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COVERING CLINTON. Did Media Rush to Judgement or Merely Reflect Reality? Second of three parts

September 16, 1993

An exchange on the "MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour"--between journalist Roger Mudd and Washington columnist Elizabeth Drew--on the night in late May when the House was to vote on the original deficit-reduction plan:

Mudd: 'What is riding on the vote this evening?'

Drew: 'Nothing less than the Clinton presidency.'

Mudd: 'Really?'

Drew: 'I don't deal in overstatement.'

*

'Six days into a presidency to be talking about a failed Administration is a pretty outrageous stand.'

--Richard Smith, editor in chief of Newsweek

*

'In the same way that CNN has speeded up the news cycle,' weekend talk shows have created 'an incredible acceleration of the judgment cycle. Everybody is competing . . . to render the definitive judgment.'

--Ronald Brownstein, political reporter, Los Angeles Times

*

Media commentators were 'ferocious . . . extraordinarily shortsighted' in their premature determination to inter Clinton's presidency. . . . Many in the public feel 'bombarded by highly opinionated commentators and that gets confused with daily reporting' of the news.

--Andrea Mitchell, White House correspondent, NBC News

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