[Campaigning on radio and television]

Tuesday, November 16, 1954

This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

Seldes discusses media coverage of the elections. He believes that television has possibly brought in new factors, and may require new ground rules. He speaks of the impact of using television to abuse one's opponent.
As campaign follows campaign people are playing dirtier and dirtier politics, and using more below the belt tactics. Seldes talks about "clean campaigns" in Connecticut. His impression is that they only campaign on state issues, and not national ones. Seldes suggests ending magnanimity. He thinks we should not be "good sports" but should keep fighting after the campaign ends.

He goes on to discuss freedom of the press, and the basic belief that if there is one newspaper who won't print something, there is another that will.

Seldes moves on to discuss a proposed code for comic books. Specifically a ban against the tendency to draw women in exaggerated ways, subjects like cannibalism, zombies; use of smut, nudity, undue language.
Seldes comments on the history of the exaggerated female figure in regard to length, noting that with women's clothing advertising the female body is drawn about 9 times the length of the head.

Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection

WNYC archives id: 71497
Municipal archives id: LT3117

Hosted by:

Gilbert Seldes


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About Lively Arts, The

Legendary critic and author of The Seven Lively Arts Gilbert Seldes discusses big-thinking issues in art and life from his characteristically populist perspective.

Simultaneously a timely and visionary program, Gilbert Seldes's The Lively Arts (1953-1956) examines contemporary issues of 1950s television, radio, and theater, as well as current events and the intellectual arts. Seldes, who was the first Director for Television at CBS News and the founding Dean of the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Pennsylvania, was also a renowned critic, author, playwright, and editor. As a major social critic and observer, Seldes viewed theater, television, and radio with a prescient eye to the future based on a well-informed understanding of the past. 

These programs feature commentary and discussion on a wide range of topics — from sex and censorship in the movies to progressive education to juvenile delinquency to political campaigning on television — many of which are still hotly debated today. Serving as a precursor to Seldes's television programs and providing an audio context for his seminal books, this show is key to understanding today's cultural commentary.


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