THE BOYS ON THE BUS by Timothy Crouse


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Teddy White for good or ill invented the making of the President business back in 1960 and Dr. Hunter S. Thompson and his Mojo wire raised it to New Journalistic eminence in 1972. Somewhere in between the stars like White and Thompson are a whole gaggle of political reporters -pundits, pontificators, network glamor boys, fawners, drunks, fornicators, wire service virtuosos, hacks, hatchet men, comers -- all crammed like monkeys with typewriters in the press bus, frenetically dogging the candidates, all looking for a piece of the story, something to peg their best words on, and perhaps, after the quadrennial gig is finished, a book which might do half as well as White's or be a quarter as perceptive as Thompson's. Now young Crouse -- a Rolling Stone editor via the Harvard Crimson -- has a new angle: why not cover the boys who cover the candidates, letting us in on how the national press makes its copy, regards its members, wields its influence, reacts to the Nixon-McGovern hustle. And he does a quite decent job too -- there's an ample quota of anecdotes like the time Jane Muskie pushed a cake into Dick Stout's (Newsweek) face or how Johnny Apple's (NY Times) South Carolina challenge story was almost killed; there's a good analysis of what Crouse calls ""pack journalism""; there's an instructive discussion of the informal but influential ""screening committee"" comprised of mogul reporters like David Broder (Washington Post) and Robert Novak (Chicago Sun Times Syndicate); there's a few wonderful descriptions of Crouse's colleagues -- e.g., Jim Naughton (NY Times): ""If Dickens' Tiny Tim had reached the age of thirty-four, he would look like Naughton""; and there's coverage of the coverage of the campaign itself which adds little that is new but provides additional insight into the press's attitudes and techniques. Leave the driving to Crouse -- his Making of the Press 1972 reads right along in high gear.

Pub Date: Nov. 19th, 1973
ISBN: 0812968204
Publisher: Random House