Politicians and Privacy

April 17, 1992 • Volume 2, Issue 15
Should the news media probe politicians' private lives?
By Charles S. Clark


When the alleged marital infidelity of presidential candidate Bill Clinton was spotlighted by the media, the ensuing flap raised more than the immediate issues of adultery and the character of candidates. News professionals found themselves uneasy, divided and confused over the relentless pursuit of such a highly personal story. The fact that the initial source was a supermarket tabloid merely added to their discomfort. Since the late 1960s, in fact, the media have been regularly probing politicians' private lives (as well as their mental and physical health). Like the sex scandal that shattered the presidential candidacy of Gary Hart in 1987, the Clinton episode proves that journalists exercise tremendous power in American politics. But they are still struggling to write their ethical rule book.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Feb. 09, 2018  Privacy and the Internet
Dec. 04, 2015  Privacy and the Internet
Oct. 25, 2013  Big Data and Privacy
Aug. 30, 2013  Government Surveillance
Jan. 25, 2013  Social Media Explosion
Sep. 17, 2010  Social Networking
Nov. 06, 2009  Online Privacy Updated
Nov. 17, 2006  Privacy in Peril
Jun. 15, 2001  Privacy Under Attack
Nov. 06, 1998  Internet Privacy
Nov. 19, 1993  Privacy in the Workplace
Apr. 17, 1992  Politicians and Privacy
Jan. 20, 1989  Your Right to Privacy
Mar. 21, 1986  Privacy in the Workplace
Oct. 18, 1974  Rights to Privacy
Apr. 05, 1967  Wiretapping and Bugging
Apr. 20, 1966  Protection of Privacy
Nov. 09, 1961  Wiretapping in Law Enforcement
Feb. 29, 1956  Surveillance of Spying
Jan. 25, 1956  Eavesdropping Controls
Mar. 14, 1949  Wire Tapping
Campaigns and Elections
Campaigns and Elections