The Presidency & the Press
AS HIS YEARS in Washington came to an end, Harry S. Truman wrote a friend: I really look with commiseration over the great body of my fellow citizens, who, reading newspapers, live and die in the belief that they have known something of what has been passing in the world in their time.
A familiar Presidential plaint, sounded often in the early years of the Republic and rarely unheard thereafter. Of late, however, a change has developed in the perception of what is at issue.
In the past what was thought to be involved was the reputation of a particular President. In the present what is seen to be at stake, and by the Presidents themselves, is the reputation of government-especially, of course, Presidential government. These are different matters, and summon a different order of concern.
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