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A PAT on the back: Media flow theory revis(it)ed.

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A PAT on the back: Media flow theory revis(it)ed.
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  Volume Four Issue OneWinter 2008 Articles 3-15Civil Rights and the Red Scare  Mathew A. Grindy 16-27From Faithful to Heretics: The Catholic Church’sResponse to the Voice of the Faithful   Brian T. Kaylor  27-39A PAT on the Back: Media Flow Theory Revis(it)ed   Nicholas David Bowman 40Director’s Cut   Rulon Wood  41-46Bridging the Gap: Performance Ethnography as aForm of Community Building   Elena Esquibel & Robert Mejia 47Call for Papers49Acknowledgments50In Memoriam The Rocky Mountain Communication Review (ISSN 1542-6394) is published twice yearly by the Department of Communication at the University of Utah, 255 S. Central Campus Drive, Salt Lake City, Utah 84112. Copyright © 2008. All rights reserved  Special SectionsGraduate Life Rocky MountainCommunication Review   Rocky Mountain Communication ReviewVolume 4:1 Winter, 2008 2 Editor’s Note from Sara Mathis, 2007-2008 Congratulations! This issue marks our rst ever Winter issue and our move to a semi-annual publication. We are thankful to our authors, reviewers, Executive Board, and most especially the graduate studentcommunity whose continued support is helping  RMCR excel to new levels. Our submission rates havetripled, our Reviewer Board and Executive Board have expanded, and the scope of scholarship publishedhas broadened!  RMCR is quickly nding its niche as an online graduate student journal that producesquality research as well as serves as a resource for graduate students.As always our goal is to publish a diverse body of quality research and this issue is no different. First,our premiere article written by Matthew Grindy, Civil Rights and the Red Scare, provides an exemplary book review and essay on how the civil rights movement can be read through the context of US anti-communisthysteria during the Cold War. Through the identication of several themes present in the three books hereviews, Grindy offers implications for further studies in historical revisionism, public memory, and criticalrace theory. The publication of this essay is particularly noteworthy as it is a tribute to Matthew’s scholarly prowess, but also his personal perseverance in the face of adversity. Sadly, Mathew lost his battle against bone cancer in February 2008. In From Faithful to Heretics: The Catholic Church’s Response to the Voice of the Faithful, Brian Kaylor  renews attention to the Catholic priest abuse crisis which has garnered wide spread media attention over the past 5-7 years. Kaylor offers a rhetorical analysis of how The Voice of the Faithful (VOTF), a group whoemerged from within the Catholic Church and criticized the handling of the scandal, were subsequentlyconstructed and (re)dened as heretics by authorities within the church.  Nicholas Bowman’s A PAT on the Back: Media Flow Theory Revis(it)ed provides the reader with a well needed synthesis of the literature and theory about media ow. As our amount of leisure time has increased,mass media scholars are continuously debating the psychological aspects of the media entertainmentindustry’s inuence on its consumers. Bowman not only brings together contemporary opinions aboutmedia ow theory, he also theorizes how a systems-based framework can further research in understandingthe appeals of the mass media as a source of leisure.In his lm short, “Director’s Cut,” Ru Wood addresses issues of narrative authority and creativeownership. This piece critiques unscrupulous directors and their power to edit raw footage to t their vision.However, it also challenges contemporary conceptualizations of truth. We are pleased to offer you this piece as the rst publication in our Special Sections and Alternative Scholarship division. Likewise, this issue’s Graduate Student Life section continues  RMCR ’s effort to offer timely and unique insights from graduate students about challenges faced by graduate students as both scholars andemerging members of an academic community. Elena Esquibel and Robert Mejia’s, “Bridging the Gap:The Performance Ethnography as a Form of Community Building” addresses both the institutional andcultural challenges faced by activist academics and offer timely insights into ways these challenges may be negotiated. Focusing on the performance ethnography as one form of scholarly engagement with rich potential for activism, Esquibel and Mejia offer valuable insights and signal important concerns for scholarsconcerned with integrating political consciousness with academic inquiry. In closing, I would like to emphasize that this issue could not have come to fruition without the creative capabilities of our new Executive Editorial Board, Michael Middleton, Nicholas Russell, Samantha Senda-Cook, & Daren Brabham. This issue is not the product of one editor or one individual, it is the product of  a true team! Thank you also to our outstanding Review Board, who continues to provide in-depth, expert and timely reviews in order to support this journal.  RMCR has come so far in this last year, it has been a pleasure and honor to be a part of its progress.  