Television and the Presidency


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About

U.S. PRESIDENCY AND TELEVISION

Ten dates, some momentous, some merely curious, tell the story of presidential television. In its own way, each date sheds light on the complex relationship between the U.S. presidency and the American television industry. Over the years, that relationship has grown complex and tempestuous (virtually every president from Harry Truman through Bill Clinton has left office disaffected with the nation's press). More than anything else, however, this relationship has been symbiotic--the president and the press now depend upon one another for sustenance. Ten dates explain why:

September 23, 1952 - Richard Nixon's "Checkers" Speech

Oddly, it was Richard Nixon who discovered the political power of the new medium. Richard Nixon, who was pilloried by the press throughout his career, nonetheless discovered the salvific influence of television. Imaginatively, aggressively, Mr. Nixon used television in a way it had never been used before to lay out his personal finances and his cultural virtues and, hence, to save his place on the Republican national team (and, ultimately, his place in the American political pantheon). That same year, 1952, also witnessed the first televised coverage of a national party convention and the first TV advertisements. But it was Nixon's famous speech that turned the tide from a party-based to a candidate-controlled political environment. By using television as he did--personally, candidly, visually (his wife Pat sat demurely next to him during the broadcast)--Mr. Nixon single-handedly created a new political style.

January 19, 1955 - Dwight Eisenhower's Press Conference

When he agreed to let the television cameras into the White House for the first time in American history, Dwight Eisenhower changed the presidency in fundamental ways. Until that point, the White House press corps had been a cozy outfit but very much on the president's leash or, at least, the lesser partner in a complex political arrangement. Television changed that. The hue and cry let out by the deans of U.S. print journalism proved it, as did television's growing popularity among the American people. More proof awaited. It was not long after Dwight Eisenhower opened the doors to television that American presidents found themselves arranging their work days around network schedules. To have a political announcement receive top billing on the nightly news, after all, meant that it had to be made by 2:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time. If the news to be shared was bad news, the slowest news days--Saturday and Sunday--would be chosen to carry the announcement. These may seem like small expediencies but they presaged a fundamental shift of power in Washington, D.C. After Eisenhower, television was no longer a novelty but a central premise in all political logic.

January 25, 1961 - John Kennedy's Press Conference

Before Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton there was John Kennedy. No American president has better understood television than these three. By holding the first live press conference in the nation's history, Kennedy showed that boldness and amiability trump all suits in an age of television. In his short time in office Mr. Kennedy also showed (1) that all communication, even presidential communication, must be relational; (2) that the substance of one's remarks is irrelevant if one cannot say it effortlessly; (3) that being "on line" and "in real time" bring a special energy to politics. Prescient as he was, Mr. Kennedy would therefore not have been surprised to learn that 50% of the American people now find television news more believable and more attractive than print news (which attracts a mere quarter of the populace). Mr. Kennedy would also not be surprised at the advent of CNN, the all-news, all-day channel, nor would he be surprised to learn that C-SPAN (Congress' channel) has also become popular in certain quarters. Being the innovator he was, John Kennedy fundamentally changed the temporal dimensions of American politics. Forever more, his successors would be required to perform the presidency during each moment of each day they held office.

February 27, 1968 - Walter Cronkite's Evaluation of the Vietnam War

Lyndon Johnson, we are told, knew he had lost the Vietnam war when CBS news anchor, Walter Cronkite, declared it a quagmire during an evening documentary. To be sure, Cronkite's hard-hitting special was nuanced and respectful of the presidency, but it also brought proof to the nation's living rooms that the President's resolve had been misplaced. Cronkite's broadcast was therefore an important step in altering the power balance between the White House and the networks. CBS' Dan Rather continued that trend, facing-down Richard Nixon during one cantankerous press conference and, later, George Bush during an interview about the Iran-Contra scandal. Sam Donaldson and Ted Koppel of ABC News also took special delight in deflating political egos, as did CNN's Peter Arnett who frustrated George Bush's efforts during the Gulf War by continuing to broadcast from the Baghdad Hilton even as U.S. bombs were falling on that city. Some attribute the press's new aggressiveness to their somnolescence during the Watergate affair, but it could also be credited to the replacement of politics' old barter system, which featured material costs and rewards, by an entertainment-based celebrity system featuring personal achievements and rivalries. In this latter system, it is every man for himself, the president included.

