This is a critique of a speech given by Spiro Agnew in Des Moines about journalism ethics.

Essay by jennabugHigh School, 12th gradeA, May 2003

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Jenna HeckerAgnew Critique


Spiro Agnew was not a bad man. Spiro Agnew wanted a world that was positive and filled with patriotism and pride. Spiro Agnew's downfall was his naiveté, he could not make the cognitive jump to see what ramifications his proposals would have if actually set into motion. News without opposition or critique could perhaps work if the general populace had a comprehensive understanding of the political world. Unfortunately we as a society are not all well educated in political jargon. Agnew's request seems legitimate, criticizing the most powerful man in the nation can lead to a lack of respect for the government. He fails to realize that a government must earn respect, and one criticism will not cause an entire nation to lose faith in them; that is what things like Watergate are for.

President Nixon was given air time, and the networks were given airtime.

The American people are free to choose to believe whomever they chose to. Agnew's political world was one stuck between what government used to be, a men's club that was revered and displaced from everyday life, and what government was becoming. Television had brought the government into American homes and commentators had made policy open to conjecture. Agnew was unaccustomed to a government that was challenged daily, and it was his shock that lead him to deliver what is, by today's standards, an uninformed and poorly planned speech. Television had elevated the Presidency to a certain level of celebrity simultaneously putting it under the limelight and under a microscope.

Agnew's discomfort at being under this virtual microscope is understandable, as history proved that he did not live up to his own honesty standards. Agnew was recognizing a trend that is commonplace in today's political environment, partisanship among the American...