Stakeouts And Shouted Questions

Why political journalism may never be the same "Listen to who's talking. Journalists! Peeking through keyholes!" -- Hildy Johnson in The Front Page

In the most famous play ever written about newspapermen, Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur painted a sardonic portrait of hard-boiled, hardhearted journalists, but it was a picture tinged with affection for the profession's raffish charm. Last week, however, many people found nothing charming about the press's role in the collapse of Gary Hart's presidential candidacy. If no one actually peeped through keyholes, reporters were doing things that couldn't help looking a bit tawdry. A team of journalists staked out a man's home to discover who was spending the night there. A presidential candidate was asked, at point-blank range, whether he had...

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