November 25, 1968 - Inauguration of the White House's Office of Communication

One of Richard Nixon's first acts as president was to appoint Herb Klein to oversee a newly enlarged unit in the White House that would coordinate all out-going communications. This act, perhaps more than any other, signalled that the new president would be an active player in the persuasion game and that he would deal with the mass media in increasingly innovative ways. Perhaps Mr. Nixon sensed the trends scholars would later unearth: (1) that citizens who see a political speech in person react far more favorably than those who see it through television reporters' eyes; (2) that the average presidential "soundbite" has been reduced to 9.8 seconds in the average nightly news story; and (3) that negative news stories about the president have increased over time. This is the bad news. The good news is that 97% of CBS' nightly newscasts feature the president (usually as the lead story) and that 20% of a typical broadcast will be devoted to comings and goings in the White House. In other words, the president is the fulcrum around which television reportage pivots and, hence, he is well advised to monitor carefully the information he releases (or refuses to release).

September 17, 1976 - Gerald Ford's Pasadena Speech

Neither Mr. Ford's address nor the occasion were memorable. His was a standard stump speech, this time at the annual reception of the Pasadena Golden Circle. The speech's sheer banality signalled its importance: Ford spoke to the group not because he needed to convince them of something but because their predictable, on-camera applause would certify his broader worthiness to the American people. Ford gave some 200 speeches of this sort during the 1976 campaign. Unlike Harry Truman, who spoke to all-comers on the village green during the 1948 election, Jerry Ford addressed such "closed" audiences almost exclusively during his reelection run. In addition, Ford and his successors spoke in ritualistic settings 40% of the time since bunting, too, photographs well. The constant need for media coverage has thereby turned the modern president into a continual campaigner and the White House into a kind of national booking agency. It is little wonder, then, that the traditional press conference, with its contentiousness and unpredictability, has become rare.

January 20, 1981 - Inauguration of Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan and television have become American cliches. Reagan grew up with television and television with him. By the time he became president, both had matured. Reagan brought to the camera what the camera most prized: a strong visual presence and a vaunted affability. Mr. Reagan was the rare kind of politician who even liked his detractors and television made those feelings obvious. Reagan also had the ability to concretize the most abstract of issues--deficits, territorial jurisdictions, nuclear stalemates. By finding the essential narrative in these matters, and then by humanizing those narratives, Reagan produced his own unique style. Television favors that style since it is, after all, the most intimate of the mass media, with its ability to show emotion and to do so in tight-focus. So it is not surprising that political advertising has now become Reaganesque--visual, touching, elliptical, never noisy or brash. Like Mr. Reagan, modern political advertising never extends its stay; it says in thirty seconds all that needs to be said and then it says no more.

January 16, 1991 - George Bush's Declaration of the Gulf War

From the beginning, George Bush was determined not to turn the Gulf War into another Vietnam. His military commanders shared that determination. But what, exactly, are the lessons of Vietnam? From the standpoint of television they are these: (1) make it an air war, not a ground war, because ground soldiers can be interviewed on camera; (2) make it a short war, not a long war, because television has a short attention span; and (3) make it a technical war, not a political war, because Americans love the technocratic and fall out with one another over ends and means. Blessedly, the Gulf War was short and, via a complex network of satellite feeds, it entertained the American people with its sumptuous visuals: SCUD missiles exploding, oil-slicks spreading, yellow ribbons flying. Iraq's Saddam Hussein fought back--on television--in avuncular poses with captured innocents and by staying tuned to CNN from his bunker. The Gulf War therefore marked an almost postmodern turn in the history of warfare, with the texts it produced now being better remembered than the deaths it caused. What such a turn means for the presidency, or for humankind, has yet to be determined.

October 25, 1992 - Richmond, Virginia Debate 

Several trends converged to produce the second presidential debate of 1992. In the capital of the Old South, Bush, Clinton and Perot squared off with one another in the presence of two hundred "average Americans" who questioned them for some ninety minutes. The debate's format, not its content, became its headline: the working press had been cut out of the proceedings and few seemed to mourn their passing. The resident of the United States face-to-face with the populace--here, surely, was Democracy Recaptured. The 1992 campaign expanded upon this theme, with the candidates repairing to the cozy studio (and cozy questions) of talk-show host Larry King. Thereafter, they made the rounds of the morning talk-over-coffee shows. The decision to seek out these friendly climes followed from the advice politicians had been receiving for years: choose your own audience and occasion, forsake the press, emphasize your humanity. Coupled with fax machines, E-mail, cable specials, direct-mail videos, and the like, these "alternative media formats" completed a cycle whereby the president became a rhetorical entrepreneur and the nation's press an afterthought.

