Sexual Scandal Reportage  1960S through 2000S

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Sexual Scandal Reportage 1960S through 2000S Proper Perspective or a Return to Yellow Journalism
Harris, Michelle Lee
Place of Publication:
[Gainesville, Fla.]
University of Florida
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1 online resource (114 p.)

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Master's ( M.A.M.C.)
Degree Grantor:
University of Florida
Degree Disciplines:
Mass Communication
Journalism and Communications
Committee Chair:
Cleary, Johanna
Committee Members:
Tripp, Bernell E
Foley, Michael
Graduation Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Editorials ( jstor )
Journalism ( jstor )
News content ( jstor )
News media ( jstor )
Newspapers ( jstor )
Newswire services ( jstor )
Political candidates ( jstor )
Politics ( jstor )
Print media ( jstor )
Senators ( jstor )
Journalism and Communications -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
editorial -- journalism -- mainstream -- media -- perspective -- political -- scandal -- sexual -- yellow
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent) ( marcgt )
born-digital ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Mass Communication thesis, M.A.M.C.


The reportage of political sexual scandal had undergone a metamorphosis in the latter part of the 20th century. Gone is the post-war era press club that had silenced the rumors surrounding political figures, replaced by a press corps that filled the nation’s leading newspapers with the character flaws and philandering of elected public servants. Amid cries of sensationalism and a return to Yellow Journalism by the media after each new scandal, the study analyzes the editorial approach news organizations have traditionally taken on the subject of political sexual scandal. This contextual analysis considers three scandals beginning in 1969 with Edward Kennedy and Mary Jo Kopechne, continuing in 1987 with Gary Hart and Donna Rice and ending in 2008 with John Edwards and Rielle Hunter. Employing close reading and computer-aided text analysis methods, and building on Benoit’s Image Restoration Strategies as a theoretical guideline, the researcher reviewed The New York Times, the Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune’s coverage of these scandals to determine the editorial stance, and changes if any, of each publication during the roughly 40-year time span. A discussion of the results and implications for the dissemination of political sexual scandal in the current mainstream media reveal that the editorial stance of these newspapers remained fairly consistent during the time frame under consideration, whether that be a liberal, moderate or conservative position. Further, that the newspaper’s reportage was directed, in no small part, by the actions and strategies these figures employed in the wake of the scandal’s publication. However, there are distinct changes in the language and overall tone of the reportage, which became increasingly unfavorable toward figures embroiled in political sexual scandal over time. The researcher finds that as time progressed, the focus of the reportage shifts from external event to internal ethos and the language from reserved to racy. ( en )
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In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
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Includes vita.
Includes bibliographical references.
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Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
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Thesis (M.A.M.C.)--University of Florida, 2012.
Adviser: Cleary, Johanna.
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by Michelle Lee Harris.

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Copyright Harris, Michelle Lee. Permission granted to the University of Florida to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
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LD1780 2012 ( lcc )


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2 2012 Michelle Lee Harris


3 T o my mother, Marty Stearns, grandmother Florence Patoski and Ms. Fran Testa, the strongest women I have ever known, and who, through their tireless love and support, helped me to become the woman that I am today


4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The following were influential and instrumental in the research and writing of this thesis: Dr. Johanna Cleary, Dr. B ernell Tripp and Mike Foley. I gratefully thank them for their expertise, energy and tireless patience.


5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 4 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 7 LIST OF FIGURES ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 8 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 9 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 11 2 LITERATURE REVIEW ................................ ................................ .......................... 17 Image Repair Theory ................................ ................................ .............................. 17 Scandalization by the Media ................................ ................................ ................... 19 Political Fallout ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 21 Historical World View Change ................................ ................................ ................ 22 3 METHOD ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 27 Analyzing for Latent Content Using T Lab v. 8.0 Software ................................ ..... 28 Participants / Scandals ................................ ................................ ........................... 30 1969: Ted Kennedy and Mary Jo Kopechne ................................ .................... 30 1987: Gary Hart and Donna Rice ................................ ................................ ..... 31 2008: John Edwards and Rielle Hunter ................................ ............................ 31 Sampling Frame ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 32 Timeframe ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 35 Operational Definitions ................................ ................................ ............................ 35 Othe r Definitions ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 37 Procedure ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 37 4 RESULTS ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 40 Findings and Thematic Analysis ................................ ................................ ............. 40 Word Counts and Article Population ................................ ................................ ....... 41 Contextual Key Terms and Themes ................................ ................................ ....... 42 Edward Kennedy and Mary Jo Kopechne; Coverage July 19 Aug. 3, 1969. 43 The New York Times ................................ ................................ ................. 43 The Washin gton Post ................................ ................................ ................. 49 Chicago Tribune ................................ ................................ ......................... 57 Gary Hart and Donna Rice; Coverage May 4 18, 1987. ................................ 64 The New York Times ................................ ................................ ................. 64 Washington Post ................................ ................................ ........................ 69


6 Chicago Tribune ................................ ................................ ......................... 75 John Edwards and Rielle Hunter; Aug. 9 23, 2008 ................................ ........ 80 The New York Times ................................ ................................ ................. 80 Washington Post ................................ ................................ ........................ 83 Chicago Tribune ................................ ................................ ......................... 88 5 DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION ................................ ................................ ........ 91 What Was The Editorial Approach The News Publications Under Consideration Took In Reporting On Each Of The Three Political Sexual Scandals? ................ 91 The New York Times ................................ ................................ ........................ 91 The Washington Post ................................ ................................ ....................... 93 The Chicago Tribune ................................ ................................ ........................ 95 Did That Approach Change Between 1969 And 2008, With Regard To Tone Or Emphasis? ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 96 ................................ ................................ ......... 97 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 98 Limitations ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 104 Suggestions for Future Research ................................ ................................ ......... 105 APPENDIX A KEY WORD LISING FOR CONTEXTUAL ANALYSIS ................................ .......... 107 B INQUIRY AUDIT QUESTIONS ................................ ................................ ............. 108 LI ST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ............................. 109 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ .......................... 114


7 LIST OF TABLES Table page 3 1 Average Daily Circulation Figures Through March 31, 2012 .............................. 33 4 1 Published word counts for each of the three case studies under consideration. ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 41 4 2 Totals of published stories for each newspaper within the population. ............... 4 2 4 3 Total key term word counts for The New York Times coverage of Edward Kennedy July 19 Aug. 3, 1969. (Excludes wire service articles) ...................... 47 4 4 Total key term word counts for wire service articles of Edward Kennedy published by The New York Times July 19 Aug. 3, 1969. ............................... 48 4 5 Total key term word counts for Washington Post coverage of Edward Kennedy July 19 Aug. 3, 1969. (Excludes wire service articles) ...................... 55 4 6 Total key term word counts for wire service articles of Edward Kennedy published by the Washington Post July 19 Aug. 3, 1969. ................................ 57 4 7 Total key term word counts for Chicago Tribune coverage of Edward Kennedy July 19 Aug. 3, 1969. (Excludes wire service articles) ...................... 62 4 8 Total key term word counts for wire service articles of Edward Kennedy published by the Chicago Tribune July 19 Aug. 3, 1969. ................................ 63 4 9 Total key term word counts for The New York Times coverage of Gary Hart May 4 18, 1987. ................................ ................................ ............................... 69 4 10 Total key term word counts for Washington Post coverage of Gary Hart May 4 18, 1987. ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 75 4 11 Total key term word counts for Chicago Tribune coverage of Gary Hart May 4 18, 1987. ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 79 4 12 Total key term word counts for The New York Times coverage of John Edwards Aug. 9 23, 2008. ................................ ................................ ............... 83 4 13 Total key term word counts for Washington Post coverage of John Edwards Aug. 9 23, 2008. ................................ ................................ .............................. 88 4 14 Total key term word counts for Chicago Tribune coverage of John Edwards Aug. 9 23, 2008. ................................ ................................ .............................. 90


8 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 4 1 The New York Times ................................ ................................ .......................... 47 4 2 Wire service articles published by The New York Times ................................ ... 48 4 3 Washington Post ................................ ................................ ................................ 55 4 4 Wire service articles published by the Washington Post ................................ ... 56 4 5 Chicago Tribune ................................ ................................ ................................ 62 4 6 Wire service articles published by the Chicago Tribune ................................ ..... 63 4 7 The New York Times. ................................ ................................ ......................... 69 4 8 Washington Post ................................ ................................ ................................ 75 4 9 Chicago Tribune ................................ ................................ ................................ 79 4 10 The New York Times ................................ ................................ .......................... 83 4 11 Washington Post ................................ ................................ ............................... 87 4 12 Chicago Tribune ................................ ................................ ................................ 90


9 Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for th e Degree of Master of Arts in Mass Communications SEXUAL SCANDAL REPORTAGE 1960s THROUGH 2000s: PROPER PERSPECTIVE OR A RETURN TO YELLOW JOURNALISM By Michelle Lee Harris December 2012 Chair: Johanna Cleary Major: Mass Communication The reportage of political sexual scandal had undergone a metamorphosis in the latter part of the 20 th century. Gone is the post war era press club that had silenced the leading newspapers with the character flaws and philandering of elected public servants. Amid cries of sensationalism and a return to yellow j ournalism by the media after each new scandal, the study analyzes the editorial approach news organizations have traditionally taken on the subject of political sexual scandal. This contextual analysis considers t hree scandals beginning in 1969 with Edward Kennedy and Mary Jo Kopechne, continuing in 1987 with Gary Hart and Donna Rice and ending in 2008 with John Edwards and Rielle Hunter. Employing close reading and computer aided text analysis methods, and buildin g reviewed The New York Times the Washington Post and the coverage of these scandals to determine the editorial stance, and changes if any, of each publi cation during the roughly 40 year time span.


10 A discussion of the results and implications for the dissemination of political sexual scandal in the current mainstream media reveal that the editorial stance of these newspapers remained fairly consistent dur ing the time frame under consideration, whether that be a liberal, moderate or conservative position. Further, that the publication. However, there are distinct changes in the language and overall tone of the reportage, which became increasingly unfavorable toward figures embroiled in political sexual scandal over time. The researcher finds that as time progressed, the foc us of the reportage shifts from external event to internal ethos and the language from reserved to racy.


11 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION For the most part, political sexual scandal, or any scandal for that matter, fades with time, or the emergence of other impo rtant issues and events (Adut, 2009). But political sex scandals can generate changes felt not only within the current political climate, but also in the news outlets reporting on such events as well as the public at large. Throughout the political landsca pe of the latter half of the 20th century, the publication of political sexual scandal has heralded the ruin of more than one elected to their personal and professiona l image. But that was not always the case. Scandal as de fined by the American Heritage C ollege Di ctionary, Fourth Edition (2004) ( hereby referred to as AHCD) is a publicized incident that brings about disgrace, or offends the moral sensibilities of society reportage is defined as the act or process of reporting news or information Thompson (2000) posited that political scandal, of any form, is that which has the power to divert public attention from the everyday issues of real world importance, such as economic instability and civil strife (p. 5) So powerful is the story of political sexual To date, there has been little research on the subject of po litical sexual scandal reportage and its journalistic as well as political implications. Indeed, even less sexual scandal and how it responds editorially to the a ct ions of the figures involved. This study forwards the current body of knowledge on the subject of political sexual scandal and the media using contextual analysis to pinpoint the editorial position


12 of print news publications in the U.S with regard to political sexual scandal in the years between 1969 and 2008. T hat is whether the was more favorable or unfavorable in nature overall. The study in clude s a discussion of the language used to report on political sexual scandal during the timeframe in question and analyze s to what extent that editorial position and the language used ha d been affected by the actions of the political figures in response to the publication of the scandal. Specifically, this study consider s three political sexual scandals occurring over a span of roughly 40 years, beginning in 1969 with Edward Kennedy and Mary Jo Kopechne continuing in 1987 with Gary Hart and Donna Rice and ending in 2008 with John Edwards an d Rielle Hunter. The study analyze s the direction especially the of three national print news publications and determines whether that rep ortage focused more on the personal or the professional qualities of the political figures in question. In the face of an increasingly ubiquitous electronic media, which may or may not hold to the same standards as print journalism (Abdulla et al 2002) a rigorous study to reporting political sexual scandal was warranted. To facilitate th at inquiry, the research er conduct ed a contextual analysis of the language, the me and scope of news copy, editorials and op ed pieces, a s well as news wire stories and Letters to the E ditor collections (hereafter collectively referred to as The New York


13 Times th e Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune during the timeframe in question S pecifically Edward Kennedy and the Chappaquiddick incident July 20 Aug ust 3, 1969; 18, 1987 ; and John Ed confession to infide lity August 9 22, 2008. The text from these articles w ere analyzed using a word mining system to determine key terms and linguistic patterns occurring within the publications themselves (The researcher limited the analysis to print publications, as online news services were not available for the entire timeframe in question). These terms and patterns were then co mparatively analyzed to determine thematic range and linguistic relationships. The results of the contextual analysis w as used to further this stu assertion that Image Repair Discourse (Benoit et al 1995), or the strategies used by political figures involved in any potentially damaging scenario, are directly related to the position, editorially speaking, the press took in the repor tage of the sexual scandals herein noted. In other words, it was the actions of the political figures involved in the reported sexual scandal, both before and after publication, specifically their efforts at orial position and the reporting techniques used to cover the scandal. The history of the press in the years between 1969 and 2008 reflect an industry that had matured from the partisan presses of the late 19 th century into a respected body of writers, e ditors in the highest esteem, yet also wrote with an increasingly critical eye toward their professional behavior. Indeed, during the latter part of the 20 th century a marked separation ap


14 societal and cultural norms taking place in the U.S. and worldwide forced the press to take a more in depth approach to news reporting and a more watchful position toward political elite s than ever before. Borrowing from Creswell (2007) this study use d a collective case study approach to the contextual analysis and develop ed a holistic account of the political sexual scandals chosen in order to understand to what extent, if any, the pr ess has changed its editorial position on these types of events during the nearly 40 year time span in question. For purposes of this study, political sexual scandal was defined as an event(s) concerning the sexual conduct of those serving as elected public officials or who were campaigning for an elected public office within any level of the U.S. government (local, state or federal) at the time of the scandal. In additio n, political sexual scandal was be further defined as an incident of sexual conduct having a national impact on American audiences T hat is, those events that directly call ed into question the judgment and decision making skills of the political figure(s) i nvolved. Further, the study focus ed on scandals that received cross media attention T hat is, those events that received print, radio or television broadcast and/or online coverage, though this study limited its focus solely to the print media coverage T he analysis focus ed on the following three cases of political sexual scandal where the persons involved either flourished or floundered in the wake of the sexual scandal and analyze d the scope and position of th se scandals: Edward Kennedy and Mary Jo Kopechne in 1969, Ga ry Hart and Donna Rice in 1987, and John Edwards and Rielle Hunter in 1008


15 The scandals under consideration were chosen for their relevance and prominence in the American political landscape, namely, presiden tial candidates and or long serving Congressmen who were actively at work in the public sphere. The associate aspects that were implicit in making these events of national importance and thus factors in the selection process include the implications of s candal on the outcome of a presidential election and subsequent criminal investigations into felony charges of campaign fraud and criminal negligence that followed. However, this study did not include analysis of issues such as the personal toll of termina lly ill wives, illegitimate children being thrust into the national spotlight or the moral fiber of deceased secretaries in the wake of these scandals. These associate aspects are beyond the scope of this research n or did this study include the Bill Clin ton/Monica Lewinsky affair, as the national and international ramifications would have been an overarchin g theme in and of it self. The researcher believes that sexual scandal involving a sitting president, versus a senator or presidential candidate, would generate an overwhelming amount of press articles on associate aspects outside the scandal of origin and thus outside the study parameters. These three case studies represent a unique time in the history of print journalism, including the creation of the Internet an invention that literally shattered the business model for print media and forced news organizations to restructure the way news they disseminate news. In addition, other major events were competing for news reader s attention during the timefr ames under consideration ; Contra arms dealing hearings being held in Washington at the same time Democratic


16 pre sidential candidate Gary Hart was meeting wit h Donna Rice at his townhouse; and the economic recession and record unemployment resulting from the sub prime mortgage debacle of 2006 while John Edwards is dogged by the media about an extramarital affair and subsequent love child. Though this study did not focus on these associate aspects of science, non related scandals or economics, the se issues represent a unique element in competition for news play that is, the amount of coverage given to any one subject. These three case studies, present a unique opportunity to look at the ways three different news organizations approached the reporting of political sexual scandal whether that be with a conservative, more strident voice, a liberal, broad spectrum approach or perhaps even an evolving editorial postu re in 20 year intervals. This 20 year span encompasses not only changes in technology, but social norms and language integral components for contextual analysis. In addition, these three scenarios represent varying degrees of legality and morality not nece ssarily in that order in the unfolding of the scandal.


