One Scandalous Story: Clinton, Lewinsky, and Thirteen Days That Tarnished American Journalism

One Scandalous Story: Clinton, Lewinsky, and Thirteen Days That Tarnished American Journalism

by Marvin Kalb

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In 1963 Marvin Kalb observed the Secret Service escorting an attractive woman into a hotel for what was most likely a rendezvous with President Kennedy. Kalb, then a news correspondent for CBS, didn't consider the incident newsworthy. Thirty-five years later, Kalb watched in dismay as the press dove headfirst into the scandal of President Clinton's affair with

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In 1963 Marvin Kalb observed the Secret Service escorting an attractive woman into a hotel for what was most likely a rendezvous with President Kennedy. Kalb, then a news correspondent for CBS, didn't consider the incident newsworthy. Thirty-five years later, Kalb watched in dismay as the press dove headfirst into the scandal of President Clinton's affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, disclosing every prurient detail. How and why had the journalistic landscape shifted so dramatically?

One Scandalous Story seeks to answer this critical question through the inside story of thirteen days — January 13-25, 1998 — that make up a vital chapter in the history of American journalism. In riveting detail, Kalb examines just how the media covered the Lewinsky scandal, offering what he calls an "X-ray of the Washington press corps." Drawing on hundreds of original interviews, Kalb allows us to eavesdrop on the incestuous deals between reporters and sources, the bitter disagreements among editors, the machination of moguls for whom news is Big Business, and above all, the frantic maneuvering to break the story. With fresh insight, he retraces decisions made by Michael Isikoff of Newsweek, Internet renegade Matt Drudge, Jackie Judd of ABC, Clinton-basher Lucianne Goldberg, Susan Schmidt of The Washington Post, Jackie Bennett of the Office of the Independent Counsel, and other key players in this scandal that veered from low comedy to high drama.

Through the lens of those thirteen turbulent days, Kalb offers us a portrait of the "new news" in all its contradictions. He reveals how intense economic pressures in the news business, the ascendancy of the Internet, the blurring of roles between reporters and commentators, and a surge of dubious sourcing and "copy-cat journalism" have combined to make tabloid-style journalism increasingly mainstream. But are we condemned to a resurgence of "yellow journalism"? Painstakingly documented and sobering in its conclusions, One Scandalous Story issues a clarion call to newsmakers and the American public alike: "Journalism can change for the better — and must."

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Dan Rather CBS News A great book by a great reporter.

Tom Brokaw NBC News Marvin Kalb has given us a richly detailed and provocative account of one of the most tumultuous times in modern American journalism. It is a cautionary tale, told in a compelling narrative. I hope every editor and journalist will read it — even if they disagree with many of its conclusions.

Judy Woodruff CNN Anchor and Senior Correspondent Ouch! No one in the Washington press corps — print or television or radio — escapes the laser eye and X-ray analysis of Marvin Kalb. If there was a lingering question about whether the national news media have wandered off familiar territory and on to explosively unpredictable ground, thereby redefining themselves, this book removes all doubt.

Mike McCurry CEO of Grassroots Enterprise, former White House Press Secretary Marvin Kalb understands how the Lewinsky story stained everyone, but his compelling argument about rethinking the rhythms of the twenty-four-hour news cycle is the two-by-four across the forehead that our political information establishment has needed for some time.

Donna E. Shalala President of the University of Miami Only a world-class journalist could dissect his own profession's reporting of the messy scandal that ruined a presidency....This is a brilliant, unsettling book.

Robert D. Putnam Malkin Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University, author of Bowling Alone If you're concerned about the quality of American journalism and what it's doing to our politics, this blow-by-blow account of how the media covered the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal will confirm your worst fears. If you're not, you should be, and this book explains why.

Tom Rosenstiel Director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism, coauthor of The Elements of Journalism An authoritative day-by-day account of how journalism is made, One Scandalous Story will be a valuable asset to our understanding of the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal for years to come.

Norman Ornstein Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute Using a fresh and unorthodox framework, Marvin Kalb takes us inside the press corps during the Monica Lewinsky scandal. It isn't pretty. In this brilliant and insightful book, no one comes out well, but journalists and journalism perhaps the worst of all. This book is must reading for every aspiring journalist, everyone practicing the profession, and anyone concerned about the role of the press in a free society.

