Talking Politics: Choosing the President in the Television Age

Talking Politics: Choosing the President in the Television Age

Talking Politics: Choosing the President in the Television Age

Talking Politics: Choosing the President in the Television Age

Synopsis

Talking Politics gives us an inside view of the relationship between journalists and candidates, one that shapes the way most Americans choose their president. In a series of personal and in-depth interviews, some of America's top broadcasters and political commentators talk about the extraordinarily influential relationship between the nation's most powerful journalists and political figures. Tom Brokaw, Larry King, Robert MacNeil, Linda Ellerbee, Bernard Shaw, and other media figures address issues such as: when does a tabloid story become worthy of the attention of the serious media?; can a talk show really give us a "closer look" at a candidate or is that closeness an illusion?; and can voters trust candidate images presented on television-network news, talk shows, or otherwise? Each chapter in Talking Politics features a frank, revealing interview with one of the nation's most influential broadcasters or political commentators. The result is a unique, behind-the-scenes look at the tension-fraught relationship between TV news and political candidates. In an age when the media has become as much a topic as the politicians it covers, Talking Politics will be fascinating reading for all who follow politics.

Excerpt

Every presidential campaign, television journalists and politicians race through months of picnics and press conferences, tractor rides and talk shows until Election Day. It's a race of monumental proportions--the all-powerful television and television journalism locked in tandem with the quest for the American presidency, the world's seat of power. The sheer volume of airtime, equipment, and personnel is staggering. The campaign for the presidency can be profound and historic; it can also be comic, clumsy, and demeaning and degenerate into a mean-spirited media circus, a jumble of murky revelations and brass-knuckled attacks.

Throughout it all broadcasters and candidates are tied together. However much they admire, respect, fascinate, detest, fear, or resent each other, by and large they must go left foot, right foot, to the finish. If things go well, they are first-name chums: "Larry," "Robin," and "Tom." If things sour, they can be archenemies. But whether they are anxious friends or intimate enemies, their relationship shapes the words and images by which most Americans choose their president.

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