All the Truth Is Out: The Fall of Gary Hart and the Rise of Tabloid Politics
Politics in the 1980s were conducted completely differently from now. Before a tattered Senator Gary Hart left the presidential race in 1987, it was unheard of to ask a politician about his private escapades. Prior to the events that forced Hart to leave the race, journalists routinely ignored any private dalliances of a promising politician. According to Bai, a confluence of events changed that as he writes in All the Truth Is Out, which focuses on the week that changed the relationship between journalists, politicians and the public and dissects what happened and why, and what those events say about the electorate. Bai, who spent about 20 hours interviewing Hart about those days, also talked to journalists who reported the story that became a seemingly perfect storm of events that involved stakeouts and the then-burgeoning 24-hour news cycle. Bai’s telling of the events offers an amazing glimpse of how the public perception has shifted through the years—when did the senator challenge journalists to follow him? Did damning photos of Hart accompany the initial stories or not? The answers are fascinating and they seem to startle Bai. This book should be mandatory reading for American politics students, if it isn’t already.