Saturday, December 19, 2009


Bad-mouthing or fights between political figures could generate endless politainment (just like infotainment). Media reports on exchange of statements between Adnan Buyung Nasution (member of advisory council to President SBY) and Tifatul Sembiring (member of SBY's cabinet).
Buyung called Tifatul might be a spokesperson for "corruptors" because of Tifatul's defense for government's draft to regulate the wiretapping, including on anti-graft body KPK. Angered, Tifatul promised "to fire Buyung". 
Wikipedia described politainment as a word composed of politics and entertainment, describes tendencies in politics and mass media to liven up political reports and news coverage using elements from public relations.
The International Encyclopedia of Communication (2008) described the following: As well as infotainment, which is used as a label for a specific television program type, the term “politainment” denotes, in a broader sense, the entangling of political actors, topics, and processes with the entertainment culture.
But it was media scientist Andreas Dorner who coined the phrase "politainment" in his famous paper: Politik in der medialen Erlebnisgesellschaft about nine years ago. Dorner names two types of politainment: entertaining politics and political entertainment
As explained by Nina Mahrt in her article (A Comic Approach to Politics? Political Education via Comics) in Journal of Social Science Education (Vol 7/8, 2008/2009), Dorner argues that each occurrence can't be completely separated from the other for the two often go together. Entertaining politics can be found whenever political players use instruments and stylistic elements of entertainment in order to actualize their political aims. Political entertainment, on the other hand, describes the work and products of mass media.
While some considered politainment an effective education tool, others criticized. Jeanette Henderson in her blog commented how politainment is a real danger to the future of US. "
Henderson raised the following questions: Do we really want our political leaders to behave like stand up comedians? Must we insist the minds of our candidates be diverted away from their serious job of being a leader to the opposite job of keeping us entertained? Don’t we already have enough professional performers to do that? If the only way to compel the voting public to become involved with politics it to turn our candidates into amateur entertainers, it’s a pathetic prospect for the future of our nation.
US President Barrack Obama is considered politainment rock star, but his quality as president is being tested in most current affairs. Indonesia has SBY as the politainment star too. Those members of inquiry team on Century debacle are now the actors. Previously we have Team 8 in Chandra & Bibit case. Our legislators appeared more frequently in the politainment shows than serious hearings at the House of Representatives (DPR) building. Our ministers are also regular politainment stars, regularly give speech in seminars, workshops, TV interviews, cover for magazines, etc. 




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