ERIC Number: ED235511
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-May
Reference Count: 0
The Cronkite-Ford Interview at the 1980 Republican National Convention: A Therapeutic Analogue.
Cline, Rebecca J.
Political analysts have regarded the interview of former President Gerald Ford by newsman Walter Cronkite at the 1980 Republican National Convention as important in determining the final party slate, but they have been unable to explain Ford's politically dangerous openness in that interview. The interview and the events leading up to it were examined to determine if it could be better understood as an interpersonal rather than a political communication. Specifically, the examination considered whether using a therapeutic analogue would yield more explanatory power than would traditional political analysis. Using a therapeutic metaphor to structure observation of the interview, Ford is cast as a man beset with personal and political problems, and Cronkite as an interviewer functioning as a facilitator. Measures of verbal and nonverbal facilitation behaviors and an index of client problem solving were used to assess the viability of the metaphor. Results indicated that a majority of Cronkite's statements were facilitative, that he engaged in both verbal and nonverbal facilitative behavior, and that Ford engaged in substantial problem solving. Viewing the interview as therapy yielded findings radically and meaningfully different from those of traditional political analysis. (Author/FL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Cronkite (Walter); Ford (Gerald R); Presidential Campaigns
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association (Dallas, TX, May 26-30, 1983).