NEW YORK – The West Wing has cleaned up the images of politicians, a new study says.
The report, called "Changing Images of Government in TV Entertainment," says the NBC series and other shows such as Judging Amy and NYPD Blue have changed for the better the way people look at public servants — a phenomena the report's authors call "The West Wing Ripple."
"I think it shows a West Wing-like effect — how a single series can shift the profile of a group," said the study's director, S. Robert Lichter, president of the Center for Media and Public Affairs.
The study also found that teachers have the least positive image of any civil servants, thanks in part to shows like Boston Public, which offers a more textured and fuller portrayal of individuals in the occupation.
The report was released yesterday by The Council for Excellence in Government and the Ford Foundation.