Cutler brings all of the appropriatenjargon to the campaign. Strategy shiftsnfrom “retail” to “wholesale”—charterednjet-hopping around the state’s majornmedia markets. Lo and behold, the trendnindicated by the leading poll reverses itselfnalmost immediately (primarily becausenCutler uses a media fee to bribe thenpolitical scientist running the poll).nHeller’s media campaign is successful asnAndrews is unable to raise the money tonair his own forceful (naturally) tubencommercials.nAndrews recognizes that some of thenresults of the tampered poll do not ringntrue to his experience. A bit of investigationnallows him to discover the bribenand to air his charges late in the campaign.nToo late, of course. Heller hasnalready been able to capitalize on anblackout in the Chicago area to lead anmarch on the mayor’s office, demonstratingnanew his concern for the “realnissues”—cities, jobs and welfare, notnabortion and national security. Hellernwins, but the results are closer than thenpurchased poll had predicted. Andrewsnappeals to the Senate and Heller, assumingnresponsibility for Cutler’s perfidy,nresigns.nIn his resignation statement Hellernsupports Mackey’s analysis of the campaign,nwhich had asserted that the medianhype had not really reached the people.nHeller admits his culpability for allowingna technician such extensive influencenover political judgments. Allegedlynonly the “real,” which is to say spontaneous,nactions of the candidate influencednthe public’s perceptions. Medianhype’s worst fault is that it really doesnnot succeed in getting the messagenacross, rather than that it reduces realitynto the limits of its vision.nThe incidents described in the booknserve to illustrate the blurred lines betweenn”spontaneous actions” and “medianevents” for any campaign activity. WhatevernHeller does in public, he is alwaysnperforming for more than the camera.nWhether or not events develop accordingnto a prepared script, the essence ofnany political activity is leadership, whichnSOinChronicles of Cultureninvolves some effort to shape the preferencesnof citizens. Martin’s politiciansnspeak only of “the people,” never then”public” or “citizens,” terms whichnwould imply an awareness of the commonndimension of political activity; theynexist to support and serve passions alreadynin the hearts of the electorate, notnto inform voters about their commonninterests. Opponents need never discussnor debate because they are talking pastneach other to different segments ofnvoters. The major concern of the authornis whether the “good guys” or the “badnguys” will win.nAristotle described politics as a craftnconcerned with how men might live wellntogether. Martin’s politicians only wantnto know how some transient majoritynmight make the machinery of governmentnserve its material self-interest. Onensuspects that Martin’s, corrupted notionnof politics predates his acquaintancenwith television. His effort at a novelnsustains both his debased vision of politicsnand the debased conception of thenmedium purportedly fictionalized.nMartin’s book reflects a preferencenfor the political style of a Gary Hart overna Harry Treleavan, Nixon’s televisionnproducer who also served as McGinnis’snfall guy. Ron Powers’s novel, FacennnValue, also plays upon the reduced sensenof news which allows Barbara Walters toninterview Marie Osmond between presidentialncandidates. Where other criticsnfind their model newsman in WalternCronkite or Harry Reasoner, however,nPowers raises his critical sights tonGeraldo Rivera.nMark Teller , Face Value’s excuse forna leading character, has moved fromnwriting sports and the “analysis” of popnculture for a New York newspaper to anposition as televised critic of what passesnfor culture among the pops. An uprootednnative of the Ozarks, Teller is uncomfortable.innthe shallowness of his chosennwork environment and unable to returnnto his family home. The leveling tentaclesnof the tube now reach across thencountryside, subordinating any regionalismnonce among us to the values ofnNew York and Los Angeles. Althoughnhe misses the big pop-music story of thenyear on his day off, Teller diverts hisnboss’s ire by “discovering” a new comic,nRobert Schein. In a routine which wouldnbe hilarious for any audience capable ofnfinding humor in Steve Martin, Scheinnwalks drunkenly on stage, silently fondlesnhis microphone, then collapses intona supine pratfall, twitching his foot asnhe goes.n&;hein turns out to be a man with anremarkably marketable “talent.” Hisnultimate acting skill is a blank starenthrough which he can reflect back whatevernfeelings his director or his audiencenwishes to project through him. Althoughnhe quickly perceives the nakednessnof such a talent, Teller proceeds tongarb Schein in critical acclaim, weavingna comical suit for this new emperor ofntelevised taste.nTeller’s find soon escapes his control,nof course. Through the services of hardhittingnnewsfem Jennifer Blade, RobertnSchein manages to acquire an agent withnconspiratorial designs. The motivatingnmyth of Face Value is that the politicalnmessage of the media is a consciouslynmanipulated product. In the 1950’s, thenbosses of the rising television networksn