April 20, 1993 - Bill Clinton's MTV Appearance

Not a historic date, perhaps, but a suggestive one. It was on this date that Bill Clinton discussed his underwear with the American people (briefs, not boxers, as it turned out). Why would the leader of the free world unburden himself like this? Why not? In television's increasingly postmodern world, all texts--serious and sophomoric--swirl together in the same discontinuous field of experience. To be sure, Mr. Clinton made his disclosure because he had been asked to do so by a member of the MTV generation, not because he felt a sudden need to purge himself. But in doing so Clinton exposed several rules connected to the new phenomenology of politics: (1) because of television's celebrity system, presidents are losing their distinctiveness as social actors and hence are often judged by standards formerly used to assess rock singers and movie stars; (2) because of television's sense of intimacy, the American people feel they know their presidents as persons and hence no longer feel the need for party guidance; (3) because of the medium's archly cynical worldview, those who watch politics on television are increasingly turning away from the policy sphere, years of hyper-familiarity having finally bred contempt for politics itself. For good and ill, then, presidential television grew apace between 1952 and the present. It began as a little-used, somewhat feared, medium of exchange and transformed itself into a central aspect of American political culture. In doing so, television changed almost everything about life in the White House. It changed what presidents do and how they do it. It changed network programming routines, launched an entire subset of the American advertising industry, affected military strategy and military deployment, and affected how and why voters vote and for whom they cast their ballots. In 1992, Ross Perot of Dallas, Texas tested the practical limits of this technology by buying sufficient airtime to make himself an instant candidate as well as an instantly serious candidate. History records that Mr. Perot failed to achieve his goal. But given his billions and given television's capacity to mold public opinion, Perot, or someone like him, may succeed at some later time. This would add an eleventh important date to the history of presidential television.

-Roderick P. Hart and Mary Triece

Highlights
Maria Elena Salinas on Univision covering presidential races and participating in presidential debates 
03:52
Walter Cronkite on covering the first nationally televised political convention in 1952; describes the chaotic, exciting scene and the challenges to broadcast this as-it-happened
04:02
Lesley Stahl on coverage of Watergate by network television and on Watergate burglary trial judge John Sirica's importance in the "assault" on President Nixon
01:41
Tim Russert on his coverage of the 2000 Presidential Election and the Supreme Court ruling
01:52
Journalist Linda Ellerbee on a comical attempt to find out who the 1976 Democratic Vice-Presidential nominee would be
03:36
Larry King on the Bill Clinton - Monica Lewinsky story
03:29
Who talked about this topic

Berle Adams

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Berle Adams on Ronald Reagan, President of the Screen Actors Guild, granting a waiver allowing MCA to function as both an agency and a production company, creating the first residual payments for actors and writers
03:37

Steve Allen

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Steve Allen on John F. Kennedy's favorite joke
01:05

William Bell

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William Bell on Walter Cronkite interrupting As the World Turns to announce President Kennedy had been killed
02:12

Donald Bellisario

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Donald Bellisario on encountering Lee Harvey Oswald in the Marine Corps
02:39

David Brinkley

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David Brinkley on covering President Franklin D. Roosevelt for NBC Radio
06:04
David Brinkley on the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt
04:15
David Brinkley on covering President Harry S. Truman
07:24
David Brinkley on covering President John F. Kennedy
05:19
David Brinkley on covering John F. Kennedy's assassination
04:51
David Brinkley on covering President Richard M. Nixon
03:33
David Brinkley on interviewing President Ronald Reagan
01:34
David Brinkley on his incident with President Bill Clinton
02:55

Leo Chaloukian

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Leo Chaloukian on unknowingly supplying Nixon with the equipment for all of his infamous Watergate recordings
03:16

Nick Clooney

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Nick Clooney on interviewing Gerald Ford in the White House
00:52

Andy Cohen

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Andy Cohen on "the White House crashers" on The Real Housewives of D.C.
01:17
Andy Cohen on announcing the death of Osama bin Laden on Watch What Happens Live
00:57

John Conte

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John Conte on his local station, KMIR, becoming an NBC affiliate, and arranging a meeting between Tom and David Sarnoff with President Dwight David Eisenhower
03:59

