Sir Michael Röhm 's Reviews > All the Truth Is Out: The Week Politics Went Tabloid

All the Truth Is Out by Matt Bai
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really liked it
bookshelves: 80s, americanhistory, journalism, politics

I was just a kid when the Gary Hart scandal occurred, and I was more interested in the Iran-Contra debacle anyway (I was a weird kid), so despite my love of scandal-mongering tabloid tv like A Current Affair and Inside Edition (again, weird kid), I don't remember much about it.

Bai's book is both a sort of biography of Hart and exploration of his political ideas, a study of media trends at the time (informed by Neil Postman), and an account of the events of the scandal itself.

I don't agree with Bai or Hart's notion that sexual infidelity on the part of politicians is a private affair, irrelevant to the moral character of the political candidate. Not at all.

But while I reject that, the book is well worth reading, especially in the aftermath of the 2016 election, where scandal and moral failure IS the story, from Hillary Clinton and her rape apologia for her husband verses the numerous sexual and moral failures of the now President Trump.

This isn't entirely where it began - at Politico, Tom Fielder, one of the reporters involved in the Hart reporting recalls how Alexander Hamilton's sexual misdeeds ended his presidential goals. Fielder argues that the "boys club" of reporters ignoring the indiscretions of JFK and LBJ was the anomaly, not the norm.

So take the book with a grain of salt, sure, but it is still worth reading and contemplating.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
May 22, 2018 – Finished Reading
May 29, 2018 – Shelved
May 29, 2018 – Shelved as: 80s
May 29, 2018 – Shelved as: americanhistory
May 29, 2018 – Shelved as: journalism
May 29, 2018 – Shelved as: politics

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