes based on the main criterion they would argue the church

member and the President share-faith.

The 2004 Presidential Election

The topic of religion and politics was of considerable interest during the recent

2004 Presidential election. Although many argue that religious rhetoric is what won the

election for President George W. Bush, many religious scholars are not yet convinced

that the "religious vote" was drastically different from that of previous presidential

elections. However, many individuals would think otherwise when analyzing how the

media covered the "value vote." The topic of religion was dominant in the media









coverage this year with specials airing devoted to the "religious issues" of the campaign,

extensive coverage of Kerry's "Catholic dilemma," religious elites such as Pat Robertson

and Jerry Falwell making multiple media appearances before the election, and popular

news magazines featuring cover stories such as the one issued by Time Magazine

entitled, "Faith in the Oval Office." Though the dynamic between the three elements

(media, religion, and politics) is extremely complex, the researcher hopes to show,

through a review of the literature on media framing, that the media serve as a key

component to the mobilization of religious groups, act as a carrier of elite framing

messages, and often define and shape public opinion on prominent value-oriented issues

in the election environment.

After briefly outlining the importance of studying political conventions, in

relation to framing theory, the researcher contends that study of the 2004 GOP

Convention will add valuable knowledge to the study of communication. Specifically

religious frames, their inclusion or exclusion, will be analyzed within television content

of the 2004 GOP Convention. Religious frames were chosen because many scholars

have noted that religion served as a mobilization tool for the campaign and was given

salience by the media. Because politicians work hard to frame media coverage of the

message, the national convention provides an important venue for this engagement. As

Republicans have become more dependent on evangelical Protestants, religious imagery

and rhetoric have assumed an increasing importance in their message. Therefore, a

systematic test using framing theory should reveal strong evidence of religious framing.

Chapter 2 presents a literature review; Chapter 3 outlines the methods; Chapter 4 presents

findings and results; and Chapter 5 presents a discussion, conclusions, limitations, and

direction for further research.















CHAPTER 2
REVIEW OF LITERATURE

Political Conventions and Framing Theory

The way political elites "frame" issues in a political campaign and the way the

media give attention to those issues, and/or frame the campaign by their own salience of

coverage, has been a topic of considerable interest to both political and communication

scholars. As Gulati, Just and Crigler (2004) note, "News about political campaigns

represents an ongoing negotiation among key actors in the campaign process: on the

media side-journalists, editor, and owners; on the campaign side-candidates,

campaign staffers, and party activists" (p. 237). It can be assumed that all news is based

on a perceived construction of reality. However, the attention given to that perceived

reality by the media has the ability to shape and form public opinion. As Entman (1993)

states, framing is "to select some aspects of a perceived reality and make them more

silent in a communicating text, in such a way as to promote a particular problem

definition, causal interpretation, moral evaluation and/or treatment recommendation" (p.

52). Or as Gamson (1992) suggests, framing provides a "signature matrix" of symbols,

images, metaphors and reasoning devices. A frame is a "tool" that uses media texts to

construct social meaning. Framing is a theory beyond the mere inclusion or exclusion of

information and can be approached in a variety of ways (Reese, 2001).

The theory of framing, although it has been applied to numerous disciplines,

continues to be significant in understanding the role the media serves in political life.









Not only is it important when researching how the media cover political events, it is

important in understanding when and how political elites use the media to carry a

message and/or political agenda. Recent research continues to suggest and affirm that

political elites have become more sophisticated in using the media. Gulati et al. (2004)

suggest this by stating, "In the past 20 years, presidential candidates have become savvy

about how to stay 'on the message' and how to get journalists to cover what they want

the public to hear." Entman (1993) notes frames can be ignited by various entities; from

the communicator to the receiver to the culture.

News Coverage

There has been more than 60 years of research on how political campaigns have

been covered by journalists. Many early studies show that journalists cover the "horse

race" in political campaigns more than issues or candidate policy positions. The "horse

race" can be interpreted as suggesting that the media cover more about the campaign

itself and the competing strategies of the candidate and competition. This type of

coverage is even more apparent in the primary elections. This, however, can be

attributed to fact that the primaries are contests between candidates of the same party,

with even fewer differences in policy issues and positions. Scholars contend that one

reason the "horse race" is seen as dominating coverage is due to time constraints,

pressure upon journalists and constant deadlines; covering in-depth issue stories would

take considerably more time that often can not be described in lay terms.

Television journalists have increasingly taken the political stage, through

reporting or commentary, thus leaving less time for candidate "sound bites" (Hallin,

1992). "Because of network TV's mass exposure, decisions made under preparation time

and air time limitations can make lasting viewer impressions in seconds" (Lowry &









Shidler, 1995). Candidate "sound bites" have significantly been reduced in recent

elections, suggesting the heightened responsibility on the campaign to manipulate the

media. For example, many cable news stations devote a complete newscast to "pundits

talking to other pundits," often blurring the line between expert and reporter (Gulati et

al., 2004, p. 243). Therefore the campaigns must know how to promote out their agenda,

frame issues, and use the media as the message carrier-the campaign must be savvy in

controlling their message.

As previously stated, framing can be studied and presented in a variety of ways.

One source of frames, which can be linked to how the political elites organize messages,

can be summarized in the following explanation by Hertog and McLeod (2001). The

authors suggest that a source of frames "is the deliberate attempt of individuals or groups

to structure public discourse in a way that privileges their goals and means of attaining

them" (p. 146) Political campaign professionals make use of several important media

moments to structure public discourse and frame issues to their advantage during the

election cycle. Political advertisements, presidential nominating conventions, and

television debates all serve as significant media opportunities for the campaign to

transmit messages to a mass audience. These "media opportunities" serve as a chance for

campaigns to control the message, persuade individuals, construct candidate images, and

present policy/issue initiatives; all in a specific framework that aims to elicit votes for

their candidate. As stated in the introduction, this paper seeks to review presidential

nominating conventions in relation to framing theory, and hopes to encourage more

research dedicated to analyzing the frames presented within political conventions. There

is little research to date on political conventions and how the media cover them.







10

Applying framing theory to political conventions and conducting research studies on this

topic could provide important information to the study of political communication.

History of Political Conventions

Presidential nominating conventions have been around for more than 175 years

and have come to serve as an extravagant close to the primary season. The convention

acts as a time to unite and rally the party together before the general election campaign

begins. Although political conventions have been seen in our nation's history for quite

some time, conventions were not defined within the United States Constitution. The

founding fathers had quite a large amount of distrust towards national political parties.

Nominations in the early part of the 19th century were done during an informal party

caucus by selected members of Congress. These were often secret events, which spurred

the large-scale public events conventions are seen as today. The presidential nominating

convention came to be as a result of these secret caucuses. Americans wanted more direct

political power, and did not feel that caucus choices reflected the will of the people. For

example, in 1816 and 1820 only one presidential candidate was nominated. James

Monroe won the presidency both years unopposed. This sparked negativity and protest

among the people about the caucus system.

In 1824 the caucus system was replaced by political conventions, when the

Democratic-Republican Party held a small nominating convention. Soon to follow were

national, systematic, structured, state-representative conventions; the first held by the

Anti-Masonic Party, a third party, in 1831. The Democratic Party followed in 1832 and

the first Republican Party convention was held in 1856, 2 years after the party's

formation. Since then, these political events have become an expected structure of the

electoral process, and have grown into enormous, promotional, sensationalized media









events. Ironic, some people have claimed that parties essentially borrowed this

organizational form from religious camp meetings.

Political conventions serve several purposes, although some scholars would

suggest these functions have been recently stripped away from the convention process.

However, the main purpose is still intact: To formally nominate the party's candidate for

president before the public. Today, there is no surprise about who the presidential

nominee will be during the convention, but it was not always that way. Before majority

rules were adopted by both political parties, early voting procedures to nominate the

presidential candidate were often lengthy events. For example, in 1860 Senator Stephen

Douglas was nominated on the 59th ballot. In 1912 Woodrow Wilson was nominated on

the 46th ballot. Sometimes a "dark horse" candidate would prevail-a candidate who

had little or no formal support before the conventions. James Polk, who went on to win

the presidency, was considered a "dark horse." His name did not even enter the balloting

process until the eighth ballot. However, he received the presidential nomination of his

party on the ninth ballot, and later became the 11th President of the United States of

America.

Political conventions serve purposes other than nominating candidates. Although

many people view conventions as giant pep rallies, important political events underlie all

the chanting, sign waving, singing, and celebration. Important members of committees

are chosen in the opening of the convention, along with a convention chairperson.

Political conventions offer party members the chance to discuss and confer political

strategies, debate political issues and develop the party's platform. History would

suggest that for a long time the convention served as a meaningful and important time for

political debate within the party. Often debates became so heated that party members







12

would leave the convention hall. The chaotic atmosphere that regularly occurred within

these early conventions quickly changed when the introduction of television came about.

As Grabianowski (2005) states

Suddenly, the circus of a national party convention was broadcast into homes
around the country. Every floor debate, interruption, protest, and delegate
squabble was there for public viewing. This gradually led to the changes in the
primaries we see today-no more debates or arguments, no unplanned speeches
or interruptions, and protesters are kept miles away from the convention floor.
Now, the convention is a media event, attended by almost as many reporters as
delegates, and broadcast in carefully selected prime-time viewing slots. (p. 3)

Political parties wanted to present a structured, unified party to the electorate. This is just

one effect television has had on changing the political arena.

The media have covered the presidential nominating process since the 1800s.

Newspapers briefly covered the secret nominating causes, and therefore covered the

conventions that later followed. Radio began its coverage of national political

conventions in 1924, and in 1940 the first-ever televised convention was held by the

Republican Party. As previously noted, the media have continued to cover these political

events, making media coverage one of the most important elements within the current

convention structure. The media, therefore, have historically become an integral part of

the convention process; some scholars even suggesting that much of the convention

proceedings are now staged, resembling one big television advertisement to appeal and

persuade the at home viewing audience.

The Media

The emergence of media has made many contributions to political processes and

has often changed the way the political process is executed. When radio rose to be a

popular new medium, the way politicians and political parties transferred their messages

was constructed in a new way. President Roosevelt's "Fireside Chats" and radio







13

coverage of political events such as conventions and debates are just a few examples of

how the medium changed the political process. In 1933, Elbert Harrington wrote about

radio's impact on political conventions. He stated, "In the national nominating

conventions of last June there was given to the public at large a splendid opportunity of

judging almost every conceivable type of public speaking" (p. 25). Harrington goes on to

say,

Radio, by enlarging the number of listeners by countless thousands and by
placing the vast majority of them in an altogether different speaking situation,
magnified defects which otherwise would have escaped the public notice. At no
other time in history had so many people participated in these conventions, and to
a certain extent the importance of this unseen audience was clearly recognized in
the Democratic Convention when the meetings were postponed at one time
because of conflicts in broadcasting facilities. (p. 25)

Thus the media, by covering political events to a mass audience, was changing

the way political parties, campaigns and candidates delivered and formed their messages.

It has only continued to increase in importance in the minds of campaign strategists who

see the media as a vital and crucial role to winning an election. Today television and the

Internet reach far beyond the thousands of individuals the radio spoke to during those

early broadcasts. Literally millions of people are reached almost instantaneously in a

mass audience.

It is first important to understand the enormous ability the media have acquired

through technological growth. Lowry and Shidler (1995) explain that the vast majority

of individuals in modem society use television to receive information about political

campaigns, specifically presidential campaigns. "The vast majority of the voters in a

presidential campaign never get to see and hear one of the presidential or vice

presidential candidates in person; instead, voters are limited to television if they want to

see and hear the candidates on anything even approaching a face-to-face basis" (p. 33).









The authors also note that in a 1992 post-election survey, 82% of individuals surveyed

stated that they received the majority of their news about the presidential election

campaigns from television. However, since candidate sound bites on television news

coverage have significantly gotten shorter, (42.3 seconds in the presidential campaign of

1968 compared to only 9.8 seconds in the presidential campaign of 1988; Adatto, 1990)

media viewers have a restricted opportunity to hear the candidates speak for themselves

expect during the national political conventions and the series of candidate debates.

Therefore, one can assume that these opportunities are increasingly important for

campaigns and for the candidate who must appeal to a television audience.

The media began its extensive television coverage of national presidential

campaigns in 1952. The direct opportunity for people to receive instant political

information about the campaign via the actual political actors can be seen in the historical

media coverage campaigns have received since then. As discussed previously, the

candidate has three main media avenues within a campaign where the core of

responsibility is in the hands of political elites to disseminate a message. These are

political advertising, political conventions and political debates, although televised

interviews, publicity, etc are used as well. The media's role in political conventions

however, is quite different from political advertisements or debates. The media's role in

covering a presidential convention can be seen as cooperation between the networks and

the political parties. Both entities share the common desire to attract as many television

viewers as possible. As Fant (1980) states, The cooperation between them in

attempting to achieve this end has over the years developed into a strong reciprocal

relationship from which the parties receive free, national exposure and the networks are

given a rare opportunity to present live, emotional programming and to promote their

news departments" (p. 130).







15

The evolution of political campaign coverage begins with this unique, cooperative

relationship between both the networks and the parties. Often the national committees

have curtailed dull proceedings, even conducting such events weeks before the

convention so that convention proceedings are more interesting to television viewers.

Debates and factions within the party have been kept to a minimum so that the party

appears unified. The balloting process has changed so that presidential candidates are

known months in advance and there are no unexpected surprises. Convention speeches

are scripted by professional speechwriters, and as Fant (1980) notes, "The 1972

Republican convention instructed young, attractive, and professionally trained speakers

when to pause, nod, and accept 'spontaneous' cheers" (p. 132). Months in the making,

whole marketing, communication and political teams assemble the perfect location, stage

and theme. Thus, the convention now serves as a political "infomercial," one big

advertisement for the party's presidential nominee. As Cafasso (2003) states, "A

properly planned and executed communications program surrounding a national

convention can rank near the Olympics, Super Bowl or World Series" (p. 6).