Walter Cronkite

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Walter Cronkite on covering the first nationally televised political convention in 1952; describes the chaotic, exciting scene and the challenges to broadcast this as-it-happened
04:02
Walter Cronkite on the 1952 political convention where the term "Anchorman" was first coined; the resentment from radio professionals toward the new television medium
03:40
Walter Cronkite on the changes in political coverage of the Presidential conventions between 1952 and the 1980s
02:26

James Day

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James Day on Richard Nixon vetoing funds for public broadcasting in 1973
01:32

Sam Donaldson

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Sam Donaldson on the differences in how the Carter and Reagan administrations treated the press
00:48
Sam Donaldson on how political conventions have changed since the first one he covered in 1964
00:57
Sam Donaldson on how Leonard Goldenson's budget cuts affected ABC news coverage of the 1968 political conventions
02:56

Betty Cole Dukert

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Betty Cole Dukert on Meet the Press  in Los Angeles for the 1960 Democratic Primary
11:28
Betty Cole Dukert on John F. Kennedy's appearances on Meet the Press
08:44
Betty Cole Dukert on various Presidents and Meet the Press
10:43
Betty Cole Dukert on Eleanor Roosevelt appearing on Meet the Press
03:30

Roger Ebert

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Roger Ebert on doing a film special with President Bill Clinton
02:00

Linda Ellerbee

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Journalist Linda Ellerbee on a comical attempt to find out who the 1976 Democratic Vice-Presidential nominee would be
03:36

Jeff Fager

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Jeff Fager on the 60 Minutes II "Memogate" scandal, which centered on President George W. Bush's military service
04:35
Jeff Fager on how television news covers presidential elections and particularly the 2016 election and Donald Trump
02:30

Jerry Falwell

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Jerry Falwell on the formation and goals of his right wing political organization the Moral Majority, and on his involvement with Ronald Reagan
04:53

Irving Fein

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Irving Fein on Jack Benny doing a concert for Harry Truman and getting the president on The Jack Benny Program
02:01
Irving Fein on President Harry Truman doing a special episode of The Jack Benny Program
02:20

Imero Fiorentino

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Lighting Director Imero Fiorentino on lighting the 1960 Presidential debates starting with the second one, following the first debate wherein Richard Nixon looked badly, making the best improvements he could; also the issues he had lighting JFK due to RFK's interference
06:04

June Foray

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June Foray on appearing on Richard Nixon's Enemies List
04:37

Reuven Frank

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Reuven Frank on Camel News Caravan's coverage of the 1952 political conventions
00:51
Reuven Frank on the 1952 presidential conventions
06:39
Reuven Frank on the technical aspects of covering the 1956 presidential conventions
04:07
Reuven Frank on NBC's floor reporters at the 1956 presidential conventions
02:10
Reuven Frank on the 1964 Democratic presidential convention
03:04
Reuven Frank on the 1964 Republican presidential convention
01:53
Reuven Frank on the 1960 Democratic primary with John F. Kennedy
05:11
Reuven Frank on election night coverage in 1960, John F. Kennedy against Richard Nixon
05:43
Reuven Frank on the 1960 elections, John F. Kennedy against Richard Nixon
05:38
Reuven Frank on NBC covering the 1964 Republican primary between Barry Goldwater and Nelson Rockefeller
02:48
Reuven Frank on the 1980 election between Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter
02:46
Reuven Frank on the 1964 Republican political convention and the distrust of the news media, specifically The Huntley-Brinkley Report
04:05
Reuven Frank on the 1964 Democratic political convention, which produced Lyndon B. Johnson as the nominee
02:52
Reuven Frank on Richard Nixon's hostility toward the press
04:50

Murray Fromson

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Murray Fromson on covering the 1960 presidential election for NBC News
02:02
Murray Fromson on covering the 1960 Democratic National Convention for NBC News
02:14
Murray Fromson on covering Barry Goldwater's 1964 whistlestop tour, and an on-air error that occurred during Roger Mudd's reporting on the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite
06:33

Greg Garrison

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Greg Garrison on the advent of The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts and the first roast, featuring Ronald Reagan
04:24

David Gerber

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David Gerber on going to work for MGM and shepherding George Washington
09:11

Gary David Goldberg

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Gary David Goldberg on Family Ties being the favorite show of Ronald Reagan and how the show reflected the Reagan era
03:21

Leonard H. Goldenson

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Leonard Goldenson on his close relationships with several American Presidents - John F. Kennedy
01:35
Leonard Goldenson on his close relationships with several American Presidents - Lyndon B. Johnson
03:24
Leonard Goldenson on his close relationships with several American Presidents - Richard M. Nixon
01:13
Leonard Goldenson on the network aftermath of JFK's assassination
00:52

