Strange Bedfellows: How Television and the Presidential Candidates Changed American Politics, 1992

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An award-winning political correspondent for the Los Angeles Times journeys behind the scenes of the 1992 presidential campaign and explores the role and the impact of the media on American politics.
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Overview

An award-winning political correspondent for the Los Angeles Times journeys behind the scenes of the 1992 presidential campaign and explores the role and the impact of the media on American politics.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
To dismiss this absorbing book as a post-facto account of the '92 campaign would be wrongheaded. Nor does a short description of the premise do it justice. Rosenstiel, media and politics correspondent for the Los Angeles Times , charted the campaign coverage of a single network ABC for an entire year. Through World News , Rosenstiel paints a group portrait of networks, newspapers, politicians and voters struggling with the profound changes of the past few years. With the incursions into political coverage by such television shows as Larry King Live and Phil Donahue and by tabloids such as the Star witness Gennifer Flowers, the national press had to re-evaluate its sense of what the voters need to know. Most importantly, with more people getting their headlines from local media, CNN and C-Span, the mainstream national broadcast and print media increasingly saw their function as analyzing, rather than simply reporting the news. If this too often put correspondents in the role of newsmakers, it also made them savvier, even cynical, interpreters of the political manipulation that other less-seasoned media did not always recognize. The good news is: no one is really to blame. The bad news is: no one is really to blame. Rosenstiel offers a few suggestions, but his greatest success is in stripping off layers of spin-doctoring, polling, sound-biting, photo-oping and advertising to let readers determine for themselves the state of the union between press and politics. July
Library Journal
In this important book, Rosenstiel, media and politics correspondent for the Los Angeles Times , dissects in depth the role of network and local TV, cable, radio, satellites, ``out of control'' polls, and so forth, in the 1992 presidential election. Some strong conclusions emerge: ``In politics . . . perception is reality'';``The public had doubts about the private character of Bill Clinton. But they had more doubts about the public character of George Bush''; ``Perot came to believe that because the press was unpopular it was also illegitimate. . . . He was sadly naive''; ``People thought the mainstream press and the networks were becoming irrelevant. They were not.'' As one who produced network coverage of presidential campaigns in 1956, 1960, 1964, and 1968, this reviewer finds the contrasts with 1992 startling and most disquieting. Strange Bedfellows brings that contrast sharply into focus. Recommended for all libraries. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 3/1/92.-- Chet Hagan, Berks Cty. P.L. System, Pa.
Gilbert Taylor
Another tract from those licensed nags, journalism critics, escorts us through the ABC News coverage of the 1992 race. Aiming more narrowly than did Howard Kurtz ("Media Circus" ), who lashed recent newspaper coverage writ large, Rosenstiel draws a bead on the process that operated behind the faces on the screens. Off-camera, away from urbane anchor Jennings, the unknown Paul Friedman produced the shows, fielded his correspondents' story pitches, fended off gripes from the campaigns, and belatedly responded to the alternative news outlets--radio and TV gabathons--that Perot and Clinton courted. The cumulative effect of Rosenstiel's anecdotes is to show that Friedman and company wanted to take the high road, and disdained the tawdry demands of the pop media, with its devotion to photo ops and spin doctors. And he demonstrates that a more complex reality was at work than a conversative-liberal tension (which still exists, he says, personified at ABC with Brit Hume versus Jennings). But ultimately, the medium still is the message, and the Clintonites mauled the Bushies in the battle of the box.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781562828592
  • Publisher: Hyperion
  • Publication date: 6/17/1993
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Pages: 464

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