By Philip Seib

Seib examines the moral concerns underlying the risky courting among newshounds and politicians. It presents an within examine how journalists and applicants do their jobs. From the screening strategy information companies use to choose which applicants to hide, to the truth-testing of political advertisements, to the controversies surrounding election evening projections, this paintings articulates an important moral questions and is helping readers of their look for solutions. As a political communications textual content, Campaigns and judgment of right and wrong appears to be like on the many aspects of political journalism: what newshounds want to know earlier than masking a crusade; the right way to procedure the nature factor; how one can stay alongside of the frantic speed of a crusade; why crusade advertisements may be coated as information; the attract and hazards of polls, projections, and endorsements; and, the accountability of the clicking to hide some of the most strong quasi-political institutions--the press itself.

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A case in point: During the tight 1976 presidential race between Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter, Ford announced 18 CAMPAIGNS AND CONSCIENCE that he would veto legislation authorizing a financial bailout of New York City. " Coming just a few days before the election, that may have tilted some New York voters toward Carter. 23 The Democratic challenger won the state by less than 300,000 votes out of more than 6 million cast. Had New York's forty-one electoral votes gone to the Republicans, Ford would have remained in the White House for another four years.

12 Mackin was perceived by some as a McGovern partisan rather than a disinterested observer, but her decision was simply that the public deserved the truth and would accept her as an honest and intelligent purveyor of that truth. Of course, in many cases the public doesn't need to be told when a politician strays from the truth. In 1991, for example, when President Bush said race was not a factor in his appointing Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court, reporters didn't have to tell their audiences that this was untrue.

A number of factors should be considered when evaluating such charges. First, coverage as a whole rather than a single story should be analyzed. For instance, in the course of the 1992 presidential campaign, major news organizations carried hundreds of stories about the candidates. On any given day, the lead story about George Bush may have seemed more positive than the coverage of Bill Clinton. An example: During the final week of the campaign, many stories about Bush focused on his "miracle comeback" attempt, while stories about Clinton tended to emphasize his slippage in the opinion polls.

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