CBS Evening News for Thursday, Oct 04, 1984
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(Studio) Walter Mondale's response to Vice President George Bush's complaint about size of his taxes reported President Reagan's mastery at using television to his advantage considered.
REPORTER: Dan Rather
(DC) Reagan's use of television and resulting distortion of his policies examined; films shown. Orchestration of television coverage said absorbing White House with goal of emphasizing President's personality; sev. exs. given. [David GERGEN - considers it a mistake to link President with negative images on TV.] Aides said admitting that helicopter engines are revved up to prevent President from hearing reporters' questions; irony of general perception that Reagan is at his best in spontaneous situations since aides run interference to prevent such spontaneity noted. [REAGAN - jokes about raising heckler's taxes, poor reviews from Tass, avoids question about pressure on other Republicans to conform; responds to inner city school's dilapidation with personal anecdote.] Incr. frequency of gaffs by President said result of effort to appear accessible. [REAGAN - equates security lapses at Beirut embassy with remodeling kitchen.] [GERGEN - notes President's ability to turn mistake into attribute.]
REPORTER: Lesley Stahl