While watching the documentary of the Republican National Convention and people cheering for Nixon’s reelection, I was reminded of something I learned about in high school history class that relates to Nixon.The first televised presidential debate covered the Nixon-JFK debate. Those who watched it on TV said that JFK had won the debate by a large margin, while those who listened on the radio said Nixon had won. People think that this disparity is due to the fact that JFK was considered to be more attractive than Nixon. While JFK looked handsome and composed, Nixon looked disheveled and sweaty. Thus, the people who watched the debate were more attracted to JFK, while those listening on the radio were not affected by personal appearance. I think this is just yet another example of how powerful visual media is. In class, we talked about how it is the sound of the TV that keeps us engaged, which I agree with, but undoubtedly the visuals also play a big part in constructing what we take away from what we watch.

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One response »

  1. evbeel says:

    I think this is a really good point. I watched a body language documentary which referenced this debate. It definitely illustrate the point about visuals well. Regardless of what they are saying JFK always seems to have the upper hand because of the way he holds himself. It is interesting to compare to Trump when he was standing so close to Hilary as if he was trying to intimidate her.

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