17 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW In the last half of the 20 th century, the press seemingly became much more inclined to cover sexual scandal involving political figures; so much so, that the tide seems to have has swung away from treating political figures with restraint and discretion to a no holds graphic details about oral sex and semen stained dresses, and savored every steamy scrap of infor mation available (Cleghorn, 1998). Image Repair Theory In a study on how public figures defend themselves when involved in situations that are less tha n flattering in the press, Benoit (1995, et al ) proposed a theory of Image Repair Discourse which offer s strategies when the subject in question can no longer deny involvement in a given scenario, often one that has been revealed by the press, and where the subject must offer some type of self defense. This theory figures prominently with the notion that a bad or unfavorable public image is the last thing a political figure would want. Indeed, most people, when faced with a threat of damage to their personal or professional reputation would not hesitate to address the situation. the subject has a determined agenda in regard to reputation and career, is necessary. Strategies for reducing potential damage corrective action and mortification blame shifting (pp. 74 75).


18 Benoit (2001) studied the 1998 sexual scandal of then President Bill Clinton and former White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Though initially denying his affair with and waffling on the public admission of inappropriate conduct, though not overtly asking for forgiveness, served as an effective apology. According to Benoit, it was a measure that, combined with his acquittal by the U.S. House of Representatives on charges of perjury and won the approval o f the American public and subsequently with the press; actions that Benoit found consistent with his theory that admission and remorse via the American media are vital to image repair. Conversely, Benoit (1998) also analyzed the actions of U.S. Sen. Edwar d apology and attempts to deflect responsibility inflamed initial suspicions. However, his later remorsefulness and deferment to the public about whether or not to resign h is senate seat seems to have turned the tide to his favor. These scenarios position, to a large degree, is in fact threat to their public i mage. While expressing guilt, shame and remorse and then taking immediate corrective action has proved to be the most effective of these strategies for damage control in the wake of an alleged scandal, denial is by far the most common initial response and the most damaging.


19 Scandalization by the Media Adut (2009) argued that publication of sexual scandal is the first step in the process of turning what amounts to moral misdeeds into a breach of the public trust. The American public holds their elected off icials, and the offices they represent, to a higher standard of conduct than the average person; thus the transgression, whether moral or legal, b ecomes public knowledge with publication by the print media radio or TV of any actions by those officials wh direct violation of common law. According to Adut, scandal of any kind has three elements: 1) transgression, whether real or merely just possible; 2) publication, whether deliberate or accidental; and 3) n egative public impact. Further, it is not necessarily the sexual conduct itself that is offensive but the status to which the public attributes the offender, namely that of role model, and because of the nature of the power wielded by such officials over p ublic policy and the welfare of their constituency. In a Finnish study on the reporting of sexual scandal and shame, Laine (2010) discussed level officials within the Finnish government. Her sexual scandals, the actions of the political officials in question and the reactions of the Finnish public to that coverage, specifically with regard to the admission of guilt, responsibility and exhibition of remorse or shame by the figures involved; actions which correlated directly to the amount of favorable or unfavorable press each scandal received. Laine (2010) used the scandals of then Foreign Minister Ilkka Kanerva and a sexual dalliance with exotic dancer Johanna Tukiainen and former Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen and his very public relationship with girlfriend Susan Kuronen. Both scandals


20 were the result of the publication by local media of sexually explicit SMSs (Short Messaging Service) texts bet ween the parties. Kanerva blamed the media for his downfall and dismissal from his Ministry post in the days following release of the SMSs. And though he had explicitly expressed shame and remorse for his behavior, apologizing to both the Finnish people he served as well as to his superiors, the admission came only after first denying and then obfuscating facts concerning the text messaging. Combined with a history of womanizing behavior in connection with his and judgment came under severe scrutiny by his superiors as well as the Finnish public. Conversely, after many letters to the editor from readers urging silence on the retaining not only his position in the Ministry but also his popularity with the Finnish people; this despite the revelation that Vanhanen had actually lied publicly about meeting Kuronen in a furniture store rather than an online dating service. Indeed, it was Kuronen who was vilified by the media after posing semi nude for, and giving a tell all interview to, a local tabloid in an attempt to elicit sympathy, i f not profit, from the public. Laine argued that both the media and the public as well as the subjects involved share the media may publish information of a sensational or prurient nature, it is not without at is, the public may experience 159) Further, those readers that is that readers understand and empathize with the shame the individual feels when


21 their behavior is negatively exposed. And, that readers experience the vulnerability of ntrol given the same situation It is this engageme nt that has been the driving force in the news industry both in the U.S. and abroad, yet more than one online writer to the Finnish daily, Helsingin Sanomat coverage of these sexual scandals, and whether it was the job of the media to moderate the private affairs of public figures. That same question was raised in letters to the editors in all three of th e cases included in this study. Political Fallout In analyzing the Gary Condit/Ch andra Levy scandal, Len Rios & Benoit (2004) posited that repeated attempts to deny responsibility, muddle the facts and maintain a position that lacks remorse will almost certainly result in a failure to save professional face. In the disappearance of Ch that he was more interested in saving his own reputation than in aiding in the search for Levy. More to the point, Len Rios and Benoit (2003) indicate that his lack of sorrow or regret for the pain and suffering the Levy family endured because of his actions, his lack of candor with the FBI, his arrogance in insisting on a live television interview with Connie Chung, where he denied, evaded life as well as h is repeated attempts to blame the media for misconstruing his actions, Condit lost the 2002 Democratic primary by nearly 18 percent. According to Len Rios and Benoit (2003) strategy of a sustain ed denial of involvement with Levy, repeated attacks on the other


22 women he had been involved with as well as his out and out refusal to answer certain questions According to Sanchez and Dvorak (2011) wrong doing, evasion of responsibility and a sustained lack of shame or remorse not party, of which several me mbers publicly urged him to resign from office. Strong evidence already exists to the effects Image Repair Discourse strategies have on the public when an individual attempts to defend his or her reputation, whether personal or professional (Benoit et al 1995, 1998, 2001, 2004). This same research has been extended to political sexual scandal and the reactions of both the press and the public to that scandal. But while reportage of scandal is generated as a able reportage (or favorable for that matter) is not generated by the scandal itself, but by the actions and subsequent reactions of the figures involved in the scandal. Over time, that reportage has taken on a more in depth tone and scope. Historical Worl d View Change Journalism in the U.S. has evolved from the partisan and penny presses of the 19 th century, which had thrived on the machinations of the political party machines. Lowenstein (2012) argued that the press had grown into a respectable industry with an elevated position in Washington, and that during the administrations of Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy and even Lyndon B. Johnson, an intimate group of print e out of print. According to Lowenstein (2012)


23 Likewise, Adut (2009) writes that the press routinely exercised restraint and discreti on with regard to the sexual proclivities of FDR, JFK and Johnson among other lesser known politicians, though their sexual liaisons were common knowledge among the White House reporters. Brody (1992) asserted that the American people and the American pr ess held these men, and the offices they represented, in the highest esteem though their policies. And though the political administrations and policies were still fair game, the personal and private lives of these men including their sexual proclivities were kept from their constituents and known only to the most intimate of their inner circle. Hetherington & Rudolph (2008) assert ed that during the mid 1960s, a line of demarcation was drawn between politics and the press. If the Civil Rights movement, sexual liberation and the counter culture had opened the door to a more graphic and uncompromising form of rep ortage in the Fourth Estate, the n Vietnam kicked it in altoget American public for nearly 50 years was gone, and the press responded accordingly. Or did they? The changes taking place in the U.S. during this time marked a turning point for the press. In the closing decades of the 20 th century, the press became the watchdogs of American politics, engaging in in actions regardless of their positions within the government. From presidential hopefu ls to long serving Congressional members, the press reported extensively on the actions including the missteps they made along the way.


24 With television beaming in panoramic, Technicolor images of bloody battlefields in South east Asia and civil unrest in cities both in the U.S. and abroad, the personal and professional actions of American politicians became more questionable, and the press had no choice but to turn to a more in depth and some would argue, more sensational for m of reporting. Faced with political protests and war on their doorsteps and a presidential administration that demanded the press downplay the Vietnam conflict, Heubner (2005) contends the Tet offensive in Vietnam during January and February 1968 may wel l have been the breaking point between the press and the U.S. political machine. Sloan (1991) argued the changing professional perspectives of the press with regard to political sexual scandal and the stance of reportage from decade to decade could be att ributed not only to a changing worldview of society in general, but reporters vi 2). In addition, the English language has gone through much refinement in the last half of the 20 th century; some would argue that its usage has also radically declined in its definitiveness. In Sloan (1991), Startt negative connot ations depending on the usage. With that thought in mind, it is imperative that primary source documents, analy zed in the context of the time in which they were written and the phrasing or language employed, be used to ans wer the


25 In addition, Startt argued dimensional and researchers need the fact. What is the context of the fact and how does it play into the larger context of the political sexual scandal being discussed ? He caution ed t not altogether correct Sloan (1991) ass ert ed that each reporter, editor and publisher involved with the creation of articles on political sexual scandal would bring their own individual interpretations to the table, despite a journalistic ethos that claims to take a neutral position Sloan wri tes that while historians may hold varying perspectives based on a generational worldview about events involving political sexual scandal, the press would interpret these same events based on the social norms at that given moment. Further, Sloan posited t hat journalistic historians who followed a developmental school of thought, that is those who saw the development of journalism in terms of its formulation of professional standards, did so in the belief that the post World War II media became more confro ntational in the wake of events such as Vietna m and the Civil Rights movement, turning points in American history which also contributed to the governmental or societal influen ce or control (p. 7). At the same time, cultural media historians held the belief that society continued to directly influence the press well into the latter half of the 20 th century (p. 8). Geyl sid ed admiration or


26 es at the core of th e study of history (p. 21). Bearing these admonitions in mind, the researcher conducted a critical evaluation of the evidence during the course of this study to provide perspective and insight into the editorial position the press deve loped for reporting political sexual scandal. R1: What was the editorial approach the news publications under consideration took in reporting on each of the three political sexual scandals? R2: Did that approach change between 1969 and 2008, with regard to tone or emphasis?


27 CHAPTER 3 METHOD This study utilize d a contextual analysis examination of three case s tudies to analyze the content of 349 individual newspaper articles from the sample frame of print news publications, namely The New York Times Washington Post and Chicago Tribune editorials and op ed pieces, news wire service articles (except for those written during the Edward Kennedy scandal, which are analyzed as a separate element) and Letter to the Editor collections. The researcher believes that as gatekeepers for their news publications as well as their readers, the publishing and editorial boards in place during the studied timeframe made conscientious decisions to include both unsigned editorials generated by their own hand and the news wire stories, which they were under no obligation to publish. The researcher b elieved a qualitative approach was best for achieving the broadest possible overview of t he subject. McKee (2003) defined contextual analysis as 127 128). The researc her believed analyzing primary documents written during the event gave Behrendt (2008) expanded way of analyz considering what event occurred that generated the language, what was the political or social climate at the time of the writing, and what was the possible mindset of the author at the time of the writing that would warrant using that specific language. The contextual


28 analysis revealed the various key terms located within the text and provide d a foundation for an interpretation of those terms in relation to one another. This method w as best suited for looking at the changes in depth and scope of coverage as well as the tone or language used in the content of the articles dur ing the time period in question Again, this analysis offered m ost likely interpretations In a ddition, the researcher believed contextual analysis was the best method for providing evidence for determining the nature of the coverage of political persons involved in sexual scandal; that is, whether the reportage was f ocused on the private or public aspects of the subject in question and whether that coverage was more favorable or unfavorable in nature overall. Keyword specific software, T Lab version 8.0, based on a word mining system and using a lex icon imported by t he researcher, aided in the thematic, contextual and comparative analysis. The sof tware was used to determine, analyze and compare language patterns, associations and other linguistic devices used in both the content and structure of the coverage. Analyzing for Latent Content U sing T Lab v. 8.0 Software The T Lancia, utilizes syntactical and probabilistic diagnostics to analyze latent content for a gi ven sample text. T Lab use d a three facet analysis of co occurrence, word association and comparison, based on a comprehensive list of key terms, to determine the substance and tone of the article; that is whether the article focused private or public life, and whet her the text denote d favorable (positive connotation) or


29 unfavorable (negative connotation) with regard to the treatment of the political sexual scandal reporting being disseminated to the public. The T Lab thematic modeling tool, incorporating the key t erm listing and a co occurrence wor d association analysis, conducted a thematic analysis and identified between five and eight key terms for each body of text analyzed. Unfavorable treatment is operationally defined as words that have a negative connotati on with regard to the political figure and w ord s exemplifying the characteristic of condemnation. Favorable treatment is operationally defined as words that have a positive word s exemplifying the characteristic of forgiveness ( See A ppendix A ). Due to an ever present flux in U.S. speech patterns, which changes with time as new words are added to the lexicon while others fall from use, the researcher reserves the right to modify characteristic definitions and key words as the research progresses. A three facet approach analyze d and headlines ; articles that appear as a comple ment of the main element were subjected to their own test as a separate unit of analysis (The use of page layout reproductions rather than pa ge numbers will be useful in determining whether one article is a complement of another ) The co occurrence analysis tool identifie d word and phrase relationships and establishe d concordances or alphabetical indexes for these relationships within the text; the thematic analysis distinguished emerging and re occurring key terms within and


30 between text samples and analyze d the context, grouping and topic of key terms emerging from a sample text. Key word searches for the sampling frame i nclude d the names of the political figures and any other person(s) prominently involved in the scandal, as well as words that typify the situation. For example, in a Lexis Nexis Academic search for Senator in the John Edwards The researcher found that each scandal will generate its own list of key words, most of which were intuitive, but others were found through repeated trial and error. Participants / Scandals 1969: Ted Kennedy and Mary Jo Kopechne In the early morning hours of July 19, 1969, Se n. Edward Kennedy was returning Jo Kopechne, drowned when the car the two were riding in ran off a bridge and into a tidal channel. Kennedy escaped the wreck but was unable to rescue Kopechne. He delayed calling for help for nearly 10 hours, returning first to the party and then his hotel Kennedy was vague with authorities on the details of his delay as well as the accident itself. An inquest by the guilty to leaving the scene and received a 2 month suspended sentence. But public


31 fueled in part by the timeframe of the accident and by a nation enthralled with all things Kennedy, would mar his political career for the remainder of his life. 1987: Gary Hart and Donna Rice In April 1987, former Sen. Gary Hart announced his run for the U.S. presidency, enjoying a comfortable lead in the polls as the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination. During an interview for a New York Time s Magazine story on that appeared on May 3, Hart was openly asked about his reputation as a womanizer. Hart responded they found. Meantime, in the days leading up to t his interview, reporters from the Miami Herald had been following up on a tip that Hart was having an affair with a Miami model named Donna Rice. Coincidentally, The Herald released also released a story on May 3, describing how Rice and Hart had spent Fri day night and most of Saturday (May 1 2) Days later, the Miami Herald received another tip that Hart had spent a night in paper secured a photograph shirt with Rice on his lap though the photo did not appear in print for another month. Hart officially withdrew from the presidential race on May 8 after the Washington Post raised allegati ons about yet another woman that Hart was thought to have had a long term relationship with. He returned to his law practice and became a consultant to the U.S. government on national and homeland security issues. 2008: John Edwards and Rielle Hunter In Dec. 2006, Sen. John Edwards announces his candidacy for the 2008


