Stephen Colbert is known for tearing apart politicians with an acerbic, unforgiving wit — a trademark that strikes fear in the heart of many a public official. “He’s clearly the most political late night host, and arguably the most partisan,” said Robert Lichter, director of the Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University and the author of the forthcoming book “Politics Is a Joke: How TV Comedians Are Remaking Political Life.”

In a period when rates of alcohol use and abuse are relatively stable, the media has raced to report on claims that binge drinking among women is on a dangerous trajectory.

Public health advocates are hailing a new Canadian study that claims minimum pricing could slash deaths from alcohol. But a close look at their statistical methods and data sourcing raise more questions than answers

STATS critiques a new study claiming that private liquor stores are hazardous to our health, while government liquor stores save lives.

The curtain rose this week on a new era of late-night TV — altering the terrain for politicians who frequent the shows and complicating life for Republicans, who have lost their most comfortable seat in front of the camera.

Thursday marked Jay Leno’s last night hosting The Tonight Show on NBC. He’s told a lot of jokes over the years, but his most common target has been Bill Clinton — so says a study from the Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University. Professor Robert Lichter explains why he’s spent more than 20 years of his life cataloging late night TV jokes.

Just as people glom onto miracle diets and miracle foods, they also look for the Darth Vader ingredients—those which use the force of taste to take over our bodies. HFCS was new, it was from corn, it was high in fructose. And it provided a simple solution to a hugely complex problem of why America was suddenly in the grip of obesity. But was this, “important potential hypothesis,” for the obesity epidemic (as the authors of the study wrote) true?

On the eve of Jay Leno’s retirement as host of “The Tonight Show,” a new study finds that Bill Clinton was Leno’s top political joke target over the past two decades, attracting one out of every ten jokes in his monologues, and O.J. Simpson was his top celebrity target. The study was released by the Center for Media and Public Affairs (CMPA) at George Mason University (GMU). It covered 43,892 jokes about public figures and public affairs from 1992, when Jay Leno became host of the Tonight Show, through January 24, 2014.

In this study, which was supported by a grant from the Corn Refiners Association, we examine media coverage of the debate over the health effects of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and other caloric sweeteners in the American diet. Beyond the basic pros and cons of the debate we also sought to understand the role science played in the debate over caloric sweeteners. We employed the social scientific research technique of content analysis, which is described in an appendix to this report.

December 6, 2013- Event to release GMU Survey on Chemical Risk Assessment – A Survey by the Center for Media and Public Affairs (CMPA) and Center for Health and Risk Communication (CHRC) at George Mason University.

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