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The Real Woodrow Wilson : an Interview with Arthur S. Link, Editor of the Wilson Papers, by James R. Carroll. Images from the Past.
     In 1993, as Link was concluding the publication of the last of 69 volumes of The Papers of Woodrow Wilson, journalist James Robert Carroll sat down with him to talk about his life's work and the man at its center. This book, which is that engaging conversation, explores Wilson the man, the politician, the historical figure and the legacy. The story of the assembly of the Wilson papers is told here, too. It is an equally compelling tale of dogged perseverance, the job of discovery and marvelous luck. As Link makes clear, Wilson's defeat on the League was rooted not in intransigent idealism but in well-hidden medical calamities that came upon him when he most needed his strength and skills. On this unfortunate happenstance of nature was built the future catastrophes and global political upheavals of the rest of the Twentieth Century.

One of ourselves : John Fitzgerald Kennedy in Ireland, by James R. Carroll. Images from the Past.
     This is a fascinating and faithful account of President Kennedy"s 3.5-day visit to Ireland in late June of 1963. Jim Carroll provides yet another window into the Kennedy legacy, creating a complex portrait of the man and the presidency. Exhaustively researched, the book and photos tell a memorable tale of the president's homecoming to a people and land long etched in his heart and at last on the verge of taking their place in the modern world's politics and economy. It is a day-by-day, hour-by-hour look at the places JFK visited; the people he met luminaries and average Irish citizens alike; the throngs who lined the roads to catch a glimpse of him or gathered to hear him speak; and the events that crowded his schedule. He touched a nation, and it touched him, in part because they shared a history of perseverance and adversity. Indeed, the trip represented the culmination of his historic triumph in the election of an Irish Catholic as president of a country where people could still remember store signs warning, 'Irish Need Not Apply'. His brief sojourn to Ireland revealed more of the private and spontaneous John F Kennedy than ever before seen in public. easier, happier, more involved and detached, more complexly himself than in the days of his Ireland visit'. Told with the help and recollections of many present during the trip, including aides, family, and friends,

Poisoning the Press: Richard Nixon, Jack Anderson, and the Rise of Washington's Scandal Culture, by Mark Feldstein. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
     It is March 1972, and the Nixon White House wants Jack Anderson dead. The syndicated columnist Jack Anderson, the most famous and feared investigative reporter in the nation, has exposed yet another of the President's dirty secrets. Nixon's operatives are ordered to "stop Anderson at all costs", permanently. Across the street from the White House, they huddle in a hotel basement to conspire. Should they try "Aspirin Roulette" and break into Anderson's home to plant a poisoned pill in one of his medicine bottles? Could they smear LSD on the journalist's steering wheel, so that he would absorb it through his skin, lose control of his car, and crash? Or stage a routine-looking mugging, making Anderson appear to be one more fatal victim of Washington's notorious street crime? This book recounts not only the disturbing story of an unprecedented White House conspiracy to assassinate a journalist, but also the larger tale of the bitter quarter-century battle between the postwar era's most embattled politician and its most reviled newsman. The struggle between Nixon and Anderson included bribery, blackmail, forgery, spying, and burglary as well as the White House murder plot. Their vendetta symbolized and accelerated the growing conflict between the government and the press, a clash that would long outlive both men. The author traces the arc of this confrontation between a vindictive president and a flamboyant, crusading muckraker who rifled through garbage and swiped classified papers in pursuit of his prey, stoking the paranoia in Nixon that would ultimately lead to his ruin. The White House plot to poison Anderson, the author argues, is a metaphor for the poisoned political atmosphere that would follow, and the toxic sensationalism that contaminates contemporary media discourse. Melding history and biography, the book unearths significant new information from more than two hundred interviews and thousands of declassified documents and tapes. This is a chronicle of political intrigue and the true price of power for politicians and journalists alike. The result, Washington's modern scandal culture, was Richard Nixon's ultimate revenge.

