All the Truth is Out

How the era of tabloid journalism is affecting elections, policy, and politicians.
New America

The one thing that our downsized media outlets still seem to do well is cover elections. As the political calendar grinds toward Election Day, we are overwhelmed with the onslaught of political tweets, blog posts, statistical predictions, morning show pontification and magazine profiles. But do we really learn anything from all the coverage? For all the sound and fury, do we even learn anything real about the candidates themselves?

As one of America’s foremost political journalists, Matt Bai has seen how the media cover major campaigns on the front lines, and his analysis is less than comforting. In his new book, All the Truth is Out: The Week Politics went Tabloid, Bai shows how political journalism has become a parade of sound bites, rather than the probing reporting and deep analysis of yesteryear. The sex scandal has replaced the policy paper, and candidates have retreated behind a shell of political consultants and spin doctors. All the Truth is Out tells the story of Gary Hart’s doomed presidential campaign of 1987, the first to implode in a satellite-truck-encircled media circus of sexual peccadillos and infotainment, with fallout that still affects us today.

New America is pleased to welcome Matt Bai for a discussion of his book, the modern age of political tabloid journalism and what it all means for the future of democracy.

Join the conversation online using #AllTruthIsOut and following @NewAmerica.


Matt Bai
Author, All the Truth is Out: The Week Politics Went Tabloid
National New Correspondent, Yahoo News

Christopher Leonard
Schmidt Foundation Family Fellow, New America
Author, The Meat Racket