Stephen Hess Senior Fellow at The Brookings Institution, author of News & Newsmaking I cannot imagine anyone teaching (or understanding) journalism today without the aid of Marvin Kalb's One Scandalous Story. Kalb is a great storyteller and he has chosen a fascinating story to illustrate how the American news business operates — and what has gone wrong.
The Barnes & Noble Review
Veteran journalist Marvin Kalb strongly takes his peers to task for their often-misguided coverage of the Monica Lewinsky scandal's first 13 days, meticulously detailing the questionable methods and ethical decisions made in the nation's newsrooms.

Kalb lists some major changes in the industry as key factors in the deterioration of newsroom ethics. A major one is the recent proliferation of round-the-clock "news" channels such as MSNBC, Fox News, and CNBC; their constant need for compelling stories often means that countless hours of programming are devoted to various talking heads sharing theories and speculations. In addition, the Internet -- and its many "news" sites such as The Drudge Report -- has its own unquenchable thirst for breaking news.

Another factor, Kalb relates, is the lapsing of time-honored journalistic standards. The general rule used to be that no story would be published without the existence of two solid sources. But the increased competition during the Lewinsky scandal often led to news outlets merely parroting what other outlets were reporting, leaving them unaware of the legitimacy of the story's original sources. This led to dubiously sourced stories spreading like wildfire, as stories are rushed into print merely to keep up with the competition.

Kalb also cites the ever-increasing consolidation of the news industry, leading to increased scrutiny of news budgets and a greater emphasis on corporate profits -- at the expense of standards. One Scandalous Story represents an urgent plea for, as he puts it, "a few good men and women" to rise up within the industry, reject the "rush to judgment" mentality, and reclaim the standards of excellence journalists once staunchly followed. (Nicholas Sinisi)

Nicholas Sinisi is the Barnes& Nonfiction Editor.

Publishers Weekly
Kalb is mad as hell, and he's not going to take it anymore. A distinguished TV journalist for 30 years and now director of the Washington office of Harvard's Shorestein Center on Press, Politics, and Public Policy Kalb (The Nixon Memo; etc.) decries the decline in standards he now finds in a profession he loves. He presents a detailed account of how journalism debased itself with a feeding frenzy in 1998, when l'affaire Lewinsky first broke. Television and newspapers' new motto became "All Monica, All the Time." Few reporters, however, really knew much about the story, and they were all too willing, according to Kalb, to report gossip as news, innuendo as fact, without finding reliable sources. Reporters even became sources in a "prairie fire of copycat journalism." A rumor would appear on the Internet, particularly the Drudge Report, and be picked up by a TV reporter, who would in turn be used as a source by a print journalist. So, whether eventually substantiated or not, stories of a stained blue dress or a witness to a Clinton-Lewinsky tryst, or allegations the President told Lewinsky to lie were all fed into the sordid national discourse. The problem, Kalb finds, is that the corporate concentration of ownership of news pushes the bottom line above all else. And with the proliferation of news outlets, especially in cable TV, reporters must titillate rather than teach in order to compete, to draw in viewers. Kalb's report on reporting is an engrossing and disturbing story of what happens when integrity gives way to expediency. (Oct.) Forecast: Hopefully, the news media won't be so stung by Kalb's sharp criticism that they ignore it and media attention should help this important studysell well. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Veteran reporter-turned-Harvard professor Kalb (The Nixon Memo) knows the business of journalism inside out. In this examination of how journalists, print and electronic, covered the 13 days surrounding the Clinton-Lewinsky sex scandal of 1998, he finds many reasons to fault his media colleagues. Kalb demonstrates how journalistic standards have changed for the worse since the Watergate era, arguing that coverage of the scandal did not on its own "smash the standards of American journalism. It merely accelerated a disturbing trend that had been apparent for several decades." He further argues that two forces have led to the decline of media standards: the explosion of new technologies and "the radical change in the economic ownership and management of a deregulated business." These changes, he says, "have transformed the news business from one tied to public trust to one linked to titillation and profit." This elegant and insightful work represents fine scholarship put to the use of public service. It is an important and disturbing book. Michael A. Genovese, Loyola Marymount Univ., Los Angeles Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A veteran journalist examines the behavior of the press during the initial days of the Lewinsky scandal-and finds much to condemn. Kalb (Washington Exec. Dir./Harvard's Shorenstein Center; The Nixon Memo, 1994) has the credentials to command attention: 30 years as a respected TV newsman and now a worried citizen who holds to the fire the feet of his former colleagues. Accompanying this latest work is the powerful smell of much roasted flesh. Kalb begins with a confession: he once saw the Secret Service whisking a beautiful young woman up to the president's suite in a New York hotel. Of course, it was 1963, and the president was JFK. Kalb says it never crossed his mind to report the incident. Much, he notes, has changed. After exploring the genesis of the scandal (Whitewater), he zeroes in on 13 days: Jan. 13-25, 1998. He tells what stories the major newspapers ran; he summarizes the news hours and talk shows. And, one by one, he drags the principals under the unforgiving lens of his moral microscope: Michael Isikoff, Matt Drudge (for whom Kalb expresses much disdain), Rush Limbaugh, Lucianne Goldberg (the Clinton-hater who "danced a jig of joy in her New York apartment" when the story broke), Linda Tripp, the Starr prosecutors (some of whom were leaking like ill-tied water balloons), William Ginsburg, and even media notables like Tim Russert and Ted Koppel (whose Nightline was the first to discuss the oral-sex issue). Kalb is not so much interested in what happened as in how it was reported, and he sees disturbing tendencies: going with stories merely because they are "out there"; rushing to judgment; blurring the lines between journalism and politics; and eschewingthe two-source tradition. His conclusion about the scandal: "It stained the presidency, tarnished the reputation of the press, and cast a long shadow over the entire country." Stinging often lyrical, Kalb excoriates those who have diminished the profession he loves.

