The Start of Tabloid Politics

PictureAll the Truth Is Out:  The Week Politics Went Tabloid by Matt Bai, Alfred A Knopf, 2014.

Yet another NPR-publicized book.  If you’re of a certain age, the name “Gary Hart” conjures up one image, and one image only:  of the smiling, mop-haired man in a “Monkey Business Crew” t-shirt with the beautiful woman on his lap.  And that’s it.  When that one picture hit the papers it was all over for a man who at that point was virtually a shoo-in to be the Democratic nominee for President in 1987.  Nothing else mattered.  He pretty much disappeared from political life.

However much you (and I) may deplore adultery (and whatever may have ultimately happened between Hart and Donna Rice, there was no doubt that he had had numerous affairs during his long but troubled marriage), it is fair to point out that with this one incident the rules of engagement between the press and political candidates changed.

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