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

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Jan 12, 2011 - Political Science - 336 pages
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.

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User Review  - Kirkus

An arresting and perceptive critique of the media-centric process by which America selects its Presidents. Drawing on anecdotal as well as statistical evidence from races past, Patterson (Political ... Read full review

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User Review  - ABVR - LibraryThing

Thomas Patterson thinks that the US system of electing a president is badly broken, and that the role of the press is a big part of what's wrong with it. Press coverage of presidential campaigns is ... Read full review


Prologue Truth and Falsehood on
The Miscast Institution
Of SchemasGame and Governing
Images of the Game They Play
Reporters Issues versus
News Truth and That State
Postscript to Truth and Falsehood on the White

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About the author (2011)

Thomas E. Patterson is the Bradlee Professor of Government and the Press at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. For many years he taught at Syracuse University. He is the author of several books on politics and the media, including Out of Order, which won the American Political Science Association’s 2002 Doris Graber Award for the best book in the field of political communication, and The Unseeing Eye, which was named one of the fifty most influential books of the past half century in the field of public opinion by the American Association for Public Opinion Research. He lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.

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