32 Hunter. At a March 2007 news conference, Edwards announces that his wife, Elizabeth, was undergoing treatment for incurable breast cancer. In October of that same year the press reported Edwards was having an extramarital affair, but does not name the woman. In December, the pres s publishes a photograph of a pregnant Hunter. A daughter, Quinn, is born Feb. 27, 2008. Edwards denies allegations of any liaison with Hunter or paternity of the child for months, but on August 8, 2008, he admits to the affair on national TV, though he co he was indicted on conspiracy and campaign fraud charges in June. His wife Elizabeth died on Dec. 7, 2010; he was found not guilty on one count of fraud; a mistrial was declared on all other charges. Federal prosecutors have declined to re file charges. Sampling Frame The population units of analysis for the thr ee noted sexual scandals were drawn from a sampling fra me consisting of archives from The New York Times (NYT), Washington Post (WPost) and the Chicago Tribune (CTrib) print news publications via r online archival resources such as Lexis Nexis and ProQuest Historical Newspaper Archives. These news publications were selected for their representation as authoritative voices within the U.S. news reporting sphere as evidenced by their total daily circulation figures (excluding branded editions i.e., commuter, community or alternate language newspapers) in a May 1, 2012 report compiled by the Audit Bureau of Circulations (Lulofs, 2012):


33 Table 3 1. Average Daily Circu lation Figures T hrough March 31, 2012 Newspaper Circulation Figures New York Times 1,586,757 Washington Post 555,327 Chicago Tribune 414,590 In addition to being among the highest circulating newspapers today, these print publications also represent a broad scope of authoritative publications available to the reading American public at the time of the scandals being studied. By July of 1969, T he New York Times was considered one of the most authoritative newspapers in the country with articl es that tended toward a moderate objective and reserved style of reportage. Those elements were integral to the information model of reporting adopted by f ounder Henry Jarvis Raymond in 1851, and continued by Adolph Ochs in 1896 in di rect response to the so called yellow j ournalism of Joseph Pulitzer and Randolph Hearst. Ochs wanted a newspaper that was not so much entertaining as factual and respectable. I n 1963, Ochs grandson, Arthur Ochs Salzberger assumed the reins as publisher with the vision of transforming the Times into a news conglomerate that was billion dollar media operatio ( New York Times Sept. 30, p. 1). In 1971, under Ochs tenure, the Times published the secret government files on the Vietnam War known as the Pentagon Papers, much to the embarrassment o f President Richard M. Nixon. In contrast, the Washington Post founded in 1877, had enjoyed a long if not highly respected reputation as a newspaper of national politics. Purchased in 1933 from a bankruptcy auction by California industrialist Eugene Mey er, the newspaper was


34 infused with enough money to operate, but it was poorly managed and could not seem to capture any significant advertising or readership numbers. Halberstam (1979) wrote that Meyer knew he wanted international fundamental principles for a newspaper. To further his revisionist ideas for the Post Meyers hired son in law Phil Graham as associate editor in 1945. Halberstam notes the brilliant Harva rd Law School graduate was shrewd and audacious and both admired and feared in Washington D.C. Under his direction, the Post was to become one of the most influential, and in some cases, the most intimidating newsp apers in the country Graham used the Pos t as a veritable weapon of choice for his personal brand of liberalism when faced with what he considered social injustices and the political machinations behind them. Graham committed suicide in 1963. His wife, his wife, Katharine, and new editor Ben Brad lee retained the liberal editorial perspective throughout the 70s and 80s, but moved to the more conservative right in the 1990s. The early years of the new millennium showed the reportage once again leaning to the left, though as a leading m ember of the mainstream media, the shrill cries of bias in (Bartlett, 2007). Much like T he Times and the Post the Chicago Tribune rose from turbulent beginnings. Founded in 1847, the Tribune was to have several incarnations, moving from Democratic to Republic an mien during the p re Civil War years forward into the 20 th century. Mo r gan and Veysey (1981) wrote that i n 1910, co owners Co l. Robert R. McCormick and his cousin Joseph Medill Patterson would turn their finely tuned brand


35 of conservatism toward national and international politics taking on a watchdog style of reportage to rail against governm ent waste and internationalism. By 1 969, the Tribune ha d become less of a firebrand, but still retained a measure of the staunch Midwestern conservatism of the McCormick era. Under the leadership of publisher Harold Grumhaus and Clayton Kirkpatrick, the paper continued with the modified spel ling unique to the Tribune but with a more open perspective to its news coverage. These daily newspapers, rather than news magazines, radio or television programs, provided the public with a daily so urce in some instances with morning, afternoon and eveni ng editions of information, which could be easily analyzed, archived and retrieved, making them the ideal medium for this study. Timeframe The population timeframe was July 19, 1969 to August 23, 2008. The sampling frame included coverage beginning with t he first day of public reporting of the scandal (the day the scandal was made known to the public either by news publication, radio or TV), and inc lude d 14 consecutive days of print media coverage of the event. This 14 day timeframe ensure d that each publi cation had a mple time to fully realize its coverage of the scandal. Operational Definitions The American Heritage College Dictionary, Fourth Edition (2004) defines r eportage tone was the news publications g a ve to the reporting of sexual scandal involving the political figur es under consideration. This include d the language used in the articles and


36 headlines. That is, t he degree of favorable or unfavorable coverage generated and the degree of, or emphasis personal or professional with regard to the sexual conduct of the poli tical figures under considerations by one of the following news publications: The New York Times, Washington Post and Chicago Tribune. information in the sample frame concernin g the sexual conduct of the political figures under consideration and appearing in one of the aforementioned news publications. Time is operationally defined as the decade that the political sexual scan dal takes place. As stated in R2 the researcher beli eves the time element is a vital component in the changes that have taken place in the press with regard to the aforementioned tone of political sexual scandal content. Political sexual scandal was operationally defined as an event(s) concerning the sexual conduct of a politician serving as an elected public official, or a politician campaigning for an elected public office within any branch of the U.S. government (local, state or federal) that brings about disgrace or offends the moral sensibilities of soc iety. In addition, political sexual scandal was further defined as an incident of sexual conduct having a national impact on American audiences, that is to divert public attention from real world issues, and receive cross media attention, though this study focus ed solely on the print media coverage The researcher conduct ed content using the T occurrence, thematic and comparative anal


37 Qualitative research must also be concerned with the dependability and the credibility for data analysis. Babbie (2007) defined dependability as the measure by which the same results would be obtained with several independent trials whereas credibility means to measure what the researcher proposed to measure. Both are necessary for comprehensive qualitative research. Lincoln and Guba (1985) proposed o assess the data and the process by which that data was obtained to ensure these criterion are adhered to (p. 417) A sample list of questions is included in Appendix B Other Definitions w as operationally considered as a separate element and include d and headline as the operational unit of analysis Each element was drawn from the electronic archives for each publication via Lexis Scandal as defined by AHC D about disgrac Cross media attention of a sexual scandal is operationally defined as an event(s) concerning the sexual conduct of a man or woman serving or in a position to be of service in a political capacity that has been reported in more than one medium on a national level; e.g. TV, radio, newspaper or the Internet on the same date as those appearing in print news publications in the sampling frame. Procedure The analysis examine d a population consisting o f all elements for the following three politica l sexual scandals published in T he New York Times Washington Post and


38 the Chicago Tribune for the timeframe 1969 to 2008: beginning with Ted Kennedy and Mary Jo Kopechne in 1969, continuing with Gary Hart and Donna Rice in 1987 and John Edwards and Rielle Hunter in 2008. The three scandals under consideration represent ed varying types of political figures, including a two time presidential candidate, a long serving and wealthy senator from a prominent politica l family and a relative newcomer to Washington politics. In addition, these scandals were chosen for their relevance to the timeframe under consideration or because of associate aspects that were implicit in making these scandals of national importance, na mely, presidential elections and criminal investigations in connection with the scandal under consideration. These associate aspects were only c onsidered in the context of how they affect ed the notoriety, and possible sensationalism of the sexual scandal by the press, and the political figure(s) under consideration. This study did not include analysis of related quest ions such as the drowning of Mary Jo Kopechne or the personal aspects of terminally ill wives and illegitimate children. These associate asp ects were beyond the scope of this study a nd the researcher believed they may well be confounding variables with regard to this contextual analysis. However, they do present interesting implications that may warrant future consideration and study. The sam ple elements were drawn from the following news publications: The New York Times, Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune, and encompass ed a period not to exceed fourteen (14) consecutive days of coverage beginning with the first day t he


39 sexual scandal under review wa s reported in the American media (regar dless of whether this information wa s releas ed via radio, TV or newspaper). The analysis utilize d the T Lab 8.0 linguistic system to analyze the latent content within the text. The software use d the im ported list of key words provided by the researcher to identify associations and correlations, journalistic themes as well as relationships between the sample elements to determine if the sample elements are public or private and favorable or unfavorable t oward the political figure in question (See key word appendices). Using the T occurrence tool the researcher distinguish ed the relationships contained within the text between individual words as well as word pairs and phrases, to support the notion that the tone of rep ortage had changed, and to further the assertion that the theory of image restoration via the media influenced those changes. Additionally, the researcher conduct ed a thematic analysis to identify emerging or re occurring ke y terms within the text of the news publication. The T Lab system g enerate d graphical depictions of these various analyses, not for quantitative purposes, but merely to facilitate a visual comparison and comprehensive presentation.


40 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS F indings and Thematic Analysis An analysis of predominant themes is included in this chapter, which reflects the themes demonstrate not only a liberal, moderate or conservativ e perspective, but also how the scandals were perceived by the press from a legal, moral and social point of view. By 2008, The New York Times had established an authoritative and liberal voice editorially among mainstream media outlets. Moving from a rese rved informational model of news reporting, the Times developed this liberal editorial stance in the years between 1969 and 1987 with little change to the perspective in the years since. From 1969 to 2008, t he Washington Post maintained a liberal editorial stance, while developing an investigative edge to its reportage. M aintaining its reputation as the leading political newspaper in the country, the Post show ed the least amount of change editorially in the 40 years under consideration. By 2008, the Chicago editorial stance was still largely conservative, but after 1987, the reportage no long resembled the watchdog style of reporting it had during the Kennedy and Hart scandals. The T Lab v. 8.0 software was used to conduct a contextual a nalysis on the full text of articles published by The New York Times the Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune for the political sexual scandal case studies under consideration. Using T Occurrence Word As sociations tools, the researcher was able to create a list of key terms for each body of text, establish a correlation between those key terms and the dependent variable (i.e.:


41 Kennedy, Hart, Edwards) and determine what predominant key terms best encapsula te d the text being analyzed. These analyses combined with close readings of each case study by the researcher resulted in a holistic account of the scandals under consideration and a fully print media has maintained a proper perspective editorially that is an editorial perspective that is in keeping with their traditional editorial stance with regard to political sexual scandal, rather than a lean toward sensationalism, in the years between 1969 and 2008 Word Counts and Article Population The following tables illustrate the breakdown of published articles (including news copy, wire service stories editorials and Letters to the Editor collections) for each of the publications under consideration during the time frame indicated. Table 4 1. Published word counts for each of the three case studies under consideration. WaPo NYT CTrib WaPoWire NYTWire CTribWire Kennedy July 19 Aug. 3, 1969 34,267 43,532 23,476 2,527 962 5,416 Hart May 4 18, 1987 64,045 57,812 29,752 -------------------------------Edwards Aug. 9 23, 2008 10,122 13,262 3,560 -------------------------------TOTALS 108,434 114,606 56,788 2,527 962 5,416 Key: WaPo Washington Post; NYT The New York Times; CTrib Chicago Tribune; WaPoWire Washington Post Wire Service; NYTWire The New York Times Wire Service; CTribWire Chicago Tribune Wire Service.


42 Table 4 2. Totals of published stories for each newspaper within the population. WaPo NYT CTrib WaPoWire NYTWire CTribWire Kennedy July 19 Aug 3, 1969 37 51 39 8 5 15 Hart May 4 18, 1987 64 60 41 -------------------------------Edwards Aug. 9 23, 2008 11 12 8 -------------------------------TOTALS 112 123 88 8 5 15 Key: WaPo Washington Post; NYT The New York Times; CTrib Chicago Tribune; WaPoWire Washington Post Wire Service; NYTWire The New York Times Wire Service; CTribWire Chicago Tribune Wire Service. In comparing the breakdowns for the three different scandals under consideration, two key findings emerge. 1) The higher word counts in the Gary Hart scandal reflect a stronger willingness to report on scandal in 1987, than in 1969 or 2008; 2) the devotion of such large amounts of copy to a singl e incident correlates with the both as a news and advertising venue, before the advent of online news outlets. 1 Contextual Key Terms and Themes The T Lab thematic modeling tool identifi es between five to eight thematic trends for each body of text being analyzed. Radial graphs depict the Co Occurrence Word 1 All Letters to t he Editor collections on the given date of publication within the sample frame have been considered as one article, as the individual letters are too short in content to be analyzed by T Lab for word association or thematic content. However, the researcher believes the letters accurately convey the prevailing attitude of a cross section, though by no means random sampling, of readers for any one given case study. Wire service stories, namely United Press International (UPI), the Associated Press (AP) and Th omson Reuters (Reuters) were used by all three publications under consideration, but the bulk of these were printed during the Edward Kennedy scandal. Therefore, wire service stories appearing in The New York Times, Washington Post and Chicago Tribune wer e analyzed as separate elements labeled KennedyNYTWireService, KennedyWaPoWireService and KennedyCTribWireService. Though wire service stories do continue to appear in all three publications during both the Gary Hart and the John Edwards scandals, the numb er of these stories is too small to be considered a separate element. In addition, the researcher believes that the editors and publishers at the news publications acted as gatekeepers for both their newspapers and their reading public when they made the c hoice to include the wire service coverage.


43 Associations for the political figure under consideration. The shorter the distance from data point to variable (e.g. Kennedy) the st ronger the association. In addition, a key term listing represents the most frequently used words within the text and the total word counts for the 20 key terms within the text under consideration. The listing was significant in providing the researcher wi th clues to thematic development during the close reading of the text. Edward Kennedy and Mary Jo Kopechne; Coverage July 19 Aug. 3, 1969. The New York Times The Times first approached the Chappaquiddick incident from a legal frame, focusing the bulk of its reportage on what charges would be brought against Kennedy. Reporters were in Edgartown, Mass., by mid morning July 19, and by midday were filing of Kopechne a nd the first of what was to be 59 articles, editorials and Letter to the Editor collections containing more than 44,000 words of copy about the actions of the Senator on the night in question as well as the days an d weeks to follow. The eight dominant key terms emerging from The New York Times text included (as a courtesy title), K The Times uses courtesy titles to this day, so the terms of Miss and Senator are mo re a linguistic style rath er than key terms for analysis. These key terms mirrored the coverage the Times provided factual, straightforward and moderate in tone. The reportage gave succinct, detailed accounts of the accident, including the orientation of t he bridge in relation to the party, data on automotive braking for the make and model of car Kennedy was driving and tidal pool current speeds, without drawing any conclusions as to the exact cause of the accident.


