TALKING POLITICS

CHOOSING THE PRESIDENT IN THE TELEVISION AGE

Some interesting exchanges and provocative observations arise from these interviews with nine prominent broadcast journalists and one politician about presidential campaigns. Although numerous issues surface, freelance journalist Cunningham notes that the question of character—and the capacity of television to illuminate it—resonates most powerfully with her interviewees. Public television's Robert MacNeil, for example, observes that Dan Rather's famous on-air battle with George Bush in 1988 allowed the candidate to shed his image as a wimp. Conversely, Dave Sirulnick, director of MTV News, observes that in Bush's 1992 appearance with MTV's youthful Tabitha Soren, he ``looked like someone's father `scolding' his young teenage daughter.'' In a different take on the character issue, MacNeil/Lehrer Newshour essayist Roger Rosenblatt suggests that Bill Clinton's stance on capital punishment and flag burning better illuminate his character than the Gennifer Flowers scandal. More trenchant is Linda Ellerbee, late of ABC, who rues that the press protects those in power by not reporting on their failings and vehemently denies charges of the media's liberal bias: ``The national press is centrist if it's anything.'' By contrast, ABC's Jeff Greenfield reflects that TV news is hardly all-powerful, noting that reporting on Reagan's gaffes did not lessen his public support. Former vice- presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro, the subject of much media scrutiny, observes that questions about character should concentrate less on personal behavior and more on how candidates feel about ``moral issues'' like feeding the hungry. Cunningham concludes with a brief epilogue, noting that criticism of the media can and should help improve coverage. A small potpourri, but with more substance than most in this format.

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-275-94187-6

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Praeger

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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