Book Looks At How Presidents Use, Craft Images
By John Ostapkovich
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – No matter who wins the election on Tuesday, media image-makers will have had a hand in it.
Presidents have always tried to use and craft an image, but Burton Peretti, author of The Leading Man, says it really took off once photography led to recordings, radio, movies and television. Peretti says tastes change as does technology.
“I think perhaps we’re in an era where people are a little critical of very polished presentation. Now may be a time when people are looking for authenticity in politicians,” he explains.
Peretti says “Silent Cal” Coolidge actually used radio very well, as did FDR. Reagan inherited television image-making techniques of predecessors.
“The mold had already been set and he simply did it better than any of those other presidents because of his professional experience,” says Peretti.
Neither of the current contenders impresses Peretti much in this category.