The Control Room

How Television Calls the Shots in Presidential Elections

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About The Book

Who will determine what Americans are thinking when they cast their votes in the year 2000?
Martin Plissner, former political director of CBS News, has played a central role in the network coverage of every presidential campaign since 1964. In The Control Room, he shows how all the elements of our nation's greatest contest -- the primaries, the conventions, the counting of the ballots --are shaped by the networks' struggle for supremacy in today's media-intensive age. From the earliest announcements to the final swearing-in, those inside the control rooms determine what Americans care about when they enter the polling booths and whom the country ultimately sends to the Oval Office.

Product Details
  • Publisher: Free Press (May 2000)
  • Length: 256 pages
  • ISBN13: 9780684867724

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Raves and Reviews

Walter Cronkite (CBS) The Control Room brought back so many memories, and revealed so much I never knew, that I have found it hard to put down. It is a fine story and invaluable history lesson. For the buffs, here is the fascinating inside story of politics and television as told by a talented researcher-reporter who observed, indeed participated in, almost every step of the mating dance. For historians, the book is an invaluable documented source on how television forever changed the very fundamentals of our election process.

Diane Sawyer (ABC) Marty Plissner is a political sharpshooter -- daring, surprising, provoking sleepy journalists to pay attention. And he always finds that bullseye where polls, politics and people meet.

Robert Novak (CNN) If anybody had any doubts about the impact of the television industry on whom we elect as presidents, this book will dispel them. Marty Plissner was present as a TV insider from the beginning, and he tells the story with verve and insight.

E. J. Dionne Jr., author of Why Americans Hate Politics and They Only Look Dead Marty Plissner knows more than anyone about the long, strange, and fascinating courtship between television and politics. Thank goodness he has given us this book. It?s serious, it?s fun, and it?s essential.

Mark Shields (PBS) Somewhere there may be somebody who knows more about national politics than Marty Plissner does. And there may also be somebody who knows more about television than does Marty Plissner. But you can be sure there is nobody anywhere who knows more about both American politics and television than Marty Plissner -- and nobody writes more knowledgeably and insightfully about the stormy shotgun marriage of American television and American politics than Marty Plissner.

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