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The upshot, said Meese, was that Senate Minority Leader Robert Byrd sought to 'tie the President's hands'. While one must resist the temptation to draw unwarranted general conclusions from these examples, they do illustrate the sensitivity ofthe government - particularly in the White House - to popular opinion as refleeted by the press and television. One authority on the subject has concluded that the 'news media have become such pervasive forces that from a public atTairs viewpoint, many events don't really take place unless they are covered by television, news papers or news magazines'.

29 Marginal Direct Impact Among Pentagon correspondents and Against this background, it might seem logical academic specialists in the defence field there to assurne that defence policy is influenced as is agreement only on a single weapons decimuch if not more by the news media than si on in recent years that may have been policy in other areas - given the vast sums of decisively influenced by the media - President money devoted to the armed forces and the Carter's April 1978 decision to defer productimplications not only for the nation's security ion of the neutron warhead.

The 'supply-side economics' policy pursued by the Reagan Administration is a classic example. This eontroversial and unconventional theory of economie management was embraced by Reagan, as a candidate, largely as a result of the proselytzing endeavours of Robert Bartley, editorial page editor of the Wall Street Journal, and Jude Wanniski, his deputy. On a ditTerent level, David Gergen, the President's Aide in charge of communications, told the National Journal that the press was responsible for the Reagan Administration's quick retreat from a plan to grant tax-exempt status to racially-segregated schools.

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