TV News in the Video Republic

As the feel-good communitarians at U.S.A. Today would put it, "we" (i.e. Americans) are becoming more self-conscious and comfortable about our identity as the world's first video republic. It's now difficult to recall that in 1960, during the first, real made-for-TV presidential campaign, pundits were aghast at the fact that Dick Nixon's sweaty forehead and 5 o'clock shadow might actually affect the outcome of an election. Today, analysis of a candidate's TV persona is central to the substance of political reporting, and no one bats an eye.

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