Framing by Political Elites

Because national political conventions are seen by many scholars as

"infomercials" in support of the presidential nominee, framing can serve as an important

research tool to understand how messages are being constructed by both the political

elites and by the mass media. Conventions, just like advertisements, target specific

groups of people. Cafasso (2003) suggests that public relation opportunities abound at

political conventions, and there are five main audiences at play in transmitting the

convention agenda. The five main audiences are (1) the delegates; (2) officials from

local, state and federal government, including influential policy-makers; (3) like-minded









activists (4) corporate, academic and non-profit influencers; (5) the over 1 million

television viewers and "millions more who get their news from newspapers, radio and

online services" (p. 6).

Although political conventions can draw many resemblances to political

advertising, research conducted on how conventions frame messages or affect voter

perceptions has been widely neglected. There is very little scholarly research written

about national political conventions and media effects, compared to, political advertising

and political debates that have seen considerable amounts of research. One might

suggest that this is because political conventions have little effect on the electorate. This,

however, could be argued. For example, in the 2004 election alone, President Bush

received a considerable point increase over his opponent after the televised proceedings

of the Republican National Convention. This type of boost can be seen after many

presidential conventions, suggesting that conventions do affect the viewing electorate.

"By and large, manipulation of the content of televised conventions places these two,

television and the major political parties, into an elite sphere which perpetuates itself and

directs the political consciousness of the nation" (Fant, 1980, p. 138).

Framing research in political communication has most often been used to study

how journalists report on political issues (Gamson, 1992; Gitlin, 1980; Parmelee, 2002).

This type of research is primarily focused on what type of issues gain media salience, and

what story lines are prominent in coverage. Frames, as stated numerous times, can be

constructed by various entities (Pan & Kosicki, 1993). Within the field of

communication, there is less research specifically oriented on how those in the

communication field, other than journalists, construct frames. However, this is where

many scholars feel that the future of framing research will lie. Roefs (1998) states, "It is









to be expected that the future of framing research will include entertainment, public

relations, and advertising, which are all, of course, areas where framing is a deliberate,

daily activity, perhaps even the raison d'etre" (Epilogue section, I1).

Political conventions, therefore, which have been deemed by scholars as one big

political advertisement, are an important avenue to study and apply framing theory. As

research has previously suggested, political advertising might be correlated to behavioral

effects on voters (Kaid, 2004). Several studies actually show that a voter exposed to a

specific message within a political ad will vote in line with the message and/or

advertisement (Cundy, 1986; Kaid, 2004; Mulder, 1979). Not only has political

advertising been shown to elicit behavioral effects, but exposure to political ads are often

associated with voters understanding and recalling candidate issues/policies more

thoroughly, as well as the images portrayed by the campaign. In addition, political

advertising affects those with lower levels of voter involvement (Kaid, 2004).

Benoit and Blaney (2000) found similarities between presidential conventions and

political advertising. Benoit, in many previous studies (Benoit, 1997a, 1997b, 1998,

1999; Benoit, Blaney, & Pier, 1998; Benoit & Czerwinski, 1997; Benoit & Gustainis,

1986), has analyzed the "rhetorical situation" (Benoit & Blaney, p. 63) that political

candidates face in enhancing one's image. There are three prominent ways a candidate

can increase favorability with a possible voter. Benoit describes these three mechanisms

as acclaimingg, attacking and defending." Acclaiming, attacking or defending has been

applied by scholars to political advertisements and is often related to this form of

political communication. Benoit has studied these mechanisms in relation to political

ads, political debates, and (for purposes of this paper) political conventions.









The authors studied keynote speeches in political conventions from 1960-1996.

As explained previously, conventions are important for scholarly research because often

the national party convention serves as the first opportunity for voters to hear directly

from the candidates for more than a few "sound bite" seconds. Convention speeches

have made history on several occasions. For example, George H. Bush made this pledge

during the 1988 Republican National Convention: "Read my lips, no new taxes" (Zeller

& Truslow, 2004). Overall, it was found that the keynote speeches during a presidential

nominating convention often employ the same strategies used within a political

advertisement. The speeches most often use the "acclaim" function (51%) over attacks

or defenses. Also in line with political advertising, the keynote speeches more heavily

address "policy considerations" (Zeller & Truslow, 2004, p. 61) than the character of the

candidate or challenging the character of the opponent. Political advertising literature

suggests that attacking or addressing policy positions over candidate images resonates

better with the voter. More keynote speeches are considered "negative" and recently

have ventured more toward a negative tone than in years past. Overwhelmingly,

keynotes were found to contain utterances of past deeds and emphasize ideals. Also, the

specific candidate is targeted more than the political party of the candidate (Benoit &

Blaney, 2000). Keynote speeches could be possibly the most important aspects within a

convention for creating candidate image and transmitting messages to voters. In recent

conventions, the media have cut considerable amounts of coverage down to prime-time

slots reserved solely for keynote speeches. In line with the research above, keynote

speeches highly resemble political advertisements.

The keynote speeches of political conventions tend to be more negative than

political television spots, inaugural addresses and political debates (Benoit & Blaney,









2000). "We believe that keynotes are the most negative of these campaign message

forms because the speakers are surrogates; the candidate is the rhetor in all of these other

message forms" (p. 71). Although keynotes tend to be highly negative, there is a vast

amount of scholarly research which suggests, negative advertising has positive effects for

a candidate's campaign. Negative ads often encourage more recall of candidate

information and name recognition. Another important finding regarding negative

advertising is that these ads often include more issue substance than one might assume.

It has been found that voters many times learn more about issues through political

advertising than found in newscasts. The same might possibly be said of convention

keynotes. As Benoit and Blaney state, "Contrary to what some might assume, these

speeches possessed considerable substance: more utterances were devoted to policy (and

especially past deeds) than to character (which discussed ideals frequently)" (p. 73).

In addition to keynote addresses, films shown during the national conventions

present an important opportunity to apply framing analysis. Promotional type films

about the presidential nominee have become a staple of recent political conventions. In

2004 both the Democratic and Republican party played such films during the convention.

Often party films are shown either directly before or after the candidate accepts the

nomination to run for president. These films have increasingly become more about

appealing to the television audience at home than to state party delegates or others

attending the convention. As Fant (1980) notes, "The party film, directed primarily to

the television audience rather than to the convention delegates, is one of the parties' most

effective resources" (p. 132).

The first candidate film to be shown at a political convention was "The Pursuit of

Happiness" shown to ABC and NBC television viewers during the 1956 Democratic









Convention. CBS viewers did not get to see the candidate film, which infuriated party

elites. Instead of showing the film, CBS cut away to other convention happenings. The

backlash by upset party elites and delegates resulted in the central camera platform being

stormed. After that episode, there were no more incidents in which a network did not

show the party film to television viewers (Fant, 1980). Since then, the convention

strategists have made it necessary for television networks to air these promotional

candidate films by often placing the podium directly in front of several projection panels.

House lights are also dimmed so that cameras cannot cut away from the film to tape

delegate reactions to the film or other sections of the convention hall.

Many critics have called political convention films one large candidate

advertisement. Though convention films have not been readily studied for their effects

by communication scholars, party elites continue to suggest that these films are important

in communicating the convention message and image of the party's nominee; the

convention organizers seem to believe it is necessary to have the networks broadcast

party films during convention coverage. Parties have realized the significance such films

hold. In 1964 Henry Cabot Lodge, while in Saigon, used televised films in place of

actual appearances during the Republican primary and won. Fant (1980) explains,

"Nevertheless, his use of television film in place of personal appearances in the state

enabled him to win the primary, defeating Goldwater, Rockefeller, and Nixon" (p. 133).

After this occurrence, political parties felt reinforced about the effects television could

possibly have on political events and quickly formed a television advisory committee in

collaboration with the networks to seek advice. This committee met more the 24 times in

1964 to help plan the national party conventions.







21

As previously discussed, one can suggest that political elites often use framing to

portray issues and candidate images in a certain way. This can often be seen through the

inclusion and exclusion of ideas, visuals, words or phrases (Reese, 2001). One can also

claim that the media are important to the political process because they act as the carrier

of messages and are sometimes responsible for the frame by the words they choose to

report with, or the salience journalists choose to ascribe to a candidate or political event.

Parmelee (2000) studied framing in relation to presidential primary videocassettes

distributed during the early months of the primary campaign. The author found that

within each campaign video, frames were constructed to "package" the candidate in a

particular way. However, what is interesting to note is that in each of the videos studied,

the media served as the "supplier of validation for their claims" (p. 327).

Pfau, Diedrich, Larson, and Van Winkle (1995) claim that primary elections have

a considerable amount of potential to influence voter perceptions of the candidates,

especially those of low involvement. The authors' remark on this by stating that

"candidates utilize television to foster an image of themselves in precisely those

circumstances in which the medium's potential for influence may be greatest" (p. 122).

Roberts and Martinez (2004) analyzed Hispanic and African American newspaper

coverage of the 2000 Republican National Convention to see if both groups used similar

frames in reporting news about the convention. The groups were analyzed because it was

often suggested that the 2000 GOP presidential campaign targeted multicultural

Americans more than the previous 1992 and 1996 campaigns. In 2000, the Republican

Convention tried to promote a message of inclusion with the theme, "Renewing

America's Purpose. Together" (Roberts & Martinez, 2004, p. 5). The authors named









differing frames for both ethnic newspapers, and found that often newspapers were

skeptical of the GOP's message of inclusion.

Finally, Paletz and Elson (1976) analyzed 1972 coverage of the national

conventions of both parties and argue that network news coverage of the conventions was

often manipulated, suggesting a different view of what was actually happening to the

television audience at home. When interviewing delegates from the 1972 Democratic

convention, more than 83% indicated differences between the media coverage of the

event and what they felt actually occurred during the convention while in actual

attendance. One of the major criticisms the authors note is that media coverage is many

times overly sensational and highly dramatized. The authors concluded by stating that

there were possibly "direct causal links" suggesting McGovern suffered directly from the

television coverage of the convention, while Nixon benefited (Paletz & Elson, p. 128).

The way the coverage shapes the convention to a television audience leads the authors to

suggest, "All this leads to the general criticism made primarily by politicians, more often

privately than publicly, that television convention coverage is sometimes biased in favor

of or against particular candidates, issues, or groups" (Paletz & Elson, p. 112). If their

analysis of McGovern proved correct, one might suggest framing occurred by the media

during the 1972 convention, and possibly contributed to McGovern's defeat for the

presidency.

Value Framing: Religion, Politics and the Media

Religion and politics are two disciplines that have been recognized as becoming

ever-more intertwined. A CNN/USA Today Gallup poll in December 2000 revealed that

"one out of two voters would be more likely to support a candidate who talked about his

relationship with Jesus. Only a quarter said they would be less likely" (Bozell, 2000,







23

p. 46). Survey Data collected in 2004 from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life

suggests that, although Americans are divided on whether religious groups should

become directly involved in politics, a majority of Americans do want politicians to

address issues of faith. Religion has become a topic of interest recently by political

candidates, the media, and the American public. According to surveys taken after the

2004 Presidential election, Bush won 79% of the evangelical vote and 52% of the

Catholic vote; both groups compromising millions of individuals (Cooperman & Edsall,

2004). Not only has religion been merely a topic of interest, some would suggest that the

subject has been the dominate talk in the current election cycle. As Barry W. Lynn

(2004) asks sarcastically in his article, Religion And Politics: Making "The Connection"

And Getting "To The Point" (on discussing the amount of religious rhetoric apparent in

the 2004 race for the presidency), "Will we then see the entire presidential campaign end

with a round of 'Bible Jeopardy' played in primetime on the Fox News Channel?" The

author goes on to state, "One hopes not" (p. 23).

Religious rhetoric such as faith, morals, and family values has recently permeated

candidate messages, political advertisements, religious sermons, and the mass media to

an increasingly captivated audience. Political candidates continue to draw reference on

such rhetoric, as it can be assumed, vying for the "religious vote." For example,

Cooperman and Edsall write in a Washington Post article:

In dozens of interviews since the election, grass-roots activists in Ohio, Michigan
and Florida credited President Bush's chief political adviser, Karl Rove, with
setting a clear goal that became a mantra among conservatives: To win, Bush had
to draw 4 million more evangelicals to the polls than he did in 2000. (p. A01)

This current election cycle has proven that religion and politics have an indispensable

relationship, one that makes for a significant research tool in the study of media

techniques.







24

There are several significant reasons why media techniques would be important to

the study of religion and politics, especially in relation to the 2004 Presidential election.

In particular, the research tool of frame analysis can help to shed light on the way events

and issues in everyday life are organized and "framed," and thus transmitted to an

audience to elicit a set of meanings. Framing assists individuals in forming a schema

about certain social issues and/or events-therefore, forming public opinion. "frames

may best be viewed as an abstract principle, tool, schemataa' of interpretation that works

through media texts to structure social meaning" (Reese, 2001, p. 14). Frames are active

structures that generate information through the inclusion and exclusion of ideas and

visuals from the public forum. As Gamson and Modigliani (1989) suggest, framing is a

"central organizing idea ... for making sense of relevant events, suggesting what is at

issue" (p. 3).

Framing is a theory that primarily seeks to explain how public opinion is formed.