Lewis Gomavitz

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Lewis Gomavitz on working at the 1952, 1956, and 1960 Democratic National Conventions
03:36

Julian Goodman

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Julian Goodman on NBC News during the 1948 Convention
02:08
Julian Goodman on working the 1948 political convention in Philadelphia, PA and radio's dominance over television
04:37
Julian Goodman on Walter Cronkite dominating coverage of the 1952 Presidential Convention; on the primitive state of TV at the time
04:44
Julian Goodman on the first Presidential News Conference in 1955 and NBC News covering Eisenhower
05:04
Julian Goodman on producing the second of The Great Debates
02:54
Julian Goodman on observing the first Kennedy-Nixon debate in Chicago and prepping to produce the second debate
02:50
Julian Goodman on the second Kennedy-Nixon debate in Washington, D.C.
06:21
Julian Goodman on covering Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crisis
01:16
Julian Goodman on NBC's coverage of JFK's assassination
08:17
Julian Goodman on the significance of the Great Debates
01:09

Danette Herman

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Danette Herman on being the executive in charge of talent for several inaugural galas
01:58
Danette Herman on being the executive in charge of talent for Bill Clinton's inaugural 
01:23

Don Hewitt

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Don Hewitt on covering the political conventions in 1948 and 1952, and on anchors Douglas Edwards and Walter Cronkite
07:59

Lucy Jarvis

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Lucy Jarvis on producing a landmark series about the United States and the Soviet Union in the early 1960s for The Nation's Future  featuring John Glenn and Soviet cosmonaut Gherman Titov
12:47
Lucy Jarvis on producing the documentary The Kremlin  for NBC News
04:24
Lucy Jarvis on filming The Kremlin  during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962
07:33
Lucy Jarvis on producing the NBC News documentary Who Shall Live?
02:35

Larry King

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Larry King on interviewing U.S. Presidents
06:32

Ted Koppel

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Ted Koppel on reporting on JFK's assassination for ABC radio
02:21
Ted Koppel on reporting on Secretary of State Henry Kissinger during Watergate; on Kissinger's relationship with the press
10:54
Ted Koppel on reporting on Nixon's trip to China in 1972 and witnessing staged moments for the American press
08:16
Ted Koppel on Richard M. Nixon and his inability to handle small talk
05:34
Ted Koppel on America Held Hostag e (which reported on the Iran Hostage Crisis) becoming ABC News Nightline contd.
10:46
Ted Koppel on the end of the Iran Hostage Crisis during Reagan's presidency
00:53

Steve Kroft

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Steve Kroft on interviewing President Obama after the death of Osama bin Laden
03:15
Steve Kroft on interviewing President Obama for 60 Minutes
04:10
Steve Kroft on his 60 Minutes  interview with Bill and Hillary Clinton
04:42

Perry Lafferty

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Perry Lafferty on on having John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon on Person to Person
08:43
Perry Lafferty on working the 1952 political conventions, and subsequent conventions
06:49

Brian Lamb

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Brian Lamb on the Detroit riots of 1967
05:52
Brian Lamb on his Navy career in the Johnson White House
02:48
Brian Lamb on working for Richard Nixon's campaign in 1968
09:25
Brian Lamb on working in the Nixon administration during the Watergate scandal
03:31

Jim Lehrer

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Jim Lehrer on covering the assassination of John F. Kennedy
15:51
Jim Lehrer on the JFK Memorial in Dallas
03:11
Jim Lehrer on joining up with Robert MacNeil and covering the Watergate hearings
04:23

Richard Lewis

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Richard Lewis on producing The General Electric Theater, hosted by Ronald Reagan
02:36

Frank Liberman

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Frank Liberman on working with Ronald Reagan
01:14

John J. Lloyd

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John J. Lloyd on his admiration for FDR
01:14

Julia Louis-Dreyfus

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Julia Louis-Dreyfus on what she learned about the Vice-Presidency through her work on Veep; on how her view of politics has changed 
04:21

Stewart MacGregory

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Stewart MacGregory on acting as unit manager for NBC's coverage of the 1960 Presidential Elections 
06:21
Stewart MacGregory on going to work for The Kraft Music Hall  with Perry Como and traveling to Dallas to film the day after John F. Kennedy was shot
10:17