44 The key term of accident was the predom inant term to emerge from the text as it is the heart of the incident and an integral component to all other terms. The Times noted a lack of evidence indicating whether there had been any editorial board kept speculation about additional charges in reference to impairment to a minimum. Instead, presidential nomination. The key terms of Kopechne and Ke nnedy emerged from t he extensive profiles and background information on the figures at the heart of the story. This in Washington and how she had grown into her players. Further, t h e Times the Senate, life as the last living brother of a powerful political family and his subsequent seclusion in the days following the acciden t. There was a high percentage of copy dedicated to the secondary terms of statement, police, time and party. These terms would correlate to the coverage of as details of the party. The one anomaly in the analysis may be the key term of The Times reportage includes extensive coverage of the telephone calls received by leading nationally broadcast ed statement on July 25.


45 immediately following the accident, his reasons for not speaking to the press sooner and a plea to his constituency for advice as to whether he should remain in the Senate. Following the broadcast, the Times reportage bore an unmistakable but measured undertone of moral culpability and barely concealed disbelief about accident, car and Kennedy. And in response to an eyewitness who said he saw Kennedy and his Oldsmobile more than an hour after Kennedy said the accident happened: actually saw M r. Kennedy returning to the scene of the accident with Mr. Gargan and Mr. Markham (July 27, p. 48). The response to the broadcast was immediate. Area newspapers, television and radio stations were flooded with thousands of telephone calls from citizens acr oss the country. The Times reported that much of this initial regional response was overwhelmingly in favor of Kennedy remaining in office and may very well have been the turning point in the media coverage. Yet, a number of citizens outside Massachusetts expressed doubt about the accident details and skepticism of his presidential abilities. Senator Edward Kennedy deserves a four star rating for his television Having just completed a stud y of political imagery on television and the techniques used for optimum performance in this regard, one must applaud the Senator and his expert staff for a job well done. However, this is not the time and these are not the circumstances for improving one plain and simple, without the Kennedy boldness and arrogance and without Timothy J Deegan, Fire Island, L.I. (New York) (July 30, p. 38).


46 What if he were President and the Russians phoned on the hotline and said they were going to bomb us within the hour and he forgot to report it John Chauvin, New Orleans taxi drive r (July 27, p. 51). Fellow members of the Senate also b elieved the statement left unanswered more questions than it addressed: The feeling that the Senator has a long political recuperation ahead of him was based on residual doubts even after his statement last night. Some of the doubts related to what one Se of the men who were at the cookout party Joseph F. Gargan, a cousin, and Paul Markham, an old friend (July 27, p. 50). Though remorse and shame, necessary c Image Restoration Theory, are evident in his speech, the contrivance of the wording, coupled with the reports of sequestered meetings with some of the most astute political advisers in the country during his seclusion at Hya nnis Port detracted from the sincerity of the stateme nt. It has been written a man does what he must in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures, and that is the basis of all human morality. Whatever may be the sacrifices he faces if he follows his conscience the loss of his friends, his fortune, his contentment, even the esteem of his fellow man each man must decide for himself the course he will follow (July 26, p.10).


47 Fig ure 4 1. The New York Times Tabl e 4 3. Total key term word counts for The New York Times coverage of Edward Kennedy July 19 Aug. 3, 1969. (Excludes wire service articles) Term Count Term Count Term Count Term Count Kennedy 701 Mary Jo 123 Party 105 Chappaquiddick 82 Senator 627 Mass. 123 night 101 call 81 accident 237 police 117 Edward 93 friend 80 car 174 statement 115 Chief 91 man 79 Kopechne 147 time 107 report 90 ask 79 The Times used freelance reporters The New York Times ) almost exclusively in 1969 for on the Many of the se stories included detailed information about the accident and the subsequent investigation and legal issue s. The five wire service stories accounted for less than 1,000 words of copy and consisted mainly of filler information such as the Hyannis Port Post Office being


48 of fi shing in Hyannis Sound. While the bulk of the stories represented background information, one story ed to have been may well have been swayed by it (July 26, p. 11). Figure 4 2. Wire service articles published by The New York Times Table 4 4. Total key term word counts for wir e service articles of Edward Kennedy published by The New York Times July 19 Aug. 3, 1969. Term Count Term Count Term Count Term Count Senator 21 Edward 5 Day 4 mail 4 Kennedy 21 family 5 Democratic 4 Massachusetts 4 Mansfield 8 Hyannis 5 accident 4 Port 4 Kopechne 7 autopsy 4 letters 4 Senate 4 woman 5 car 4 Young 4 wife 4


49 The Washington Post The Kennedy incident at Chappaquiddick garnered nearly as much newsprint as Chappaquiddick. Reflected in the 45 news stories, editorials, op ed pieces and Letter to the Editor col lections published in the Post during the two weeks following the accident, the newspaper assumed an aggressive editorial stance in pursuing the facts, but also a tragic deat h and the very public scrutiny of a much admirable reactions under duress. In analyzing 45 articles and more than 36,000 words of text, eight dominant key terms emerged from the Washington Post coverage. These terms va ry somewhat from that of the Times in that the Post took a more liberal and pragmatic stance editorially. Not surprisingly are the two most predominant terms emerging from the Post text; they are also No. 1 and No. 3 respectively in th e Times analysis. But the remaining key terms of are substantiated by the focus and stance of the publishing and editorial boards. The coverage seemed to highlight the nearly aristocratic position the Kennedy family held in the public mind. Camelot had not yet been forgotten. In the to that of Robert in some instances to the point of absurdity (July 22, p. A3) :


50 But young peopl e swarmed around his car, girls pinched one another, people to remark that it was like a scene from an old campaign. The middle aged and the Medicare generation stood around quiet ly, Today, a middle aged woman stood holding a hand lettered s ign that said: (July 23, p. A3). The analysis developed case as the dominant key term. This would correspond with the systematic approach to the incident, which focused primarily, on the legal aspects of the case ag ainst Kennedy. Post reporters made numerous attempts to clarify conflicting statements and the procedures being followed during the investigation. The Co occurrence Word Association graph notes a strong concomitance with the key terms These terms correspond with the strong focus the Post placed on the true timeline of the incident and the initial report that Kennedy filed the following morning. The Post was more vocal than the Times in its attempt to get to the heart of the story but with an even hand rather than aggressive pursuit. Writers repeatedly question conducted was never revealed in detail to reporters. This was a major point of contention f or readers as letters to the editor begin to show: After the accident he stated that he went back to the cottage where he had previously been and asked someone to drive him to Edgartown. Why question his being wet or where his car was? What happened during the nine hours between the time of the accident and the time Kennedy finally reported it to the authorities in Edgartown? Why no alcohol test for Kennedy or the deceased?


51 It seems t o me that the authorities are tur ning their heads the other way. ~ W. Herron, Rockville (July 24, p. A18). The Post also quotes Dukes County Prosecutor Walter E. Steele as having interviewed Joseph Gargan and unnamed other partygoers, and was satisfied wit h their Post reported that that everyone was merely tired from the races. In a later interview, Newberg woul d not elaborate on any drinking at the party, citing the upcoming court appearance by Kennedy and a need for discretion. The Post reported that speculation and rumor were running rampant, fueled in ruling of accidental drowning without an autopsy and the findings by local authorities of Kennedy as innocent of any negligence. The Post also reported that the local authorities were accusing each other of whitewashing the entire affair: Officials concerned with the case are accusing one another of amateurism and blundering. There is buck passing over w ho did or did not decide that it was unnecessary to perform an autopsy on Mary J There is squabbling in the legal community over the nature of the charge (leaving the scene of an accident) placed against Kennedy. There is disagreement among th e natives over whether Kennedy got on to the road leading to the bridge by accident or by design and further disagreement over the performance of the investigators. The result, as Hough put it, is a Roman holiday of perpetual rumors and confusion in which the horde of reporters and television crewmen are deeply involved (July 25, p. A3). Despi te the circus like atmosphere of Edgartown, the Post took pains to connect readers with the Kopechne and Kennedy, so the key terms of


52 figure pr ominently, not in a sensationalistic way, but to substantiate or contradict what was being written about them. Facts to support all the charges and suspicions that were bruited about were thin. There was, for example, never any evidence of a liaison betwe en Kennedy and Miss Kopechne who, from all accounts, was no st to the point of Anything that hurts her reputation is unnecessary and very unfortunate. She was like Ethel (Kennedy) in th at she would grimace if anyone said anything that was dirty or tasteless (July 27, P. A10). However, the profile of Kennedy by the Post is scathing in comparison to the Times The cheating incident at Harvard and the erratic driving violations at the Unive rsity of Virginia seem minor compared to assertions that he won his Senate seat by virtue of family name. In addition, his peers at Harvard found his academic career He got his Senate seat in 1962 at the age of 30, not on merit, not on personal nothing in a political sense. He had no coherent political philosophy at the time, no sense of politica l direct ion, no game plan for his life. (July 30, p. A23) But the Post acknowledges that once ensconced in the Senate, Kennedy thrived and was far better liked than either of his two brothers. And he was considered a shoe ination in 1972. Ted was looking forward first to a massive third election victory in November of next year. True, he had done no more than had brother John to reform the Democratic Party in Massachusetts but that he could have another term was beyond que stion. The Republicans would have to look for a s acrificial victim to oppose him (July 26, p. A7). The Post commented on the various rumors circulating about the accident, including Kopechne being pregnant and nude when she died. Speculation about s private life may have been exacerbated by a Newsweek (a Washington Post Company


53 devil driving, and his ever any person al relationship between Kennedy and Kopechne ever surfaced and Kennedy had, at that time, a reputation for being a moderate drinker. The Post of the West article. The key term refers to the Democratic Party rather than the party on Chappaquiddick Island. The Post included coverage of the political ramifications l and the upcoming 1972 presidential election in particular. his continued silence, that are at the forefront of much of the political commentary. convey both a growing reproachful attitude and darkening outlook among op ed writers and the editorial board and further articulate the key terms of Indeed, at this writing, few of the veteran political hands who counseled the two elder Kennedys have been called into the crisis. In their absence and the lack of sol sketchy statement of Saturday, rumors in the political community have run like wildfire. Thus, some pro Kennedy politicians view the silence as a mistake of doleful consequences (July 24, p. A19). Perhaps there are no clear answers, or none that the Senator wants to give, in which case the public and the politicians will draw their own conclusions and they will not be kind, in large part because the brief statement the Senator has so far made is not good en ough. Worse, there are good reasons to doubt that it is even accurate (July 24m p. A18).


54 The key term of statement statement to police as well as his televised statement in the two weeks following accident. Despite the mollification of local authorities about Kennedy and his explanation of the night in question, the ed writers tended toward a more wait and see tone with their take on his statement. So, inevitably, his performance had some quality of contrivance, some of the marks of a public man maneuvering to preserve his position in public life. By inviting the people of Massachusetts to h elp him decide whether he should resign, he has doubtless taken his case to the one court of opinion m ost likely to decide favorably ( July 26, p. A12) Moreover, some politicians in both parties described the Friday night speech as an adept exercise in pub lic relations, making the best of an intolerable situation. Fully six hours before the speech, a leading Republican publicist forecast its outline in uncanny detail the eulogy of Miss Kopechne, the blanket admission of guilt, the fuzzing of details, the cu famed Checkers speech of 1952 (July 31, p. A19) Letters to the editor also indicate a public at polar opposites on the issue. And despite the weeklong deluge of rumor and speculation, their insights cut to the core of the controversy: noble if we would have heard a more convincing, unrehearsed statement not drafted by the sycophants of the Kennedy brain trust after a w eek of meditation, preparation and weight the political consequences? (July 30, A22) ~ Bob Johnson, Miami, Fla. The Kennedys have experienced the zenith and nadir in human emotions yet, through it all, their high moral and spiritual values have remained, o r have even intensified. Yet, because Senator Kennedy faltered briefly, as any human being might, under the is most recent have been barraged with a host of accusations (July 31, A18) ~ Dorothy J. Schuffert, Alexandria.


55 Figure 4 3. Washington Post Table 4 5. Total key term word counts for Washington Post coverage of Edward Kennedy July 19 Aug. 3, 1969. (Excludes wire service articles) Term Count Term Count Term Count Term Count Kennedy 574 Sen. 83 time 73 Edward 65 Senator 175 car 79 Senate 72 Jo 65 accident 159 party 78 police 70 Mary 64 Kopechne 108 Edgartown 78 man 68 know 63 Miss 105 political 74 people 68 Massachusetts 63 Like T he Times the Washington Post also used freelance writers ( denoted by lack of byline) to cover events outside the District of Columbia metropolitan area and the incident on Chappaquiddick Island was no exception. In addition, seven wire service stories from the Associated Press and Un ited Press International totaling more than 2,100 words of copy appeared in the Post during the timeframe under consideration.


56 The articles consisted solely of color and background information including the large number of telegrams being generated in res televised statement on July 25. In addition, the Post ran a copy of a Times story church m ass the Sunday following his statement and a small group that had formed to support his staying in the Senate. One Associated Press wire service story dated July 27 notes that both Paul Markham and Joseph Gargan, the two men who had returned to the scene w ith Kennedy the night of the accident, had been cleared of any charges with regard to the reporting of the accident. Figure 4 4. Wire service articles published by the Washington Post


57 Table 4 6 Total key term word counts for wire service articles of Edward Kennedy published by the Washington Post July 19 Aug. 3, 1969. Term Count Term Count Term Count Term Count Kennedy 65 statement 9 A utopsy 8 resign 7 Kopechne 22 daughter 9 Mary 8 Senate 7 accident 19 mail 9 Jo 8 stay 7 Senator 15 Edward 9 C ar 7 report 7 Sen. 11 hour 8 Friday 7 vicious 6 Chicago Tribune The fiery and conservative editorial stance of the Chicago s earlier incident. The newspaper let loose its watchdog style of reportage within two days of the accident. And throughout the studied timeframe its editorial board and writers would use rhetoric and pointed speculation to extract answers from officials and prompt discourse from it readers. Of the nearly 40,000 words of text contained within 52 news stories, editorial and op ed pieces and Letter to the Editor c ollections published on the Kennedy scandal, the seven dominant key terms of erge from the text Not surprisingly, conservative minded editorial stance focused int ently on the legalities of the case and the local authorities in Edgartown. The Co occurrence Word Association radial graph also shows a strong correlation with the terms This is again substantiated by the intense focus on the legal machinations of local officials as well as Kennedy and his associates. In bold contrast to either the reserved stance of the Times or the pragmatic tone of the Post the Page 1 ledes began emphasizing an aggressive viewpoint that cut right to the heart of the issue:


58 The possibility of a conspiracy of silence loomed today as an element in the mystery surrounding the drowning of a blonde secretary as she was riding in a car driven by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy [D., Mass.] last Frida y night (July 24, p. 1). A Democratic leader on Capitol Hill, giving his analysis of the political future of Sen. Edward Kennedy [D., Ma can ever recover fro nine Additionally, and in sharp contrast to the Times and the Post, the continual use of the diminutive Teddy and Ted in headlines reflects an informal and possibly less than respectful attitude toward Edward Kennedy. The key terms of reflect the continued death of Kopechne, the timeline of the accident (Friday nigh t ) and the delay in the report being filed. T he Times the Post and the Tribune had all written much about missing information and the disjointed investigative and prosecutorial procedures of the local officials. Both the Times and Post had devoted extensive newsprint to details of the accident scene as well. The Times took a more pe destrian and factual tone, acknowledging the presence of discrepancies and lack of investigation, but not pressing those same officials for answers. The Post took a more measured but direct approach in w up on the accident. In contrast, the freelancers and press service took an outwardly aggressive posture in its reporting running down even shadowy leads to substantiate the actions or inactions of local officials. The conspiracy theme continue d: There was an unconfirmed report today that Steele, or someone from his office, met secretly this morning at the local airport with two Kennedy


59 men Lemoyne Billings, a long time associate of the Kennedy family. [Kennedy press secretary] Drayne confirmed in Washington that both Burke and Billings were on Cape Cod with the senator. He said the pair had been there since last weekend. o point to accident (July 24, p. 5). One Tribune which suggested that Kennedy may not have been in as great a state of shock as he claimed following the accident. One cannot miss the implication that he outright lied to authorities: Kennedy told police in a statement Saturday morning that he was in as state of shock from the time of the accident until he woke up in Edgartown in the morning. But the sources said he was able to give his friends an drowning. This is incredible (July 23, p. 2). Unlike either the Times or the Post, the Tribune uses a far more aggressive voice in its reporting: l Revere, one telegram said. The Kennedys are coming. Nail them, baby (July 23, p. 2). While the Times and the Post coverage gave the impression that Kennedy had the backing of a majority of his fellow senators, the Tribune was interviewing ability, not to mention his character. Note: Anonymity was routinely granted to sources within the government, ev en when the information was not of a sensitive nature. els.


