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Congress and the Media

Usually the public learns very little from the media about Congress, or at least very little that is favorable to the institution. Numerous academic studies arrive at the same conclusion: Congress receives little respect from the national media. Nonetheless, there is evidence that individual members of Congress do not fare so poorly in local press coverage of their activities. Thus, national press coverage may certainly contribute to the phenomenon of public disdain for Congress even though it has had no effect on the extraordinary high reelection rates for members.

Members of Congress bear some responsibility for the negative coverage of the institution. Members protect their own political interests by attacking the institution in which they serve. Also, candidates for Congress use negative advertising appeals to ...

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