This timely and engaging book challenges the conventional wisdom onmedia and scandal in the United States. The common view holds thatmedia crave and actively pursue scandals whenever they sensecorruption. Scandal and Silence argues for a differentperspective. Using case studies from the period 1988-2008, it showsthat:
* Media neglect most corruption, providing too little, not toomuch scandal coverage;
* Scandals arise from rational, controlled processes, notemotional frenzies - and when scandals happen, it's not themedia but governments and political parties that drive the processand any excesses that might occur;
* Significant scandals are indeed difficult for newsorganizations to initiate and harder for them to maintain and bringto appropriate closure;
* For these reasons cover-ups and lying often work, and truthremains essentially unrecorded, unremembered.
Sometimes, bad behavior stimulates an avalanche of media attentionwith demonstrable political consequences, yet other times, equallyshoddy activity receives little notice. This book advances atheoretical model to explain these differences, revealing anunderlying logic to what might seem arbitrary and capriciousjournalism. Through case studies of the draft and military scandalsinvolving Dan Quayle, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and John Kerry;alleged sexual misconduct of politicians including but not limitedto Clinton; and questionable financial dealings of Clinton andGeorge W Bush, the book builds a new understanding of mediascandals which will be essential reading for anyone concerned withthe relationship between media and democracy today.