60 body in a car overnight at the bottom of a pond, one influential Democrat said the indecision shown by the Massachusetts senator would appear to eliminate him from consideration b y the party leaders as a serious candidate for President (July 24, p. N3). actions of officials involved in the investigation, the editorials assumed an ever increasingl y strident and uncompromising tone in questioning actions and outcomes of those involved. Op ed writers took an equally inexorable, albeit more eloquently voiced position after the a Friends of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy [D., Mas s.] are said to be deeply concerned about the effect on his political career of the tragic misadventure in which a young secretary was killed in an automobile he was driving. We think this concern betrays a callous indifference to considerations that are f ar more important than the political future of a young man who apparently aspired to the Presidency. First of these is the loss of a young have been told the whole truth about what ha ppened and whether justice in this case will be administered without respect to wealth and family influence (July 22, p. 12). Perhaps no one will suffer more from the favoritism than the senator. However, no one can benefit when what should be the absolute justice of the community enlightened by reason, rather than preference, is bent either by s ympathy or deference to power. The law and its administration are not perfect. It should be a majestic edifice with one door for the weak and the strong and two exi ts, one for the guilty and another for the innocent. There should be no escape hatches, although many contrive to make them, and when they do they injure all by licensing the br eaking of the common protection (July 30, p. 20). The Tribune randomly polled Chicago area residents by telephone in an effort to reactions were mixed, nearly all those queried responded with a measure of


61 conservative restraint; many responses cont ained a positive note, even when obviously adverse in sentiment: My wife and I were impressed by the apparent sincerity of the speech, but we were left wondering that if he demonstrated indecision in this incident, what w ould he do in other situations? ~ S tanley Perosious (July 26, p. N3). If he was in a state of shock someone should have called the doctor. This immu newspapers this would have been done ~ Dominic Mattucci (July 27, Section I, p. 1). The key terms of reflect the extensive amount of Letters to the Editor that wer e printed during the timeframe, with nearly every response noting the words think, thinking or thought. In other words, the writers were expressing their thoughts on the appearance, demeanor, candor, etc., that Kennedy displayed during his televised statem sign of Midwestern values, Kennedy was always referred to in both pro and con missives as Senator. Th e Tribune printed a far greater number of reader comments than either the Times or the Post. Of 47 letters received from readers during the timeframe under consideration, 68 percent were of a negative or unfavorable nature toward Kennedy. 2 2 The Times printed only four (albeit lengthy) Letters to the Editor during the timeframe studied; The Post published 28.


62 F igure 4 5. Chicago Tribune Table 4 7. Total key term word counts for Chicago Tribune coverage of Edward Kennedy July 19 Aug. 3, 1969. (Excludes wire service articles) Term Count Term Count Term Count Term Count Kennedy 483 Kopechne 91 back 65 family 51 Accident 142 car 82 party 63 woman 51 Senator 111 police 77 Massachusetts 58 ask 50 Miss 110 think 74 Arena 51 report 49 Sen. 93 Edgartown 65 tell 51 man 47 Like t he Times and the Post the Tribune used freelance reporters ( denoted as Chicago Tribune Press Services ) to handle the day to day reporting first from Edgartown and then from Boston and Washington D.C. The Tribune also published 15 AP, UPI and [Thomson] Reuters wire service articles to round out their coverage. Those articles included information ranging from awaited address on July 25. The wire services also took the liberty of posing a large


63 number of rhetorical questions regarding the actions of those involv ed in the incident and official conduct throughout the investigation. As with the Times and the Post the wire service stories generally provided background information. However, two articles in particular give matching details about Kennedy spe aking with the Shiretown Inn desk clerk at 2:25 a.m. fully meeting in his nationwide broadcast as well. Figure 4 6. Wire service articles published by the Chicago Tribune Table 4 8. Total key term word counts for wire service articles of Edward Kennedy published by the Chicago Tribune July 19 Aug. 3, 1969. Term Count Term Count Term Count Term Count Kennedy 114 statement 24 Dinis 15 autopsy 14 Accident 37 car 21 time 15 police 13 Sen. 34 Edward 19 Massachusetts 15 know 13 Kopechne 31 call 16 Mary 14 tell 13 Senator 30 Miss 16 Jo 14 office 12


64 Gary Hart and Donna Rice; Coverage May 4 18, 1987. The New York Times The New York Times coverage of the Gary Hart scandal not only followed the correctly addressing the issu es of professional rather than personal judgment as a benchmark for assessing the abilities of political figures and whether the latter could or would adversely affect the former. Emerging key terms from the coverage of the Gary Hart scandal shows the first indications of change in the Times editorial position. Far from the fact based, staid news writing of the Chappaquiddick era, the Times editorial board and writers took a more vocal, liberal position, calling into question the role of the press i n American politics in general and the Hart affair in particular. The late 1980s were halcyon days for the newspaper industry, and the Times generated an incredible amount of copy on the Hart scandal. More than 60 articles, editorials, op ed pieces and Le tter to the Editor collections totaled nearly 58,000 words, the bulk of which was generated in the first seven days of the timeframe under consideration. Not surprisingly, a tremendous volume of copy was dedicated to profiles and background stories featur ing Hart, past and present. The eight dominant terms emerging from the Times What is surprising, especially for the Times, is an analysis of the lexicon reveals a significant use of words such as sexual, adultery, behavior, judgment, private, womanizing and lie s to articulate the key terms of


65 for the most part an unfavorable array of descriptors not typically associated with the Times style of reportage thus far. Much of the Times editorial content focused on the ethical questions c oncerning also whether the tactics in gaining the information adhered to the tenets of good journalism or merely a case of the ends justifying the means. The Times editorial board acknowledged that the treatment of scandal had, for many years, followed guidelines th at Chappaquiddick and Wilber Mills Tidal Basin affair. But it also countered that by asserting the Herald had come upon its news as part of regular coverage of a presidential race rather than a follow up to an accident or police report. While scandal has always been grist for the journalistic mill, there was for many decades an unspoken gentleman's understanding that such things as marital infidelity and alcohol abuse were unsuitable subjects of news cover age for respectable news organizations. Many journalists say that the new adversarial aggressiveness of journalists in the Vietnam War and, later, with the Watergate affair began to change this courtly climate. They say that the public also began to demand to know more about public figures, which was an attitude born of disappointment in the ir leaders (May 5, p. B7). and infidelity in an open forum a burden that up to now had not been thrust upon a the individual who finds him self or herself caught in the scandal that directs the actions of the press, and by extension, supporters and the pu blic supporters and a voting public.


66 However, both the Times editorial board and writers such as William Safire suggest that politicians should not have to answer questions about their personal lives: Maybe the shallow, insensitiv e nature of Presidential campaigns would begin to change if one candidate, one day, said: ''That is none of your business; that is my private life, and my family's.'' I think the public would respond to a candidat e who said that and stuck to it (May 5, p. A35). Have you ever committed adultery?'' was the stone some sin free questioner lobbed at Gary Hart last week. His answer was a temperate ''I do not have to answer that question.'' Mine would have been 'Go to hell.' Neither the media nor the government h as a right to expect an answer to such personal questions. We would all be better off if candidates for office were expected to take offense at such intrusions (May 11, p. A17). Questions of morality and judgment were apparent early in the Times coverage w ith noted politicos Gov. Mario Cuomo and former vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro questioning which was more important: how Hart spent his evenings or his stand on issues such as nuclear arms. The key term of was characterized by the use of such words as report, story, reporter, editor and publisher Again, not surprising, given the inordinate amount of discussion about the methods the Herald used in obtaining the story. As a note, though Hart initially lashed out at the Herald in part icular, after the release of its story his narrative quickly blamed the press in general as the cause of his troubles. the situation, while op ed pieces questioned the validit y of the coverage and the underlying issues that prompted such reportage: Reporters once treated candidates' ''personal'' indiscretions discreetly. No longer, and that's to the good. Beyond the proper, debatable bounds of privacy, the public needs to know as much about a candidate as possible. It is, after all, a person whom the voters elect to be President, not a set of policies. Once in office the policies may change, but the person's intellect,


67 judgment and character will not. Mr. Hart's judgment was alr eady in doubt. This new episode deepens those doubts (May 5, p. A34). Gary Hart's strange treatment of his birth date and family name invited attention to his character. I think there are reasons to question his judgment. But ''the womanizing issue,'' as T he Herald called it, gets special attention for a reason we all know. That is the pu blic's prurient interest in sex (May 4, p. A35). In addition, noted columnists like Tom Wicker, A.M. Rosenthal and Anthony Lewis were churning out lengthy articles on two differing tacks: one faction debated how ethical the H reporting methods and rush to print were while the other deliberated whether marital fidelity was even important enough to be an issue in considering presidential candidate coverage. front page status? Twenty five years earlier, the answers might have been fairly straightforward. The key term of can be largely attributed to the vast amounts of poll information and political commenta ry generated by columnists debating the idea of whether the American people would vote for a man who had committed adultery as opposed to drunk driving or cheating on their taxes. Writers both pro and con noted that marital infidelity was not the underlyin g problem Hart faced, but rather a growing concern about poor judgment and lack of honesty qualities the pundits claimed the American people simply would not tolerate in their presidential candidates. The one idea that seemed to rise above all the discussi on was that it was not a matter of morality, or judgment or even ability, but rather a matter of candor of honesty. One op ed writer again confirmed what Benoit was asserting in his earliest work on Image Repair Theory : that candor and a forthright approac h to the issue is the best for salvaging public image


68 What the voters will care about, however, is whether Gary Hart has been honest and forthright in explaining the town house issue. The issue in today's politics is not morality but candor. After giving his ''Checkers'' speech in the 1952 campaign, Richard M. Nixon learned a lesson he later forgot that overwhelming public doubts can be turned around with a forthright, he ad on confrontation of an issue (May 6, p. A35). In the view of most politicians, t he Hart case was special: It does not necessarily imply a new era of high morality in American politics. But it certainly reinforces the lesson that Americans demand from their political leaders a higher standard of behavior than they do from their friends and neighbors, or even from themselves. And it most certainly demonstrates that character, not ideology and not intellect, is the quality most Americans seek in those who would be President (May 8, p. A1). The Times portrayed Donna Rice as the stereotypic al blond haired beauty queen; a swimsuit model type who posed bare breasted and dated a Saudi arms dealers. One cannot help but sense the undertones of unfavorable coverage afforded interviews. For Hart, the Herald story merely resurrected the rumors of purported promiscuity dating back to the McGovern campaign in 1972. Hart fired back with allegations of ollowing the Heral d story. But while he denounced the media for his mounting problems, he was unable to blame anyone but himself. His own words may have been the most prophetic: As I've said, I don't intend to give up, because the cause is more important than the candidate. The prize is not the Presidency, it's our country's future. We will prevail for one simple reason: because the truth will prevail (May 6, p. B8). Though there were serious doubts beginning to surface about the story, Hart offic ially withdrew his bid for the presidency on May 8, 1987 just hours after


69 receiving word that the Washington Post had additional and substantiated information about a long term relationship with yet another woman. 3 Figure 4 7. The New York Times. T able 4 9. Total key term word counts for The New York Times coverage of Gary Hart May 4 18, 1987. Term Count Term Count Term Count Term Count Hart 1,058 Rice 164 Democratic 141 People 117 campaign 300 question 158 Miami 129 Report 116 candidate 229 woman 156 house 127 Press 115 Gary 199 presidential 149 issue 123 Newspaper 106 Herald 192 political 148 story 121 Broadhurst 105 Washington Post When the story broke on May 4, 1987, the Post focused mainly on the political rather than the personal ramifications of the scandal despite the pointed questions being asked about moral rectitude and character. Staff writers immediately 3 Less than 5 percent of articles appearing in the Times during the timeframe were wire s ervice generated stories. No separate analysis was conducted.


70 started gauging the reactions of newspaper publishers and editor s, while freelancers in The Post devoted a considerable amount of copy to the Gary Hart affair, with more than 64 articles and political commentary. In addition, the Post incl uded 29 separate columns, profiles, interviews and editorial/op ed pieces, the bulk of which appeared May 4 10. The six dominant key terms emerging from the text are But the Post took on an investigative nature from the very beginning, contacting editors, publishers, staff workers both current and former and political insiders to paint as full a picture as possible of Hart as the Democratic front running candidate Much of the cove rage throughout the timeframe aides in an effort to distance the candidate from the press. The key term figures prominently in all three publications with relation to Gary Hart. His initial backlash from the st ory evolved into an indictment on the press as a whole, with Hart claiming he was being victimized by a rumor mongering industry that was acting in concert with his political rivals. Instead, the press debated among themselves the validity of the tactics and the journalistic ethics the press strove to uphold. By May 5, Hart was facing mounting pressure from the press, culminating in a tense 45 minute news conference to the American Newspaper Publishers Association where he was asked pointed quest ions about his morality and his marriage. Though to silence his critics:


71 Hart, who had said in a speech Tuesday that he had done nothing "immoral" with Rice, was aske d about his definition of morality, and, specifically, whether it included adultery. He said it did. Asked if he had ever committed adultery, Hart said: "I do not have to answer that question The rumors and speculation about Hart had been simmering for nearly 15 years and were well known in the news industry and insider political circles. The Post spoke with newspaper editors around the country and found they almost overwhelmingly agreed that the story was worthy of being investigated. The real questions surfacing were about whether marital fidelity was a true indicator of character and further, how that character was to be gauged: This Hart story, the womanizing story, presents a terrible dil emma to editors and reporters," said James P. Gannon, editor of The Des Moines Register. "The issue was on the agenda he addressed the issue. Reporters did have an obligation to d etermine the truth or falseness of those rumors. Truth is an important ma tter in presidential character (May 5, p.. A6) It's a dangerous area," said Albert Hunt, Washington bureau chief of The Wall Street Journal. "There is no doubt in my mind that one's sexual habits, particularly if one is married, say something about one's character. The problem is, I'm not sure that we in the press are qualified to analyze precisely what it does say about character (May 5, A6) Post editors said the story was justified not only because the womanizing rumors had been dogging the Democratic front runner's campaign for weeks if not years, but also because Hart himself had suggested that reporters check the allegations. Though the Miami Herald could not have known at the ti me it went to press with the story of Donna Rice and the Washington weekend, Hart had already set the stage New York Times Magazine released its interview with Hart the same day the Herald broke its story. In r esponse to the


72 query into rumors stemming from his 1984 campaign, Hart quipped that "If anybody wants to put a tail on me, go ahead. They'd be very bored (May 5, p. D1) The key term presidenti al candidate being debated by publishers and editors alike after the American Newspaper Publishers Association press conference. The consensus among these news professionals was that the American people would never believe the story that was being told by the candidate, nor would they support a candidate that attempted to perpetrate such a deception. Many Hart insiders saw this conduct as a question of character rather than morality and of poor judgment bordering on foolhardiness, especially in light of th e past rumors. The Post noted questions were beginning to surface about H credibility; questions first raised during the 1984 campaign. There is a catch me if you can aspect to this that bothers me," said David Garth, a Democratic media consultant not allied with any 1988 presidential campaign (May 5, p. A10). As they watched his public self destruction this week, many of the people who went through earlier campaigns with him, especially the one in 1984, were struck by a sense of dj vu, but this time with a pestering some said terrifying final thought: Perhaps they had been wrong to suppress, or silence, their doubts for so long (May 8, p. A1). The coverage included interviews with current and former workers. And though some withi n the Hart camp condemned the Herald story as a personal attack citing shoddy journalism, faulty surveillance reports and lack of corroboration from any of the people involved, others saw it as a culmination of rumors that had circulated for years. Still o thers saw it as an opportunity for Hart to put the matter to rest once and for all:


