Press: The Made-for-TV Campaign

A year when candidates -- not reporters -- controlled the images

For weeks the frenzied activity at Bush for President headquarters in Washington and Dukakis for President headquarters in Boston has come to an abrupt halt every evening at precisely 6:30. Like religious devotees called to prayers, staffers have huddled in small groups around glowing screens for the one hour of the day when their champions go head to head in the campaign's most critical arena: TV's evening news.

If 1960 was the year that television became a decisive factor in a national campaign, 1988 is the year that television was the campaign, a year in which one party, at its convention,...

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