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One Scandalous Story Clinton, Lewinsky, and Thirteen Days That Tarnished American Journalism

by Marvin Kalb

One Scandalous Story Clinton, Lewinsky, and Thirteen Days That Tarnished American Journalism Synopsis

In 1963 Marvin Kalb observed the Secret Service escorting an attractive woman into a hotel for what was most likely a rendezvous with President Kennedy. Kalb, then a news correspondent for CBS, didn't consider the incident newsworthy. Thirty-five years later, Kalb watched in dismay as the press dove headfirst into the scandal of President Clinton's affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, disclosing every prurient detail. How and why had the journalistic landscape shifted so dramatically? One Scandalous Story seeks to answer this critical question through the inside story of thirteen days -- January 13-25, 1998 -- that make up a vital chapter in the history of American journalism. In riveting detail, Kalb examines just how the media covered the Lewinsky scandal, offering what he calls an X-ray of the Washington press corps. Drawing on hundreds of original interviews, Kalb allows us to eavesdrop on the incestuous deals between reporters and sources, the bitter disagreements among editors, the machination of moguls for whom news is Big Business, and above all, the frantic maneuvering to break the story. With fresh insight, he retraces decisions made by Michael Isikoff of Newsweek, Internet renegade Matt Drudge, Jackie Judd of ABC, Clinton-basher Lucianne Goldberg, Susan Schmidt of The Washington Post, Jackie Bennett of the Office of the Independent Counsel, and other key players in this scandal that veered from low comedy to high drama. Through the lens of those thirteen turbulent days, Kalb offers us a portrait of the new news in all its contradictions. He reveals how intense economic pressures in the news business, the ascendancy of the Internet, the blurring of roles between reporters and commentators, and a surge of dubious sourcing and copy-cat journalism have combined to make tabloid-style journalism increasingly mainstream. But are we condemned to a resurgence of yellow journalism ? Painstakingly documented and sobering in its conclusions, One Scandalous Story issues a clarion call to newsmakers and the American public alike: Journalism can change for the better -- and must.

One Scandalous Story Clinton, Lewinsky, and Thirteen Days That Tarnished American Journalism Press Reviews

Tom Brokaw NBC News Marvin Kalb has given us a richly detailed and provocative account of one of the most tumultuous times in modern American journalism. It is a cautionary tale, told in a compelling narrative. I hope every editor and journalist will read it -- even if they disagree with many of its conclusions. Dan Rather CBS News A great book by a great reporter. Judy Woodruff CNN Anchor and Senior Correspondent Ouch! No one in the Washington press corps -- print or television or radio -- escapes the laser eye and X-ray analysis of Marvin Kalb. If there was a lingering question about whether the national news media have wandered off familiar territory and on to explosively unpredictable ground, thereby redefining themselves, this book removes all doubt. Robert D. Putnam Malkin Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University, author of Bowling Alone If you're concerned about the quality of American journalism and what it's doing to our politics, this blow-by-blow account of how the media covered the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal will confirm your worst fears. If you're not, you should be, and this book explains why. Donna E. Shalala President of the University of Miami Only a world-class journalist could dissect his own profession's reporting of the messy scandal that ruined a presidency....This is a brilliant, unsettling book. Mike McCurry CEO of Grassroots Enterprise, former White House Press Secretary Marvin Kalb understands how the Lewinsky story stained everyone, but his compelling argument about rethinking the rhythms of the twenty-four-hour news cycle is the two-by-four across the forehead that our political information establishment has needed for some time. Tom Rosenstiel Director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism, coauthor of The Elements of Journalism An authoritative day-by-day account of how journalism is made, One Scandalous Story will be a valuable asset to our understanding of the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal for years to come. Norman Ornstein Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute Using a fresh and unorthodox framework, Marvin Kalb takes us inside the press corps during the Monica Lewinsky scandal. It isn't pretty. In this brilliant and insightful book, no one comes out well, but journalists and journalism perhaps the worst of all. This book is must reading for every aspiring journalist, everyone practicing the profession, and anyone concerned about the role of the press in a free society. Stephen Hess Senior Fellow at The Brookings Institution, author of News & Newsmaking I cannot imagine anyone teaching (or understanding) journalism today without the aid of Marvin Kalb's One Scandalous Story. Kalb is a great storyteller and he has chosen a fascinating story to illustrate how the American news business operates -- and what has gone wrong. Judy WoodruffCNN Anchor and Senior Correspondent Ouch! No one in the Washington press corps -- print or television or radio -- escapes the laser eye and X-ray analysis of Marvin Kalb. If there was a lingering question about whether the national news media have wandered off familiar territory and on to explosively unpredictable ground, thereby redefining themselves, this book removes all doubt. Mike McCurryCEO of Grassroots Enterprise, former White House Press Secretary Marvin Kalb understands how the Lewinsky story stained everyone, but his compelling argument about rethinking the rhythms of the twenty-four-hour news cycle is the two-by-four across the forehead that our political information establishment has needed for some time. Tom BrokawNBC News Marvin Kalb has given us a richly detailed and provocative account of one of the most tumultuous times in modern American journalism. It is a cautionary tale, told in a compelling narrative. I hope every editor and journalist will read it -- even if they disagree with many of its conclusions. Donna E. ShalalaPresident of the University of Miami Only a world-class journalist could dissect his own profession's reporting of the messy scandal that ruined a presidency....This is a brilliant, unsettling book. Dan RatherCBS News A great book by a great reporter.

Book Information

ISBN: 9781416576372
Publication date: 7th September 2007
Author: Marvin Kalb
Publisher: The Free Press an imprint of Simon & Schuster
Format: Paperback / softback
Pagination: 320 pages
Categories: Popular culture,

About Marvin Kalb

Marvin Kalb has enjoyed an illustrious forty-year career as a journalist and professor. His numerous awards and honors include two Peabody Prizes, six Overseas Press Club awards, and the Edward R. Murrow Award. He is currently the executive director of the Washington office of Harvard's Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy. He lives with his wife in Chevy Chase, Maryland. This is his tenth book.

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