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Read an Excerpt

Late September in New York is a traffic and protocol nightmare. From all over the world, presidents and prime ministers, accompanied by foreign ministers and their many minions, arrive for the annual meeting of the United Nations General Assembly. Their limousines crisscross mid-Manhattan, adding to the usual, suffocating traffic. Aided by the FBI, the police provide the necessary protection. They are everywhere, standing in front of UN missions or sitting on horseback or in patrol cars looking at the passing parade for anyone or anything even slightly suspicious. Often, in triangular squadrons of motorcycles, they escort the VIPs from one corner of central Manhattan to another. It's an urban symphony of horns, sirens, and shrieking tires that, no matter the time of day, never seems to lose its urgency. The worst bottleneck, of course, is always near the United Nations, where cabs join the battle for every inch of maneuverable space. It's really quite a sight.

On September 20, 1963, two months before he was assassinated in Dallas, Texas, President John F. Kennedy decided that he would not stay at the Waldorf-Astoria, temporary home for so many of the other world leaders. For reasons of his own, he fancied the more fashionable Carlyle Hotel, farther north, which conveyed the comforting impression that it was situated on another planet, light-years removed from the midtown mess. During the president's visit, the usually elegant main entrance on East 76th Street was -- for reasons of security -- flanked by wooden barricades, holding back television crews, reporters, onlookers eager for a glimpse of Kennedy. Around the corner on Madison Avenue, an unobtrusive side entrance was generally ignored.

For easy and quick identification, reporters who covered the president wore White House press badges. They were able to enter the Carlyle without much trouble. Some of us, with the help of the White House travel office, even managed to get lodging there. After filing our stories, a number of us in those years would usually gather late in the evening for some journalistic braggadocio -- who got the better picture of the president? who got the better scoop? who wrote the best lead? -- and a drink or two at the hotel bar off Madison Avenue.

After the president finished addressing the Eighteenth General Assembly, the principal purpose of his visit to New York, he returned to the Carlyle for a round of bilateral talks, a formal dinner, and, much later in the evening, a clandestine rendezvous with an unscheduled visitor. I, in the meantime, had returned to the headquarters of CBS News, which was then located on Madison Avenue at 52nd Street. Not too many months before, I had finished an absorbing, if somewhat exhausting, three-year assignment in Moscow, and -- as a reward of sorts -- I had been transferred to Washington and named diplomatic correspondent, the first ever appointed by a network. My assignment on this occasion was not so much Kennedy as his diplomacy, which focused on mending relations with the Soviet Union after the terrifying missile crisis in Cuba the year before. What I reported that evening in a couple of radio and television spots about Berlin and arms control has vanished, and deservedly so, into some distant archive; but what I remember about my brief encounter with the president's late night visitor underscores how dramatically American journalism has changed in the last thirty to forty years, particularly in its coverage of the private lives of public officials.