3 Civil Rights and the Red Scare Rocky Mountain Communication ReviewVolume 4:1, Winter, 2008Pages 3-15 Mathew A Grindy  In an effort to reframe the boundaries of existing literature on the United States Civil Rights Movement, several scholars have positioned the era within the larger context of the Cold War and anti-communist hysteria in the United States. This essay reviews three texts on the subject: Dudz-iak’s (2000) Cold War Civil Rights: Race and the Image of American Democracy, Borstelmann’s(2001) The Cold War and the Color Line: American Race Relations in the Global Arena, and Woods’ (2004) Black Struggle, Red Scare: Segregation and Anti-Communism in the South, 1948-1968. Each book handles the Cold War context from a different vantage point, including domestic legal inghting, geopolitical relations, and the rhetorical landscape of the American South. Theessay identies three common themes in the texts. First, each text examines how the Cold War context shaped the Civil Rights Movement with specic attention devoted to different geographi - cal locales: international, U.S.-national, or U.S. South-regional. The second theme identied inthe texts is a fear of an ‘other’ as a common stimulant for social change or resistance to it. Fear  of communism/communists, outside agitation, integration, and international embarrassment werethe primary motivators behind U.S. Civil Rights legislation. The third theme explores how the Cold War-Civil Rights link interrupts the dominant narrative of the Civil Rights Movement whereby society changed as a result of progressive altruism. This last theme is framed within a discussion of historical revisionism, with specic implications for public memory and critical race theory research. The main argument of this essay is that these themes reveal the need for additional com-munication-based critical analysis of the link between Cold War anti-communist sentiment and theU.S. Civil Rights Movement. The essay concludes with an analysis of how the reviewed texts are  signicant to future research, particularly rhetoric and the Civil Rights Movement. Introduction T he nation was watching as racially-chargedevents unfolded in the Mississippi Delta in late August and September of 1955. A fourteen-year-old Black youth visiting from Chicago, Emmett Till, was brutally murderedalong the Tallahatchie River. His ‘crime’ wascrossing a Southern racial taboo; whistling at aWhite woman, Carolyn Bryant. Just four days after the now infamous wolf-whistle in Money, Mississippi, Emmett was kidnapped by Carolyn’shusband, Roy Bryant, and his half-brother J. W.Milam. A few days later, a young sherman foundTill’s corpse in the Tallahatchie River, beatenalmost beyond recognition and weighted down by a cotton gin fan.Emmett’s mother would later have the bodyshipped back to his hometown of Chicago for viewing by thousands of Chicagoans. The visualhorror of the mangled corpse was magnied byits publication in several prominent African-American media. The Chicago wake was followed by the trial and acquittal of Milam and Bryant  Matthew A. Grindy is a Doctoral Candidate and  Director of Forensics in the Dept. of Communica-tion at Florida State University. Matthew wishesto thank the editor and the two anonymous review-ers for their helpful insights.  4  by an all male, all White jury in Mississippi. The visual horror of lynching violence against a fourteen-year-old, combined with the blatantdenial of justice arguably ignited Americansentiment against Jim Crow laws laws. Several scholars contend that it was the reaction to Till’smurder, and not Rosa Parks’ refusal to vacate her bus seat, that sparked the U.S. Civil RightsMovement (e.g., Houck, 2005; Hudson-Weems,1994). The lynching of Till and the trial of hismurderers galvanized opponents of Southern racial norms, most notably the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The NAACP’s pursuit of  justice and the abolishment of Jim Crow laws, however, would attract enemies with an array of arguments in support of the status quo. One such organization, the American Anti-CommunistMilitia (AACM), sought to link the NAACPto communism in an attempt to discredit the organization. The Militia proclaimed that Tillwas “alive” in “California” and “an impudentChicago ‘Nigger’ who grappled with a [W]hite Mississippi housewife and was duly punished  by her legal protectors…[and] the Communists immediately took advantage of this local fracas to create a national incident” (1955, p. 1).The obvious contradiction between claimingthat Till was in hiding and he ‘got what he deserved’ aside, the example of Till, the AACM,and the NAACP illustrates a line of argumentation  prevalent during the U.S. Civil Rights Era; integration, equality, and rights were concepts inseparable from the red menace. In the case of  Till, staunch segregationists attempted to discredit the NAACP and its goals by red-baiting, or associating the organization with communism.Furthermore, by claiming that Till was actually in hiding, the AACM could demonstrate thatthe NAACP was some sort of un-American organization only interested in social agitation. In response, organizations such as the NAACPtried to politically distance themselves from communists out of fear of being discredited. In her recounting of the events surrounding her son’s murder, Mrs. Mamie Till-Mobley (with Benson,2003) notes: “There was so much concern back then about communism…We had to be careful.There was too much at stake” (p. 193).The case of Emmett Till’s murder