An earnest if frequently disjointed examination of the Nixon and Ford relationships with the Washington press corps. Herbers' own 1973-75 stint as New York Times White House correspondent was, he tells us, conducted on the firm assumption that ""there was less happening than met the eye"" and a straightforward confidence in his own impressions. His sidelights on presspool logistics (particularly under Ziegler) show how insidiously the everyday difficulties of travel, copy-filing, and access to events can merge into executive harassment. From the familiar observation that the modern presidency is overblown and overinsulated, Herbers draws the discomforting conclusion that the last few years of reportorial scandal-chasing have made the mysteries of government even less accessible. The solid analytical skills of the best political reporting may be lost as journalistic talent is drained off into more glamorous sleuthings after high intrigue; paradoxically, the vast power of the White House to shape the news according to its own strategies may be strengthened. This disturbing and plausible thesis is often rather clumsily presented; the galley proofs we saw were also marred by an unusual number of errors in grammar and diction. Nonetheless, an analysis of considerable potential importance.