Presidents and the Media : the Communicator in Chief, by Stephen E. Frantzich. Routledge.
     Is Donald Trump's "War on the Media" new news, fake news, or business as usual? Presidents have always "used" the media and felt abused by it. Tried and true vehicles such as press conferences, routine speeches and the State of the Union address have served presidents' interests and received significant coverage by the print media. As new technologies have entered the media spectrum, the speed and pervasiveness of these interactions have changed dramatically. President Obama ushered in the social media presidency, while President Trump has become the tweeter-in-chief. This book shows how each of these developments affects what is communicated and how it is received by the public.

The C-span Revolution, by Stephen E. Frantzich and John Sullivan. University of Oklahoma Press.
     Beginning in 1979, C-SPAN (the Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network) has offered gavel-to-gavel, unedited coverage of public events--especially sessions of Congress--in the United States. The C-SPAN Revolution is the first history of this unique network, offering a behind-the-scenes look at C-SPAN's evolution, operation, and impact on public affairs

Founding Father : How C-SPAN's Brian Lamb Changed Politics in America, by Stephen E. Frantzich. Rowman & Littlefield.
     Unlike most networks, C-SPAN's origin, development, operations, and legacy can be traced back to one person. Brian Lamb has never been elected to office nor appointed to a policy-making position, yet his impact on American politics supersedes that of many whose titles and positions imply greater influence. The "founding father" and "inspirational heart" of C-SPAN serves as the broker for democracy. Founding Father is the first biography of the enigmatic, self-effacing, and modest Brian Lamb. It explores Lamb's experiences as a student in the Midwest, public affairs officer to Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, White House staffer during the Johnson and Nixon administrations (including his efforts to advise and prepare Vice President Gerald Ford to assume the presidency following the anticipated resignation of President Richard Nixon), Capitol Hill press secretary, media columnist, and many other previously unknown stories. Founding Father aha chronicles the creation and rise of C-SPAN from a dream, to an unknown niche network, to the network of record for public affairs with its legion of C-SPAN junkies.

O.O.P.S. : Observing Our Politicians Stumble : the Worst Candidate Gaffes and Recoveries in Presidential Campaigns, by Stephen E. Frantzich. ABC-CLIO.
     Almost every politician has occasionally misspoken, sometimes with disastrous effect, sometimes with little effect at all. O.O.P.S.: Observing Our Politicians Stumble: The Worst Candidate Gaffes and Recoveries in Presidential Campaigns observes and analyzes this phenomenon to document why some gaffes prove fatal while others are easily survived.

Honored Guests : Citizen Heroes and the State of the Union, by Stephen E. Frantzich. Rowman & Littlefield.
     In 1982, Ronald Reagan invited Lenny Skutnick, the government employee who dove into the icy waters of the Potomac River to rescue passengers following the crash of Air Florida Flight 90, to sit with First Lady Nancy Reagan in the House of Representativesbalcony during the State of the Union address. Since that time, Reagan and subsequent presidents have found it useful to recognize during major presidential addresses ordinary citizens responsible for extraordinary acts of citizenship.

Voice from America : Off the Air with Radio New Zealand's Washington Correspondent, by Connie Lawn. HarpersCollins.
     In this account of her twenty-six years as a reporter, Connie Lawn, the voice from America, familiar to thousands of Radio New Zealand listeners, gives her perspective on events as they unfold and become news.

You Wake Me Each Morning : the Final Chapter, by Connie Lawn. iUniverse.
     "You Wake Me Each Morning" that is what listeners around the world have said to Connie for years, as they heard her radio broadcasts in this country and around the world. The first time she heard the phrase was from Sam Lewis, America’s long-time Ambassador to Israel. Some listeners have called the voice sexy, authoritative, funny, snobby, or sophisticated. Connie tries to incorporate it all, as she tells the stories that make the news or change history. Of the many compliments she has received, the most important came from Nelson Mandela. The former South African President said he listened to her broadcasts for years while in prison. He told her, during a Washington news conference, “You Gave My People Hope.” Then he went onto say, “You are not as big as I thought you were!”