73 There is a sense of real confidence that they have the facts for a sound rebuttal. There is a feeling that this may be an opportunity. Gary Hart was never going to receive the nomination without answering questions about his character, and this is a chance to present a case where they can soundly rebut an allegation (May 5, p. A10). for the conseque like what they had found (May 8, p. A15). On May 7, reporters at the American Newspapers Publishers Association grilled Hart on the Rice affair. And in an unprecedented move, asked the presidential candi date point blank if he had ever committed adultery. Later, the Post relayed to about a long term relationship with yet another woman. The following morning Hart issued a terse statement that he was suspending his campaign indefinitely and flew home to Colorado with his wife. The Post included nearly 30 columns, op ed commentary, profiles and interviews k of common sense, from his character defects to political shortcomings. One writer included an indictment of the Democratic Party as a whole. Why, then, did Hart's standing in the polls drop so precipitously after press reports of his dalliance with 29 y ear old Donna Rice? Could it be that while millions of Americans won't condemn adultery because they are so busy trying it, they detest people who mess up the game by being st upidly indiscreet, as Hart was? (May 13, p. A23). The wonder is not that Hart's p ublic, party and financial support were blown away by winds of scandal but how he ever became a front runner in the first place. The answer is found in a party, after nearly two decades of remorseless internal "reform," structurally unable to project bona fide leaders (May 11, p. A13). In addition, the key term listing and radial graph shows a strong correlation with the secondary terms of While these words would seem to be of


74 rsonal character first and his presidential capabilities second. The Post went to great lengths to paint as complete a picture as possible of Hart in order to fully articulate the implications of the rumors dating back to 1972. This included previous mari tal problems, the $1 million plus debt from his failed 1984 campaign as well as an ill Donna Rice emerged not so much as the femme fatale in the affair, but as a hapless bystander, not s o much caught as caught up in the backlash against Hart. While her own story to the press reflected inconsistencies she retreated to her South Florida apartment to wait out the media storm while she contemplated her possible book options none were ever re alized. Once she declined further interviews on May 6, her name faded into the background as a point of reference only. final speech on May 9. His paraphrasing of Jefferson an d the justice of God may well sum up his reason for failure: Politics in this country, take it from me, is on the verge of becoming another form of athletic competition or sporting match. We all better do something to make this system work or we're all goi ng to be soon rephrasing Jefferson to say: I tremble for my country when I think we may in fact get the kind of leaders we deserve (May 9, p. A11). By May 10, the coverage returned to evaluating the remaining candidates and the Iran Contra hearings that had previously dominated the political scene. In less than a week Gary Hart had gone from being the Democratic front runner to a political


75 pariah, forever equated to some degree, with the Donna Rice affair, in much the same way that Edward Kennedy would forever be linked to Chappaquiddick. 4 Figure 4 8. Washington Post Table 4 10. Total key term word counts for Washington Post coverage of Gary Hart May 4 18, 1987. Term Count Term Count Term Count Term Count Hart 1,149 candidate 169 T ime 152 Miami 133 campaign 404 political 168 W ife 145 know 133 Rice 241 house 156 P eople 137 press 131 Gary 208 woman 154 R eporter 137 question 127 story 174 Herald 153 Washington 136 presidential 127 Chicago Tribune The initial coverage of the Gary Hart scandal consisted of a page 3 column by noted humorist Mike Royko and a 644 word wire service story from the New York Times buried on page 16 ; h ardly the front page splash found in the Times 4 Less than 5 percent of articles appearing in the Post during the timeframe studied were wire service generated. No separate analysis was conducted


76 and the Post In addition, the coverage was about 50 percent that of either newspaper. While the Post used a more investigative edge in their reporting, and the Times waded heavily into the debate of privacy for political figures versus public accountability, the Tribune main tained its conservative posture. It concentrated the bulk of its coverage on the pros and cons of the role news media had in the privacy in the political sphere debate. The coverage of the Gary Hart scandal was considerably less than that of eith er the Times or the Post with only 41 news stories, editorial and op ed pieces. Only two short Letter to the Editor collections are present in the sample frame. An analysis of th Herald ami correlate with the more conservative stance the Tribune took with its reportage. While some key terms may mirror both the Times and the Post the Tribune took a different tack in its reportage. The Tribune focused a good deal of coverage method of electing candidates in general. Tribune reporters spoke with various members at the American Newspaper Publishers Asso the consensus was that as a group they were decidedly underwhelmed and few objected to the pursuit of the story: one said, leav ing the Waldorf Astoria Hotel ballroom where Hart spoke.


77 Asked whether he doubted that the Herald had been scrupulous or fair in While the Times and the Post outlined the discr epancies of the weekend timeline, the Tribune night in question according to Hart, Rice, fundraiser William Broadhurst and campaign manager William Dixon. The Tribune then compared it to the Herald story. The discrepancies were glaring. Many questions were asked of Hart, Rice and the staff, advisers and observers on the periphery of the affair; questions concerning Hart; his relationships, the rumors of womanizing and private versu s public information about Hart as a candidate. The Tribune aspect in a presidential candidate. Though Hart at first denied the allegations, he then said that his private Tribune took the stance that what Hart failed to realize was that he had invited the scrutiny (long before the New York Times Magazine with his indifference toward the concept of honesty a quality the American peopl e Tribune writer Royko, warming debate with his usual flair for the obvious:


78 At this point, some readers might be saying that this column is being written as if I accept as fact that Hart had a sexual affair with Miss Ric e, although both of them deny it. expect people to believe that he was taking a yacht trip with her, burning up the long distance lines to talk to her, having her fly to Washin gton while his wife was away all this while running for president simply because he though t she was fun to chat with (May 8, p. 3). The key terms of can be attributed to the op ed and editorial board commentary debating the validity and ethics of the Miami Washington townhouse. The Tribune aired the consensus that though the Herald had blown the stakeout and printed the story without interviewing the people involved (for a number of reasons) the implications were virtually accepted as true by both the press and the public. Moreover, the editorial commentary about the issue of the press and its overstepping of a overstepping the lines of discretion and judgment. the denials, the evasions and the shifting of blame that brought the que stion of character to the forefront and whet the nib of every political pundit and late night talk show host in the country. The idea that the American press is rushing headlong toward the Peeping dal sheets is the stuff of which scapegoats are made. Politicians always want to blame the messenger who brings bad news about them (May 10, Sec. 4, p. 2). If you notice, nobody is asking Joe Biden, Paul Simon, Mike Dukakis, Jesse Jackson or any of the oth er candidates about philandering. They (May 11, p. 3).


79 The Tribune posed rhetorical questions about the charges and assertions about Hart, the role of the press in the political process and rumor v ersus fact in reporting with editorial and op ed pieces by Ellen Goodman, Raymond Coffey and William Safire which echoed the press corps had replaced the boys will be boys press club double standard infide lity was now officially on the record. 5 Figure 4 9. Chicago Tribune Table 4 11. Total key term word counts for Chicago Tribune coverage of Gary Hart May 4 18, 1987. Term Count Term Count Term Count Term Count Hart 526 W oman 100 know 72 question 62 candidate 138 Herald 98 house 67 ask 60 campaign 136 S tory 95 Miami 67 Washington 58 Rice 113 P ress 90 people 65 report 55 reporter 109 Gary 73 presidential 63 time 53 5 Less than 5 percent of articles appearing in the Tribune during the timeframe studied were wire service generated. No separate analysis was conducted. In addition, four columns appearing in the Tribune were re prints from the Washington Post.


80 John Edwards and Rielle Hunter; Aug. 9 23, 2008 The New York Times In sharp contrast to the coverage afforded the Edward Kennedy accident, with its so secret womanizing during the 1988 presidential race, the mainstream media remained mum on the John Edwards affair for nearly a year while supermarket tabloids waded into the rumor and speculation. Analyzing the roughly 13,000 word body of Times text, the five dominant key terms of emerge. The term is predominant, and a review of the text shows the unfavorable words sex, scandal, lie, admit and deny weighed heavily on the contextual aspect. This is unusual in that the Times has typically used a more objective and neutral tone in its reportage lang uage, using words like infidelity and adultery when referring to sex and scandal as evidenced by the Gary Hart coverage in 1987. Likewise, the key terms of J ohn (Edwards) s heavily weighted with words such as lie and narcissism rather than deceit or ch aracter. The National Enquirer published its first story in October 2006 and then another in December that featured a photo of a pregnant Rielle Hunter and allegations that she and Edwards had had an affair while she was employed by his political action c The Charlotte Observer did any follow up into the allegations of an adulterous affair and a 6 month According to The editors, the newspaper wanted to maintain a reputation scandal, the Times


81 Edwards had announced his candidacy in late December 20 06. A cursory investigation by the Times then turned up little credible evidence. In response to questions about their lag time on the story, Times editors reported that when the Enquirer story broke in October 2006, the newspaper was not in a position to do a more thorough inquiry. Times editors said that when the first Enquirer story appeared and they could not verify it after fairly cursory inquiries, they left it alone. "I'm not going to recycle a supermarket tabloid's anonymously sourced story," said Bi ll Keller, the executive editor (Aug. 10, Sunday Opinion Sec. p. 10). By August 2008, Edwards had dropped out of the presidential race and the country was reeling from the housing market meltdown and rising unemployment In addition, the newspaper industry, including the Times was still trying to get a handle on Edwards isn't a player at the moment," said Richard Stevenson, who directs the newspaper's campaign coverage. "There are a lot of big issues facing the country. The two candidates are compelling figures, and we have finite resources (Aug. 10, Sunday Opinion Sec. p. 10). Like much of the mainstream media, The New York Times did n ot pursue the The nationally televised interview included a confession of marital infidelity with Rielle Hunter Edwards was quick to add that he c was in remission and an admission that he had lied about the affair for months. He month old child and claimed that his aide, Andrew Young, was the father. He also could not explain why a c ampaign contributor would pay Hunter and Young money to relocate to California.


82 But instead of dispelling the rumors that had been swirling in the tabloids for months, Edwards public admission of infidelity and lies left many viewers and news professiona l with lingering doubts about the story as well as the man. Though still wary of following up on a tabloid initiated story, the conflicting statements of Edwards, Hunter and the contributor, the money being paid to Hunter and Young and the possibility tha t Edwards might still be invited to the Democratic National Convention were enough for the Times to launch their own inquiry. The information revealed a possible orchestrated cover up of the affair: Mr. Edwards said that he carried on the affair for a "sho rt period" in 2006 and that it ended before he could have fathered the baby, who was born Feb. 27. But financial records show that Mr. Edwards's political action committee, One America, made payments to Ms. Hunter's production company into 2007. The commit tee paid Ms. Hunter's company, Midline Groove Productions, based in South Orange, N.J., a total of $114,000 in 2006 and 2007 (Aug. 9, p. A1). The Times investigation confirmed the affair had been going on longer than Edwards had admitted to and that mone y was being funneled to Hunter from a wealthy donor, although they were still unable to confirm that Edwards knew about the money from either his PAC or his campaign donor: A longtime financial backer of Mr. Edwards's campaigns, Fred Baron, told The Dalla s Morning News on Friday that he had made payments to Ms. Hunter to get her "out of North Carolina" and "into a stable place." She and her baby moved into a $3 million house in Santa Barbara, Calif. (Aug. 9, p. A14). The Times news coverage, thin to begin with, trickled to editorial and op ed inviting Edwards to speak at the convention, and Hunter refused to take a paternity test. Edwards would not publicly admit to being the father until January 2010.


83 The key term and the lack of coverage of a political nature, support the assertion that character and behavioral attributes were by far more prominent in the Figure 4 10. The New York Times Table 4 12. Total key term word counts for The New York Times coverage of John Edwards Aug. 9 23, 2008. Term Count Term Count Term Count Term Count Edwards 198 Enquirer 54 John 35 wife 26 Hunter 110 report 53 tell 31 child 25 time 60 campaign 42 father 29 baby 25 affair 56 news 38 National 27 lawyer 24 story 55 Young 35 New York 26 statement 24 Washington Post Like the Times the Washington Post devoted considerably less coverage to the John Edwards and Rielle Hunter affair than to either the Kennedy or the Hart scandals, and began reporting on the story only after Edwards appeared on the ABC News


84 ng a liaison with Hunter. The National Enquirer October 2006, including a story in December 2006 that featured a pregnant Hunter. Only the tabloid and a handful of other stories ap The coverage of given to the Kennedy and Hart scandals, with only 10 articles total and less than 9,000 words of text. This could be attributed to t he fact that the story had already been told, or that generally speaking, newspapers have been getting physically getting smaller. Simply stated, the reduction in coverage could be the result of a diminishing news hole overall; that is the amount of space available for daily news after the advertising has been placed. The six dominant key terms found in the text are Although the news coverage focused mainly on the political aspects of op ed articles focused on Edwards continued denial that he had fathered that was surfacing i n the financial documents and his continued visits to Hunter, there continued to be speculative commentary that he was the father. The key terms of were clearly articulated by this coverage. Like the Times Post editors s aid they had looked into the story in October 2006 but could not secure credible evidence. One Post writer said that without solid evidence


85 to bolster their stories, they ran the risk of having their investigations compared to those of the tabloids: There was also a wariness about the Enquirer, which has broken several major stories -including a 2001 report on Jesse L. Jackson fathering a child out of wedlock -but which sometimes pays for information, as Perel said the tabloid did in the Edwards case. T he Enquirer also has a lower threshold than mainstream news organizations for publishing info rmation from second hand source (Aug. 9, p. A1). The remaining key terms are all supported by the Co occurrence Word Association graphs and key term counts, which show strong correlations between The Post passing on the story in 2006 but her cancer recurrence was not made publi c until March 2007. Meanwhile, conservative commentators were accusing the mainstream press including the Post of being a liberal press that was reluctant to skewer a fatherless birth certificate that the mainstream media acted. ignore the story. The Post in keeping with its reputation, focused on the political itical career, both present and future. The declaration that he was ashamed of his actions and blamed them on his success in d became increasingly


86 cover up implications were obvious and many now saw this moral lapse possibly morphing into a legal case of campaign fraud (Aug. 12, p. A13). The Post noted that Edwards admitted he had lied in the months prior to the interview. He now told the world ceremony of the Beijin g Olympics that he had indeed been having an affair, but that it had been over for a long time ; t He insisted that Andrew Young was the father and offered to take a polygraph test. Edwards also denie d any knowledge of money paid to either Hunter or Young by his friend and campaign donor Fred Baron. The initial report the day after the interview documented how much Hunter had been paid for her filmmaking, how campaign worker Andrew Young claime d to be was not told of the payments. The Post limited copy about Young to a couple of paragraphs was broadly sketched as a former party girl turned wou ld be documentary filmmaker. The bulk of their coverage was on Edwards and the fallout of his political life. Unlike the Hart scandal, the question of privacy for public officials was no longer an issue for the press that is. Edwards ignored questions fr om an Observer reporter after a speech in Washington. "He lost the luxury of being a private person when he ran for president," s aid Observer editor Rick Thames (Aug. 9, p. A1). He's a two time presidential candidate, was the party's nominee for vice presi dent four years ago, and was carrying on with the smitten Hunter -a fledgling filmmaker paid with campaign funds during his White House run. Do the standards change dramatica lly the day after you drop out? (Aug 11, p. C1).


