Newswatch: More Professional, Less Human

More Professional, Less Human

Hoping to provoke a little candor among the six Republican presidential candidates on his television show, William F. Buckley Jr. asked Pierre du Pont why he would be a better choice than Jack Kemp. As du Pont began to answer with practiced evasion, Bob Dole broke in: "You're looking at me. Kemp's over there." "Yeah," replied du Pont evenly, "but the camera's behind you." Television, once the terror of politicians because it revealed character, now merely shows their carefully fashioned synthetic facades.

More than ever in the age of Ronald Reagan, television smarts are required job skills for presidential candidates. The...