Row house to White House, by Lawrence M. O'Rourke. Xlibris Corporation.
    Lawrence M. O'Rourke was a newspaper columnist and reporter who covered the White House, Congress and national politics for 40 years. He was one of 17 U.S. newspaper reporters who traveled to China in 1972 with President Nixon and made reporting trips to the former Soviet Union, divided Berlin, Eastern Europe and the Middle East, O'Rourke was a correspondent in the first Persian Gulf War and the revolution in the Philippines, and was a senior official at the U.S. Department of Education. He reported from Washington for the Philadelphia Bulletin, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the McClatchy newspaper chain. He was president of the White House Correspondents Association and the Gridiron Club. This memoir reveals information O'Rourke acquired through conversations with presidents from Johnson to Obama and other national and international figures. O'Rourke is the author of the biography Geno. The memoir covers O'Rourke's Irish Catholic childhood in Philadelphia, military service in Puerto Rico, marathon running, recovery from prostate cancer and a heart attack.

Geno : the life and mission of Geno Baroni, by Lawrence M. O'Rourke.  Paulist Press.
     A touching authorized biography by journalist O'Rourke of Baroni (1930-84), a parish priest. Though Baroni's first four years of ministry ended in a nervous breakdown, he then found his calling ministering to inner city blacks in Washington, D.C. Baroni's intense personal struggles and his social justice ministry make him an appealing figure. Baroni also challenged Cardinal O'Boyle to send a small delegation of priests to march for civil rights in Selma, Alabama.

New media for the new millennium : federal and state executive press aides and ambition theory, by William C. Spragens. University Press of America.
     This book discusses the careers of the six White House press secretaries serving between 1981 and 1998, and the press secretaries for six governors during the same period. An introduction briefly outlines the history of public relations and the Press Secretary's changing role during the era of radio and television. Two concluding chapters consider correspondents' views of the Secretaries' work and situate the study in the context of ambition theory. 

From Spokesman to Press Secretary : White House Media Operations, by William C. Spragens. University Press of America.

The Presidency and the Mass Media in the Age of Television, by William C. Spragens. University Press of America.

Front Row at the White House : My Life and Times, by Helen Thomas. Scribner.
     Assigned to the White House press corps in 1961, Thomas was the first woman to close a press conference with "Thank you, Mr. President," and has covered every administration from Kennedy's to Clinton's. Along the way, she was among the pioneers who broke down barriers against women in the national media, becoming the first female president of the White House Correspondents Association, the first female officer of the National Press Club and the first woman member, later president, of the Gridiron Club.

​​Listen Up, Mr. President : Everything You Always Wanted Your President To Know and Do, by Helen Thomas and Craig Crawford. Scribner.
     "Helen Thomas has covered the administrations of ten presidents in a career spanning nearly sixty years. She is known for her famous press conference closing line, 'Thank you, Mr. President, ' but here she trades deference for directness. Thomas and veteran journalist Craig Crawford hold nothing back as they use former occupants of the White House to provide a witty, history-rich lesson plan of what it takes to be a good president. Combining sharp observation and dozens of examples from the first presidency through the forty-fourth, the authors outline the qualities, attitudes, and political and personal choices that make for the most successful leaders, and the least. Calvin Coolidge, who hired the first professional speechwriter in the White House, illuminates the importance of choosing words wisely. William Howard Taft, notorious for being so fat he broke his White House bathtub, shows how not to cultivate a strong public image. John F. Kennedy, who could handle the press corps and their questions with aplomb, shows how to establish a rapport with the press and open oneself up to the public. Ronald Reagan, who acknowledged the Iran-Contra affair in a television address, demonstrates how telling hard truths can earn forgiveness and even public trust. By gleaning lessons from past leaders, Thomas and Crawford not only highlight those that future presidents should follow but also pinpoint what Americans should look for and expect in their president. 

