The “Rhetorical Presidency” Meets the Press: The New York Times and the State of the Union Message
Department or Administrative Unit
In the modern era, presidential public addresses have become important political tools, but need favorable media coverage to succeed. Yet little is known about how media cover these events. This study examines New York Times coverage of State of the Union Messages to test four sets of possible influences on the press—objective reality, liberal bias, the “credibility gap,” and “news” biases toward the “game” of politics. It finds the news biases to be the most powerful explanation, indicating that the political “state of the President” determines the tone of coverage more than a liberal bias, the “credibility gap” of recent years, or even the “actual” state of the union itself.
Schaefer, T. M. (1999). The “Rhetorical Presidency” Meets the Press: The New York Times and the State of the Union Message. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 76(3), 516–530. https://doi.org/10.1177/107769909907600308
Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly
© 1999 AEJMC