Mueller, James E. 1960-
Mueller, James E. 1960-
Born 1960. Education: University of Missouri—Columbia, B.A., M.A.; University of Texas at Austin, Ph.D.
Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, KS, assistant professor, 1998-2000; University of North Texas, Denton, assistant professor of journalism, 2000—. Visiting professor, Eduardo Mondlane University, Maputo, Mozambique. Has also worked as a reporter, editor, and photographer for newspapers in and around St. Louis, MO.
Towel Snapping the Press: Bush's Journey from Locker-Room Antics to Message Control, Rowman & Littlefield (Lanham, MD), 2006.
Contributor to books, including The Media in America, Media Management Review, and Custer and His Times, Volume 4. Contributor to periodicals, including Mass Communication Review, Journal of Media Economics, and Grassroots Editor.
James E. Mueller is a journalism professor whose own scholarly interests include research in media management, political journalism, and the history of journalism. In his Towel Snapping the Press: Bush's Journey from Locker-Room Antics to Message Control, Mueller broadly considers the communication strategies employed by the political right in America. More specifically, he analyzes how President George W. Bush "and his administration manage the press in order to deliver a unified message to the public," according to Judy Solberg in Library Journal.
Mueller readily acknowledges the Bush administration's considerable success in managing its relations with the press, staying on message during innumerable interactions with journalists, and keeping information leaks and insider revelations to a minimum. He describes how Bush manages to maintain a relatively jovial and welcoming relationship with the press while keeping them at a comfortable distance. He defuses conflict and hard questioning with a neighborly attitude that is at once warm and no-nonsense, stern but sympathetic. Mueller describes how Bush developed his methods of interacting with the press, first as the owner of Texas Rangers baseball team, then as the governor of Texas, and finally as president of the United States. Bush's approach, Mueller notes, is based on his understanding of how the press works as well as his ability to ignore the criticisms that are regularly leveled at him by journalists and analysts. Additionally, Mueller observes that efforts by journalists to be objective in their coverage of the Bush administration "have contributed to the lack of negative coverage of the Bush administration," remarked Solberg. In the end, commented a reviewer in Reference & Research Book News, the Bush administration has created a style of press management for the president that future "holders of the office should envy."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, January 1, 2007, R.E. Dewhirst, review of Towel Snapping the Press: Bush's Journey from Locker-Room Antics to Message Control, p. 905.
Library Journal, September 15, 2006, Judy Solberg, "Righting the Story: Four Books on How Conservatives Have Managed the Message," review of Towel Snapping the Press, p. 68.
Reference & Research Book News, August, 2006, review of Towel Snapping the Press.
James E. Mueller Home Page,http://www.jamesemueller.com (May 16, 2007).
University of North Texas, Department of Journalism Web site,http://www.jour.unt.edu/ (May 16, 2007), biography of James Mueller.