87 In addition, it took the press about a nanosec ond to remind the public that it was not the affair itself that was newsworthy, but the lies that for months had been coming from the Edwards camp. But frankly, the story had already been told and the mainstream press had little more to add let alone debate. Until a paternity test could determine otherwise, there was no way to know for certain whom months before the allegations of campaign fraud would surface. The lack of key terms relating directly to politics indicates that despite the news coverage taking a decidedly political tack, the op ed commentary overshadowed it making the overall tone more personal than political. Figure 4 11. Washington Post


88 Table 4 13. Total key term word counts for Washington Post coverage of John Edwards Aug. 9 23, 2008. Term Count Term Count Term Count Term Count Edwards 142 know 35 report 31 John 24 Hunter 53 affair 33 story 30 Elizabeth 23 child 49 time 33 tell 29 hold 22 love 44 baby 32 National 25 week 22 campaign 38 Enquirer 32 father 25 news 21 Chicago Tribune The Chicago Tribune took its usual conservative editorial stance when the John Edwards story broke, though like the Times and the Post, did not immediately report on the story. The made, down home, family man whose terminally ill wife bravely supported him in his bid for the presidency. The paper juxtaposed that image to o ne of Edwards betraying family and staff with his nationally televised admission of a sexual liaison with Rielle Hunter and his months of lies surrounding the affair. The overall effect labeled Edwards a liar and a louse. In an interview with the Tribune last fall while he campaigned in New Hampshire, pporters have put their faith and confidence in hi The coverage of the John Edwards scandal was too small for analysis u sing the T Lab software. During the timeframe, the Tribune produced only about 3,600 words of text. At about 35 words per inch, that is about 100 inches of copy slightly more than three quarters of a page for the two week period studied.


89 However, in compa ring the Co occurrence Word Associations and considering the weight the Tribune include articulated by words such as a ffair child lies narcissism and the contin ued indifference Edwards expressed toward his family, his friends and his constituents. Democratic and Republican readers and bloggers (the Tribune featured a small collection of comments from their website in the Aug. 10 print edition) alike seemed to rec (Aug. 13 p. 3 ). denial (lies) and reduction of offensiveness (he cheated only in remission) only served t o exacerbate the situation Edwards found himself in, but his egocentric nature would not allow him to see that. What is particularly stunning is that Edwards, having to know full well that he would be caught in his lies, represented himself not only as a f ine, decent family man a man of the people but that he forged ahead with his campaign as damaged goods, even entertaining the prospect until now of being Barack Obam (Aug. 13, p. 1). ation. I can only feel for his wife who has so valiantly battled cancer. When will men and women also learn how important fidelity in marriage is? A vow does mean something, a something that Mr. Edwards apparently forgot (Aug. 10, p. 1). The cove rage was very limited with only one original news story and one wire service article within the studied timeframe. The bulk of its coverage was dedicated to a series of Letters to the Editor, which overwhelmingly cast unfavorable light on the former candi date. The readers traditionally conservative editorial stance, with both pro and con commentary comparing the press treatment Edwards received to that of John McCain and Bill Clinton T hey


90 overwhelmingly blistered the ma pursuit of the story; and called out Edwards for his political hypocrisy and crass treatment of his terminally ill wife. Figure 4 12. Chicago Tribune Table 4 14. Total key term word counts for Chicago Tribune coverage of John Edwards Aug. 9 23, 2008. Term Count Term Count Term Count Term Count Edwards 72 A ffair 15 father 11 Elizabeth 9 Hunter 22 C ampaign 14 DNA 11 year 9 John 19 C hild 13 family 11 lie 9 Enquirer 16 T abloid 13 president 11 news 9 test 16 S tory 12 wife 10 tell 8


91 CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION In determining the editorial stance of the three newspapers under consideration, one must look not only on the scandals being studied, but the social norms and world events taking place at the same time. Competing with television in the 1960s, the Internet in the 1980s and the digital transformation in the 2000s, t he print news industry could not help but somewhat change its perspective and methods. Sloan (1991) wrote, own attitudes and outlooks. Each holds to the views distinc This study shows that the changes in reportage of political sexual scandal were not in the editorial position but in the language used to express that editorial position. We find that newspapers historically develop an editoria l position a perspective and approach, a flavor if you will that can waver over time. For example, The New York Times to the liberal tenor of Arthur Ochs Sulzburger 100 years late r. premise that public actions of self defense or damage control by political figures directly impact the reactions of the public and the press. What Was The Editorial Approach The News Publications Under Consideration Took In Reporting On Each Of The Three Political Sexual S candals? The New York Times In 1969, The New York Times approached the Kennedy scandal from a moderate editorial stance keeping a fair distance from rumor a nd guesswork. The Times reported in a factual straightforward manner, assuming a neutral tone with regard to both the legal and the moral questions surrounding Kennedy and the Chappaquiddick


92 incident. Though considered one of the most influent ial newspaper s in the country, t he Times had remained a cloistered, family owned operation adhering almost rigidly to New York Times Sept. 30, 2012, p. A1). Coverage for the two week period from Ju ly 20 Aug. 3, 1969 was generally neutral to favorable with minimal speculation or backlash appearing in the copy. But twenty years later, t he Times had moved toward the more liberal editorial position it was to become known for. As the Hart scandal unfolde d, t he Times published extensive editorial content, both pro and con, on the role of the press in reporting on the private lives of public figures. While the Times editorial board questioned the tactics of the surveillance, it agreed in principle with the Herald that the information the paper had obtained, and the rumors that had already been in circulation, presidential race. By 2008, the liberal bias was being hotly debated both in and out of its New York Eighth Avenue office. And the Edwards scandal was no exception. Though reporting s tandards equated with less stringent sourcing methods, the Times did mount Young, by campaign supporter, Fred Baron. Less than three years later, the Times would extensiv from those payments.


93 One can literally see the change in editorial stance when comparing the reportage of the Kennedy scandal in 1969 and the release of the Pentagon Papers just two years l ater. In comparing the two, a definitive liberal ideology is seen when reporting on the working of political figures. The line of demarcation was now firmly drawn between the press and politics. The Times would retain this liberal stance in its reportage o f political scandal, sexual or otherwise, through Gary Hart, John Edwards and a host of other political figures who found too late that immunity stemming from their political positions could no longer shielded them from public scrutiny. The Washington Pos t During the Kennedy incident, the Washington Post took a more liberal, yet pragmatic editorial stance, harkening back to the days when Phil Graham was at the helm, but tempered news The cove rage took on a middle to upper middle class voice, eschewing the elitist detachment of the Times in favor of a more intuitive and commonsense approach indicative of the investigative style the Post was to become known for in the coming decades. In keeping with its reputation as the leading political newspaper in the country, the Post reported from a legal and political position with commentary that leaned toward the assertion that Kennedy received favorable treatment from local authorities because of wealth and a public still awed by the Kennedy name. The liberal editorial stance would see some movement toward a moderate tone in its news coverage in the late 1980s, mostly due to the influence of Bradlee. But during the roughly 40 year time span under consideration, the liberal editorial position developed under Phil Graham prevailed.


94 As already noted, the actions of the political figures themselves would come to work in concert with the reportage. Like the Chappaquiddick incident in 1969 and the relea se of the Pentagon Papers in 1971, the Post ushered in a new level of investigative journalism with the exposure of the Watergate scandal in 1972. No longer would the immoral or illegal activities of political elites be swept under the carpet and shielded from the American people. By the time the Hart scandal broke, the Post had moved to a more investigative, albeit still liberal, position editorially, focusing its reportage on the political ramifications of a presidential hopeful who did not grasp the fun damentals of honesty and integrity. The Post supported the Miami with Donna Rice, despite lingering questions about the surveillance, taking the position that public office trumped privacy and calling i nto question as a matter of course the character and integrity of any person who aspired to the highest office in the land. The coverage of the Hart scandal could be considered a study of American politics. Political writers from across the country analyzed the factors and downfall: But if much has changed in journalism, it is in tune with t he times, with changes in the wider world. Today the country is more accepting of divorce among politicians and therefore less accepting of marital infidelity. The old boy tolerance of dalliance men will be men has been changed by the admission of women in to the system: the gentlewoman's disagreement (May 7, p. A27). The Hart episode will be badly misunderstood if it is taken as justification for indiscriminate assaults on the privacy and dignity of public people in general. It will also be badly misunderst ood if it is taken as evidence of some profound flaw in the system whereby we choose our presidents (May 10, p. B6).


95 What the editorial board did write most strongly about is that the scandal he political process in ways that had not been experienced before. Indeed, op ed writers were warning that the in an age when divorce did not carry the stigma it once did for politicians, the idea of While the Post maintained a strong liberal presence during the Chappaquiddick incident, the Hart scandal proved that investigative journalism need no longer remain in the public sect or. The private lives of public officials were now officially fair game. The Post scandal. And though Edwards had dropped from the 2008 presidential race by the time the story of his af fair with Rielle Hunter broke, the commentary emphasized the interview and examined the political ramifications of such actions. In doing so, the issues of illegitimat e children, extramarital affairs and hush money would now be openly discussed in the mainstream media. Like the Times The Post trial in 2011. The Chicago Tribune The Chicago Tribune was by far the most outspoken of the three newspapers in 1969. Uncompromising and decidedly unfavorable in its treatment of Kennedy, the newspaper took a conservative stance reminiscent of the McCormick years, adopting a watchdog style of reportage that f ocused on the disjointed investigation and conflicting information being disseminated by government officials.


96 When the Hart scandal broke, the Tribune had moved toward a more centrist view of news reporting, but was still decidedly conservative in its edi torial commentary, using the Hart scandal to draw voices into the debate on the right of privacy for public figures. Much like the Times and the Post the coverage was minimal on the Edwards scandal and contained the same conservative edge to its commentary as it had throughout mos t of the preceding 40 years. But by 2008, it was no longer the powerhouse news organization it had been in previous years. According to the Audit Bureau of Circulation, by March of 2009, the Tribune had dropped from t he No. 3 to the No. 8 position in paid circulation among the Top 25 U.S. newspapers. Did Tha t Approach Change Between 1969 A nd 2008, With Regard To Tone Or Emphasis? While the changes in the editorial positions of The New York Times, Washington Post and t he Chicago Tribune were minimal, mostly retaining either a liberal or conservative voice during the 40 year span, the reportage evolved to include language and themes that were increasingly unfavorable toward the political figures in question. During the Kennedy scandal, the dominant themes or subjects that emerged Mary Jo Kopechne and Edward Kennedy. These themes were characterized by recurring words such as car, report, statement and political Little was said about the morality issues of single women with married men or the legalities of not filing a police report when a woman issues surrounding hi s actions dominated the news copy.


97 Donna Rice and Gary Hart. In contrast to the Chappaquiddick incident, these themes were characterized by words such as adultery, lies, womanizi ng, sexual, infidelity and privacy. questions of character stemming from his actions dominated the news copy. Increasingly, the public is being subjected to unvarnished versions of ev ents and language that American society considered as unrestrained, strong and somewhat lowbrow. Finally, in the Edwards scandal, the public saw a press that was nearly unfiltered Edwards and his affai r with Donna Rice, illustrated by words such as lies, narcissism sex, scandal, affair and adultery. So to say that the editorial stance of any news publication changed with regard to political sexual scandal is to say t hat the way information is disseminated about political sexual scandal changed in the years between 1969 and 2008. The people and the catalyst accident, affair, etc. were still the dominant subjects of the story, but the language used by the press became i ncreasingly unfavorable in nature. premise that the actions of people, in this case political figures, who find themselves in a position of self defense or damage control, will employ various strategies in order to repair their reputations and that these strategies, ranging from denial to evasion to remorse will directly affect the actions of the public and the press.


98 E dward Kennedy and the Chappaquiddick affair (Benoit, 1988) clearly indicates that the actions of the individual correlate to the actions of the press and the public. For example, Kennedy first employed evasion of responsibility by secluding himself from th e public, then express ed shame and remorse in a televised appeal to his constituency. The pubic responded overwhelmingly with support for his retaining his s denial of all allegations only served to bolster questions of was in remission and his parsing of words when asked about money being paid to Rielle Hunter dur So, whereas the sexual peccadilloes and indiscretions of political figures had always lay in the cozy nether world of the press club, the emerging press corps ensured that the covers would now be pulled back and every politic al official could count on their private lives being publicly scrutinized. Print news organizations in the latter half of the 20 th century found their actions being directed by a number of political figures who enmeshed themselves in scandalous situations and a public that now demanded accountability for that behavior. In the 40 plus years since, political figures have found themselves being held up for public scrutiny and queried on their personal as well as professional merit. Questions of infidelity, int egrity and candor would now be as much a part of the dialogue as policy and program. Conclusion The result of the foregoing contextual analysis addresses questions related to the editorial positions of The New York Times, Washington Post and Chicago Tribun e in


99 1969, 1987 and 2008 specifically with regard to political sexual scandal And while there were some shifts in editorial perspective during the timeframe in question it was more the style and language of reportage that changed. However, other change s must be noted. In the Kennedy scandal, suspicion and speculation were on the minds of many people in response to the obvious missing information, especially the 10 hour lapse in hat followed. That silence fueled speculation across the country. The scandal was as much about notify police about the accident. Moving from a legal to a moral perspecti ve, the scandal unfolded in all three newspapers from the premise that the accident was perhaps unavoidable, but leaving the body of Mary Jo Kopechne in the water for more than 10 hours was unforgivable. However, the Tribune was by far more outspoken on th e moral issue than either the Times or the Post. Miami Herald reporters staked out since 1972 and were the main reason the Herald pursued the tip about his weekend houseguest. Many a presidential hopeful before him had survived the scuttlebutt of an extramarital dalliance. But, the real problem Hart faced was his reaction to his affair being made public, a fact the American people found dis turbing. Questions of judgment, arrogance and lack of character for so blatant an affair were bantered about in the

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100 press. Hart only made matters worse by assuming an attitude of indifference and angry petulance that the press would not let the matter lie. The issue was more or less a moral one, though not because of the sexual component. The majority of the public and the press a ccepted that most human failing The real questions posed by the press focused on the character flaw of a presidential hopeful w ho could not understand the ramifications of deceiving the public. The John Edwards scandal was anticlimactic in the sense that the National Enquirer marital infidelity and his a dmission to lying about the affair for months was sensational, but it was his denial of paternity and the contrived parsing of words when asked about timelines and cash payments to his mistress that rang hollow to journalists. The Edwards scandal moved fro m tawdry moral affair to felony court with questions involving hush money and cover ups. Months after the study frame, Edwards was indicted on charges of campaign fraud and conspiracy. The editorial coverage consisted of just four op ed pieces and three Letters to the Editor, most of which focused on the lack of honesty Edwards displayed. But one op ed writer reiterated the role mainstream media gatekeepers had now that the Internet made the job of news reporting a matter of capturing eyeballs rathe r than deciding what makes the news: In the end, the much derided MSM were superfluous, their monopoly a faded memory. People have hundreds of ways to obtain information in today's instantaneous media culture, and are capable of reaching their own conclus ions about what is reliable and what is not (Aug. 11, p. C1). The Times clearly had no taste for the scandal from the beginning, despite Edwards being a presidential hopeful when the Enquirer ran its first story. When it did

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101 finally delve into the affair, its coverage was a fourth that afforded the Chappaquiddick incident and a third of the Gary Hart scandal. The coverage of the John Edwards affair, like T he Times was a fraction of the coverage it had given to the Kennedy and Hart scandals. Only 10 articles appear during that time, with less than 9,000 words of copy in total. Indeed, four op ed articles and one Letter to the Editor collection make up nearly 50 percent of the text. And the Tribune with less than 3,600 words of copy during the Edwards scandal, is now a shadow of the former powerhouse news organization it once was. Industry pressures and declining readerships have taken its toll on the Tribune as with many other former nationally r ecognized newspapers. While this decline may be as much about shrinking news holes and competition from online news sources, it may very well be that that issues such as escalating unemployment mounting national debt and protracted recession are more relevant in the 21s century than a lying, cheating husband. mainstream media, where information is routinely transmitted in bits per second rather than per copy inch. B ut the findings of this study can be applied across the board to all facets of media. Mainstream media, in any and all its components, still acquires an editorial stance a style and approach that is uniquely its own that sets it apart from others. And whi le history, world events and economic pressures may impact that stance over time, it did not in the 40 year span under consideration. What did chang e during this

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102 timeframe were the people and events that were reported on specifically the political sexual s candals themselves. In a world that now allows political figures to tweet their innermost private musings along with their outermost private parts, mainstream media is now ready and willing to make that information public knowledge 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. of political figures who find themselves involved in a scandal direct the way that scandal is addressed by the press and perceived by the public Wh ile this study does not look at perceived by the press and the public detail about the night of the accident and seclusion immediately thereafter, prompted the press to continually the speculations that had been whispered about his womaniz ing, which prompted the press to ask the candidate outright if he had committed adultery, a move unprecedented in presidential campaign coverage. Finally, John Edwards parsing of words about the monies being paid to Rielle Hunter and Andrew Young prompted an investigation into the campaign finances. The editorial position of the mainstream media stretches along a continuum of ultra conservative right to the far liberal left, with a mlange of perspectives in between. And while some may decline to report on political sexual scandal altogether, others will feed the public appetite with any and all information for as long as possible. In an age

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103 where self restraint is seemingly in short supply, human frailties have become a major commodity. It is here that we see the real changes in the mainstream media. It is no longer a matter of what is being reported, but how it is shaped for public consumption. And with regard to politics, being a public figure trumps any personal or privacy concerns that may have been in place in years past. As illustrated in the three case studies here, the focus now shifts from external event to internal ethos and the language from reserved to racy. This study shows that news organizations maintain not only their position editorially on political sexual scanda l, but also a proper perspective; that is, a perspective that is in line with their current mode of operation, whether that be liberal, moderate, conservative or somewhere along that perspective continuum. And that while the focus and language used to convey that information has become the proving grounds for change, the mainstream media is no t slipping back into an era of yellow j ournalism. In summation, the expansion of the collective memory of these events viewing thes e historical events from the perspective of the individual as well as the news organizations, is invaluable in evaluating mass media development in the 20 th and 21 st centuries. This study illustrates the evolution of mass media from a press club that maint ained an almost personal approach to political figures including their secrets to a press corps that now asked pointed questions about character and morality as well as political policy.

