The Primetime Presidency of Ronald Reagan: The Era of the Television Presidency

The Primetime Presidency of Ronald Reagan: The Era of the Television Presidency

The Primetime Presidency of Ronald Reagan: The Era of the Television Presidency

The Primetime Presidency of Ronald Reagan: The Era of the Television Presidency

Synopsis

Beginning in the 1970s, the public has turned to the media for information and guidance in selecting their presidents. Television has become the primary means of getting to know the issues and candidates. This monograph examines the mediazation of the U.S. presidency, as exemplified by President Reagan's role as "the great communicator." Specifically, Denton analyzes the use of television as an instrument of image-making and governing, the role of the media in contemporary politics, the impact of television on presidential politics, and the future of the presidency in the age of television.

Excerpt

This book is more about the institutional United States presidency than about Ronald Reagan. The core argument is obvious and simple but the consequences determine who runs for president and who is elected, and impacts the very nature of U.S. democracy. Since the 1970s, with the decline of political parties, people have turned to the media for information and guidance in selecting their presidents. Television became the primary means of getting to know the issues and candidates. It also, vicariously, allowed us to challenge candidates or presidents and keep them honest. The power of the media was thought to be in the hands of a few "northeastern liberal elites." But soon candidates began to surround themselves with communication professionals and consultants whose job was to ensure that the candidate's message and image prevailed. Of course, once elected, presidents need such professionals more than ever. With Reagan, the media elites were helpless to expose his lack of "substance" or make issues out of obvious gaffes. The messenger became the message--molded and shaped to fit the requirements of television.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.