Thus, one can understand why framing has become increasingly more important to the

field of political communication. With the recent infiltration of religious rhetoric in

politics, one must conclude that understanding the theory of framing might possibly be

an important contribution to religious scholars. Stout and Buddenbaum (2003) note that,

"In the study of religion and media, framing has value far beyond just knowing what is in

the news; it also determines the types of information that ultimately contribute to public

opinion about particular religions" (p. 1). In addition to Stout and Buddenbaum's notion,

framing theory can help one understand how religion has recently been framed by

political elites and the media, and thus formed into public opinion.

After previously outlining the basic definitions of framing theory, this thesis

sought to address how and why framing theory should be looked at more closely by

religious scholars. Within the academic field, the relationship between religion, politics









and the media has been neglected in comparison to other disciplinary relationships. As

Judith Buddenbaum (Stout & Buddenbaum, 2003) suggests, "Among researchers, the

tendency has been to study the media and religion in isolation from each other and both

at least somewhat separate from other institutions and from the surrounding culture" (p.

14). Applying framing theory to religious and value-oriented communication, one can

better understand elite political discourse and how public opinion is formed.

Mobilization

When arguing that the media have a place within the field of religion and politics,

it is first important to understand the relationship between the two disciplines.

Mobilization and political participation are most likely the effect that elites wish to

establish when using the media to carry political and/or religious messages. This

stimulation is expressed in what scholars deem "issue mobilization," political

participation that is directly linked to a value system. In recent years, one can argue that

politicians have framed issues to appeal and activate those who could most easily be

issue-mobilized. Therefore, religion is often a catalyst to mobilize individuals to action.

As suggested in the introduction, religion and politics often constitute a circular

relationship. The two can, at times, be two very dependent entities. Throughout history,

religion has had the ability to provide meaning for individuals and has tied individuals

and cultures to a core set of beliefs, thus creating an identity and community in which to

belong. Religion is pervasive. It has the ability to challenge and invoke political

movements, with more support than most other secular organizations can reach in

comparison. As some would state, religion has been the prime variable in moving a

significant number of individuals to the polls in an election cycle. Because religion

provides meaning and identity for individuals, a religious framework might possibly be









one of the best tools in reaching a large segment of society for political purposes.

History suggests that the political discourse of many societies has often been developed

with religious values in mind. Thus, religious rhetoric is a very powerful mobilization

and communication tool.

Religion has long since been used as a form of political mobilization. As

suggested previously, religion often provides identity for individuals. Habits, languages,

traditions, political and religious beliefs all form a network that creates the individual

self. Ruth Benedict (1934) once explained culture as the key to understanding

personality. Culture, to her, was a type of"group personality," hence the significance it

held. Sociologist Emile Durkheim (1915) agreed with prior scholars on the importance

that one's culture exerts. However, Durkheim added the notion that culture and religion

are often interchangeable, dependent ideas. Once born into a group, feelings of

obligation to members of that group begin to form. This obligation to community is

inseparable from religion, and religion is inseparable from the social framework in which

the individual resides. As Durkheim stated in his book, The Elementary Forms of the

Religious Life, "The idea of society is the soul of religion" (p. 419). Thus, culture,

religion and social/political action can be viewed as a coherent chain of sociological

events; religion being the fuel that feeds the political climate of a society.

The meaning created through religion has certainly prompted and affected the

political realm. A direct reflection of how one's values, derived strictly through religious

meaning, have led to political action is the antifeminist sentiment. A study conducted by

Himmelstein (1986) showed that the social basis for antifeminism was not

socioeconomic status, age, education, or dependence upon men. The basis for this

sentiment was found to rest in the religious network and culture a woman belonged to.









Himmelstein explains that the overwhelming religious sentiment among churches of

diverse denominations is that abortion is immoral. This is found evident in speech

among the religious leaders behind and outside of the pulpit. From there it is transferred,

framed, and reinforced to congregation members, and among outside groups who often

solicit help in diffusing the political and/or religious message that abortion is wrong and

legislation must be enacted to stop the "obscene" practice. Himmelstein found that the

majority of anti-abortion sentiments came from people who attended church, as well as

those who were activists against the practice. Values such as preservation of the family

and life were key foundational beliefs one had possibly garnered through religion; but if

not formed first through religion, religion was the catalyst for many to introduce and

reinforce the anti-abortion frames.

Because religion creates meaning for large groups of people it is naturally used as

a resource to mobilize and motivate. Religion provides the motive and the means to

move individuals towards political action. Political ideas come together in religion

through the group/congregation. The American civil rights movement often used two

prominent themes-those that were Christian and democratic. The "prophetic force," a

frame used during the civil rights movement, elevated congregations to political action

through the use of religious rhetoric. An example might be a religious figure proclaiming

to his/her congregation, "Society is not living up to God's requirements!" This is an

example of civil religion (Bellah, 1967) or as Buddenbaum (2002) explains in relation to

the media, "the use of religious institutions as news sources also points to the role of the

press in creating or perpetuating a 'religion of the republic.'" (p. 17). "Civil religion" or

a "religion of the republic" is formed through the used of rhetoric that mirrors shared

religious values (Buddenbaum, 2002).









Religious frames often target culture and society to make a group of individuals

believe they can work together to change an unjust situation. Church, therefore, becomes

the realm where grievances among members are formed because it provides identity and

reinforces meaning. When such grievances become effectively encapsulated they

become part of political life. People will engage in the movement because it has

meaning for them. The political action reinforces that they are doing the right thing

through the religious meanings they have ascribed to; there is the presence of the "good

v. evil" cognitive processes. Finally, people who believe in their group and have

identified with them will contribute what resources they can to the movement. As Wald

(1992) explains, religion provides a vast array of resources that promote collective

action. Such resources include meeting places, formal membership in the church,

organized headquarters, community networks, professional leadership opportunities,

space, and publications. All of these resources reinforce community and identity for the

individual. Therefore, religion develops schema for individuals, through verbal, physical

and symbolic outlets, and moves individuals to political mobilization when such

meanings become threatened.

Lately there have been ample amounts of research suggesting that religion is an

"essential catalyst" for participation in politics. As Scheufele, Nisbet and Brossard note

(2002), "Various claims share the common assumption that religion promotes the

essential components of political participation including motivation, recruitment, and

ability" (p. 300). Scheufele et al. reference several scholars (Leege, 1993; Greenburg,

2000) who have remarked on the importance religion has had in serving as "local access

points to political power" (p. 300). Such scholars have not only suggested that religion is

a marked access point but, more notably, a critical bridge that political elites utilize when







29

developing campaign themes. As Leege (1993) suggests, such elites often use religion to

provide symbols and imagery in an attempt to make religious rhetoric equal political

action.

Political Participation

One might question, then, what moves an individual to active political

participation? This is an important question when assessing the way political elites have

used religion for political mobilization. Verba, Schlozman, and Brady (1995) define

political participation as an, "activity that has the intent of effect or influencing

government action-either directly by affecting the making or implementation of public

policy or indirectly by influencing the selection of people who make those policies"

(p. 38). The authors continue by suggesting that political participation is voluntary, and

there are three important factors in assessing what moves an individual to participation.

These influential components are resources, networks, and engagement. In addition,

researchers claim that the resources that are most important in psychological engagement

are those that are personal, not socioeconomic (Guth et al., 2003; Verba & Nie, 1972).

For example, Guth et al. (2003) notes that if church membership provides important

interpersonal resources, church leadership would have an even stronger effect on the

individual. Churches often provide all three resources to an individual (Scheufele et al.,

2002).

Another cause of political participation is strong attachment to a core set of

beliefs. "Political scientists have long noted that strong partisan attachments and

ideological views tend to stimulate activism" (Guth et al., 2003, p. 507). This stimulation

is expressed in what scholars deem "issue mobilization," political participation that is

directly linked a value system. In recent years, one can suggest that politicians have









framed issues to appeal and activate those who could most easily be issue-mobilized.

Guth, Green, Smidt, Kellstedt, and Poloma (1997) provide an example of this in the

"moral reform" and "social justice agendas" used in recent elections. For example,

ministers have often been mobilized on moral issues such as abortion, gay rights, stem

cell research, and school prayer. Churches then act as important sources for political

information. Many times, religious leaders will contribute by linking faith to particular

political goals and/or issues. "These church-based political communications are usually

framed in moral terms, playing on the religious motivations of parishioners to mobilize

on behalf of the morally correct candidate, cause or issue" (p. 300). Usually, this kind of

rhetoric will end in a call to religious participation; suggesting that voting and other

modes of political participation is simply a call of religious duty (Greenburg, 2000).

Framing political issues to target religious elites has now become a common

practice of politicians and interest group leaders. Because religious elites serve as

opinion leaders to their church and community, they have become an important and

frequent target of outside mobilization (Guth et al., 2003). Conservative organizations

such as the Christian Coalition and Focus on the Family have continuously aimed at

recruiting religious elites. However, recruitment efforts and membership in such

conservative organizations have risen in recent years, suggesting that the mobilization

effort of such groups has proven successful. As Guth et al. (2003) reported in their study

of evangelical clergy in the 2000 election, 30% of the clergy reported membership in at

least one conservative organization, many belonging to multiple conservative groups. In

addition, Guth et al. note that membership in a conservative religious group correlates

positively with political activity, and those ministers who focus on moral questions are

more likely to be involved in the political climate. Thus, it is imperative to recognize the









current role religion has in promoting political activity, and the possibility that political

elites are using religious frames to elicit action.

The Media

The media have become an essential vehicle to transmit messages to an audience

that can often result in millions of individuals. Organizations, interest groups and

politicians often vie for favorable media coverage, as the media are used many times as

the carrier of agendas. Recently, the study of media and religion has become a discipline

some scholars are championing as an important field that deserves more research and

attention (Hoover 1997, 2002). Those who study the interaction between the two

disciplines suggest that in analyzing the role religion plays in the postmodern world, one

must look at the media.

Scholarly attention focused on media and religion began accumulating in the mid-

20th century (Hoover, 2002). Parker, Barry and Smythe (1955) published the first

"landmark" study in the field, The Television-Radio Audience and Religion. Since then

the field has looked at televangelism in the 1970s, and in the 1980s and 1990s the field

explored at how journalists (specifically the press) treated and/or covered religion.

Hoover (2002) suggests that there are three paradigms that have comprised the field. The

first of these the author deems essentialismm." As Hoover explains, "It essentialismm]

holds that religion is so intertwined with social and cultural consciousness that

the media of a given age must be necessarily religious in that they will reproduce or

replace ideal forms of practice that we have consensually understood to be typical of true

religion" (p. 26). The second paradigm is entitled "propaganda or effects," which studies

how religious messages might affect a certain audience. Lastly the author suggests that a









third paradigm exists, "social structure or institutional power," which analyzes how

religion might be affected or disadvantaged by the media.

Lyon (2000) argues that communication and information technologies now help

predict the role that religion plays in the contemporary world. Lyon claims that the our

modern world, authority-based sources for identity are starting to fade and are being

replaced by the need for personal identity choice. This is where he places the expanding

role on providing identity for people; thus the importance of the media. Lyon explains

this role by suggesting that the media provide messages through "the reproduction and

multiplication of data and symbols that bring multifarious effects in their wake." The

author continues by stating, "People construct religious meaning from the raw materials

provided by the media, repositioning and patterning the elements according to logics both

local and global, both innovative and traditional" (p. 57).

Another significant reason the media and they relationship with religion is

important grounds for study is in the way important political, social, and religious groups

have mastered the use of media control. As Kimberly Blaker (2003) explains,

The Christian right accomplishes this [shaping public opinion] in several ways.
In addition to its ownership of many media outlets, Christian organizations and
denominations such as the Southern Baptist Convention and Catholic League for
Religious and Civil Rights have come to be known for their power over the
mainstream media. They threaten lawsuits and public embarrassment and
participate in letter-writing campaigns. In addition, they boycott companies that
sponsor programs or publications to which the Christian right is opposed.
Through such actions they are able to silence negative publicity and most
programming critical of religion or in direct conflict with their views. (p. 40)

This suggests that religious, political and interest group elites have considerably

heightened their sophistication and use of the media in mediating their message and

agenda. McCune (2003) adds to this argument by stating, "political advocates and social







33

movements have become increasingly sophisticated at influencing how the media frame

public debates" (p. 7).

Those who study the relationship between media and religion would also note the

important function language plays within both disciplines. "Religion and religious

movements have always been intricately interwoven with culture, and, as any religion

reporter knows, language is a critical component of religion. It is through the symbolic

structure of language that religious meaning must be translated into secular

understanding" (Harding, 2000, p. 253). Those that wish to use the media to translate

religious messages do so through the "language of faith" and provide reinforced

messages for the media to carry.

The way religion is depicted by journalists, either by the way elite messages are

delivered or because the journalist often has the opportunity to construct issue salience, is

significant (Stout & Buddenbaum, 2003). There have always been competing arguments

as to the exact role that the media play in either strengthening or secularizing religious

frames; often it merely depends on the context in which the frame is presented. Olasky

(1990) claims that the press secularizes religion, whereas Silk (1995) assures the reader

that religious values are clearly reflected in frames and reinforced. Issues framed by a

values approach give political groups the chance "to legitimate themselves and to

communicate to others why their choice is more moral or competent than their

opponents" (Ball-Rokeach & Loges, 1996, p. 279). Scholars suggest that value-oriented

language serves a great utility for political groups, because it is understood quite possibly

by the widest range of individuals: those who possess political knowledge and those who

do not. Journalists also are engaged because value issues are understood in lay terms and

often speak to conflict (Ball-Rokeach & Lodges, 1996; Domke, Shah, Wackman, 1998).







34

Several scholars (Anderson 1970; Berg 1972; Gregg 1977; Kidd 1975) have claimed that

the media, through rhetoric, are able to color cultural and social affairs. Gordon and

Miller (2004) suggest that it is through individual values and those presented in the

media that individuals are able to connect to certain issues and policies. In studying the

role of religion in society, it is imperative to understand and apply the media theory of

framing.

