Fast Freights and Side Rails

In covering the race, the media play the "expectations "game

ABC's Peter Jennings used two of them in an opening paragraph on Super Tuesday. So did CBS's Dan Rather. NBC's Tom Brokaw employed a couple of them too, and his colleague Roger Mudd followed with a whole string. The popular words and phrases were variations on that old stand-by of political reporting, the expectations game—this candidate did better or worse "than expected," that candidate "had to" win here or capture some specified percentage of the vote there—and they set the tone for the evaluation...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!