Extra! June 1992

    Perot Ballot Drive Greeted by Puff Coverage

    H. Ross Perot’s drive for the presidency has, up until press time, largely been given a free ride by the mainstream media. Uncritical interviews on Larry King Live (3/16/92) and 60 Minutes (3/29/92) have resulted in multitudes of volunteers joining the Texas billionaire’s effort. An informal survey, using the Nexis computer database, of more than 175 recent stories on Perot in major daily newspapers turned up two that examined his record in critical depth (Christian Science Monitor, 4/7/92; Newsday, 4/12/92). Few independent or third-party candidates in history have ever received such a media boost. The New York Times (4/13/92) reported …

    Sex, Polls and Campaign Strategy

    This sort of thing was not supposed to happen in 1992,” the New York Times‘ John Tierney wrote. After the 1988 presidential campaign, the press had been accused, not least by itself, of “obsessive coverage of supposed character issues, [and] endless analysis of strategies and polls instead of who stood for what.” Voters wanted substance, it was said, and reporters pledged to do better. But, Tierney says of his fellow journalists in this election season, “It didn’t take them long to be distracted by questions of sex, polls and campaign strategy.” Self-conscious articles like Tierney’s (“Now, Journalists Renege on Election …

    Public TV Tilts Toward Conservatives

    The U.S. Senate has been taken for a ride on public broadcasting by the same right-wing critics who have long sought to destroy any alternative to commercial broadcasting. The current attacks on public TV — made by people who don’t seem to watch the programming — turn reality upside down. Many PBS stations air three programs every week hosted by editors who hail from the right-wing National Review: Bill Buckley’s Firing Line and John McLaughlin’s One on One and McLaughlin Group. PBS‘s weekly show on foreign affairs, American Interests, is hosted by foreign policy conservative Morton Kondracke. PBS‘s weekly program …

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The Lopsided Worldview of the Nation’s Most Syndicated Columnists

By David Croteau & William Hoynes