Framing Perspectives

Framing literature has become increasingly important to the study of various

disciplines. Within the last decade, the concept of framing has integrated its way as an

important methodological theory of media research. Framing as a theory has not only

gained significance in the field of media research, but has moved into a number of related

fields such as communication, sociology, and political science. Framing, as a theory, has

evolved into a definition that incorporates fundamental techniques to advance rhetoric

and enhance communication. For this very reason, framing literature has become

important to the study of political science. This important field of analysis has opened

the question asked by Reese (2001) "Precisely how are issues constructed, discourse

structured, and meanings developed?" (p. 7). This question is at the heart of what

framing seeks to analyze.

Such explanations assist in understanding the basic foundation of framing and

how it relates to the study of disciplines other than that of the news media. Framing is

much more than a way to analyze how the media project an issue. The issue can be

projected by many other avenues, with the media acting as a mere carrier of the frame.

For purposes of this paper, framing is approached as an effects paradigm, centered on the

audience and the way in which institutions, organizations, or individuals can use framing









and/or frames to assist in mobilizing an audience-thus furthering the objective of

portraying an issues) in a certain light. "Framing is concerned with the way interests,

communicators, sources, and culture combine to yield coherent ways of understanding

the world, which are developed using all of the available verbal and visual symbolic

resources" (Reese, 2001, p. 11).

The following passage by Ryan, Carragee and Meinhofer (2001) allow one to

understand more fully how media frames work within the modern political climate.

In our interventions, we stress that journalistic frames do not develop in a
political or cultural vacuum. They are influenced by the frames sponsored by
multiple social actors, including corporate and political elites, advocates, and
social movements. New stories, then, become a forum for framing contests in
which these actors compete in sponsoring their definitions of political issues. The
ability of a frame to dominate news discourse depends on multiple complex
factors, including its sponsor's economic and cultural resources, its sponsor's
knowledge of journalistic practices, and its resonance with broader political
values or tendencies in American culture. Given the practices of American
journalism and the significance of resources in the successful sponsoring of
frames, framing contests favor political and economic elites. (p. 176).

Reese (2001) explains that there are six components that assist or diminish the

function of framing. The six terms important to understanding the degree to which

framing effects occur are organization, principles, shared, persistence, symbolic, and

structure. The first is especially important for purposes of this analysis; the way in which

framing is organized. As Reese explains, there are two primary ways in which a frame

can be organized: cognitively and culturally. Culturally organized frames are important

to the study of political framing, and later when the analysis of religion will occur. An

example of a culturally organized frame would consist of the rhetoric included in the

current political phrase, "The War on Terror." Framing in this culturally contextual way

seeks towards social mobilization of the audience by infusing rhetoric that implies a

significant problem in the political/national climate of the audience member (Snow &









Benford, 1988). As Gitlin (1980) suggests, frames are a direct result of the societal

ideology; an ideology that subsequently finds itself manifested in the text. Another key

element when assessing frames is the structure in which the frame manifests itself. That

is, framing usually occurs when a set of ideas continually occur while leaving other ideas

out. The presence or absence of information is vital when assessing whether or not

framing has occurred.

As previously noted, framing has recently been applied as a research tool to

disciplines other than news media. Framing theory has especially grown within the study

of political communication within the last few years. As Pan and Kosicki (1993) suggest,

framing has become a strategic plan in the realm of public deliberation. "Public

deliberation, therefore, is not a harmonious process but an ideological contest and

political struggle. Actors in the public arena struggle over the right to define and shape

issues, as well as the discourse surrounding these issues" (p. 36). Framing has been used

in various political endeavors to advance an issue or portray a specific political climate.

This has been used previously as a way to call attention to issues and/or create a set of

values that can be attributed to a particular candidate, political party, and/or organization.

In the same way religious elites have used the media to advance value-oriented language

and promote political agendas in both direct and indirect ways. The constructionist model

of political communication by Neuman, Just, and Crigler (1992) addresses just this: It is

political elites and advocates, the media, and the public who actively construct frames, all

in relation to how they perceive the reality of the issue.

Scholars are beginning to address the relationship between political candidates,

value-oriented language, and the media. Literature has shown that Americans use

personal values to form issue opinions (Brewer, 2002). Research has previously









suggested that "moral referendums," those political issues that are framed by the media

in moral terms, interact with the individual process of candidate choice (Domke et al.,

1998). Literature has shown that Americans use personal values to form issue opinions

(Brewer, 2002). Political issues that become framed in a way which suggests they are

tied to a "core set of values" have been found to "significantly influence voting behavior"

(Brewer, p. 302). Monroe (1995) cited this interaction as a moral "referendum." Domke

et al. (1998) acknowledged that the study of moral referendums interacting with

candidate choice has been widely neglected by political communication scholars.

Therefore, Domke et al. (1998) presented a study that found a correlation between

value framing and candidate choice. "Findings indicate that, in combination, an

individual's interpretation of issues and news media framing influence the type of

decision-making process used, even after accounting for a variety of demographic,

orientational, issue importance, and issue position variables" (Domke et al., p. 301). In

addition, the authors found that "voters with an ethical interpretation of an issue are

motivated to place that issue at the center of their evaluation of a political environment

and to rise their own stand on the issue as a filter through which candidate information is

initially processed" (p. 311).

Another significant aspect researchers (Brewer, 2002; Kinder & Sanders, 1996;

Koch, 1998) have noted is the important function the media has in "connecting" values to

issues. Since individuals often receive competing frames, the individual uses the media

to connect values to issues. Research indicates that value-language on political issues,

translated through the media in news, affects how individuals will describe their own

political position on the issue. Often the language an individual will use is the language

used to initially frame the issue (Brewer, 2002). For example, Brewer (2002) states, "If









exposure to a value frame makes the value invoked by that frame more accessible in

citizens' memories, then people who receive the frame should be especially likely to

recall the value, then they search for words to express their thoughts on the issue" (p.

305). Thus, framing becomes a "symbolic contest" (Gamson & Modigliani 1989) over

which meaning will prevail and be reinforced.

Religious framing, presented in value-oriented and moral terms, has become

essential in the successful reach of a large electorate. Gordon and Miller (2004) express

this by stating, "Whether emphasizing individualism, equality, or some other value, a

fundamental strategy when building a persuasive argument is linking a particular value to

a campaign issue-a process called framing" (p. 73). Rokeach (1973) defines a value as

"an enduring belief that a specific mode of conduct or end-state of existence is personally

or socially preferable to an opposite or converse mode or end-state of existence" (p. 5).

Using values in politics can be very resourceful. Not only does it resonate with a large

segment of society because the language of values is easy to understand, it also unifies

diverse groups of individuals with the ambiguous nature of value appeals (Sillars &

Ganer, 1982). Thus, it becomes easy for both voter and candidate to communicate by

linking values to complex policy issues.

Gordon and Miller (2004) analyzed value-oriented language during the first

presidential debate of 2000 between Bush and Gore. The authors found that numerous

value appeals were present during the debate. Appeals such as "democracy, family,

morality, national security, and the world of beauty" were used by both candidates

(p. 79). An example in how value appeals were constructed can be exemplified in the

issue of abortion. The author concludes, "Gore framed the issue of abortion in terms of

individual freedom, while Bush turned to a morality frame" (p. 87). Many can suggest









that the morality frame proved successful for Bush and was thus continued during the

most recent presidential campaign of 2004. Likewise, McCune (2003) found value-

oriented frames present during the 1996 Tennessee debate over teaching evolution in

public schools. Frames such as family, morality, values were presented by the bill's

supporters, often using the Bible as "a symbol of rightness" (p. 12). Davies (1999)

studied value framing in light of what the author describes as "frame transformation,

frame extension, and frame contest" by examining religious coalitions in Ontario,

Canada, that lobbied the government to fund religious schools. Accordingly, some

scholars argue that whoever most effectively frames a debate will win (Robinson &

Powell, 1996).

Conclusion

As discussed throughout this literature review, media framing can provide for an

important theoretical tool when analyzing the relationship between religion and politics.

Because media is so pervasive, has the ability to reach millions of people

instantaneously, and is relied upon as a source of information, both religious and political

elites must rely on the media to transmit messages and give salience to issues. In recent

years religious and political groups have become much savvier in their knowledge of the

media. This knowledge is essential to successfully infiltrating one's message. In

addition, the major reliance upon television and newspapers in today's modem society

allows the media to become an elite group in their own right. How issues are presented,

what rhetoric is used and how much coverage is allotted to a topic, are all pieces of a

construct that decides what is important in public discourse. As Brewer, Graf and

Willnat (2003) state, "Exposure to media coverage of an issue tends to make that issue

more accessible in people's minds; this heightened accessibility, in turn, increases the







40

likelihood that people will base subsequent evaluations on their thoughts about the issue"

(p. 494). Through the inclusion and exclusion of words and/or symbols, public opinion

can often be formed and manipulated. By applying framing theory to prominent political

and/or social events, one might better understand why public opinion is as it is. Without

the media, one could assume religion and politics would interact very differently in the

current climate of America's culture. Therefore, one hopes to argue that the disciplines

of religion and politics should pay very close attention to the field of mass

communication, framing theory, and media effects. Conducting studies that regard all

three disciplines as interconnected and often dependent entities could enhance research in

each area and help scholars to better understand the way public opinion is formed.

Framing theory is just one possible way to analyze the relationship between media,

politics and religion; a relationship that should be studied and analyzed significantly

more in the years to come.

Evangelical Christians have presented to the campaign an ongoing strategic

challenge to the GOP (Wald, 1992) in that this segment has often been noted as a base

constituency. This consideration would therefore suggest that the use of strong religious

language and/or frames will be present within the 2004 GOP convention. However, as

seen in the 1992 and 1996 elections, when Republicans lost votes among more traditional

Republicans (The Akron Poll), using such language often threatens votes from more

liberal, mainline protestant Republicans. For example, in 1992 when the rhetoric was

comprised of more "Christian Conservative" language, a substantial segment of voters

were alienated and the Republican Party lost votes. Aware of such previous situations, it

has been suggested that although Karl Rove had every intention of appealing to the

evangelicals, he also worked to keep evangelicals off of prime-time coverage. Thus, this







41

might be the reason for featuring more "moderate" figures within the convention such as

Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Governor George Pataki, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. These

politicians represent a more moderate segment of the Republican Party, which might be

viewed to appeal to a larger constituency of voters. If this is the case, one might see very

little use of religious language within the frames presented during the convention.

However, the language may be presented in a way that one speech may not be seen as

having heavy or even moderate religious rhetoric, but in frames and, when all the

speeches are compared as a whole, patterns for religious rhetoric may emerge. Therefore

the following research question is asked: Are religious frames present in the 2004

Republican National Convention? If so, to what extent was religious rhetoric

incorporated?















CHAPTER 3
METHOD

Recap

This study employed the methodology of qualitative content analysis to study the

frames present or absent in the 2004 Republican National Convention. As mentioned in

Chapters 1 and 2, the theoretical framework used for purposes of the present study is

framing. Although there are many definitions of framing, the study analyzed framing by

definition as "To frame is to select some aspects of a perceived reality and make them

more salient in a communicating text, in such a way as to promote a particular problem

definition, causal interpretation, moral evaluation and/or treatment recommendation"

(Entman, 1993, p. 52). By using this definition of framing, the current study assumes

that frames can originate from more than one entity. A frame can be located in the text,

the communicator, the receiver of the message or the culture (Entman, 1993). In analysis

of the 2004 GOP Convention, frames may be present and/or created through visuals,

verbal language (as in convention speeches), and musical performances or in the mere

indirect inclusion or exclusion of ideologies.

Qualitative Content Analysis

As Earl Babbie (2004) states, "Content analysis is particularly well suited to the

study of communications and to answering the classic question of communications

research: 'Who says what, to whom, why, how, and with what effect?'" (p. 314). The

formal definition of content analysis is the "study of recorded human communications"









(p. 314). The nature of the content analysis in this study was qualitative. As scholars

have noted (Dreher, 1994), one of the most important elements in choosing which

research design to use is to select a method that will be consistent in answering the

research question at hand. For this reason, a qualitative analysis was selected for the

ability to best answer the research question at hand. A qualitative analysis allows tone,

themes, catchphrases and sources to all be examined and applied to the larger context of

frames presented. In addition, such an analysis allowed for examination of any possible

meaning construction within the content of the convention and the speeches which were

presented there. Qualitative means have been employed to study the results of content

analysis from the convention coding. Defined by Babbie (2004) and as used in this

study, qualitative analysis is the "nonnumerical examination and interpretation of

observations, for the purpose of discovering underlying meanings and patterns of

relationships" (p. 370). Although there are many strengths of using a qualitative method,

such an analysis is not without weaknesses. As a potential weakness, qualitative analysis

posses the risk that one will be unable to replicate a study, which is often due to the fact

that the analysis relies on the researcher to make various conclusions instead of only

numerical data to provide results.

Unit of Analysis

This study used framing to analyze possible religious frames and value-oriented

language, either the presence or absence, in the 2004 GOP Presidential Nominating

Convention. In order to do this, video recordings taken from C-SPAN were coded and

processed using the computer program SPSS as a means to organize data. Convention

speeches were the unit of analysis.









