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ERIC Number: ED199798
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1980
Pages: 32
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Lyndon Johnson's Press Conferences.
Cooper, Stephen
Because President Lyndon Johnson understood well the publicity value of the American news media, he sought to exploit them. He saw reporters as "torch bearers" for his programs and policies and used the presidential press conference chiefly for promotional purposes. Although he met with reporters often, his press conferences were usually impromptu, which discouraged thorough preparation by newspeople. Often he denied public access and scrutiny, which broadcast conferences afford. He was generally uncomfortable when reporters had him at a disadvantage. He overused the prerogative of the opening statement through excessive length and by narrowing the scope of possible news inquiry. He also limited his effectiveness because of his frequent unresponsiveness through controlling, fencing, and evading. While he was able to give useful answers, he usually failed to respond directly to news reporters and generally let his own purposes dominate in the news conference. In general, President Johnson was probably effective in using the press conference to satisfy his own aims--especially to gain publicity and promote his administration--but by pursuing his own ends in such calculated and extensive ways he reduced other potential values of the press conference, too often at the expense of the press and the American public. (Author/HTH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A