Spin Control: The White House Office of Communications and the Management of Presidential News

Spin Control: The White House Office of Communications and the Management of Presidential News

Spin Control: The White House Office of Communications and the Management of Presidential News

Spin Control: The White House Office of Communications and the Management of Presidential News

Synopsis

Spin Control, originally published in 1992, chronicles the development of the powerful White House Office of Communications and its pivotal role in molding our perception of the modern presidency. In this new edition, John Maltese brings his analysis up to date with a chapter detailing the media techniques of the Bush administration, the 1992 presidential campaign (including the use of talk shows like "Larry King Live"), and the early Clinton administration.

Excerpt

Controlling the public agenda was especially difficult for the White House in 1968. It was a year of bitter turmoil. Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr., were assassinated. Protest against American involvement in the Vietnam War was at its height. Race riots, student uprisings, and bitter clashes between demonstrators and police were commonplace. In Chicago, the Democratic National Convention nominated Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey as its presidential nominee in the midst of violent protests outside that included the hurling of rocks and feces by demonstrators and clubbings and gassings by police. In living rooms across America, families saw the images on television: American boys dying in Vietnam, urban ghettos in flames, rancor and discord in the streets, and college campuses awash in protest. In Washington, President Lyndon Baines Johnson was even forced to call out federal troops to protect the White House. Conflict was everywhere.

Most alarming to those in power was the fact that opposition was spreading to middle America—and it was doing so, many of them felt, with the help of the media. In the wake of the Tet offensive that was launched against South Vietnam in January 1968 (producing massive American casualties), the CBS

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