Dateline : White House, by Helen Thomas. MacMillan.
     The Longtime UPI White House correspondent reports on her contacts with and observations of Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and Ford, their families, and their staffs.

The White House Press on the Presidency : News Management and Co-option, edited by Kenneth W. Thompson. University Press of America.
     Includes chapters written by James Deakin on the problems of presidential press relationships, by Helen Thomas on Ronald Reagan's press management, and by Frank Cormier on co-option by Presidents.

​​Thanks for the Memories, Mr. President : Wit and Wisdom from the Front Row at the White House, by Helen Thomas. Scribner.

White House Correspondent, by Helen Thomas. Encyclopedia Americana/CBS News Audio Resource Library.
     Helen Thomas, UPI Bureau Chief at the White House, discusses Presidents that she has known and their families.

Portrait/Interview of Helen Thomas, Dean of White House Reporters, by Helen Thomas. CBS-TV.
     Reporter Helen Thomas, Dean of the White House Press Corps, explains how the press goes about posing questions to both the president and high ranking members of his administration. Thomas talks about her early years working at different jobs in reporting before landing her position covering the White House. Former Press Corps members Leslie Stahl and Sam Donaldson assert that Thomas is a master of phrasing a question to gain a newsworthy answer. Includes an excerpt of the 1985 Gridiron Club Dinner in which Thomas lampoons former vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro to the tune of "La donna e mobile."

Thank You, Mr. President : Helen Thomas at the White House,  by Helen Thomas. HBO Documentary Films.
     Profiles the iconic journalist, a legend in political reporting, who has covered every president since John F. Kennedy, supplemented by clips of Thomas in action, plus archival photos and footage.

 A View from Washington, by Helen Thomas. Pittsburg State University Foundation.

The Great White House Breakout, by Helen Thomas. Dial Books for Young Readers.
     With his mother as president, the rules and restrictions become too confining, until the day that Sam and his pets, Warren the cat and Leonard the rat, decide to escape and explore Washington D.C.

Hard News Leads, by Helen Thomas and Peter Berkow. Annenberg/CPB.
     Examines how the news stories are selected for publication and broadcast. Shows the power and process of the summary lead in newspaper, broadcast, and public relations writing. White House correspondent, Helen Thomas, and Chicago Defender editor, Michael Brown, discuss and demonstrate this basic journalism tool.

Robert F. Kennedy: the Brother Within, by Robert E. Thompson and Hortense Myers. Macmillan.
     The authors discuss Robert Kennedy's chances as a Presidential contender in 1968 and analyze his political apprenticeship for the highest political level in the U.S. They portray Robert Kennedy, his personality and his accomplishments, describe his family and friends and give their reactions to Kennedy, and also tell what his critics and enemies feel about him.

The Presidency From the Perspective of a Washington Correspondent, by Robert E. Thompson. Center for New Communications, Indiana University.
     Lecture given at the Center.


The Changing Tenor of Questioning Over Time, by John Heritage and Steven Clayman. Journalism Practicev7 n4 (August 2013): 481-501.
     This paper uses a single question form-the negative interrogative-as a window into the increasing aggressiveness of American journalists and hence the increasingly adversarial relationship between press and state in the United States. The negative interrogative in English is a type of yes/no interrogative (e.g., “Isn't it …”, “Don't you …”) often understood as asserting rather than merely seeking information. Its frequency in the construction of yes/no questions is an index of the propensity for journalists to depart from a formally neutral posture and express a point of view on the subject of inquiry. Previous quantitative research documented their growing use in US presidential news conferences since the 1950s, with the Nixon Administration as an historical turning point. Here we incorporate a more nuanced qualitative analysis of single cases in use. Beyond their growing frequency, negative interrogatives were increasingly mobilized to raise substantively adversarial matters, increasingly prefaced by adversarial assertions, and increasingly likely to treat such prefaces as presuppositionally given. Together these trends indicate journalists' growing willingness to highlight administration problems and failings and to hold Presidents to account, with Presidents since Nixon facing a harsher climate of journalistic questioning than did their predecessors.