After dinner with a few CBS colleagues at a favorite restaurant, I jumped into a taxi for the ride up Madison Avenue to the Carlyle. I remember the ride and the time -- just past 11 p.m. -- because the driver was then listening to an hourly newscast featuring one of the spots I had taped earlier in the day at the United Nations. I got out at the side entrance and walked into the hotel. To my left was the bar, my ultimate destination, and diagonally to my right were two doors leading to the main lobby. Though I didn't see it on a recent visit to the Carlyle, I recall that there was also a private elevator just to the right of the entryway. Immediately, as I entered, I felt as if I had barged into a private party -- the wrong person arriving at the wrong time.

I recognized two of the Secret Servicemen usually detailed to protect the president, one standing right in front of me and the other to my right. They knew me, and I knew them. We had been on a number of the same trips, and I had seen them around the White House. I smiled at one of them, but he not only did not return the smile -- his face froze into a mask of sudden panic. He looked past me at someone who was just then being escorted into the small lobby. As I turned to see who had caught his eye, he pushed me and I fell hard against the door to the bar, ending up in a painful crouch on the floor. I looked up just long enough to see the back of a woman with stunningly attractive legs entering the elevator. I heard the clicking of her heels. I saw two other men from the president's Secret Service detail with her, one in front, the other behind, as the doors slowly closed. I looked up for an explanation, but the agent who had knocked me to the floor had by this time vanished. So too had his colleague. The entire episode took no more than ten seconds.

I joined a few reporters at the bar. I must have been more than just a bit shaken, but I didn't tell them anything. After a few minutes of stories about scoops and counterscoops, I looked back at the door and saw the agent beckoning to me. I excused myself and went back into the lobby. "I'm sorry," the agent whispered. "I'm really sorry." The agent, barely audible, said that he should never have pushed me, that he had made a terrible mistake, and he hoped that I would forgive him. "Of course," I muttered, "but, my God, what happened? Why did you push me? Who was that woman?" The agent did not answer. He looked up at the ceiling, as if appealing to higher, perhaps presidential, authority, and shook his head. He seemed totally flustered and embarrassed. Again, he said only, "I'm sorry," and left.

In my room a while later, still hurting from the fall, I thought about complaining to Pierre Salinger, the president's spokesman. The Secret Service's job, after all, was to protect the president, not to push or bully a reporter. I decided to do nothing. I thought it would be better for me and CBS News to store this grievance in a future file -- one day, that agent might be able to help me with a story. He owed me.

As I write about this incident more than thirty-seven years later, I am amazed not by my decision to do nothing but by the fact, quite undeniable, that never for one moment did I even consider pursuing and reporting what I had seen and experienced that evening: that U.S. Secret Service agents, normally detailed to protect the president, had escorted an attractive woman into the Carlyle, presumably for a rendezvous with Kennedy (who else but the president would concern them?), and then, to protect their embarrassing secret, one of the agents had for a moment panicked and pushed a reporter to the floor only to apologize later for his inexcusable behavior.

It was my judgment at the time that such an incident was simply not "news." Although there has never been one commonly accepted definition of news, it has usually been defined broadly as what's new, what's relevant, what's interesting, what's timely, and what sells. In those days, the possibility of a presidential affair, while titillating, was not considered "news" by the mainstream press -- not when the Cuban missile crisis was still a fresh and frightening memory of the nuclear dangers of the Cold War, not when racial tensions were again clawing at the soul of the nation. Though tabloids existed, those were not tabloid times; 1963 was not a year for stories about Kennedy's sex life, even if rumors persisted that he was engaging in "extracurricular screwing," as Ben Bradlee, the former editor of The Washington Post, spoke of it in his memoirs.

Many years later, my friend R. W. Apple, Jr., recalled a similar experience at the Carlyle Hotel in 1963. He was then a young reporter at The New York Times, and he was assigned to do "legwork" on a Kennedy visit to New York -- meaning in this case that he went to the Carlyle to see what, if anything, was happening, and then to report back to his editor. A "legman" didn't write the story, he just observed and reported it. His information was then included in someone else's story or simply dropped. On this particular evening, Apple saw a "beautiful woman being escorted to Kennedy's suite." Excited by the implication, he returned to the Times office on West 43rd Street and told Sheldon Binn, the chief assignment editor of the Metro desk. Binn listened impatiently. "Apple," he said, "you're supposed to report on political and diplomatic policies, not girlfriends. No story." And so it was.