is but one instance where this confrontation occurred and the linkage between anti-communist rhetoric andan emerging U.S. Civil Rights Movement wasmanifested. The example of Till demonstrates thedynamic interplay between Cold War fears and the Civil Rights Movement during the 1950’s and 1960’s. The anti-communist rhetoric of the ColdWar would come to shape both the proponents and opponents of the Civil Rights Movement in a manner that has only recently been acknowledged by scholars. By introducing the red scare element into the dominant historical narrative, or memory,of cases such as the murder of Emmett Till, ‘ofcial’ memories of such signicant U.S. CivilRights Era events may be modied. This essay contends that the relationship  between the Cold War anti-communist sentiment and the Civil Rights Movement is worthy of further  critical analysis, particularly by communicationscholars. This article will account for threetexts that provide an effective springboard for  understanding and appreciating the association:Dudziak’s (2000) Cold War Civil Rights:Race and the Image of American Democracy,Borstelmann’s (2001) The Cold War and theColor Line: American Race Relations in the Global Arena, and Woods’ (2004) Black Struggle, Red Scare: Segregation and Anti-Communism in the South, 1948-1968. Each book investigates thesubject of the Cold War-Civil Rights link from adifferent perspective, including behind-the-scenesof domestic legal battles, geopolitical relations and the considerations of American diplomats,Civil Rights and the Red Scare   Rocky Mountain Communication ReviewVolume 4:1 Winter, 2008 5and the rhetorical landscape of the American South during several of the most heated battlesfor justice and equality.The authors remove the U.S. Civil Rights Movement from its historical isolation as a setof culminating episodes leading to progressivechange, and instead reposition the argumentation and events within the broader context of the U.S.-Soviet Cold War. In sum, these texts demonstrate the importance of approaching the study of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement from less-explored  perspectives and the necessity of additionalanalysis of the Civil Rights-Cold War link,  particularly by rhetoricians. The Black-Red Relationship:A Brief Literature Review Prior to Dudziak (2000), Borstelmann (2001), and Woods (2004), the subject of therelationship between the Cold War and the CivilRights movement was relatively unexplored. Several texts, however, address the organizingof African-Americans into Communist Party membership. Naison (1985), Kelley (1994), and Solomon (1998) for example, account for theearly twentieth century leftist radicalization of African-Americans in Harlem and the American South. These texts trace the many instances of  Black radicalization, attempted unionization,and early African-American engagements with communism. In 1930, for example, the American Communist Party (ACP) intensied its campaignefforts into the Deep South by establishing aSouthern headquarters in Birmingham, Alabama(Solomon, 1998). Early organizing efforts were largely unsuccessful due to repression from Whiteelites and interracial tensions, particularly the “unreasonably inexible” purges of prejudicedWhites (Solomon, 1998, p. 128). The efforts of the ACP set an important precedent, however. For American communists, racism and the legacy of slavery were inseparable from the issueof capitalist oppression. As Solomon (1998)notes, “The Communists had come to believe that racial segregation and the savaging of  [B] lack identity represented both an institutional foundation for American capitalism and its weak point” (p. 128). By making resistance to American racism a top agenda item of the ACP, Communists arguably contributed to the Southern  perception that desegregation efforts were part of a malevolent, radical attack on Southern cultural norms from an external, red menace. In the early 70s, Hosea Hudson, an African-American and ardent Communist Party organizer,  published a personal record of his experiences inthe Party in the Deep South (Hudson, 1972). He was well aware of the exceptionally unpopular nature of his political convictions, especially during the Cold War. In his biographical narrativeand subsequent interviews, Hudson (1972; Painter  1979) attests to receiving intensive governmentscrutiny for recruiting fellow Blacks into the ranks of Communist Party membership. But African-American radicals were not the only onesfacing scrutiny and repression for communist afliation; progressive Whites who sided with Black Civil Rights organizers were often targeted  by pro-segregationists. White Civil Rights activist Anne Braden, for example, faced public accusations of being a communist after she attempted to push desegregation in Kentucky. Red-baiting criticslabeled her a member of the ACP and pursuedsedition charges against Braden and her husband(Fosl, 2002). In Braden’s case, the accusationswere false. However, the communist label was used as a means to discredit her efforts to pursue racial equality. The personal/individual experiences of Hudson (1972) and Braden (Fosl, 2002), and thehistorical accounts of Black radicalization and ACP organizing (Kelley, 1994; Naison, 1985; Solomon, 1998) are useful for understanding theearlier phases of Black-red development and the
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