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Spin Cycle: Inside the Clinton Propaganda Machine Hardcover – Bargain Price, March 18, 1998
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With a slew of simultaneous scandals to his credit and numerous ongoing investigations pending, President Clinton has been bombarded by the media in a fashion not seen since the last days of the Nixon administration. Despite this unwanted attention, Clinton has managed to maintain lofty approval ratings and successfully deflect even the most ardent attacks. How does he do it? This question is answered in full in Spin Cycle: Inside the Clinton Propaganda Machine, an engrossing, backroom look at how news is created and packaged in the White House and the methods used to distribute it to the public. In painting a detailed picture of the hand-to-hand combat known as a press conference, Kurtz shows how the use of controlled leaks, meticulously worded briefs, and the outright avoidance of certain questions allows the White House to control the scope and content of the stories that make it to the front page and the nightly network news. As Kurtz makes clear, the president and First Lady are convinced that the media are out to get them, while the journalists covering the White House are constantly frustrated at the stonewalling and the lack of cooperation they encounter while trying to do their jobs. In the middle is White House press secretary Mike McCurry, a master at defusing volatile situations and walking the fine line with the press. Though less paranoid and cynical of the media than Clinton, he often finds himself on both ends of personal attacks and vendettas that veer far outside the arena of objective reporting. The anecdotes and carefully buried information Kurtz has uncovered give Spin Cycle a brisk pace, along with ample invaluable information that cuts to the core of this age of media overkill. The author of Hot Air and Media Circus and a longtime media reporter for the Washington Post, Kurtz is uniquely qualified to report on the status of news dissemination in the United States. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
In his own reading, author Kurtz (Hot Air: All Talk, All the Time, Random, 1996), Washington Post media reporter and magazine writer, reveals details about President Clinton's front-line spokespersons' struggle to put a positive "spin" on the many Clinton administration scandals, including Whitewater, the Paula Jones allegations, "filegate," "FBIgate," and the latest involving former White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Kurtz opens the curtain on the continual back-office tactics of Clinton's spin doctors to steer the press back to national and international issues of import, only to find themselves constantly bombarded by intense focus on allegations of misdoings by the President as well as the First Lady. This detailed, inside look at these alleged sordid shenanigans and embarrassing behaviors of public officials also reveals the difficult inner personal conflict faced by Clinton's cronies as they struggle with these distasteful "nonissues." In time, either with a premature end to the presidency or a naturally evolving new administration, this time-sensitive work will be relegated to the remainder shelves, replaced by solid works by professional historians and biographers. Recommended only for larger public libraries.?Dale Farris, Groves, TX
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Introducing: The Clinton Propaganda Machine
All American presidents in the modern era have had a special group of political advisors to assist the president in his dealings with the media. This is nothing new. But the Clinton spin team has had more than just an ordinary amount of work on their hands. This has been a full scale workout from the very first days of Clinton's initial term as president, to the present day, with little time for rest. Just when it appears that the spinmeisters can have some time to catch their breath, another juicy tidbit of political misbehavior reaches the public, setting the spin cycle into motion once again.
Clinton has never had a good relationship with the media as a whole. In the past, the press was a little more sympathetic to presidential blunders. Today, they are relentless in their pursuit of any newsworthy information; pushing, pulling, twisting, and choking their victims of any last morsel of dignity. Who is the real villian here? Is it the president for committing unethical acts, or is it the media for submitting to ruthless, tabloid- like tactics? This book leaves you wondering. Maybe the real blame should be placed on the public. After all, if the people did not purchase the newspapers and watch the new stories, they would eventually cease. We like to blame the press for circulating dirty laundry. But aren't we, the people, equally to blame if we buy these magazines and newspapers and watch these television programs?
Whether you like politics or not, you will enjoy "Spin Cycle". Just sit back and let Howard Kurtz take you on a journey through the political media circus, where the ringmaster's on the president's team manage to keep their leader's approval rating surprisingly high!, in spite of the never ending parade of scandals.
I also was interested in the additional comments on the way that the Clinton's themselves viewed the media and their knee jerk reaction to clam up at every question. You almost got the feeling that if the Clinton's would have always listened to the media people on their staffs that some of the overall negative and nasty press they received may have been decreased to some degree. The last bit of the book that surprised me was the, at times, rude, disrespectful and almost violent way the media and the White House staff dealt with each other. You just got to wonder what the White House staff was thinking to beat up on the people with the loudest voice in the country. My only complaint was that the book ended too soon, missing the Super Bowl of the spin, the Starr Report and the impeachment. It would have been nice for the author to have held out a year or so for the full story in the paperback. Overall I found this book well written, very interesting and quite enjoyable. It is required reading for anyone that is interested in the Clinton years or the media.
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-Howard Kurtz, Spin Cycle
In a story that is utterly devoid of...Read more