Television: Electronic Politics: The Image Game

WITH a mixture of awe, resentment and reverential hope appropriate for a demanding deity, scores of politicians are once again laying their treasure at the feet of television cameras in a biennial rite of electronic personality adjustment. Victory is the goal. The byproduct could be a constructive discussion of America's problems, but it has increasingly become a contest of bank accounts and artful contrivance.

In no other Western democracy has television become so dominant a factor in politics. Congress this month is expected to pass a long-debated bill, aimed at controlling some aspects of...

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