C-SPAN was chosen as the unit to code over other media entities for its

uninterrupted, commentary-free, video record of the convention proceedings. This study

sought convention coverage most closely representing the convention if one were

actually in attendance. C-SPAN coverage should prove to be the best television-aired

programming to achieve this end. The coding sheet was developed after research in

religious/value-oriented rhetoric. Coding comprised of convention coverage on C-SPAN

during the prime-time viewing hours. Prime-time viewing hours were chosen because

they capture the largest viewing audience tuning-in to convention coverage. A much

larger percentage of individuals watch convention coverage during the prime-time hours

when keynote speeches take place, in relation to daytime convention viewing. Prime-

time viewing hours, for purposes of the current study, began between the hours of 6:oo

and 8:00 p.m. and end at just after 11:00 p.m. Prime-time coverage of the GOP

convention was coded from the following nights: August 30, 2004; August 31, 2004;

September 1, 2004; September 2, 2004.

It is acknowledged that a possible weakness of using C-SPAN convention

coverage is also noted above as the unit's strength. C-SPAN coverage was chosen for the

uninterrupted coverage of the convention that it provides. In light of a framing analysis,

one might suggest that, without commentary, several key frames will not be noted. This

is true if the main focus of this study was media framing in relation to journalists who

cover the news. However, as stated previously, the main objective is to understand the

convention frames put forth by the campaign (political elites), and thus transmitted via

television to a large viewing audience. As mentioned prior, such elites have become

much more sophisticated in using the media to further advance political initiatives,







45

messages and frames. For this reason, study of the frames presented by the campaign in

the 2004 GOP Convention is pertinent to the study of political and mass communication.

Codebook Construction

The coding parameters for the C-SPAN coverage included the following

categories:

* Speakers Profession
* Role of Speaker
S Location of Speech
S Source of Speech
* Duration of Speech
* Issues Discussed
S Key Phrases/Words used During Speech
* Title of Songs used in Musical Performances
* Reaction Cutaway

These categories allowed the researcher to study not only what issues and/or key phrases

were presented within the speech, but also who gave the speech, where it was given, and

who was shown in the audience when the camera cutaway from a speaker. The presence

or absence of issues and key words within the speech were documented and the number

of times each issue is mentioned was coded. In addition, the total time of the speech, the

amount of time devoted to each issue, and the camera cutaways were entered as data.

Timing the camera cutaways as well as documenting who was shown (i.e., race, gender,

adult, child, military persons) is important when suggesting possible frames. All of these

variables can present and develop frames. In addition, a speaker's credibility, in light of

his/her credentials can often be an important aspect of frame construction, which was

also taken into account. For example, 54% of all musical performances (excluding those

who performed the National Anthem) in the 2004 GOP Convention were done by well-

known Christian artists, who first gained their popularity among the Christian

community. This careful planning could possibly resonate with the voter, especially









those who are Christian and who will recognize such Christian artists. Thus, this

segment of society might take a cue from this, possibly resulting in a vote for President

Bush.

Inter-subjectivity

Inter-coder reliability was obtained in the current study by using two researchers

to observe and code C-SPAN data. "Intercoder reliability refers to the level of

agreement among independent coders who code the same content using the same coding

instrument" (Wimmer & Dominick, 2003, p. 156). Reliability in content analysis is

extremely important and will be treated as such. A lack of reliability within research can

exclude important details or misconstrue information and results. Inter-coder reliability

is essential to construct a study that is valid and reliable. As Babbie (2004) states,

reliability is the "quality of measurement method that suggests that the same data would

have been collected each time in repeated observations of the same phenomenon"

(p. G9). Therefore, the use of multiple researchers was used in coding to achieve

accurate results. Conflicts were reconciled by both coders, hereafter adjustments to

coding were made when necessary. Ten percent of the speeches were chosen at random

for another researcher to code and thus, to achieve reliability.















CHAPTER 4
RESULTS

The present study looked at the use of religious and value-oriented language in

the 2004 Republican National Convention to suggest possible frames. Framing analysis

was employed to study speeches within the convention. A qualitative content analysis

was conducted to study the speeches, while employing framing analysis to thus

understand possible frames in which the campaigns message was constructed. All

quotations from speeches were obtained from C-SPAN.

Brief Overview

After all of the coding was completed, data was entered into a SPSS computer

program to organize and analyze data derived from the codebook. The majority of the

data used to suggest frames was compiled into the codebook. However, various notes

were taken throughout viewing the C-SPAN prime-time coverage of the 2004 GOP

Convention in its entirety for those elements such as musical performances, tone, and

interviews from the floor that would not be included within the SPSS data list for

speeches.

In total there were 62 speeches coded from the sample of convention coverage

this study sought to analyze. Table 4-1 describes how many speeches were given each

night and the distribution of speeches given (Introduction, Main, Transition, Invocation,

Benediction, Other).

When suggesting possible frames for analysis a cross-tabulation was conducted

on the presence or absence of issues correlated to religion. The themes of "Faith in God,"









"Religious Rhetoric" and "Family Values" were used to define the total percentage of

speeches that such issues were present in. As seen in Table 4-2, a significant number of

speeches incorporated the use of one of the following three issues. This suggests that a

message involving religious frames was incorporated in the 2004 Republican National

Convention.

Table 4-1. Speaker's role
Convention date Total
8-30-04 8-31-04 9-01-04 9-02-04
Speaker's role Introduction 2 3 4 1 10
Main speaker 3 7 8 4 22
Transition 9 6 3 3 21
Invocation 1 1 1 1 4
Benediction 1 1 1 1 4
Other 0 0 0 1 1
Total 16 18 17 11 62


Table 4-2. Issue distribution
% Distribution Issue presence in
Issue speeches (n = 62) speeches
Faith in God 34 21
Religious rhetoric 42 26
Family values 50 31

The percentage does not equal to 100. The number of speeches that an issue

appeared in was divided by the total number of speeches to reach the percentage. Total

issue presence noted the number of times appearing within context of convention

speeches.

Analysis

Research question. Are religious frames present in the 2004 Republican National

Convention? If so, to what extent was religious rhetoric incorporated?

Differences in how the campaigns and candidates treated the issue of religion in
the 2004 election year were very stark, with the Republican Convention appearing
at times to be a "praise service," according to religion writer Amy Sullivan,







49

especially before the prime-time television coverage. The Bush campaign's chief
political strategist, Karl Rove, made no secret of his intent to reach out
aggressively to conservative religious voters. (Wallis, 2005)

The 2004 Republican National Convention, when analyzed for possible frames,

was found to include more than just 9/11 or the current war in Iraq. Held in New York

City during the month of September, and appearing at times to be a memorialized service

to the vast horror and loss of September 11th, 2001, the convention also included rhetoric

deemed ethical values, which "often become most explicitly apparent in discourse about

rights, morals, and basic principles" (Shah, Domke, & Wackman, 2003, p. 227). This

rhetoric was seen in many of the convention speeches.

The convention was divided into four themes-each of which were assigned a

night to represent the convention. These four themes, which were encapsulated by a title

or catchphrase, were shown imprinted on signs given out to delegates, on-screen behind

the podium and incorporated within speeches. According to the 2004 Republican

National Convention Web site, under the section entitled Week in Review, the following

themes were outlined:

S Monday, August 30, 2004-"A Nation of Courage"
* Tuesday, August 31, 2004-"People of Compassion"
S Wednesday, September 1, 2004-"Land of Opportunity"
S Thursday, September 2, 2004-"Safer World, Hopeful America"
(http://www.2004nycgop.org).

Although the rhetoric presented in the speeches could very well be categorized into the

above mentioned titles that were defined by the campaign, the following list presents a

more precise list of frames that were clearly apparent within the speeches and evident

across all four nights of coverage-not constrained to only a specific convention day.

Each of the frames presented use of religious and/or value-oriented language within a

subgroup of speeches to either (a) further the frame or (b) connect the frame to morality,









religious appeal and/or specific values. The following four frames, identified by the

researcher, were presented by the campaign through use of speech text and visuals during

the four nights of prime-time, C-SPAN coverage of the Republican convention and were

identified as the most common dominant frames:

S "Protecting Against Evil, Keeping America Safe"
* "The Republican Party: Encouraging and Defending American Values"
* "The Republican Party: Compassionate Conservatism"
* "The Lincoln Vision, Reagan Vision, George W. Bush Vision."

After identification of the above mentioned frames was defined, an analysis of the

presence and/or absence of religious and/or value-oriented language have been examined.

Convention Frames

Protecting Against Evil, Keeping America Safe

Many who viewed the 2004 GOP Convention can attest that the "War on Terror"

was a primary frame exhibited within the construct of the convention as well as within

the rhetoric of a substantial portion of political speeches. Key words such as, "terrorists,"

"terrorism," "Iraq," and "9/11" were frequent. Often such catchphrases were not only

used within the text of the speech but developed into a primary issue the speech was

directed at addressing. The forces of "Good vs. Evil," were often equated to America's

quest to stop terrorism around the world. Within the "Good vs. Evil" construct, one can

find numerous references to America's ideology-an ideology that is based on freedom,

values, and faith. Such references alluded to the notion that America loves freedom and

is serving to protect freedoms at home and fight for the oppressed abroad. One speaker

noted, "We are again engaged in a war that will define the future of humankind.

Responding to attacks on our soil, America has led a coalition of countries against

extremists who want to destroy our way of live and our values" (Silver, GOP









Convention: August 30, 2004). The suggestion was that America is fighting for the

oppressed because of the values Americans hold dear and because Americans are

inherently "good." The "Ideology of Hate" is what is condoned of the terrorists; that such

individuals hate freedom, freedom of religion and all that America stands for.

For example, a speech given on the second night of the convention by Arnold

Schwarzenegger, the Republican Governor of California, said this of Bush,

He [Bush] knows you don't reason with terrorists. You defeat them. He knows
you can't reason with people blinded by hate. They hate the power of the
individual. They hate the progress of women. They hate the religious freedom of
others. They hate the liberating breeze of democracy. But, ladies and gentlemen,
their hate is no match for America's decency. (Schwarzenegger, GOP convention,
August 31, 2004)

At first glance one might not notice the value frame presented within the over-

arching frame of "Protecting against Evil, Keeping America Safe." Out of a total of 16

speeches during the first night of the convention, 50% of those speeches included the

presence of religious rhetoric. This is noteworthy when linking religion to the frame,

"Republicans as Defenders against Evil, Keeping America Safe, because as stated

previously this was the same night titled by the campaign as, "A Nation of Courage"

according to the 2004 Republican National Convention official Web site

(http://www.2004nycgop.org). However, the text does speak to people of faith, as well

as many others as it mentions some very powerful catchphrases. Phrases such as, "power

of the individual," "religious freedom," "democracy" and "America's decency" all allude

to the fight for good and that righteousness will ultimately prevail: America will prevail.

As was stated in a speech given by Ron Silver, "General Dwight Eisenhower's statement

of 60 years ago is true today 'United in this determination and with unshakable faith









in the cause for which we fight, we will, with God's help, go forward to our greatest

victory"' (Silver, GOP convention, August 30, 2004).

Another similar example can be found in the speech text of George Pataki,

Governor of New York who said,

But let me ask you: What is this election about if it isn't about our love of
Freedom? A love for all we are, and can be-for that old Liberty Bell in
Philadelphia, for Constitution Hall, for that island, Ellis Island, where the whole
world's people came to share in our freedom. On this night and in this fight there
is another who holds high that torch of freedom. He is one of those men God and
fate somehow lead to the fore in times of challenge. And he is lighting the way to
better times, a safer land, and hope. He is my friend, he is our president, President
George W. Bush. (Pataki, GOP convention: September 2, 2004)

John McCain actually defined the fight between good vs. evil in a statement

within his speech explaining the fight America is holding against the "terrorists." The

Senator from Arizona made this remark, in which the excerpt reads,

It's a fight between a just regard for human dignity and a malevolent force that
defiles an honorable religion by disputing God's love for every soul on earth. It's
a fight between right and wrong, good and evil" (McCain, GOP convention,
August 30, 2004).

Later in the speech McCain also noted the following,

It's an honor to live in a country that is so well and so bravely defended by such
patriots. May God bless them, the living and the fallen, as He has blessed us with
their service. For their families, for their friends, for America, for mankind they
sacrifice to affirm that right makes might; that good triumphs over evil; that
freedom is stronger than tyranny; that love is greater than hate. (McCain, GOP
convention, August 30, 2004).

Mayor Rudy Giuliani followed McCain and had this to say about freedom as he

described the way in which the terrorists attacked on September 11th and "hijacked not

just airplanes" referring the attack against the American "way of life,"

We stood face to face with those people and forces who hijacked not just
airplanes but a religion and turned it into a creed of terrorism dedicated to
eradicating us and our way of life. Have faith in the power of freedom. People









who live in freedom always prevail over people who live in Oppression. That's
the story of the Old Testament. (Giuliani, GOP convention, August 30, 2004).

Within all of the above examples there is mention of a good and evil force, the

"good" force being the United States and the quest to fight for such goodness around the

globe and in countries where "freedom" does not exist. Some reference to "God" or

"religion" is present within each of these examples, illustrating the use of religious

rhetoric as it applies to the "good vs. evil" construct.

Another way in which religious rhetoric was used within the frame of "Protecting

against Evil, Keeping America Safe," is that of the "Thank God" construct. Several

prominent speakers used this reference when alluding to Republican efforts in keeping

America safe from the threat of terrorism. There are two leading examples that will be

given. The first comes from Mayor Rudy Giuliani who spoke about September 11th, the

days to follow and the "faith and hope" it took to "get through those first hours and

days." He followed by saying, "Spontaneously, I grabbed the arm of then Police

Commissioner Bernard Kerik and said to Bernie, 'Thank God George Bush is our

President. And I say it tonight, 'Thank God George Bush is our President'" (Giuliani,

GOP convention, August 30, 2004). The second example was spoken by Governor Pataki

when he said, "I thank God that on September 11th, we had a president who didn't wring

his hands and wonder what America had done wrong to deserve this attack. I thank God

we had a president who understood that America was attacked, not for what we had done

wrong, but for what we do right" (Pataki, GOP convention, September 2, 2004).

