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Out of Order: An incisive and boldly original critique of the news media's domination of America's political process Paperback – August 2, 1994
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From Library Journal
- Chet Hagan, Berks Cty. P.L. System, Pa.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Patterson makes many points, but his central ones are below, and it's easy to find supporting examples from the 2000 campaign cycle:
1. The press sees the election as a game, not a democratic process. Its news stories are focused on the candidates' strategy, not their views, and makes the candidates look shallow and pandering as a result.
2. The tone of the news is generally negative. Candidates are relentlessly criticized and negative stories are much more frequent than positive ones.
3. The press focuses far too much on gaffes and trivialities. In the 2000 campaign, Bush's RATS ad and Gore's simple misstatements have resulted in feeding frenzies portraying both candidates as untrustworthy.
4. Journalists have become the center of the news. Much of the news has reporters' own interpretations as the main story (In an attempt to bolster his support among elderly voters, Bush/Gore ...), instead of quoting the candidates at length.
The inescapable conclusion is that the media is failing to inform the public of the important issues in a presidential campaign and contributes greatly to our general lack of faith in our political system.
1. Articles about campaigns focus on the "horse race," or the constant jockeying between candidates and their campaigns, rather than on the actual platforms of the candidates or the important issues being discussed.
2. Great emphasis is placed on poll results, and on candidates' rise and fall in the polls, rather than on their stated goals or positions on various issues.
3. Reporters travel around with a candidate for months on end (as the candidate travels around the country or state to meet with voters) and as a result start focusing more on internal problems within the campaign (campaign staffers disagreeing with each other, for example) than on the substance of the candidates' speeches. Minor gaffes, such as a candidate tripping, or a candidate's spouse saying something odd, take on much greater importance in the media than they should.
4. Media "talking heads" become celebrities in their own right and dominate news casts. They may show 30 seconds of a candidate's speech and then spend 5 minutes talking about their spin on the speech. This hardly gives the candidate much opportunity to communicate directly with the voter.
We've gotten to the point now where a substantial portion of articles about campaigns tell you everything about the campaigns *except* for the candidates' stances on actual issues.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you are unhappy about press coverage for a Presidential candidate you are supporting, you will love this book. Read morePublished on July 20, 2007 by Mark B. Cohen
This book was required reading for a seminar and I found it very beneficial in understanding the strained relationship between two groups with conflicting goals: the media and... Read morePublished on November 14, 2000 by groundless