Robert MacNeil

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Robert MacNeil on covering the Cuban Missile Crisis
06:28
Robert MacNeil on covering Watergate
10:01
Robert MacNeil on covering the Cuban Missile Crisis
08:35
Robert MacNeil on covering the Cold War in East Berlin
07:05
Robert MacNeil on covering the Kennedy White House and Barry Goldwater's 1964 campaign 
03:59
Robert MacNeil on covering the 1964 Barry Goldwater campaign 
07:53
Robert MacNeil on covering the assassination of John F. Kennedy in Dallas for NBC News
22:06
Robert MacNeil on covering the aftermath of the Kennedy assassination in Dallas for NBC News
14:19
Robert MacNeil on working on The Huntley-Brinkley Report  and covering the 1964 campaign
07:13
Robert MacNeil on covering Vietnam and Richard Nixon
04:03
Robert MacNeil on going to work for PBS and covering the Watergate hearings with Jim Lehrer
06:02
Robert MacNeil on how Kennedy and Johnson dealt with the press
11:32
Robert MacNeil on how Kennedy and Johnson dealt with the press
11:32
Robert MacNeil on the way the press treats different presidents
05:58
Robert MacNeil on interviewing Rose Kennedy
05:30
Robert MacNeil on the inside politics at PBS of covering the Watergate hearings
02:55

Delbert Mann

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Delbert Mann on his family's thoughts on FDR
00:47

Dick Martin

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Dick Martin on Richard Nixon's cameo on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In
01:47

Sig Mickelson

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Sig Mickelson on his reaction to the Kennedy-Nixon Debates, and on talking with Richard M. Nixon
01:43
Sig Mickelson on organizing the details of the Kennedy-Nixon Debates
03:46
Sig Mickelson on CBS News covering the 1952 Presidential Election
07:48
Sig Mickelson on CBS News' coverage of the 1952 political conventions
04:20
Sig Mickelson on Walter Cronkite anchoring CBS News' coverage of the conventions and on inventing the term "anchorman"
02:25
Sig Mickelson on the innovations and impact of CBS News' coverage of the 1952 political conventions
07:18
Sig Mickelson on the concept of "gavel-to-gavel coverage" first introduced by CBS News for the 1952 political conventions
01:56
Sig Mickelson on Don Hewitt's role during CBS News' coverage of the 1952 political conventions
02:30
Sig Mickelson on Bill Leonard's contribution to CBS News' coverage of the 1952 political conventions and on covering the speeches
04:04
Sig Mickelson on candid moments from the 1952 political conventions and on how CBS' coverage differed from NBC or ABC
03:19
Sig Mickelson on CBS News Radio's coverage of the 1952 political conventions
02:35
Sig Mickelson on CBS News' coverage of election night in 1952 and on the use of the Univac computer
07:11
Sig Mickelson on CBS News' relationship with Dwight D. Eisenhower and press secretary James Hagerty
03:00
Sig Mickelson on a dust up between CBS News and the Eisenhower White House over a scheduled interview with then-Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev
09:58
Sig Mickelson on selecting Howard K. Smith as the moderator of the first of the Kennedy-Nixon Debates
01:00
Sig Mickelson on television's impact on the political process in the United States
02:31
Sig Mickelson on the growing importance of presidential debates after 1960
01:24
Sig Mickelson on the presidency of John F. Kennedy and how he handled television as opposed to Richard M. Nixon
02:47

Bill Monroe

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Bill Monroe on NBC News' coverage of the Civil Rights Movement, and on covering Martin Luther King, Jr. and his relationship with John F. Kennedy, and on covering the assassinations of the era
04:09
Bill Monroe on covering John F. Kennedy for NBC News, and on how Kennedy handled television
06:08
Bill Monroe on covering the Bay of Pigs invasion and the Cuban Missile Crisis for NBC News
03:37
Bill Monroe on NBC News' coverage of the John F. Kennedy assassination and funeral
03:50
Bill Monroe on NBC News' coverage of the Vietnam War, and on covering the Lyndon B. Johnson administration
07:40
Bill Monroe on covering the presidency of Richard M. Nixon
04:04
Bill Monroe on the overall impact that television has had on the presidency
01:56

Thomas W. Moore

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Thomas W. Moore on ABC covering the 1952 conventions, and on how presidents starting with Dwight D. Eisenhower took to television
07:55
Thomas W. Moore on the Kennedy/Nixon debates of 1960
05:51

Lloyd Morrisett

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Lloyd Morrisett on on funding for a second season of Sesame Street being different under the Nixon administration
03:11