Finally, "America's Saving Grace" construct presents the idea that America is

delivering many people in Iraq from the forces of tyranny that keep them in oppression.







54

Because of America's fight for Iraqi freedom, hope exists in the hearts of those who live

there.

From my heart, I offer you the traditional Muslim greeting: As Salam
Alikum-Peace be upon you. I am honored to stand here tonight. When I came
to the United States from Iraq 12 years ago, I would never have imagined myself
speaking to a group like this. Living under Saddam Hussein, we could not gather
as we do now to discuss things like democracy and freedom. We could dream of a
day when we could speak freely, and worship God in ways of our own choosing.
(Al-Suwaij, GOP convention, August 30, 2004)

This quote was given by Zainab Al-Suwaij, Director of the American Islamic Congress

during the first day of the convention. This example shows text in which the speaker

makes the appeal that Iraq is better because America is fighting for freedom. It is

because of American efforts to liberate Iraq that there is hope and the ability to "worship

God in ways of our own choosing." George W. Bush touches on this frame when he

concludes, "I believe that millions in the Middle East plead in silence for their liberty. I

believe that given the chance, they will embrace the most honorable form of government

ever devised by man. I believe all these things because freedom is not America's gift to

the world, it is the Almighty God's gift to every man and woman in this world" (Bush,

GOP convention, September 2, 2004). Last but not least, this is illustrated in an

Invocation speech given by Archbishop Demetrios when he said, "We thank you [God]

for the gifts of liberty and prosperity and for the call to be the defenders and promoters of

justice and freedom for all people" (Demetrios, GOP Convention, September 1, 2004).

Republicans as Encouragers and Defenders of American Values

The issue of "Family Values" was seen a substantial amount within the 2004

GOP Convention. Half of all the speeches coded included the presence of "family

values" as an issue, and the issue was prominent on all four nights of the convention









(Table 4-3). The second night of the convention was the dominant night to present the

issue of family values with 67% of the speeches including the presence of this issue.

Table 4-3. Family values/other values
Convention date
8-30-04 8-31-04 9-01-04 9-02-04 Total
Family Yes 4 12 9 6 31
Values/other
V s No 12 6 8 5 31
Values
Total 16 18 17 11 62

As had been discussed at length in the Literature Review, value-oriented language

has the ability to resonate and mobilize individuals to action. Thompson (2003) explains

how framing works by stating, "For example, people living in the United States are

familiar with the phrase 'the American dream,' and certain ideas and connotations are

associated with that phrase" (p. 16). The frame, "Encouraging and Defending American

Values," focused on specific issues that were deemed "values" within the 2004 election

cycle by the campaign and often reinforced by media. These include issues such as stem

cell research, gay marriage, and abortion. Another dominant frame within convention

speeches was President George W. Bush's values and his consistency to stay true to what

he believes. For example, Laura Bush said this of her husband, "You can count on him,

especially in a crisis. His friends don't change-and neither do his values" (Bush, GOP

convention, August 31, 2004).

Within the frame "Encouraging and Defending American Values," one can find a

substantial amount of value-oriented language. This language was used often in the

convention and many appeals were made to relate the politician's love, hope and dreams

for his/her family to those of the American citizen watching the convention at home on

television. There were numerous references within speeches of spouses, children, and

grandchildren-the Republican Party was the Party of Family; the Party who has









American families at the heart of their policies. For example Senator Rick Santorum

when speaking about his grandfather stated, "He passed on a wealth of truth to guide us

in life. To love God. To love your neighbor as yourself, and to care for those less

fortunate than you." Zell Miller, a Democrat Senator from George and also a keynote

speaker, made a very serious and passionate keynote address. As Miller states,

Since I last stood in this spot, a whole new generation of the Miller Family has
been born: Four great grandchildren. Along with all the other members of our
close-knit family-they are my and Shirley's most precious possessions. And I
know that's how you feel about your family also. Like you, I think of their
future, the promises and the perils they will face. Like you, I believe that the next
four years will determine what kind of world they will grow up in. And like you,
I ask which leader is it today that has the vision, the willpower and, yes, the
backbone to best protect my family? The clear answer to that question has placed
me in this hall with you tonight. For my family is more important than my party.
There is but one man to whom I am willing to entrust their future and that man's
name is George Bush. (Miller, GOP convention: September 1, 2004)

As explained above, this appeal "the family appeal," was used throughout the

convention and was sometimes followed by strong religious rhetoric. In continuing with

the example above, Miller described within his speech the importance of family. He

stressed that "family is more important than my party" and made the correlation that the

Republican Party had put forth the best candidate to protect the family he holds so dear.

Later in his speech, Miller stated the following of President Bush,

I am moved by the respect he [Bush] shows the First Lady, his unabashed love for
his parents and his daughters, and the fact that he is unashamed of his belief that
God is not indifferent to America. I can identify with someone who has lived that
line in "Amazing Grace," "Was blind, but now I see," and I like the fact that he's
the same man on Saturday night that he is on Sunday morning. He is not a slick
talker but a straight shooter and, where I come from, deeds mean a lot more than
words. I have knocked on the door of this man's soul and found someone home,
a God-fearing man with a good heart and a spine a tempered steel. (Miller, GOP
convention, September 1, 2004)

This is the relationship that speakers often made within the convention speeches.

If family values were mentioned, often either the candidate's relationship to God or the







57

faith of George W. Bush followed shortly after. Key words or phrases such as "family"

or the "protection of family" fell within a speech text that often made reference to

religion or to God. Lt. Governor Michael Steele of Maryland spoke about the fight

against "poverty, poor education and lost opportunity." From this he mentioned the

struggles for equality and for minority families in which he challenged them to "create

legacy wealth for your children." Directly following this mention of family was religious

rhetoric, this time a quote from Bible explaining that one cannot just have "hope,"

policies must be enacted. Steele said, "As the book of James reminds us, 'it is not

enough just to have faith. Faith that does not show itself by good deeds is no faith at

all'" (Steele, GOP convention, August 31, 2004).

The "Encouraging and Defending American Values" frame also included the

widely discussed issues of gay marriage, abortion and stem cell research. These frames

used religious language or at the very least made reference to the Republican Party and

the defense of such "values" and respect for life. Elizabeth Dole referred to this as a

"moral compass" that leads her party and was one of the most dominant speakers of the

entire convention with regards to the value frame. The theme of Dole's speech revolved

around what are deemed by the campaign as "values" and was very clear about beliefs

regarding the institution of marriage, abortion, and defending religious freedom. As one

will see in the following three excerpts of her speech, "defending" such values is stated

various times as an objective of the Republican Party. This objective becomes a

dominant frame in the convention. The first paragraph touches on the issue regarding

defense of marriage between a man and a woman; the second paragraph discusses "pro-

life" and "the treasured life of faith;" and the third explains the belief in allowing religion









to be involved in the public sphere, where God's name should not be taken from schools,

courthouses or American currency. Dole stated the following,

We [Republicans] believe in the dignity of every life, the possibility of every
mind, the divinity of every soul. This is our true north we believe in life. The
new life of a man and woman joined together under God. Marriage is important
not because it is a convenient invention or the latest reality show marriage is
important because it is the cornerstone of civilization, and the foundation of the
family. Marriage between a man and a woman isn't something Republicans
invented, but it is something Republicans will defend.

We [Republicans] value the sacred life of every man, woman, and child. We
believe in a culture that respects all human life including the most vulnerable in
our society, the frail elderly, the infirm, and those not yet born. Protecting life
isn't something Republicans invented, but it is something Republicans will
defend. We believe in the treasured life of faith.

Two thousand years ago a man said, "I have come to give life and to give it in
full." In America I have the freedom to call that man Lord, and I do. In the
United States of America we are free to worship without discrimination, without
intervention and even without activist judges trying to strip the name of God from
the Pledge of Allegiance; from the money in our pockets; and from the halls of
our courthouses. The Constitution guarantees freedom of religion, not freedom
from religion. The right to worship God isn't something Republicans invented,
but it is something Republicans will defend. These are just some of the principles
that guide our party. (Dole, GOP Convention, August 31, 2004)

This sample from Dole's speech provides one of the best examples of how

religion was used within the frame, "Encouraging and Defending American Values."

Although, several speakers mentioned the hotly contested "moral" issues in the

election-abortion, gay marriage, stem cell research-often it was only briefly spoken

of. For example, Senator Bill Frist, who made a point in his speech to discuss the fact

that he is a doctor, discussed at length President Bush's stance on healthcare. However,

he did briefly discuss stem cell research when he said the following, "An embryo is

biologically human. It deserves moral respect. The President will not use your taxpayer

dollars to destroy human life or create human embryos solely for the purpose of

experimentation" (Frist, GOP convention, August 31, 2004). Not only did this excerpt









address stem cell research, but it also made mention to pro-life values when he said

"destroy human life."

Finally the frame, "Encouraging and Defending American Values," included

those speeches which described the pursuit of the American dream. This key word was

spoken many times within the convention, often by those speakers such as Mel Martinez

and Arnold Schwarzenegger (keynote speakers); individuals who were not born in the

United States but were able reach their dreams because "anything is possible in

America." In Martinez's speech he describes the journey he took to America as a young

child, when his parents decided to send him here, "out of a Communist land," to give him

the chance to live in a country where there is "freedom and opportunity." As Martinez

states near the beginning of his speech,

But, with faith in God, and Faith in a country-that truly stands as a symbol of
hope to people around the world- my family provided me with life in a free and
secure land. Tonight I stand before you-eternally grateful to this nation ...
where dreams come true. I have lived the American dream, and I am determined
to ensure the possibility of that dream for others. (Martinez, GOP convention,
September 2, 2004)

This theme was common, especially when there was mention of minorities or of

immigrants and opportunity. The United States was often referred to as the "Land of

Opportunity."

Republicans as Compassionate Conservatives

The term "compassionate conservatism" is something that became widely used by

George W. Bush and the Republican Party in the 2000 Presidential election. Although it

was not as widely used during the election cycle in 2004, it did reinvent itself in the 2004

GOP Convention. There was a theme running through the convention that focused on the

term "compassion." According to Webster's dictionary, "compassion" means







60

"sympathy." In the convention one might assume that the term was used in this context,

but also in the larger definition of being able to understand other people and identify with

their plight. There were numerous attempts to pull on the heartstrings of the delegates

and the television viewing audience. The second night of the convention was even titled

"A People of Compassion." Not only was the term "compassion" often interweaved

within campaign speeches, signs were distributed with this phrase and it appeared on-

screen behind the podium during most of the second day of the convention, primarily

during and in-between speeches.

Although, the term "compassion" was seen visually on night two, it was used in

speech text and video appeals throughout the entire convention. "Compassion" was used

in several contexts. The term was used often when describing President Bush and his

character. It was also used in describing Republican policies. Finally, "compassion" was

used in the issues that speakers presented such as: the fight against breast cancer,

adoption programs for those who can't have children, HIV/AIDS funding, and faith-

based initiatives. Several video appeals were used to reaffirm the "compassion" of the

Republican Party. The "compassionate conservatism" was chosen as a frame because

value-oriented language and occasionally religious rhetoric was used in conjunction with

the idea of compassion; these two variables seemed tied together (Tables 4-4, 4-5 and

4-6).

Senator Sam Brownback's speech focused primarily on the issue of HIV/AIDS,

which he described as "the greatest moral and humanitarian crises of our time." In

discussion of the President's initiatives aimed at fighting the disease, the key word

"compassion" was used several times, followed at the end by religious rhetoric. First

Brownback mentions the term "compassion" when he states that President Bush has

"marshaled an army of compassion to combat the disease" (speaking of AIDS).









Brownback continues in discussing the importance of protecting human life and follows

with this statement when addressing why life should be protected,

Why? Because each is wonderfully made, and what we do for the so-called "least
of these," we do for our Creator. We are leading the world in a heroic rescue of
human life. This is the essence of compassionate conservatism. It is the metal of
George W. Bush. (Brownback, GOP convention, August 31, 2004)

Table 4-4. Family values/other values: Compassionate (KW)


Family
values/other
values


Yes Count
% within family values/other values
% within compassion (KW)
% of total


Compassion
(KW)
Yes No
13 18
41.9% 58.1%
81.3% 39.1%
21.0% 29.0%


Count 3 28 31
% within family values/other values 9.7% 90.3% 100.0%
% within compassion (KW) 18.8% 60.9% 50.0%
% of total 4.8% 45.2% 50.0%


Count
% within family values/other values
% of total


16
25.8%
25.8%


46
74.2%
74.2%


62
100.0%
100.0%


Note: X2 = 8.42, d.f.=l, p<.01

Table 4-5. Religious values/rhetoric: Compassionate conservative (KW)
Compassion
(KW)
Yes No Total
Religious Yes Count 10 16 26
Values/Rhetoric % within religious values/rhetoric 38.5% 61.5% 100.0%
% within compassion (KW) 62.5% 34.8% 41.9%
% of Total 16.1% 25.8% 41.9%
No Count 6 30 36
% within religious values/rhetoric 16.7% 83.3% 100.0%
% within compassion (KW) 37.5% 65.2% 58.1%
% of Total 9.7% 48.4% 58.1%
Total Count 16 46 62
% within religious values/rhetoric 25.8% 74.2% 100.0%
% of Total 25.8% 74.2% 100.0%

Note: p value > 0.5


Total
31
100.0%
50.0%
50.0%


Total









Table 4-6. Faith/God: Compassionate conservative (KW)
Compassion
(KW)
Yes No Total
Faith/God Yes Count 8 13 21
% within faith/God 38.1% 61.9% 100.0%
% within compassion (KW) 50.0% 28.3% 33.9%
% of Total 12.9% 21.0% 33.9%
No Count 8 33 41
% within faith/God 19.5% 80.5% 100.0%
% within compassion (KW) 50.0% 71.7% 66.1%
% of Total 12.9% 53.2% 66.1%
Total Count 16 46 62
% within faith/God 25.8% 74.2% 100.0%
% of Total 25.8% 74.2% 100.0%

Note: p value was not significant

In addition to this example, several other speakers used the word "compassion"

within their speech. For example, Martinez stated: "I believe in George Bush's idea of

'compassionate conservatism.' From the time I first heard him talk about it, I said

'compassionate conservatism is the story of my life" (Martinez, GOP convention,

September 2, 2004). Dole stated, "We [the Republican Party] believe in the

compassionate life of service" followed by several references to 'Love your neighbor'

(Dole, GOP convention, August 31, 2004). Rebetzin Esther Jungreis, Founder of Hineni

New York, spoke of "the healing balm of faith, the magic of compassion and love" in her

benediction speech on Day 2 of the Convention. Santorum said when speaking of

character and values, "As President Bush defines it-Compassion. Remember 'the

greatest of these is love'" (Santorum, GOP Convention, August 31, 2004). Franks spoke

of President Bush and said, "This is a commander in chief who is as compassionate as he

[Bush] is courageous" (Franks, GOP convention, September 2, 2004). Secretary Rod

Paige said, "This election may be multiple choices, but there's only one correct choice.









