To question the integrity and ethical manners of today’s politicians and public servants, no longer raises eyebrows or elbows, and is in fact common place. In a society that believes that 65 percent of government officials are corrupt (compare that to only 45 percent in 1976 during the wake of Watergate) and make concessions to the “rich and powerful,” there is no wonder that commercial television and the news industry frames our leaders and servants in a negative light. What is now needed to reduce the influence and standard of negative reporting is a systematic, timely, and thoughtful appraisal of the coverage of national politics, particularly campaigns, of our media outlets.
In 1-800-PRESIDENT, a fresh look of the television news industry is brought to light on why negative reporting is not a healthy contributor to American Politics. The authors and the Twentieth Century Fund felt an obligations to examine the causes of this apparent deterioration of public discourse and have offered their sincere and honest opinions for the future of the American news industry as an attempt to enhance and bring back national campaigns to a beloved standard for the American public.