Press: Rethinking The Fair Game Rules

"A lot of respected journalistic guts are saying 'Whoa!' "

The scorecard on the still young 1988 election cycle would have been inconceivable a generation ago: two presidential candidates already dispatched by fatal headlines, several others wounded, a few discouraged from entering. As recently as the 1960s, journalistic convention protected the private lives of politicians except under unusual circumstances. Now any behavior that would earn demerits for a boy scout seems fair game. But is that fair? Last week this trend was prompting some healthy reappraisal that might save campaign '88 from runaway triviality. As James Gannon, editor of the Des Moines Register, puts it: "A lot of respected journalistic guts...