Kuhn’s article looks at “the normative confusion surrounding attempts to establish an agreed dividing line between the public and the private in both politicians’ mediated communication and journalists’ political coverage” (185). This means that he is seeking to examine the blurred lines between the public and private lives of politicians and how this plays a role in their relationships with the media and their constituents. He looks at four areas of contention: (1) money; (2) health; (3) sex; and (4) family values.
Kuhn believes that to disentangle the public from the private, it is possible to assign news stories concerning politicians to different analytic categories. These can be broken down to public revelations, private revelations, public secrets and private secrets. These can be found in all areas of contention, as politicians work to create a positive image of themselves for the public. They work to keep certain aspects of their personal lives, such as health and money, private secrets, but also aim to highlight certain realms, such as family values, as important to their careers. In the case of women politicians such as Segolene Royal, sex is shown to be unimportant, but for some politicians, specifically males, sexual relationships tend to be hidden or unacknowledged in order to preserve a sense of trust within the society.