Presidential Television

Presidential Television

Presidential Television

Presidential Television

Excerpt

THE WORD Watergate HARDLY APPEARS IN THIS BOOK, yet it permeates every line. Were there not this comprehensive report on presidential television, the burglary of June 16, 1972 and the virulent infection it identified in our political system would have necessitated such a study. Television is a miracle that American society has never learned to manage and, in its relationship to politics, it has been permitted to run wild. In the case of presidential politics, it has been the means for a corruption of power that has brought the nation to the edge of disgrace. While the Watergate scandal seethed under a Republican administration, it might just as well have plagued a Democratic incumbency.

The drafters of the American Constitution strove diligently to prevent the power of the president from becoming a monopoly, but our inability to manage television has allowed the medium to be converted into an electronic throne.

No mighty king, no ambitious emperor, no pope, or prophet ever dreamt of such an awesome pulpit, so potent a magic wand. In the American experiment with its delicate checks and balances, this device permits the First Amendment and the very . . .

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