GETTING ELECTED: From Radio and Roosevelt to Television and Reagan by J. Leonard Reinsch

GETTING ELECTED: From Radio and Roosevelt to Television and Reagan

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KIRKUS REVIEW

An always intriguing and often cynical behind, the-rostrum look at getting the ""media message"" across, by the man who was director of radio and television for Democratic presidents and presidential hopefuls from FDR to LBJ. Most readers will find Reinsch's memories revealing, even while being disturbed by his blatant espousal of the proposition that image rather than content is the determining factor in measuring the success of a presidential candidate's media appearances. No one could accuse Reinsch of being above a little skulduggery during his 24-year tenure. He apparently sees no irony in the fact that he was delighted when a slight leg injury rendered Richard Nixon uncomfortable and fidgety during one of his 1960 debates with John Kennedy, and yet screamed ""Foul"" when the Nixon forces, hoping to counteract their candidate's tendency to perspire profusely under the TV lights, managed to lower the studio thermostats to 60 degrees during a subsequent confrontation. When Reinsch moves into the 70's many readers are likely to be irritated by his characterization of George McGovern's supporters as ""aggressive women, hippies, militant blacks and wise-cracking collegians."" Though he makes no mention of it, Reinsch seems to have moved somewhat to the right as the years (and his influence) passed. He is enormously impressed with the sophistication and polish of Ronald Reagan's handling of the electronic media. His ""television advertising. . .was. . .exactly the kind one might use to sell cars or clothes or cosmetics."" No matter where their political sympathies lie, readers are certain to be swept along by this frank and unapologetic reminiscence.

Pub Date: March 7th, 1987
Publisher: Hippocrene