Author Archive

Simon van Oort

Simon van Oort is a recent graduate of the MSt in US History at the University of Oxford, where he wrote his MSt dissertation on the origins and uses of the phrase ‘Founding Fathers’ (supervised by Dr. Gareth Davies). He graduated from University College Utrecht with a BA in Liberal Arts and an LL.B in Dutch Law, the thesis of which won the first prize in the category ‘language and culture’ at the Student Research Conference 2015.

‘The Brawl Begins’, an article about the 2016 primaries in The Economist provides the most overt manifestation of how a discourse of sports has permeated contemporary political reporting. Describing elections as a “jaw-dropping spectacle” or referring to the Iowa caucuses as the “opening round” in a political boxing match, a prime example of horse-race journalism, is particularly prevalent in presidential primary elections. This is due to the lengthening of the primary period and the truism that the “newsworthiness of what a candidate says about public policies is limited” because “once a candidate makes known his position on an issue, further statements concerning that issue decline in news value”.[1] In these elections, televised debates – which Craig Allen Smith compares to the Super Bowl, …