IU in the News

A daily digest of media coverage about Indiana University

September 29, 2020
IU in the News is a daily review of the important news stories relating to Indiana University. It is not intended to be an all-inclusive gathering of news, and no editorial revisions are made to the content, which is presented as it was initially published or broadcast.

IU Voices in the News

Courthouse News Service

Trump and Biden set to square off in first 2020 debate

Indiana University professor Beth Fossen, whose research is focused on advertising, social media and political marketing, thinks many factors could play into the importance of the debates. "In general, I think presidential debates can be very important for undecided voters. They offer a window into what issues are the most central to the candidate's campaign and how candidates handle tough questions and often confrontational discussion," she said in an interview. "I think voters often look at the debates to judge a candidate's personality and likeability, which play a huge roll in their voting behavior."

The Conversation

Don't underestimate the power of the putdown in a presidential debate

Written by Chris Lamb, professor of journalism, IUPUI. Before the first presidential debate, President Donald Trump demanded that his Democratic challenger Joe Biden submit to a drug test. Trump was again suggesting -- without evidence -- that his opponent takes performance-enhancing drugs. If Trump brings this up during the debate, no one should be surprised if Biden has a comeback prepared. Biden's campaign has already issued a statement on the president's unusual challenge -- "If the president thinks his best case is made in urine he can have at it," said Biden's deputy campaign manager – but the Democratic presidential nominee has yet to answer himself. Biden could respond as U.S. Sen. Fritz Hollings, a Democrat from South Carolina, did during a televised debate in 1986 with his Republican opponent Henry McMaster, who similarly challenged him to take a drug test. "Henry, I'll take a drug test if you'll take an IQ test," Hollings said. Hollings won the exchange -- and the election.

Voice of America

Anger can be good for political campaigns but bad for democracy

Rage is a powerful motivator in American politics, capable of boosting voter motivation and filling campaign coffers, according to political science and public policy professors who have studies the matter. ... "Politicians themselves are deliberately seeking to make Americans angry and they do this because when people are angry, they tend to vote loyally for their own party's slate of candidates up and down the ballot," says Steven Webster, assistant professor of political science at Indiana University. "So, put simply, an angry voter is a loyal voter and because politicians are concerned with getting reelected, they make us angry to further that goal," he added. The strategic use of anger is not new, according to Webster, who says it’s been marshalled in politics since the country’s founding. Webster explored the phenomenon in his book, "American Rage: How Anger Shapes Our Politics."


New revelations about Trump's taxes. What it all means

While Trump continues to battle in court to keep his financial records from becoming public, the New York Times got troves of Trump tax returns from unnamed sources. The records appear to show that Trump paid no federal income taxes in all but five of the 15 years leading up to his run for the White House, and only $750 in federal income taxes the year he was elected and his first year in office. Stephanie Hoffer, the tax chair of Indiana University's (McKinney School of Law at IUPUI), said it's hard to draw definitive conclusions without actually looking at the documents. But she said it appears as if Trump took tax practices from the playbook of his father. "Some of the things that come out that seem particularly egregious really aren't surprises at all. So for instance, Trump's massive borrowing followed by forgiveness of debts, and the payments -- the large consulting payments that he's making to his children" are the same patterns employed by Fred Trump, she said.

The Harvard Crimson

Experts say SCOTUS nomination threatens Harvard admissions lawsuit ruling

While some legal experts agree it is too early to determine what specific stance an appointed Justice Barrett might take on affirmative action, several affirmed that her vote on the court could have critical implications for civil rights. Indiana University law professor Kevin D. Brown said he believes that if Barrett becomes a decisive vote against affirmative action, the result will be a "critical loss" for American society. "Affirmative action has really been the way that we've been able to desegregate the higher levels of our socio-economic system," Brown said.


Amy Coney Barrett's record with main issues facing SCOTUS

Notre Dame law professor and Appeals Judge Amy Coney Barrett -- and her record -- will be under a microscope during confirmation proceedings. Supreme Court nominees aren't required to have been judges. Some made it on without ever being one but Amy Coney Barrett has three years on the bench. "It doesn't give us much of a written record to analyze," said Indiana University Law Professor Steve Sanders. "The vast majority of cases and issues that come to a Federal Court of Appeals really are not that controversial. Sometimes, they're not really that difficult." ... "She has participated in hearing two abortion related cases on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. In both cases, she joined dissenting opinions indicating that she was in favor of upholding state laws that provided some greater restrictions on abortion," said Sanders. "She didn't write, so we don't know what her exact rationale was, she simply signed onto opinions by other judges."

Kokomo Perspective

Unemployment rate halved since June

Dr. Alan Krabbenhoft, professor of economics at Indiana University Kokomo, said he was surprised how low the unemployment numbers were. "I'm absolutely puzzled. When we spiked in April at 33.5 percent, I anticipated that by the end of 2020 we might be down in the 15 to 16, maybe as low as, if we were lucky, 12 percent to 13 percent unemployment," Krabbenhoft said. "August reports we were at 7.1 percent. I'm a little bit surprised at how quickly we have come down." Krabbenhoft believed the sharp drop from June to July (16.6 percent to 8.7 percent) was due to COVID-19 restrictions being lifted further, such as restaurants being allowed to open at fuller capacity, as an example.


Privacy concerns hindering digital contact tracing

The hope is that digital contact tracing will avoid the challenges plaguing traditional contact tracing efforts, attorneys at a Network for Public Health Law virtual COVID-19 conference said last week. They emphasized that for contact tracing in any format to succeed, there must be widespread COVID-19 testing and public trust. The problem with "traditional contact tracing is it's a labor- and time-intensive process demanding both technical training and interpersonal skill," says Ross D. Silverman, JD, of Indiana University (Fairbanks School of Health at IUPUI).

South Bend Tribune

Classical musicians, hit hard by pandemic, look for new avenues to play and teach

Many classical performers also teach, and those that have been able to have moved their lessons online. But, as with k-12 and college classes, the results have been mixed. The Euclid Quartet's Jameson Cooper, for example, calls virtual music instruction "a patch-up job at best." "It's very much the nature of teaching violin, or any string instrument, you have to go up to the student and adjust the pinky, and you can't do that over the phone," the violinist and Indiana University South Bend faculty member said. "You certainly can't judge sound properly over the phone."

The Conversation

More than half of Americans have found ways to help those hit by COVID-19 hardship

Written by Tessa Skidmore, visiting research associate, Women's Philanthropy Institute, IUPUI. Despite facing a global health crisis and economic recession, more than half of all U.S. households -- 56% -- expressed some form of generosity during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, my colleagues at the Women's Philanthropy Institute and I found. We also found that 48% of U.S. households had engaged in forms of generosity unique to the pandemic. This includes ordering takeout with an intention to support local restaurants and their employees and paying individuals or businesses for services such as haircuts and caregiving that they could not provide due to strict social distancing requirements.

Big News

President McRobbie to recommend removal of Jordan namings on IU Bloomington campus

This story has been covered by: The Indianapolis Star, Inside Higher Ed, The Bloomington Herald-Times, WISH-TV, U.S. News and World Report.

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