Presidential Debates: Forty Years of High-Risk TV
Drawing on his own experience as an award-winning reporter and TV producer and through illuminating interviews with journalists and producers who have worked on presidential debates, Alan Schroeder sheds new light on every debate from 1960 to the present. From the selection of questioners to the camera angles, from issues of makeup to lighting and stage set, Schroeder shows how decisions are made that influence every aspect of what the audience perceives. "Presidential Debates: Forty Years of High-Risk TV" takes readers on a fascinating backstage tour, approaching the debates within the framework of the fundamental steps to which TV producers adhere: preproduction, production, and postproduction. Calling upon behind-the-scenes stories from seven campaign seasons, Schroeder illustrates how the live component of the debates, far from diminishing dramatic potential, increases our anticipation -- not least because of viewer curiosity to watch one candidate make a grave error and go down in flames.
"Presidential Debates" illuminates such details as:
the elaborate attempts to offset height discrepancies between candidates, such as the "belt buckle compromise" between Carter and Ford mandating the height of the candidates' respective podiums;
the full story behind debate moderator Bernard Shaw's infamous question to Michael Dukakis about his wife being hypothetically raped and murdered; and
the calculation and faux-spontaneity of Reagan's influential quip, "There you go again," which effectively dismissed Carter's pointed accusations about health care.
With innumerable behind-the-scenes stories about the candidates, their advisers, the on-air correspondents, the producers, and other backstage lore, Schroeder illustrates how, like all forms of television, debates combine artifice with truth. An unusual blend of civics and show biz, the presidential debates are revealed here as both carefully scripted rituals and opportunities for the totally unexpected.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
Must See TV Is it all style and no substance? Do television debates still matter? Who will win the Obama versus McCain debate and why? Well, maybe the last one was a stretch, but Alan Schroeder dissects this necessary rite of passage en route to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Schroeder is necessarily ambiguous on the influence of debate in persuading voters in November. While historically, a really bad performance can doom a Presidential campaign, Nixon and Dukakis come to mind. Other disastrous performances like in 1984 election where Reagan lost his debate soundly to Mondale, yet managed to survive given his insurmountable lead in the polls. Or a twitching, shifty, face-contorting George 43 who lost his debates to Kerry yet still managed to hold the office in 2004. Leaving no stone unturned, Schroeder uncovers both the mundane but also the more fascinating aspects of debate preparation, coverage and aftermath. A few flubs that I had forgotten but were significant at the time include Kerry's slip in mentioning Cheney's lesbian daugther, and Carter's gaffe of his "alleged" conversation with his daughter on nuclear proliferation. And if you're wondering which Presidential candidate is in Schroeder's hall-of-fame? None other than Bill Clinton who he writes as a true "master at political theater". No doubt the book is a encyclopedia of Presidential debates since the first one in 1960. If there is one critique of Schroeder, it is regarding his non-linear style. I'd venture that even for the avid political junkie, Schroeder's topical division of the book would still leave many heads spinning. For the neophyte, they would probably be lost amidst Schroeder's confusing time-warps he commits the reader to. Overall, I highly recommend this book if you want to really know what goes into the television Presidential debates, especially significant with the highly engaging debates between Obama and McCain approaching.
Review: Presidential Debates: Fifty Years of High-Risk TVUser Review - Goodreads
A descriptive (but not very analytic) look at the tradition of presidential debates. Good for anyone wanting to get a close look at what goes on in the planning and execution of these debates.
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Alan Schroeder - Media Sponsorship of the 2000 Primary Debates ...
His book, Presidential Debates: Forty Years of High-Risk TV, was published in September 2000 by Columbia University Press. Address: Northeastern University ...
muse.jhu.edu/ journals/ harvard_international_journal_of_press_politics/ v005/ 5.4schroeder.html
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Presidential Debates: Forty Years of High-Risk TV. 作者: Alan Schroeder; 出版社/ メーカー: Columbia Univ Pr; 発売日: 2000/09/15; メディア: ハードカバー ...
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Political Debates | Government > Elections & Politics | Business ...
PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES: FORTY YEARS OF HIGH-RISK TV BY ALAN SCHROEDER COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY PRESS. 280 PP. $24.95 The first ... (PERIODICAL ARTICLE) ...
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