A Dubya in the Headlights: President George W. Bush and the Media

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Lexington Books, 2009 - History - 275 pages
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This book trains a critical eye on the curious interaction between America's 43rd president and the people who write about him, talk about him, shoot him, and draw him. Hayden details a rough, often tense relationship between Bush and media outlets from CBS to the New York Times to The Tonight Show. But he also challenges what until recently was the conventional wisdom about Bush's public relations: the notion that the White House was a masterful manipulator of the media, a Machiavellian puppetmaster. According to Hayden, those types of characterizations were not just overly generous; they were distortions. Moreover, they were also a cop-out for the press. This lively book details the pattern of mistakes made by the Bush administration in carrying out its communication strategy, focusing in particular on the period since Hurricane Katrina. It offers a clear portrait of a president stumbling from one crisis to another, failing to successfully pull the strings from behind the curtain.
 

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Contents

The LateNight Campaign
1
Bushisms The Industry
27
The Silent Treatment
49
The War Against Terrorism
83
Appointment in Samarra
111
ReReporting Vietnam Pt 1 The American Media War Over Iraq
143
ReReporting Vietnam Pt 2 The Media War Over the White House
161
After the Storm
173
Buying and Bombing Public Relations
199
Legacy
237
Bibliography
265
Index
269
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Joseph R. Hayden is associate professor of journalism at University of Memphis.

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