Live from Capitol Hill!: Studies of Congress and the Media

Stephen Hess, Author Brookings Institution Press $16.95 (190p) ISBN 978-0-8157-3627-1
``Sprightly'' is not a word usually associated with social science writing, but Hess ( The Washington Reporters ), a senior fellow at Brookings, earns that adjective with this highly informative and often very funny portrait of how the media functions vis-a-vis the House and Senate. Drawing on extensive research into the content of local, regional and national news coverage, both print and broadcast, of Congress, Hess punctures numerous commonplaces. His work disproves the contentions that Hill reporters are lazy pack journalists who rewrite day-old press releases and that increased exposure has turned members of Congress into posturing media stars rather than serious legislators. Along the way, Hess produces a complex picture of the intricate play of forces that determines who gets on the evening news. Whenever his own reporting threatens to become too dry, he drops in a juicy item like the time that Rep. Silvio Conte ``wore a pig's snout during a House floor speech'' or an inside joke, such as the press secretary's answer to the question ``How many press secretaries does it take to change a light bulb?'' (``I don't have anything on that, but I'll get back to you'')p. 62 . (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/02/1991
Release date: 09/01/1991
Hardcover - 178 pages - 978-0-8157-3628-8
Open Ebook - 186 pages - 978-0-585-38742-0
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