To go forward, not back. To choose compassion, not cynicism. To set high standards,

not settle for second-best" (Paige, GOP convention, August 31, 2004). These are just

several examples of the "compassionate conservatism" frame and how it was used within

speech text in the convention.

However, "compassion" was often an appeal being used even though the term

"compassionate conservatism" was not present. The theme of compassion was able to

resonate in several other ways during the four days of the convention. For example, a

video following Representative Ann Northup's speech on Day 2 of the convention, that

ran a total of 2 minutes and 46 seconds, featured an emotional appeal about a young

couple who could not conceive a child. The video continued by explaining how George

W. Bush understands how important adoption is and how as President he has provided

resources and programs to make adoptions easier. The couple, while crying, explained

their story of adopting a baby from Guatemala and how they were able to finally start a

family. They exclaimed, "We're a family! We're a mom and dad!"

Issues very dear to many Americans such as breast cancer and the environment

were also given speech time in the convention. As an example speaker Elizabeth

Hasselback spoke of the "war on breast cancer" and said, "Most importantly, help me re-

elect a leader in the fight against breast cancer who does not simply wish this disease

away; he wills it away through action" (Hasselback, GOP convention, August 31, 2004).

Erika Harold, when speaking about faith-based initiatives and volunteering said,

"Although we will never be able to thank all those who waged war against despair, we

are able to join them in their crusade of compassion." She followed by stating this of

faith-based initiatives, "And in the solitary, uncelebrated moments, in a soup kitchen, a

homeless shelter, or orphanage, perhaps we will then truly know what it is to see the face









of God" (Harold, GOP Convention, August 31, 2004). Steven McDonald also spoke

about faith-based groups and community service and said, "Then and especially now, I

have followed St. Paul's guidance that all of us really walk by faith" (McDonald, GOP

Convention, August 31, 2004).

Family and values were also incorporated and linked to compassion. There were

ample examples given, through text and video, of how the President spends time with his

parents, wife, and daughters; how he is a loving and compassionate father. There were

even videos dedicated to the President's dog Barney-called the "Barney Cam." The

idea was to present a very compassionate and family-oriented candidate that could relate

to the average American and his/her family.

The Lincoln Vision, Reagan Vision, George W. Bush Vision

The frame "Lincoln vision, Reagan vision, George W. Bush vision" is the final

dominant frame drawn from the convention that was mostly comprised of values and

religion. In this frame, speakers often mentioned Abraham Lincoln and/or Ronald

Reagan and the likeness toward these individuals that George W. Bush represents. It is

within these frames that comparisons are drawn between President Bush and/or either

Lincoln and Reagan, and often it is during such comparisons that the values and religious

beliefs of these persons are identified. A dominant catch phrase in this convention with

regard to this frame was, "Reagan's 'Shining City on a Hill.'" Several speakers made

mention of this phrase, examples include (a) Steele said, "American remains that place

President Reagan called 'a shining city on a hill;'" (b) Martinez said, "This nation, that is

Ronald Reagan's Shining City on a Hill" later again proclaiming, after addressing the

crowd in Spanish, "In English: My America ... is Ronald Reagan's 'Shining City on a

Hill.'"









Often the "Lincoln vision, Reagan vision, George W. Bush vision" frame was

used in reference to "The Grand Old Party" and moral values. Quotes given by Lincoln

were used in speeches when comparing character, values and the decision to go to war.

A good example of this can be seen in a section taken from Elizabeth Dole's speech that

said, "The party of Abraham Lincoln has not wandered in a desert of disbelief or

uncertainty. Led now by President Bush, this Grand Old Party is still guided by a moral

compass, its roots deep in the firm soil of timeless truths. We still believe that character

is king. We saw that lived out in the life of Ronald Reagan" (Dole, GOP convention,

August 31). Another example, as was stated by Izak Mu'eed Pasha during an Invocation,

I am convinced that today the majority of Americans want what those first
Americans wanted, a better life for themselves and their children; a minimum of
government authority. On the farms and on the street covers, in the factories and
in the kitchens, millions of us ... asking nothing more, but certainly nothing less
than to live our lives according to our values; at peace with ourselves, our
neighbors and the world. This comes from May, July 6, 1976 by our late
President Ronald Reagan. May God's peace be on him and his family. (Pasha,
GOP Convention, August 30, 2004)

In many of these attempts the character, values and faith of George W. Bush was

also noted. Franks said speaking of George W. Bush's leadership, "In the years ahead,

America will be called upon to demonstrate character, consistency, courage, and

leadership. Lincoln once said, "Character is like a tree and reputation is like its shadow.

The shadow is what we think of it, the tree is the real thing." Franks ended the speech

with, "God bless our Country and our Commander-in-Chief" (Franks, GOP convention,

September 2, 2004).

This frame was also used in relation to the 9/11, the war against terrorism and

Iraqi liberation. Comparisons about prior wars and the current U.S. military situation

were made, often citing Lincoln and Reagan. The U.S. efforts towards war and liberation









that these previous presidents made were often presented as a possible justification for

the decisions that the current administration has made in dealing with foreign relations.

Laura Bush gave this explanation about her husband's decision to go to war, "No

American President ever wants to go to war. Abraham Lincoln didn't want to go to war,

but he knew saving the union required it" (Bush, GOP convention, August 31, 2004).

Miller said when speaking of those who have earned freedoms on account of war, "Tell

that to the half a billion men, women and children who are free today from the Baltics to

the Crimea, from Poland to Siberia, because Ronald Reagan rebuilt a military of

liberators, not occupiers" (Miller, GOP convention, September 1, 2004). Giuliani noted

after speaking on terrorism, "Ronald Reagan saw and described the Soviet Union as 'the

evil empire,' while world opinion accepted it as inevitable and belittled Ronald Reagan's

intelligence" (Giuliani, GOP convention, August 30, 2004).

The comparisons between the three presidents is an important frame with regard

to religion because it has been widely known that each president-Lincoln, Reagan, and

Bush-have beliefs rooted in Christianity. In discussing Lincoln and Reagan's beliefs

and values, it was eluded that George W. Bush will continue this legacy and lead the

party in the same direction as these two previous presidents. This is one frame that the

convention clearly made apparent and one might assume it was in partial reason to link

the faith of these three presidents. Thomas M. Freiling, who recently wrote a book

entitled George W. Bush: On God and Country also wrote two previous books: (a)

Reagan's God and Country; and (b) Abraham Lincoln's Daily Treasure. All three books

focus on the common denominator of faith in God, which each of these presidents seem

to have shared. In linking these three presidents during the convention, the frame of

"faith in God" was being disseminated (Tables 4-7, 4-8, and 4-9).









Table 4-7. Faith/God: Lincoln/party of (KW)


Lincoln/party of Yes Count
(KW) % within Lincoln/party of (KW)
% within faith/God
% of Total
No Count
% within Lincoln/party of (KW)
% within faith/God
% of Total
Total Count
% within Lincoln/party of (KW)
% within faith/God
% of Total
Note: p value was not significant

Table 4-8. Faith/God: Reagan/party of (KW)


Faith/God
Yes No
5 5
50.0% 50.0%
23.8% 12.2%
8.1% 8.1%
16 36
30.8% 69.2%
76.2% 87.8%
25.8% 58.1%
21 41
33.9% 66.1%
100.0% 100.0%
33.9% 66.1%


Faith/God
Yes No


Reagan/party of Yes Count 8 3 11
(KW) % within Reagan/party of(KW) 72.7% 27.3% 100.0%
% within faith/God 38.1% 7.3% 17.7%
% of total 12.9% 4.8% 17.7%
No Count 13 38 51
% within Reagan/party of(KW) 25.5% 74.5% 100.0%
% within faith/God 61.9% 92.7% 82.3%
% of total 21.0% 61.3% 82.3%
Total Count 21 41 62
% within Reagan/party of (KW) 33.9% 66.1% 100.0%
% within faith/God 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
% of Total 33.9% 66.1% 100.0%
Note: X2= 9.01, d.f. =1, p<.01

For example, as was stated by Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, "But it is

the generosity of spirit and strength of our character, molded by the light of faith, that

makes us that 'Shinning City on the Hill'-'For the greatest of these is love"' (Santorum,

GOP Convention, August 31, 2004). "Shinning City on a Hill" was used many times in

the convention. This phrase was coined by Ronald Reagan, as a description of

America-"The Shinning City," while he presided as President of the United States.


Total
10
100.0%
16.1%
16.1%
52
100.0%
83.9%
83.9%
62
100.0%
100.0%
100.0%


Total









Another example is when Reverend Greg Laurie, said the following in his invocation

speech, "In the wise words of Abraham Lincoln, 'We have forgotten You [Lord] and

have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts and all these blessings that we

see in our country were produced by superior wisdom and virtue of our own.' It's true

Lord that we have forgotten you" (Laurie, GOP Convention, August 31, 2004).

Table 4-9. Reagan/party of (KW): Religious values/rhetoric
Religious
values/rhetoric
Yes No Total
Reagan/Party of Yes Count 8 3 11
(KW) % within Reagan/party of (KW) 72.7% 27.3% 100.0%
% within religious values/rhetoric 30.8% 8.3% 17.7%
% of total 12.9% 4.8% 17.7%
No Count 18 33 51
% within Reagan/party of (KW) 35.3% 64.7% 100.0%
% within religious values/rhetoric 69.2% 91.7% 82.3%
% of total 29.0% 53.2% 82.3%
Total Count 26 36 62
% within Reagan/party of (KW) 41.9% 58.1% 100.0%
% within religious values/rhetoric 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
% of Total 41.9% 58.1% 100.0%
Note: X2= 5.20, d.f. =1, p<.05

Additional Frames

In addition to the four dominant frames presented by the campaign, all of which

included the use of religious and value-oriented rhetoric, musical performances,

invocations and benedictions were integrated during the four days, tying religion to the

convention and presenting religious frames. The biographies of several individuals and

musical groups show that the campaign was working to incorporate prominent Christian

figures, and the numbers show that is was more than just adding diversity to the

convention line-up. For instance, musical performances have become an important part

of the convention line-up, now offering famous singers and bands performing to endorse









the candidate. A lot of time has been dedicated to the musical performance, with the

2004 GOP convention featuring 13 individual singers, choirs and bands-not including

those who sung the National Anthem each night. The musical performance is often done

to fill time within the convention or as a noteworthy transition among prominent speakers

on prime-time. Out of the 13 artists, 7 artists have gained their popularity in the genre of

Christian music and five were country bands and/or singers. Many of the performers live

or originated from the state of Texas; the state where George W. Bush previously

presided as Governor.

This is important because the Christian artists featured within the convention

were prominent figures within the Christian community such as six-time Dove award

recipient and three-time Grammy nominee Jaci Velasquez, leading Christian rock band

Third Day, and vocalist Michael W. Smith who gave a moving performance to a video

about the days after 9/11, which was aired in its entirety on all networks during prime-

time coverage. Such individuals, even though they might not sing songs about their faith

in God-although many did-resonated with the Christian community and appear as a

credible source. When participating in the convention, such sources are often endorsing

the candidate and may have the possibility of influencing segments of the electorate, in

this case Christians who have already identified with these individuals by listening and

purchasing their music.

The Invocation and Benediction speeches also presented another opportunity in

which religious language and visuals could be incorporated into the convention.

Although it might be common for these types of speeches to have references to God

within them, the tone with which these speeches were given, the amount of religious

language present, and the many camera cutaways to delegates praying was very









substantial. For example, below outlines some of the rhetoric that was presented within

each of these types of speeches during each day.

Invocation and Benediction Speeches

On Day 1 of the convention, New York City police chaplain, Izak-El Mu'eed

Pasha of the Malcolm Shabazz Mosque, said this of God and faith in which he quoted the

Koran during his Invocation speech,

All people be careful of your duty to God, who created you from a single being
and the same created its mates, and spread from these two many men and women.
And be careful of your duty to God by whom you demand one of another, your
rights and the ties of relationships. God watches over you. Over you who
believe, be careful of your duty to God and speak the right words, He will put
your deed into a right state for you and forgive you your faults. Whoever obeys
God and his messenger, will indeed achieve a mighty success. (Pasha, 2004, GOP
Convention, Night 1)

Archbishop Demetrios of the Greek Orthodox Christian Church, after thanking

God for calling on America to be defenders around the world for justice and freedom,

prayed for the leadership of President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney

and followed by saying in the Invocation, "For the good of our nation, for the peace and

happiness of the world, and for the glory of Your holy name. For Yours alone is the

dominion, and the power and the glory forever. Amen" (Demetrios, GOP Convention,

September 1, 2004).

