A common lament about political coverage is a lack of focus on issues and an almost obsessive interest in scandal and personality. Was it always like this? And if not, when did tabloid mentality become the norm? Matt Bai provides an answer through his exploration of Gary Hart’s 1986 presidential campaign which ended in scandal following an affair that unleashed a press firestorm. How much of what you remember about the Hart campaign’s unraveling is true, and was this a tipping point for American journalism and campaign coverage?

Matt Bai is an author, journalist, screenwriter and Yankee fan. He’s also one of the nation’s leading voices on American politics. Matt is best known for stories that explore change in society — generational, technological, economic — and how that change is breaking down old institutions and transforming the politics of a new century. His second book, “All the Truth Is Out: The Week Politics Went Tabloid,” identifies Gary Hart’s presidential campaign as a tipping point for campaign coverage. Matt is the national political columnist at Yahoo News, which he joined in January 2014. Before that, he was chief political correspondent for the New York Times Magazine, where he covered three presidential elections, and a columnist for both the magazine and the Times.