Reporting Live

By Lesley Stahl; Leslie Stahl
(Simon & Schuster, Hardcover, 9780684829302, 444pp.)

Publication Date: January 1999

Other Editions of This Title: Paperback

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Stahl's book is filled with presidents, network moguls, competing journalists (Sam Donaldson is "Darth Vader"), her mother Dolly, John Madden, John Travolta, John Dean -- in fact, everybody from George Bush to Boy George.

In 1972, Stahl joined CBS News where as a cub reporter she was assigned to cover a "third-rate burglary" at the Watergate. Stahl went on to cover the most important stories of the next two decades, and three presidents -- Carter, Reagan, and Bush. She provides subtle, telling, witty portraits of each and their wives. Reagan, for instance, was lazy -- except when it came to his speeches. Stahl also ran "Face the Nation" for eight years. During the Iran-Contra scandal, Secretary of State George Shultz confessed to her that he was no longer in control of American foreign policy.

Stahl asks and answers some important questions: What is the role of television in presidential campaigns? How is network news coping with its diminishing audience and the competition from cable and other news outlets? What are the advantages and disadvantages of being a woman in the television news business?

Stahl's sucessful and satisfying career coincided with the emergence and domination of TV news. She reports on what she saw and heard on both sides of the podium.

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