A review of the early press coverage of George W. Bush's administration reveals some unexpected and troubling features of contemporary political journalism: even the most serious newspapers in the country have pulled back dramatically on covering the presidency.
Did George W. Bush really get an easier ride from the media in his first months in office?
This study attempted to discern the nature of the press coverage of the story by examining several major threads of the story and comparing them to the Starr Report and its supporting evidentiary material. Contrary to White House accusations, those doing the bulk of the original reporting did not ferry false leaks and fabrications into coverage. But in some important cases, the press leaned on the suspicions of investigators that did not hold up and downplayed the denials of the accused, according to a new study. The findings raise questions about whether the press always maintained adequate skepticism about its sources.
The study, a follow up to an earlier one in February, raises basic questions about whether the press has become too lax about offering readers as much information as possible, and whether journalists have allowed sources to dictate terms too easily.
>From the earliest moments of the Clinton crisis,the press routinely intermingled reporting with opinion and speculation--even on the front page--according to a new systematic study of what and how the press reported. The study raises basic questions about the standards of American journalism and whether the press is in the business of reporting facts or something else.