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104 From an historical perspective, world events during the last half of the 20 th Century may well have had as much impact on mass media development as did the preceding 250 years. This study demonstrates how mass media more clearly defin es its ro le as news gatekeepers, no longer merely determining for the American public what the news is, but how that news would be disseminated. And in the case of political figures, the press has forwarded the idea that political candidates should be considered as much for their character and moral fiber as for their agenda and policy. Not only is the content of the news less filtered and more graphic in nature in the 21 st century, but the language being used to context ualize these events is changing This study will expand rather than add to the collective me mory of the scandals studied and to the way researchers view political sexual scandal in the future. This study behooves future researchers to consider another dimension to dissemination; that is how the information was presented the language, the approach and the social context of the information rather than just the information i tself Limitations This contextual analysis specifically excluded various associate aspects of the newspapers and political figures being studied. Those limitations included, but are not limited to, the personal toll of terminally ill spouses, illegitimate children, the character of deceased persons or the financial ramifications of political sexual scandal. Though these associate aspects present a unique perspective for future res earch, they were political sexual scandal.

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105 While the researcher considered adding additional news organizations to the study including smaller regional newspapers ( New Yo rk Post ) or wire service ( Associated Press ) and newspapers outside the Northeast ( Miami Herald and St. Petersburg Times ), it was felt that no additional or illuminating information would be gained. In addition, the researcher considered adding more case s tudies to the original population (Wilbur Mills and Fanne Foxe (1974), Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky (1998) and Anthony Weiner (2011)) but again felt that no new information would be gleaned from the analysis. In fact, in the case of Bill Clinton, addit ional associate aspects concerning a sitting president may well have clouded the original intent of the study. Lastly, the researcher considered adding additional time to the study but felt that the press of the latter part of the 20 th century was the best indicator for examining the editorial stances of print news in the U.S. today. Suggestions for Future Research Future researchers might want to look at the way the Internet has affected political sexual scandal reportage in an era where intimate informat ion is more easily accessible than an all night stakeout. In addition, though this study disregarded any financial or legal aspects of the operation of the newspapers in question, including electronic publishing, with regard to reportage stemming from poli tical sexual scandal f uture researchers may want to study the legal ramifications of libel and reportage of political sexual scandal Specifically, w hat are the monetary and or social liabilities for publishing political sexual scandal? And is there a def initive line between public and private?

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106 A study of resources for reporting (i.e.: crowd sourcin g, citizen journalism, etc.) whether shrinking or expanding in the wake of the digital transformation is warranted in light of the financial considerations news organizations are facing. In light of the rapid advancement of technology since 2008, a future study of how sexual scandal is being disseminated digitally is warranted. Finally, a look at the role of women in the newsroom and how they may have impact ed the evolution of political sexual sandal reportage may give insight into the notion that a male dominated press club had been replaced by a press corps that now included women reporters.

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107 APPENDIX A KEY WORD LISING FOR CONTEXTUAL ANAL YSIS Acceptance, acknowledgement, admission, adulterer, adulterous, affair, amends, apology, assignation, atonement, blameless, calumny, confess(ion), confidence, conscientious, consideration, constituents, corrupt, decent, defend, defense, degenerate, dignity, dirty laundry, discredit, disgrace, dishonor, disreputable, divorce, dutiful, embarrassment, esteem, excuse, exemplary, explanation, extramarital affair, faith, family, fealty, filthy, forgiveness, foul, girlfriend, good, gossip, guilt, high standing, hon or, honorable, humiliation, illicit, immoral, indiscretion, innocent, innuendo, integrity, justification, lapse in judgment, liaison, lie, love affair, lover, lying, mea culpa, mistake, mistress, modest, moralistic, moral turpitude, mud, obfuscation, pecca dilloes perversion, popularity, praise, predilections, principled, proper, public, redress, regret, remorse, reputable, respect, righteous, romance, rumor, scrupulous, self seeking, selfish, sexual encounter, shabby, shame, sin, slander, sordid, sorrow, s teamy, torrid, trust, truth, upstanding, vindication, wretched, wrong(s) adulterer, wrongdoing

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108 APPENDIX B INQUIRY AUDI T QUESTIONS How credible are the findings? How has knowledge or understanding been extended by the research? How well does the eva luation address its original aims and purpose? How well is the scope for drawing wider inferences explained? How clear is the basis of evaluative appraisal? How defensible is the research design? How well defended are the same design/target selection of ca ses/documents? How well is the eventual sample composition and coverage described? How well was the data collection carried out? How well has the approach to, and formulation of, analysis been conveyed? How well are the contexts of data sources retained an d portrayed? How well has diversity of perspective and content been explored? How well has detail, depth and complexity (i.e., richness) of the data been conveyed? How clear are the links between data, interpretation and conclusions i.e., how well can the route to any conclusions be seen? How clear and coherent is the reporting? How clear are the assumptions/theoretical perspectives/values that have shaped the form and output of the evaluation? What evidence is there of attention to ethical issues? How adeq uately has the research process be documented?

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109 LIST OF REFERENCES Abdulla, R.A., Garrison, B., Salwen, M., Driscoll P. & Casey, D. (2002). Credibility of newspapers, television news and online news Retrieved August. 2, 2012 from: Babbie, E. (2010) The practice of social research Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Bartlett, B. (2007). Partisan press parity. The Washington Times. Retrieved S eptember 29, 2011 from: 090315 7881r/ Blaney, J. R., & Benoit, W.L. (2001). The Clinton scandals and the politic s of image restoration. Westport, CT; London: Praeger. Brody, R. A. (1991). Assessing the president: the media, elite opinion, and public support. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. Canales, R. (2010). Review of On scandal: moral disturbances in soci ety, politics, and art [Electronic version]. Administrative Science Quarterly, 55 (3), 518 521. doi:10.2189/asqu.2010.55.3.518 Cleghorn, R. (1998). The news: it may never be the same. American Journalism Review, 20 (2), 4. Retrieved April 3, 2012, from ehost live Creswell, J. (2007). Qualitative inquiry & research design: choosing among five approaches. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE. Dow, B. J. (1999). Feminism, scandal, and media logics. Critical Studies in Mass Communication, 16 (1), 86 93. Retrieved September 29, 2011 from =ehost live Fassin, E. (2002). Sexual events: from Clarence Thomas to Monica Lewinsky. Differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies, 13 (2), 127 Retrieved August 5, 2012 from =ehost live Fischle, M. (2000). Mass response to the Lewinsky scandal: motivated reasoning or Bayesian updating? [Electronic version]. Political Psychology, 21 (1), 135 159. doi:10.1111/0162 895X.00181 Geyl, P. (1970) Use and abuse of history North Haven, CT: Archon Books

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110 Glass, L (2001). After the pha llus. American imago, 58 (2), 545. Retrieved April 5, 2012 from =ehost live Glass er, T. L., Allen, D. S., & Blanks, S. E. (1989). The influence of chain ownership on news play: a case study. Journalism Quarterly, 66 (3), 607 614. Retrieved October 18, 2012 from 7631&site=ehost live Gorton, D. (2007). The gay Republican conundrum. Gay and Lesbian Review Worldwide. 3 (7). 14 15. Retrieved April 5, 2012 from e=ehost live Groeling, T., Haselton, M., & Baum, M. (2006). Political scandal, gende r, and tabloid news: an experimental examination of consumer preferences for scandalous news. Conference Papers -American Political Science Association, 1 38. Retrieved July 18, 2012 from e=ehost live Gurevitch, M. (Ed.). (1982). Culture, society, and the media. (1982). New York: Methuen. Retrieved August 5, 2012 from Halberstam, D. (1979). The powers that be New York: Knopf. Hetherington, M. J., & Rudolph, T. J. (2008). Priming, performance, and the dynamic s of political trust. Journal of Politics, 70 (2), 498 512. Retrieved September 21, 2011 from N=38614007&sit e=ehost live Huebner, A. J. (2005). Rethinking American press coverage of the Vietnam War, 1965 68. Journalism History, 31 (3), 150 161. Retrieved May 4, 2012 from e=ehost live Jacobs, M. D. (2009). Review of secrets, sex, and spectacle: the rules of scandal in Japan and the United States. American Journal of Sociology, 114 (5), 1564 1566. doi:10.1086/600015 Johnson, J. A. (1998). Invisible justice. Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics, 3 (3), 137. Retrieved October 18, 2012 from ehost live

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111 Johnson, Q., Sionean, C & Scott, A. M. (2011). Exploring the presentatio n of news information about the HPV vaccine: a content analysis of a representative sample of U.S. newspaper articles. {Electronic version]. Health Communication, 26 (6), 491 501. doi:10.1080/10410236.2011.556080 Kian, E. T. M., Mondello, M., & Vincent, J. (2009). ESPN the women's sports network? A content analysis of Internet coverage of March madness. [Electronic version] Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 53 (3), 477 495. doi:10.1080/08838150903102519 King, R. L. (1985). Transforming scandal into tragedy: a rhetoric of political apology. Quarterly Journal of Speech, 71 (3), 289 301. Retrieved March 5, 2012 from px?direct=true&db=ufh&AN=10185583&sit e=ehost live Laine, T. (2010). SMS scandals: sex, media and politics in Finland. [Electronic version]. Media, Culture & Society, 32 (1), 151 160. doi:10.1177/0163443709350379 Lawrence, R. G. (2006). Seeing the whole board: new institutional analysis of news content. [Electronic version]. Political Communication, 23 (2), 225 230. doi:10.1080/10584600600629851 Len Rios, M. E. & Benoit, W. L. (2004). Gary Condit's image repair strategies: determined denial and differentia tion. Public Relations Review 30 (1)(03): 95 106, Retrieved April 5, 2012 from e =ehost live Leys, R. (2007). From guilt to shame: Auschwitz and after. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Liao, W. (2010). Framing political sex scandal in cross cultural context between China and the United States: a comparative case study. China Me dia Research, 6 (2), 67 80. Retrieved August 3, 2011 from e=ehost live Lowenstei n, R (2012). Interview by Michelle Harris. February 24, 2012. Gainesville, FL: University of Florida. Lulofs, N. (November 1, 2011) The Top 25 U.S. Newspapers from September 2011 FAS FAX Audit Bureau of Circulations Retrieved August 11, 2012 from: top u s newspapers for march 2012 McKee, A (2003). Contextual analysis: a beginner's guide. London; Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

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1 12 Mendes, K., Silva, K., Ray, A., Baldwin, D., Orchard, Weissmann, T., et al. (2009). Commentary and Criticism. [Electronic version]. Feminist Media Studies, 9 (4), 493 515. doi:10.1080/14680770903236939 Morgan, G., & Veysey, A. (1981) Robert R. McCorm Heritage Gallery. Retrieved October 5, 2012 from: Nathans, S. F. (1998). The wicked messengers. EMedia Professional 11 (12), 6. Retrieved April 5, 2012 from =ehost live Norris, P. (1999). Sex, li es, and videotape. Retrieved March 5, 2012 from =ehost live O'Brien, S. (1998). In the midst of the whirlwind. American Journalism Review, 20 (2), 29. Retrieved October 18, 2012 from b=ufh&AN=330038&site= ehost live Parker, P. (1986). The eleventh commandment. History Today, 36 (12), 54 56. Retrieved July 7, 2012 from =ehost live Reagan, B., & Robertson, L. (2001). Taking it to the editorial page. American Journalism Review, 23 (7), 11. Retrieved August 6, 2012 from =ehost live Reider, R. (1998). We gotta get out of this place. American Journalism Review, 20 (2), 6. Retrieved J une 6, 2012from ehost live Ricchiardi, S. (1998). Double vision. American Journal ism Review, 20 (3), 30. Retrieved August 29, 2011 from ehost live Robertson, L. (1 998). The politics of sex at salon. American Journalism Review, 20 (9), 10. Retrieved October 18, 2012 from true&db=ufh&AN=1267538&site =ehost live

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113 Rosenthal, P. (October 26, 2009). The media business in Chicago and beyond. Top 25 U.S. newspapers in paid circulation for the six month period ending in September 2009. Tower Ticker. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved Octobe r 18, 2012 from 25 us newspap ers in paid circulation for the sixmonth period ending in september 2009.html Ryan, J. G. (2006). Public affairs: politics in the age of sex scandals. Journal of American Studies, 40 (1), 159 160. doi:10.1017/S0021875806231311 Sanchez, R., & Dvorak, P. (200 2, August 30). Calif. democrats' retreat further damages redistricting plan aimed at lawmaker. Washington Post, pp. A01. Sloan, W. D. (1991). Perspectives on mass communication history. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc. Inc. Summers, J. H (2000). What happened to sex scandals? politics and peccadilloes, Jefferson to Kennedy. The Journal of American History, 87 (3), pp. 825 854. Retrieved August 29, 2011 from concerning the renewed primary curriculum. Educational Sciences: Theory & Practice, 11 (1), 170 177. Retrieved March 3, 2012 from e=ehost live Thompson, J. B. (2000). Political scandal: power and visibility in the media age Cambridge: Polity Press; Malden MA: Blackwell. Tumber, H., & Waisbord, S. R. (2004). Political scandals and media across Democracies, volume I. American Behavioral Scientist, 47 (8), 1031 1039. doi:10.1177/0002764203262275 Wiid, R., Pitt, L. F., & Engstrom, A. (2011). Not so sexy: publi c opinion of political Washington Post Company history. Retrieved September 30, 2012 from: history1925

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114 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Michelle Lee Harris holds a B.S. and an M.A. M.C. from the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications in journalism and mass communications, respectively She has worked as a freelance journalist, executive editor and marketing director at newspapers in Florida since 2008 and is currently pursuing a career as a historical non fiction writer.