BOOK REVIEW: Bad News is a good election-year read

Covering a Presidential campaign is like summer camp for reporters: it's both the party of a lifetime and a rite of passage into some kind of maturity. But as Robert Shogan points out in this 2001 book, the press has consistently blown the opportunity to make it a meaningful experience by getting too cozy with the staff.

Covering a Presidential campaign is like summer camp for reporters: it's both the party of a lifetime and a rite of passage into some kind of maturity. But as Robert Shogan points out in this 2001 book, the press has consistently blown the opportunity to make it a meaningful experience by getting too cozy with the staff.

Shogan, himself a veteran political reporter, looks at the past nine Presidential campaigns and explores how candidates and their handlers have consistently managed to keep the press from focusing on issues the public needs to know about. He even expresses personal regret over being steered away from Watergate in 1972 - something he admits was there for the finding, if only Nixon's people hadn't duped him and his colleagues. It's not hard to criticize the coverage of any story once all the facts have been revealed. Still, Bad News is a timely read given the dawn of a new election year. ----- Title Bad News: Where the Press Goes Wrong in the Making of the President Author Robert Shogan Publisher Ivan R. Dee, 192 pages Reviewed by Douglas Quenqua

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