The President's Questioners: Consequential Attributes of the White House Press Corps, by Steven Clayman, John Heritage, Marc Elliott, and Megan Beckett.  International Journal of Press/Politics v17 n1 (2012 01 01): 100-121.
     Are members of the White House press corps unified in their treatment of the president at any given time, or does their behavior differ by demographic and professional attributes? This study addresses this issue through multidimensional measurement of the aggressiveness of questions put to nine presidents (1953–2000) in news conferences. In addition to the familiar print/broadcast distinction, three largely unexamined attributes are explored: (1) organizational status (journalists affiliated with prominent vs. marginal news outlets), (2) interpersonal familiarity (frequent vs. infrequent news conference participants), and (3) gender (male vs. female journalists). The results indicate that print/broadcast and organizational status, which received the most attention in previous research, are the least consequential here. By contrast, previously unexamined attributes of familiarity and gender were more consequential. Frequent participants were in some respects more aggressive than infrequent participants. Female journalists were in some respects more aggressive than their male counterparts in the earlier part of the study period, but these differences attenuated over time. Explanations for these differences, which may include processes that govern entry into the press corps and/or subsequent on-the-job factors, are also discussed.

Source Material: “Does This Constitute a Press Conference?” Defining and Tabulating Modern Presidential Press Conferences, by Martha Kumar. Presidential Studies Quarterlyv33 n1 (March 2003): 221-237.
     The presidential press conference has demonstrated the way in which both sides have adapted to their own environments. By studying the frequency, format, location, and participants, we can see the ways in which a president responds to reporters’needs for information and the president's own need to present himself and his programs but to do so in an environment where the risk level is manageable. In this article, the author is looking at the variations in the basic elements of the press conference as seen in the modern era conferences of Presidents Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush. This piece is restricted to looking at the at the classification of press conferences and exploring their variety as expressed in the number of the locations where they are held and the assortment of participants in addition to the president.

A Watershed in White House Journalism: Explaining the Post-1968 Rise of Aggressive Presidential News, by Steven Clayman, Marc Elliott, John Heritage, and Megan Beckett. Political Communication, v. 27, no. 3 (2010): 229-247.
     Presidential journalism is known to have grown substantially more aggressive through the 1970s and beyond, but a definitive explanation for this trend remains elusive. Some suggest that events surrounding Vietnam and Watergate transformed the professional norms of journalism. However, the trend could also be a more superficial and transitory response to other circumstantial factors that converged in the same time period, such as president-level characteristics (the prevalence of Republicans, Washington outsiders, and more vigorous news management efforts), the political environment (the rise of official discord), and the economic environment (a downturn in the business cycle). This study disentangles these various factors and assesses their relative success in explaining trends in journalistic conduct in the postwar era. Data are drawn from a large sample of presidential news conferences from 1953 through 2000, focusing on the aggressiveness of journalists' questions. The results strongly support the normative shift hypothesis, although economic factors have also been consequential. These results suggest a punctuated equilibrium model of journalistic change in relations between the White House press corps and the presidency.

Whistleblowers and Investigative Reporters, by Mark Feldstein. Journalism & Communication Monographs v22 n3 (202009): 246-251
     When I was an investigative reporter in the 1980s and 1990s, the care and feeding of whistleblowers was my coin of the realm. A reporter is only as good as his or her sources, my editors liked to say; so finding, wooing, cajoling, vetting, and protecting confidential informants was as important as it was delicate. The stakes can be high: Successful exposure of wrongdoing can shut down crooked companies, send scoundrels to prison, and bring about policy reforms. At the same time, with so much on the line, career destruction awaits reporters who trust the wrong sources—or sources who trust the wrong reporter.