Robert Mott

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Robert Mott on working on I Like Ike, a tribute to President Dwight D. Eisenhower
04:14

Alan Neuman

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Alan Neuman on election night, 1948
04:49
Alan Neuman on working in production at NBC during the first televised election returns in 1948
00:43

Horace Newcomb

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Horace Newcomb on his early assessment of President Donald Trump's relationship with the press, one month into his tenure
02:52
Horace Newcomb on the 2016 presidential election between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton
10:30

Don Pardo

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Don Pardo on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and having to read the announcement of his death
03:22

Marty Pasetta

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Marty Pasetta on directing Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan's Inaugural specials
02:47
Marty Pasetta on directing Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan's Inaugural specials
02:47
Marty Pasetta on how the Ronald Reagan assassination attempt affected The Academy Awards
02:16
Marty Pasetta on directing the special Let Poland Be Poland
01:05

Don Pike

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Don Pike on going to China to act as technical director for NBC News' coverage of President Richard Nixon's historic visit
01:27
Don Pike on going to China to act as technical director for NBC News' coverage of President Richard Nixon's historic visit
07:08

Maury Povich

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Maury Povich on covering JFK's assassination for radio
01:43
Maury Povich on covering the Senate Committee Watergate Hearings for Panorama and launching political pundits on the program
01:49

Ward Quaal

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Ward Quaal on his relationship with John F. Kennedy
04:58
Ward Quaal on the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and how it was covered by WGN
02:26
Ward Quaal on his relationship with President Ronald Reagan
06:42
Ward Quaal on his relationship with Ronald Reagan, and on Reagan's attitude toward broadcasting
02:31
Ward Quaal on his lobbying President Ronald Reagan against the Fairness Doctrine
01:48

Jorge Ramos

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Jorge Ramos on his first professional job on Televisa radio and covering the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan
05:42
Jorge Ramos on preparing to interview presidents 
04:36
Jorge Ramos on interviewing President Obama and pressing him on immigration reform
03:23
Jorge Ramos on Univision covering presidential politics and its importance to the Latino community 
02:31
Jorge Ramos and Maria Elena Salinas on Univision's role in the 2008, 2012 and then-upcoming 2016 elections 
05:43
Jorge Ramos and Maria Elena Salinas on the emergence of Latino candidates in presidential elections
01:55

Hank Rieger

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Hank Rieger on traveling with Bob Hope when he performed for President Nixon
01:31

Geraldo Rivera

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Geraldo Rivera on covering the Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky scandal
07:02

Tim Russert

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Tim Russert on his coverage of the 2000 Presidential Election and the Supreme Court ruling
01:52

Maria Elena Salinas

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Maria Elena Salinas on Univision covering presidential races and participating in presidential debates 
03:52
Jorge Ramos and Maria Elena Salinas on Univision's role in the 2008, 2012 and then-upcoming 2016 elections
05:43
Jorge Ramos and Maria Elena Salinas on the emergence of Latino candidates in presidential elections
01:55

Marlene Sanders

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Marlene Sanders on co-anchoring LBJ's inauguration with Peter Jennings
01:00

Richard Schiff

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Richard Schiff on public reaction to The West Wing
03:16
Richard Schiff on visiting the real Oval Office
04:05
Richard Schiff on getting a letter from Hillary Clinton
02:39

Max Schindler

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Max Schindler on meeting John F. Kennedy in West Virginia during the 1960 Democratic Primary
03:49
Max Schindler on covering the Cuban Missile Crisis for WRC and NBC
02:59
Max Schindler on directing the coverage of the aftermath of the Kennedy assassination for NBC News
02:46
Max Schindler on directing the coverage of the Kennedy assassination for NBC News
08:41
Max Schindler on directing coverage of the Vietnam War for NBC News
07:21
Max Schindler on directing coverage of the wedding of Trisha Nixon and Ed Cox
05:01
Max Schindler on directing coverage of Watergate and Richard Nixon's relationship with television 
08:58
Max Schindler on television's responsibility to the viewer and the biggest story he's covered
01:48

Thomas Schlamme

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Thomas Schlamme on The West Wing and the Clinton White House
01:51

George Schlatter

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George Schlatter on Richard M. Nixon's appearance on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In
01:53