But even if I had decided to defy the conventional news standards of the day and tried to report that the president had a secret rendezvous at the Carlyle Hotel with a beautiful woman who was not his wife, what exactly would I have broadcast? Did I know for an absolute fact that the agents had escorted the woman to his suite? No. But I'd have bet the kitchen sink that they had. Did I see her face? Did I know her name? No. Was there, possibly, an innocent explanation? Could she have been just a friend, a relative? No. Friends and relatives were not secretly hustled into a back elevator late at night; they would have entered the main lobby at a proper time. Anything was theoretically possible, but at the time, given what I had seen and heard, I knew in my gut that the president was having an illicit affair and the Secret Service was complicit in arranging it and hushing it up.

Let's take the scenario one step further and assume for a moment that I actually had written and submitted the story to my CBS editors. Was there any chance that they would have cleared it for broadcast? I am certain that the answer would have been no. They would almost certainly have questioned my professional judgment. "What's happened to Kalb? He used to be a good reporter."

In other words, the story was not written, and it would not have been approved for broadcast, because it did not satisfy the accepted journalistic standards of the day. Between then and now, these standards have dramatically changed. Now, I suspect, my story would quickly dominate the Internet, provide fodder for radio and television talk shows, work its way into the mainstream media, and then assault the front page on the strength of an ensuing string of allegations, presidential denials, White House cover-ups, and journalistic investigations.

How is this change in journalistic standards to be explained? How could the press have ignored Kennedy's escapades but blasted Bill Clinton for his? The answer is that journalism has changed dramatically in this forty-year period, just as the nation has changed. The business of the news has been radically recast. The technology has been revolutionized. And many journalists have been transformed into national celebrities and political players -- all in step with a succession of crises that jolted the nation beyond recognition. Kennedy was assassinated. African Americans went into the streets and demanded equal rights. Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr., were both murdered. Richard Nixon won twice but still was forced to resign, one step ahead of almost certain impeachment after the Watergate scandal uncovered the lies and deception in his administration. In a small country called Vietnam, half a world away, the United States lost the first war in its history. These two factors in particular -- Watergate and Vietnam -- combined to sour popular attitudes toward the presidency. Trust in government (and other large institutions) declined in the public and in the press.

Reporters came to assume that officials lied routinely. Nixon once felt the need to tell the American people that he was not "a crook." Presidents were no longer held in especially high regard. They became more human, more accessible. By 1987, a reporter crossed a once uncrossable line by asking a presidential candidate if he had ever committed adultery. Within twenty-four hours, Gary Hart had to withdraw from the race. Only five years later, during the 1992 campaign, adultery blossomed into a major story when a tabloid disclosed that Clinton had had a long-running affair with a woman from Arkansas. And once the story was "out there," it was quickly everywhere. Even Nightline discussed it, an indication of changing public attitudes toward personal privacy.

By the mid-1990s, media mergers flowered in an expanding economy. Huge corporations continued to acquire news companies and networks and create global conglomerates more interested in the bottom line than in public service. By the turn of the century, AOL and Time Warner capped this trend by concluding a $182 billion deal, combining the older business of news with the new demands of cyberspace. The new news cycle was now a twenty-four-hour-a-day challenge. There was an endless demand for talk -- filling time was the burning need. Accountability seemed nonexistent. Competition among the cable channels became ferocious. The maximization of profit drove the news business, and old worries about standards fell by the wayside. As a governing concept, journalistic integrity suddenly sounded quaint.

It could be argued, of course, that for most of American history, except for the decades of the Great Depression, World War II, and the Cold War, serious journalism was a rare happening. With a few notable exceptions, most reporters used to wallow happily in gossip, slander, and sensationalism. That was the norm. James Thomson Callender, a Virginia "newsmonger," to quote New York Times columnist William Safire, claimed that President Thomas Jefferson had several children with "the luscious Sally," one of his slaves. Grover Cleveland fathered an illegitimate daughter, and during his first presidential campaign the press gloried in a catchy political jingle: "Ma, ma, where's my pa? Gone to the White House, ha, ha, ha." During World War I, Warren Harding, then a senator with presidential ambitions, inspired some gossipy copy when he persuaded the Republican National Committee to send one of his lovers on an all-expenses-paid trip to Japan.

The post-Cold War period of the 1990s has seen a return to this earlier tradition. With old-fashioned abandon now buttressed by new technologies that make possible virtually instantaneous communication, many reporters seem to revel in the rebirth of scandal and sensational coverage. The O. J. Simpson trial, Princess Diana's life, loves, and death, and the Lewinsky scandal defined the news of the nineties. New York Times columnist Frank Rich labeled these "dramatic 24/7 TV miniseries" as "mediathons" or "total national immersions." He thought of these stories as being "played out in real time before a mass audience." In this way, a mediathon was seen as different from other big stories; it was all-consuming and inescapable, it affected the viewer just as the viewer's reaction fed back into the mediathon in a modern variation of the Heisenberg principle. A mediathon changed the flow of history.

