The Press and the Modern Presidency: Myths and Mindsets from Kennedy to Clinton

By Louis W. Liebovich | Go to book overview

CHAPTER EIGHT
THE GREAT NON-COMMUNICATOR

Few other modern presidents have provoked more historical debate than Ronald Reagan, and no interactions between the press and the president have been more inaccurately portrayed than those in the 1980s. During his presidency, public and press alike marveled at Reagan's speaking style and his popularity. He was often compared to Franklin D. Roosevelt. Labeled the Great Communicator, Reagan was seen as the president who brought his message to the people. But his was a theme of a different sort and it was delivered largely without an intermediary. The Reagan White House was not really what it appeared to be. When Reagan left office in 1989, he was as admired by a majority of Americans as he was when he took office. Yet he had lost a grip on the presidency, and his press relations had deteriorated so much that he hardly spoke with reporters. A president was not supposed to be able to maintain his popularity in the midst of a scandal and without first cementing relations with reporters, but Reagan did. The rules changed during the 1980s. Image and substance became almost mutually exclusive.

Reagan was really the Great Non-Communicator and the Great Delegator. He maintained his popularity by carefully orchestrating his public image and by largely avoiding probing questions. Communication involves the conveyance of information, not the recitation of practiced but meaningless phrases. This was not the kind of communication that FDR had used to gain public sympathy and support. Reagan's communication was the oration of practiced lines. His engaging smile and homespun speaking style were balm for the wounds of the previous two decades, but his lack of substance unremittingly

-127-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Press and the Modern Presidency: Myths and Mindsets from Kennedy to Clinton
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 237

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    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.