Politicians and the Press

September 2, 1964

Report Outline
The Press as a 1964 Poltical Target
Changes in Role of Press in Politics
Conduct of the Press in Campaigns
Special Focus

The Press as a 1964 Poltical Target

Hardly Any presidential campaign has been waged in the United States without complaint from one or another of the candidates that inaccurate or biased press coverage of his activities was prejudicing his chances of victory. The campaign of 1964 is no exception. Supporters of Sen. Barry Goldwater have been crying out against treatment of their candidate by reporters, columnists and television commentators. Complaints of this kind have not been as loud since 1948, when President Truman's protests against a “kept Republican press” fortified his image as an underdog and helped him to win the election.

It seems ironic that charges of deliberate unfairness to the Republican nominee should be leveled against press, radio and television, when control of those enterprises has usually been thought to be mainly in Republican hands. One explanation offered by Goldwater partisans is that publishers are powerless to stem an anti-Goldwater slant allegedly imparted to the press by liberal-minded reporters, headline writers, columnists and commentators.

A theory widely accepted by other backers of the G.O.P. nominee is that influential Republican publishers, especially on the East Coast, are members of a liberal cabal. Until this year, so the argument goes, these kingmakers were able to dictate selection of the G.O.P. standard-bearer and deny the Republican conservative wing its just due; now frustrated for the first time, they are pictured as seeking revenge against the conservative nominee.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Journalism, Newspapers, and the Media
Jan. 28, 2022  Misinformation and the Media
Oct. 02, 2020  Social Media Platforms
Sep. 18, 2020  The News Media
Aug. 24, 2018  Conspiracy Theories
Jun. 09, 2017  Trust in Media
May 30, 2014  Digital Journalism
May 03, 2013  Media Bias
Apr. 26, 2013  Free Speech at Risk
Apr. 12, 2013  Combat Journalism
Nov. 2010  Press Freedom
Oct. 08, 2010  Journalism Standards in the Internet Age
Feb. 05, 2010  Press Freedom
Mar. 27, 2009  Future of Journalism Updated
Jun. 09, 2006  Blog Explosion Updated
Jan. 20, 2006  Future of Newspapers
Apr. 08, 2005  Free-Press Disputes
Oct. 15, 2004  Media Bias
Oct. 10, 2003  Media Ownership Updated
Dec. 25, 1998  Journalism Under Fire
Jun. 05, 1998  Student Journalism
Sep. 20, 1996  Civic Journalism
Sep. 23, 1994  Courts and the Media
Aug. 24, 1990  Hard Times at the Nation's Newspapers
Jan. 19, 1990  Finding Truth in the Age of ‘Infotainment’
Aug. 18, 1989  Libel Law: Finding the Right Balance
Jun. 06, 1986  Magazine Trends
Oct. 12, 1984  News Media and Presidential Campaigns
Jul. 15, 1983  State of American Newspapers
Oct. 23, 1981  High Cost of Libel
Dec. 23, 1977  Media Reforms
Mar. 11, 1977  News Media Ownership
Jun. 21, 1974  Access to the Media
Dec. 20, 1972  Newsmen's Rights
Aug. 16, 1972  Blacks in the News Media
Dec. 15, 1971  Magazine Industry Shake-Out
Jul. 18, 1969  Competing Media
Sep. 02, 1964  Politicians and the Press
Dec. 04, 1963  Libel Suits and Press Freedom
Jan. 09, 1963  Newspaper Mergers
Dec. 20, 1961  Reading Boom: Books and Magazines
Dec. 02, 1959  Privileged Communications
Apr. 25, 1956  Newsprint Deficit
May 06, 1953  Government and the Press
Sep. 21, 1948  Press and State
Sep. 05, 1947  Newsprint Supply
Mar. 26, 1947  Facsimile Newspapers
Dec. 10, 1945  World Press Freedom
May 01, 1940  New Experiments in Newspaper-Making
Nov. 04, 1933  Press Freedom Under the Recovery Program
Campaigns and Elections