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What Can a President Learn from the News Media? The Instructive Case of Richard Nixon

Christopher F. Karpowitz
British Journal of Political Science
Vol. 39, No. 4 (Oct., 2009), pp. 755-780
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27742771
Page Count: 26
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
What Can a President Learn from the News Media? The Instructive Case of Richard Nixon
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Abstract

This study examines the media diet of Richard Nixon, whose exposure to the news consisted almost entirely of a White House-produced daily news summary. Nixon staffers repeatedly asserted that the summary was the most effective way to give the president a comprehensive, objective account of the previous day's reporting. While the summaries covered a wide range of media sources, analysis of the framing and filtering done by the White House raises doubts about the assertion that summaries were an effective substitute for first-hand consumption of the news. Nixon's handwritten marginal notes reveal that the summaries provoked reactions in the president that had important implications for his conduct of the presidency.

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