Hanks featured in new book on Bill and Hillary Clinton

HAYS, Kan. -- Mel Hanks, assistant professor of media studies at Fort Hays State University, is prominently featured in a new book on Bill and Hillary Clinton, "Tag-Teaming the Press," about the Clintons' sometimes stormy relationship with the news media and each other.

Hanks was interviewed by the book's author, Dr. James Mueller, assistant professor of journalism at the University of North Texas, about his 20 years of covering the Clintons in Arkansas.

"I began covering Bill Clinton in 1974, when he first ran unsuccessfully for Congress from northwestern Arkansas," said Hanks. He continued covering Clinton as Arkansas attorney general and governor and as a presidential candidate.

"Mel provided one of the most interesting interviews for my book," said Mueller. "I interviewed a number of prominent White House journalists for the book, but Mel gave me some of the most interesting and insightful anecdotes about what the Clintons' press relations were like in Arkansas."

Included in the book are Hanks' encounters with the Clintons over such issues as politics, criminal investigations and how they reacted to his investigative TV reports.

"Other journalists refused to be interviewed or were less than forthcoming when they granted interviews," said Mueller. "I greatly appreciated Mel's cooperation in my research."

Hanks said he is looking forward to sharing these experiences with his students in the upcoming semester at FHSU.

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