Reverend Max Lucado spoke this in his benediction speech, "Oh, Lord, God of

our fathers, You direct the affairs of all nations. You made from one man every nation of

mankind to live on all the face of the earth. We echo the declaration of Job: 'God makes

nations great, and destroys them; He enlarges nations, and guides them.' Please guide

us'" (Lucado, GOP Convention, August 30, 2004). In addition to being a pastor, Max

Lucado is a very well-known Christian author, primarily among the evangelical







71

community. Reverend Greg Laurie, a pastor, author and crusade evangelist, said in his

invocation, "You [God] loved us so much that you sent your son Jesus Christ to

voluntarily die on the cross for our sins, that we will put our trust again that we will be

forgiven. Thank you Lord for second chances" (Laurie, GOP Convention, August 31,

2004).















CHAPTER 5
DISCUSSION

Summary

The present study was a qualitative content analysis of the 2004 Republican

National Convention. The Convention was held on August 30 to September 2, 2004. The

analysis used framing theory as a basis for study. Specifically, the study looked at

possible frames which would include religious and/or value-oriented language. "Value-

oriented language," was mention of those issues which were defined by the campaign and

media throughout the election cycle to be targeting the "moral vote." These issues at

times correlated to religious language as they were often talked about within religious

communities and churches. Examples of such issues included abortion, gay marriage,

and stem cell research. Religious frames were looked at in the current study because of

the salience religion was given in the 2004 election. Although the national exit polls are

not without their flaws, one particular poll question piqued a heated debate after the

election. When voters were asked about what "issue" influenced their vote the most

within the election, 22% (which was a majority) said that it was "moral values." Those

that chose "moral values" were 80% more likely to vote to reelect President George W.

Bush. As Jim Wallis, author of God's Politics states,

That poll result has sparked a firestorm in the media and in Washington's political
circles about who gets or doesn't get the moral values issue. The conventional
wisdom claims that the Republicans do and the Democrats don't get it, that the
moral values responders simply meant voters who are against abortion and gay
marriage, and that religious conservatives won the election for George Bush,
which was Karl Rove's strategy all along. (p. xvi)










Statements such as the one above give a general example as to why a study such

as this one is important to research, specifically to religion and media scholars and those

who study political communication. As stated in the Literature Review, the convention is

often the first chance the campaign has to speak with the public at-length. It is an

opportunity to make a first and lasting impression with a substantial percentage of the

electorate (Lowry & Shidler, 1995). Was religious framing, pi e,\eu n ithin the 2004 GOP

Convention? After coding a total of 62 convention speeches, (those speeches including

Invocation, Introduction, Main, Transition, Benediction, Other) one must conclude that

religious and value-oriented language was present, often comprising a large percentage

of the frames presented and that the research question was answered and supported.

Religious rhetoric was present within the dominant frames of the convention.

Conclusions

The purpose of this study was to analyze the 2004 Republican National

Convention's message with regards to religious and/or value-oriented language that

might be present (such language being identified by previous literature, campaign

coverage, and the campaign), to identify the dominant frames within the convention and

the presence or absence of such language within these frames. As stated previously, four

dominant frames appeared throughout the convention, all of which included the message

of faith and values. This study attempted to answer the question, "How did the campaign

use religion and value-oriented language in the convention? Was this rhetoric present

within the major frames presented? If so, to what extent was it incorporated? Using

content analysis, results after coding a combined 62 convention speeches suggest four

main frames within the 2004 Republican National Convention.









The frames identified within the convention consisted of the following:

"Republicans as Protectors against Evil, Keeping America Safe" frame, which consisted

of the "good versus evil" force, in which America was a cause of goodness around the

world. This construct suggested that America is fighting against those who hate freedom,

liberty and the American way of life. This often included language that alluded to the

notion that America has done nothing wrong and that its offenders suffer from an

"ideology of hate" (Schwartzenegger, GOP Convention, August 31, 2004). The frame

also made mention of God, faith and that America has been called upon by God to be

defenders of freedom around the world (Demetrios, GOP Convention, September 1,

2004). The "Republicans as Defenders and Encouragers of Family Values" frame

suggested the campaign was trying to appeal to those who are concerned with the "moral

issues" of the campaign such as, abortion, gay marriage, stem cell research, and family.

These issues were presented as issues that "Republicans would defend" (Dole, GOP

Convention, August 31, 2004). Third, the "Republicans as Compassionate

Conservatives" frame played upon the key word, "compassionate conservative," which

was heavily used by the Republican Party in the 2000 Presidential campaign. However,

in the 2004 campaign this frame was often linked to religious rhetoric and Bush's

"compassionate" policies toward issues such as breast cancer, the environment, adoption,

and faith-based initiatives. Finally, the "Comparative Visions: Lincoln, Reagan and

George W. Bush" frame presented comparisons among either Lincoln and Bush or

Reagan and Bush, often quoting Lincoln and Reagan in relation to a characteristic

President Bush was presented to similarly hold. One such characteristic all three

presidents held was a common faith in God.









Limitations

The limitations of the study include that there were many issues to code within

the convention. Although the codebook was very exhaustive, due to time constraints and

the sheer amount of data that would then be involved, not all the issues candidates

discussed in the convention were assigned as a variable. In addition, though videos

presented in the convention were watched, timed and analyzed for content, they were not

included among the 62 speeches of the convention to compare for issue mentions. The

same was true for musical selections and interviews from the floor. However, these

entities were viewed and included within the paper when necessary to provide framing

examples.

Due to the sheer volume of text, visuals, and data that the convention entailed,

various subjects and issues could have been analyzed for possible frames. For example,

the frames presented of minorities, specifically Latinos in the convention. As was

previously stated, time constraints limited this study to those frames that directly

incorporated the use of religious and/or value-oriented rhetoric. Finally, a limitation to

the research was in the actual function of timing issues and counting mentions. Because

many of the speeches cannot be obtained by text to follow when watching the

convention, it is often hard to get an accurate count of every issue mentioned within a

speech text. In addition, timing can become problematic. Making sure that each time

starts and ends on a consistent basis can be difficult. The same limitation applies to

timing camera cutaways. Though inter-subjectivity was used, it is difficult to say whether

an exact replication of the study in its entirety could be achieved.







76

In addition, it must be noted the amount of time it takes for one to transcribe and

code convention coverage. Roughly 17 hours of convention coverage was viewed.

However, it took an estimated 51 hours to code 17 hours of coverage, about three times

the length of the actual footage.

Future Research

Future research can investigate the comparisons between the 2000 GOP

Convention and the 2004 GOP Convention with regards to religious frames. This type of

analysis would provide further insight to how the campaign frames their message. If

rhetoric is similar, then one would assume that all of the pre and post election talk about

religion and the GOP's appeal to "moral voters" was overrated. If, though, one sees a

substantial difference in the message strategy and rhetoric in a comparative study of the

2000 GOP Convention and the 2004 GOP Convention, it might be suggested that the

campaign was in fact trying to specifically appeal to the evangelical community during

the 2004 Presidential campaign.

Another suggestion for further research is a comparative study between the results

found in relation to religious frames in the 2004 GOP Convention and that of the 2004

Democratic Convention. It would be interesting to see if religious rhetoric was

substantial in comparison to the Republican Convention. Future Research might also take

this a step further and compare the Democratic Convention of 2000 to that of 2004.

Finally, further research may want to compare the term "compassionate

conservatism" for the suggested message it alluded to within the 2000 Republican

National Convention with that of the 2004 Republican National Convention. One might

see that there is indeed a difference in the way the phrase "compassionate conservative"







77

was used. It would be interesting to see if the term carried more religious tone in the

2004 convention as compared to the 2000 convention when it was used heavily by

Republicans and the campaign to elect George W. Bush for President.















APPENDIX
CODING PARAMETERS FOR C-SPAN COVERAGE OF THE
2004 REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION

Speaker's Profession

< 1> Politician/Congressman <16> State Worker/Police

<2> Politician/ US Senator <17> State Worker/Fireman

<3> Politician/State Representative <18> State Worker/Other

<4> Politician/Mayor <19> Entertainer/Actor-Actress

<5> Politician/Governor <20> Entertainer/Christian Perff.

<6> Politician/Cabinet Member <21> Entertainer/ Country Perf.

<7> Politician/State Senator <22> Entertainer/ Gospel Choir

<8> Politician/ GOP Official <23> Entertainer/ Comedian

<9> Politician's Family/ Wife <24> Blue Collar Worker

<10> Politician's Family/ Child, Children <25> Housewife

<11> Family/Other <26> Business Person/CEO

<12>Educator <27> Child

<13> Clergy/Minster <28> Author

<14> Clergy/Rabbi <29> 9/11 Victim

<15> Clergy/Other <30> Other









Role of Speaker Time


<1> Introduction

<2> Main Speaker

<3> Transition Speaker

<4> Invocation

<5> Benediction

<6> Other


Location of Speech

<1> Convention Hall

<2> Church

<3> School

<4> Other


Source of Speech

<1> Live Convention Center

<2> Live Satellite

<3> Videotape









Duration of Speech

Minutes


Seconds


Issues Discussed

<1> September 11th

<2> Terrorism

<3> Democracy

<4> Affirmative Action

<5> Healthcare/Cost

<6> Healthcare/Availability

<7> Healthcare/Minorities

<8> Healthcare/Elderly

<9> Healthcare/Medicare

<10> Healthcare/Medicaid

<11> Healthcare/Prescription Drugs

<12> Healthcare/Legislation

<13> Welfare

<14> Military

<15> Military/Prayer

<16> War in Iraq

<17> Social Security Programs

<18> Social Security Privatization

<19> Social Security Funding

<20> Education


Time in Seconds


Frequency









Issues Discussed

<21> Education/Funding

<22> Stem Cell Research

<23> Homosexual Equality

<24> Gay Marriage

<25> Civil Unions

<26> Abortion

<27> Partial Birth Abortion

<28> Abstinence Programs

<29> Faith/Country

<30> Faith/President

<31> Faith/God

<32> FV/Divorce

<33> Family Values/Other

<34> Political Parties/GOP Efforts
toward Equality

<35> Political Parties/GOP Efforts
toward Minorities

<36> Political Parties/Lack of
Democratic Efforts

<37> Employment/Jobs

<38> Employment/Equal Opportunity

<39> Social Concerns/Drugs and Alcohol

<40> Social Concerns/Teen Pregnancy

<41> Social Concerns/ Crime


Time in Seconds


Frequency









Issues Discussed

<42> Social Concerns/Housing

<43> Social Concerns/Unemployment

<44> Social Concerns/Religious Values

<45> Social Concerns/Moral Values

<46> Social Concerns/ Family Values

<47> The Integrity of the President

<48> Diversity/Bringing Americans
together

<49> Taxation/Less Taxes

<50> Patriot Act

<51> Kerry Attack

<52> Other


Time in Seconds


Frequency









# of Times


Key Phrases/Words Used During Speech

<1> September 11th

<2> International Relations

<3> Inclusive/Inclusion

<4> Brothers and Sisters

<5> Party of Lincoln

6> Ronald Reagan/Party of

<7> No one will be left out

<7> No child will be left behind

<8> Pray for our troops/military

<9> God Bless America

<10> Moral Values

<11> Family Values

<12> The Faith of our President/Bush

<13> Faith in our President/Bush

<14> Crusade

<15> War in Iraq

<16> God Bless

<17> A Safer America

<18> Mighty Power

<19> Hope for Tomorrow's Future

<20> Terrorism

<21> Support our troops

<22> A Nation of Courage









Key Phrases/Words Used During Speech

<23> People of Compassion

<24> Land of Opportunity

<25> Other


# of Times









Reaction cutaway used when speaker makes reference to family or moral values

# of Times # of Seconds

<1> Wide shot of crowd

<2> Medium Shot of Crowd

<3> Close-up of Crowd

<4> Close-up of Minority Male

<5> Close-up of Minority Female

<6> Close-up of White Female

<7> Close-up of White Male

<8> 2-Shot of Male and Female

<9> 2-Shot of Adult and Child

<10> Pan of Audience

<1 1> Shot of American Flag

<12> Shot of Clergy/Priest

<13> Shot of Celebrity Guests

<14> Shot of Military Persons

<15> Shot of Police/Firemen

<16> Shot of First Lady

<17> Shot of First Lady with Daughters

<18> Shot of Political Couple

<19> Other









Coding Guidelines

1. Name of Speaker: Please write name of speaker.

2. Day: Indicate day of convention.

3. Speaker's Profession: Circle category which best represents speaker. If coder
cannot determine speaker's profession indicate "Other."

4. Speaker's Role: Determine from observation the role of the speaker. There are six
categories for "Speaker's Role." These include, Introduction, Main, Transition,
Invocation, Benediction and Other.

5. Location of Speech: Circle location of speech. These categories include,

6. Convention Hall, Church, School and Other.

7. Source of Speech: Circle one of the following choices, Convention Center,
Satellite or Videotape.

8. Duration of Speech: Code for length of speech in minutes and seconds. Times will
be cumulative.

9. Issues Discussed: Please circle the appropriate number and indicate length of time
that issue was discussed. If issue was mentioned more than once, code
accordingly.

10. Key Phrases: Circle appropriate terminology used and the number of times used
by a speaker within a speech.

11. Camera Shot: Camera shots have been separated into type. Circle the correct
camera shot used during the speech. Indicated the number of times that shot was
used and the number of seconds for those cutaways. Times are cumulative.















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