Out of Order: An incisive and boldly original critique of the news media's domination of America's political process

Thomas E. Patterson

Published by Vintage, 1994
ISBN 10: 0679755101 / ISBN 13: 9780679755104
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Synopsis: Why are our politicians almost universally perceived as liars? What made candidate Bill Clinton's draft record more newsworthy than his policy statements? How did George Bush's masculinity, Ronald Reagan's theatrics with a microphone, and Walter Mondale's appropriation of a Wendy's hamburger ad make or break their presidential campaigns?

Ever since Watergate, says Thomas E. Patterson, the road to the presidency has led through the newsrooms, which in turn impose their own values on American politics. The results are campaigns that resemble inquisitions or contests in which the candidates' game plans are considered more important than their goals. Lucid and aphoristic, historically informed and as timely as a satellite feed, Out of Order mounts a devastating inquest into the press's hijacking of the campaign process -- and shows what citizens and legislators can do to win it back.

Review: Thomas E. Patterson, a professor of political science at Syracuse University, argues that the process of electing presidents to office is "out of order." The culprits include poorly planned performances by the news media in which newscasters speak more than candidates and the numerous primaries that only weaken the parties and create a vacuum of political leadership. Patterson calls for a shortened nominating primary season--just six weeks--and an institutionalized televised forum in which candidates could speak, debate and be questioned. Until this is done, he maintains, American will suffer from a lack of communication of the issues and an incomplete translation of voter feedback, things that smack of the demise of democracy.

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Title: Out of Order: An incisive and boldly ...
Publisher: Vintage
Publication Date: 1994
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: Used: Good

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