When the story broke on January 21, 1998, that President Clinton had had an affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, the press plunged into the scandal, disclosing every tasteless detail. Its self-justifying explanation was that it had no choice: a criminal investigation had begun against the president of the United States and "the story" had to be covered.

How did this mediathon unfold? That is the central question in this book, which focuses on thirteen days of scandal coverage in January 1998. Many other books have examined the role of the independent counsel, the White House spin doctors, the president's friends, the combative lawyers, the "vast right-wing conspiracy," the Whitewater land deal in Little Rock, the tale of Monica Lewinsky, the congressional impeachment proceeding, and, no doubt, many more books will be written and published in the years ahead. The Lewinsky scandal stained the presidency, the country, and the Clinton legacy, which seriously damaged Vice President Gore's 2000 campaign. It is not a surprise that it has spawned a literary industry. Until now, though, the role of the journalist, a key player in this drama, has not yet been the subject of serious analysis. Whether it was Michael Isikoff or Susan Schmidt or Jackie Judd, the journalist was the indispensable messenger carrying the story from one side of the Washington battlefield to another. The journalist informed and inflamed the public. The journalist saw old standards fall and new ones created for the occasion. The Lewinsky scandal marks an important chapter in the history of American journalism.

I have chosen to examine the recent history of Washington journalism through a sharply focused lens: thirteen days in the life of a story that would preoccupy the nation for the next thirteen months. The thirteen days can be divided into three parts: the buildup from January 13 to January 20; the breaking of the story on January 21; and the aftermath from January 22 to January 25, 1998. I have basically devoted a chapter to each day, hoping in this way to X-ray the Washington press corps. Several questions emerge:
  • How did the new economic changes in the news business affect copy? ·
  • How has journalism been changed by the new technology, including the Internet? ·
  • Was there a journalistic rush to judgment? ·
  • Was there a surge in copy cat journalism? ·
  • How could one explain the "blurring of the lines" between reporters and commentators? Between reporters and ex-political operatives? ·
  • Were sources, generally recognized as the essential lubricant of a free press, used well or poorly during this period? ·
  • Did many Washington reporters make special arrangements with government sources?

There are no easy answers to these questions, which cut to the very heart of contemporary American journalism. I have tried to answer them by taking the reader into the journalistic process during a hot and demanding story. I have read the literature, done the research often based on content and script analysis, and I have interviewed hundreds of Washington reporters who covered the scandal.

Journalism is too important, too crucial for our democracy, to be left unexamined. I know from personal experience that Washington reporters have notoriously thin skins. They don't take criticism easily. Who does? If they read my analysis as criticism, I hope they will understand that it is rendered with continuing admiration and affection.

For all other readers, concerned about the media's growing power and impact on society, wondering about its value system, its sense of responsibility and ethics, and genuinely baffled about how this eight-hundred-pound gorilla works, here is my report on one scandalous story.

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What People are saying about this

Stephen Hess
I cannot imagine anyone teaching (or understanding) journalism today without the aid of Marvin Kalb's One Scandalous Story. Kalb is a great storyteller and he has chosen a fascinating story to illustrate how the American news business operates-and what has gone wrong.
—(Stephen Hess, Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution; author, News & Newsmaking)
Mike McCurry
Marvin Kalb understands how the Lewinsky story stained everyone, but his compelling argument about rethinking the rhythms of the twenty-four-hour news cycle is the two-by-four across the forehead that our political information establishment has needed for some time.
—(Mike McCurry, CEO of Grassroots Enterprise; former White House Press Secretary)
Judy Woodruff
Ouch! No one in the Washington press corps—print or television or radio—escapes the laser eye and X-ray analysis of Marvin Kalb. If there was a lingering question about whether the national news media have wandered off familiar territory and on to explosively unpredictable ground, thereby redefining themselves, this book removes all doubt.
—(Judy Woodruff, CNN Anchor & Senior Correspondent)
Tom Brokaw
Marvin Kalb has given us a richly detailed and provocative account of one of the most tumultuous times in modern American journalism. It is a cautionary tale, told in a compelling narrative. I hope every editor and journalist will read it—even if they disagree with many of its conclusions.
—(Tom Brokaw, NBC News)

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