Alfred Schneider

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Alfred Schneider on an episode of Howard K. Smith: News and Comment ("The Political Obituary of Richard M. Nixon"), and how it led to the formulation of a policy to protect news departments from the interference of sponsors
04:01
Alfred Schneider on the relationship between Standards & Practices and the presidency
01:47
Alfred Schneider on the role of the government in regulating television content and President Nixon's attempt to encourage anti-drug messages in television programs
01:29

Chet Simmons

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Chet Simmons on the John F. Kennedy assassination and funeral, and on television's coverage of the event
04:20

Howard K. Smith

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News Correspondent Howard K. Smith on moderating the first of the Kennedy-Nixon Debates
02:05
Howard K. Smith on the 1968 Chicago conventions
02:30

Sanford Socolow

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Sanford Socolow on the friendship between Frank Stanton and Lyndon Johnson and whether it influenced CBS news coverage of Vietnam
04:17
Sanford Socolow on changes he made during his time at the CBS Washington News Bureau under the Nixon administration - identifying who was asking questions of the President
02:33
Sanford Socolow on his time at the CBS Washington News Bureau under the Nixon administration; on his direct line to Nixon's Press Secretary, Ron Ziegler, and to NBC and ABC
06:18
Sanford Socolow on CBS' coverage of Nixon's resignation and the Pike Report
06:48
Sanford Socolow on overseeing CBS' Washington Bureau in the 1970s during the Ford Administration
01:28
Sanford Socolow on CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite coverage of the Iran Hostage Crisis
03:19

Lesley Stahl

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Lesley Stahl on the personal toll of covering the White House as a correspondent
01:09
Lesley Stahl on coverage of Watergate by network television and on Watergate burglary trial judge John Sirica's importance in the "assault" on President Nixon
01:41
Lesley Stahl on being assigned the "unimportant" Watergate break-in story as a rookie reporter and what a break it was for her career
01:47
Lesley Stahl on memorable interviews she did on Face the Nation, including George Schultz and Margaret Thatcher during the Iran Contra Scandal
01:17
Lesley Stahl on her start as CBS White House correspondent, covering the second half of Jimmy Carter's presidency
00:57

Frank Stanton

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Frank Stanton on his association with Harry S. Truman
08:11
Frank Stanton on his associations with John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon, and on the Kennedy-Nixon debate
04:32
Frank Stanton on his associations with John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon, and on the Kennedy-Nixon debate
04:32
Frank Stanton on his relationship with Lyndon B. Johnson
08:00

Brandon Stoddard

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Brandon Stoddard on White House reaction to The Day After
04:35

John Strauss

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John Strauss on an interview newspaper columnist Hal Humphrey conducted with Ronald Reagan
02:14

William Tankersley

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William Tankersley on how CBS Program Practices handled storylines involving drugs on TV shows in the 1960s
00:08

Robert Trout

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Robert Trout on participating in a broadcast of President Herbert Hoover
06:44
Robert Trout on covering the inauguration of President Roosevelt in 1933
04:06
Robert Trout on President Roosevelt's Fireside Chats
01:56
Robert Trout on covering press conferences by Presidents Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt
04:07
Robert Trout on covering President Roosevelt's Fireside Chats
11:51
Robert Trout on covering the Republican and Democratic national conventions in 1936
06:23
Robert Trout on covering President Roosevelt's second inauguration in 1936
03:51
Robert Trout on covering the assassination of John F. Kennedy
01:46
Robert Trout on covering the 1964 Democratic Convention (Lyndon B. Johnson)
07:15
Robert Trout on covering various political conventions
05:07
Robert Trout on covering the 1968 Democratic National Convention
02:25
Robert Trout on television news' relationship with the Presidency 
02:06

Tony Verna

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Tony Verna on directing an interview with then President-elect Ronald Reagan
02:48
Tony Verna on directing George H.W. Bush in Public Service Announcements
01:43

Joseph A. Wapner

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Joseph Wapner on learning of President Roosevelt's death during World War II
01:19

Larry Wilmore

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Larry Wilmore on hosting President Barack Obama's final White House Correspondents' Dinner
10:11
Larry Wilmore on the cancellation of The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, and on covering the rise of Donald Trump
03:02

Perry Wolff

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Perry Wolff on covering the 1952 political convention for CBS and meeting President Dwight D. Eisenhower 
06:21
Perry Wolff on going to work for CBS making documentaries and his friendship with Lady Bird Johnson, wife of President Lyndon B. Johnson
05:20
Perry Wolff on producing > A Tour of the White House  for CBS News featuring Jacqueline Kennedy, First Lady to President John F. Kennedy>
11:46

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