Politicians Are People, Too

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Overview

Across the span of his 35-year career reporting on local, state, and national politics, USA TODAY White House correspondent Richard Benedetto has interviewed and closely watched a wide variety of politicians and public servants. This memoir and personal reflection considers the coverage and treatment of politics and politicians by today's media and offers suggestions for improvement. Benedetto argues that despite the often-cynical news coverage, most politicians are good people who, like all human beings, have strengths and weaknesses. He believes politicians deserve to be praised when they do well, as much as criticized when they fail. Politicians Are People, Too celebrates and offers personal insights on many of the thousands of public figures Benedetto has encountered—an eclectic list of politicians, public servants, and even a few celebrities, including George Wallace, Hillary and Bill Clinton, Dan Quayle, Mario Cuomo, Gary Hart, Paul Newman, Spiro Agnew, George W. Bush, Henry Cisneros, Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope and Ted Williams.
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Editorial Reviews

The Utica Observer-Dispatch
Politicians Are People, Too is [Richard Benedetto's] delightful retrospective on 35 years of covering government leaders...This is not a dull political memoir, but ...a stimulating reflection on politicians, famous and not-so-famous, who just so happen to be people, too. Best of all, it's woven tightly around a journalistic ethic that must never be compromised as we go about this business of reporting the news...A job well done.
— Dave Dudajek
Stephen Hess
American journalism could be a lot better if every aspiring reporter would read Richard Benedetto's memoir—It's that good!
A. Kenneth Ciongoli
Richard Benedetto has the eyes and ears of a seasoned journalist and his fairness is exceptional. This memoir, particularly the first chapter about his Italian American background, warmly tells the reader about the wonderful values that shaped him and his great storytelling ability. This book reminds me of those several times that I have been attracted by a headline and then surprised by the balance and objectivity of the article. I looked at the byline and, of course, it was Benedetto.
The Utica Observer-Dispatch - Dave Dudajek
Politicians Are People, Too is [Richard Benedetto's] delightful retrospective on 35 years of covering government leaders...This is not a dull political memoir, but ...a stimulating reflection on politicians, famous and not-so-famous, who just so happen to be people, too. Best of all, it's woven tightly around a journalistic ethic that must never be compromised as we go about this business of reporting the news...A job well done.
Mario Cuomo
A unique treatment of politicians, stunningly different from the typical mostly negative approach.
John Hanchette
This is a terrifically easy book to read.
Robert D. McClure
Richard Benedetto has written a memorable love story about politicians and politics, family and heritage, reporters and newspapers. Armed with the enduring power of fairness, civility and charity,…Benedetto provides a powerful reminder about what makes American politics work: All politics is local and personal, and politicians keep their end of the democratic bargain at least as often as 'the people' do.
David D. Perlmutter
Politicians are People, Too is a triumph and should be read by everybody who wants to understand political reporting, politicians and the political system beyond today's headlines news....A refreshing note of anti-cynicism and testimony one can be a journalist for a lifetime and still not give up youthful enthusiasm for serving the public trust.
U.S., Mayor - Mike Brown
The political reporting career that produced the rich material for Benedetto's book started in Buffalo with his coverage of George Wallace's 1968 presidential campaign and eventually brought him to Washington in 1982 to help launch the Gannett Company's USA Today and then serve as its White House and national political correspondent. Many of the vignettes that fill the book are drawn from the years in the White House covering Presidents George H.W. Bush (with whom Benedetto jogged on occasion), Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush, and from his travels as a member of the White House press corps.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761834229
  • Publisher: University Press of America
  • Publication date: 4/28/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 182
  • Sales rank: 578,516
  • Product dimensions: 0.42 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 5.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Benedetto has more than three decades of experience in journalism and political reporting. A member of USA Today's founding staff in 1982, his Washington assignments have included the White House and national politics.
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Table of Contents

"You don't boo the President of the United States" 1
"I was good, wasn't I?" 11
A reporter learns some lessons 23
You can go home again 27
A men's room job interview 45
"This isn't the Yankees' dressing room!" 57
A newspaper is born 73
"Politicians are people, too" 83
Politics, baseball, movies stars and war do mix 99
Photos 111
Jogging with "41" 117
Bill and Hillary 129
"W" 141
Have you ever flown on Air Force One? 141
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