George Mason in the News

Posted: April 6, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Following are highlights of national news coverage George Mason recently received.

Saturday, March 31, USA Today

Gambling Interests Spend Millions in Lobbying

“Much of the gambling industry’s 2006 lobbying centered on legislation to ban online betting. Internet gaming supporters want lawmakers to reverse the ban before some of the regulations go into effect this summer. ‘It’s a subject the public cares somewhat about,’ said Robin Hanson, an economics professor at George Mason University who studies the gambling industry. ‘But they’re not overwhelmingly passionate about it.’ Hanson says it’s usually more difficult for Congress to repeal anti-gambling measures than to pass them because it’s the kind of issue most politicians don’t want to promote. ‘Usually, the way gambling grows is by neglect,’ he said.”

Monday, April 2, Chicago Tribune

Historian: Zell Deal ‘a Great Paradox’

“Many of Col. Robert R. McCormick’s oddities—such as simplified spelling and rabid partisanship in news stories—disappeared long ago from the pages of the Chicago Tribune. But the conservative values that he espoused and shared with many readers are still the bedrock of the paper’s editorial page. So historian Richard Norton Smith, McCormick’s biographer, finds it ironic that billionaire Sam Zell has swooped in to take the paper’s parent Tribune Co. private. ‘It’s a great paradox,’ said Smith, ‘that the Colonel’s newspaper—the champion of the free market—is about to be rescued from the excesses of the free market.’ While Zell has not indicated he is buying Tribune Co. to gain editorial control, the history of journalism has shown that private ownership ‘opens the door to a more distinctive brand of journalism, one less interested in the bottom line,’ said Smith, a scholar-in-residence at George Mason University.”

Monday, April 2, Washington Post

Assembly Takes on Kaine’s Vetoes, Death Penalty, Smoking New Contentions in Va.

“Virginia legislators will meet for a one-day session this week to settle two contentious issues that could alter the state’s reputation for swift justice for killers and determine how much the tobacco industry still influences state politics. Much of the debate will probably center on Kaine’s decisions to seek a restaurant smoking ban and to veto three proposals to expand the use of the death penalty to include accomplices and the killers of judges and witnesses. The House and Senate would have to approve the smoking ban and could vote to override Kaine’s vetoes of the death penalty bills. ‘It is a quite a transformation over the past generation of Virginia politics,’ said Mark J. Rozell, a professor of public policy at George Mason University. ‘If somebody had told me when I moved here in the early 1980s that we would be having a debate about a ban on some forms of the death penalty and a ban on smoking in public places, I would say, ‘Not in my lifetime.’”

Wednesday, April 4, Toronto Star

Lawyers Woo Jury at Black Trial with Well-Honed Body Language

“Prosecutors have spent the past several weeks introducing jurors to former company executives and a one-time legal assistant at Hollinger International Inc. They’ve trotted out emails and memos they argue will ultimately prove Black and his three co-defendants spearheaded a multi-million-dollar fraud at the Chicago publisher. Government lawyers have also been spotted employing a typically overlooked tool of the trade – body language. On several occasions, they have been seen smiling, arching their eyebrows or smirking as defense lawyers cross-examine government witnesses. Lawyers for decades have experimented with using body mannerisms, postures or facial expressions to try to influence jurors, says Ronald Rotunda, a George Mason University law professor who specializes in legal ethics issues. ‘Whether it’s smiling or snickering, everybody’s looking for a way to try and convince the jury that they’re right,’ Rotunda says. ‘The danger is that you don’t want to appear forced or silly or inappropriate.’”

Wednesday, April 4, Orlando Sentinel

UF Using Success as Gator Bait

“The University of Florida’s unprecedented run—a football championship and back-to-back men’s basketball titles in 12 months—has many wondering just how big a collateral payoff to expect in programs across the board. Schools that have enjoyed a wave of goodwill following a big win in sports often see a surge in applications, gift offers and increased interest in alumni groups, researchers and boosters say—but not always at once. George Mason University is one recent example of a school that has been working hard to capitalize on visibility brought by a winning team. Its men’s basketball program seemingly came out of nowhere in 2006 to claim a spot in the NCAA Final Four. The school scored countless media mentions along the way. ‘The challenge for us before was visibility,’ said Dan Walsch, a George Mason spokesman. ‘Once the national spotlight was on us, the challenge was what to do with it.’ The school launched fund-raising and recruitment campaigns. Freshman applications for fall 2007 went up about 23 percent. The school’s online alumni registry has grown by more than 50 percent. Fall applications to UF spiked 8 percent from the previous year to about 25,000—and that’s for 6,300 available spots, spokesman Steve Orlando said.”

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