This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.
Seldes discusses the Supreme Court ruling regarding the censorship of "Le Ronde" and "M." They found that state censorship boards could not ban the movies based on the argument that they were immoral. He criticizes another person who argued that trying to define immoral is like trying to define red. Seldes believes that you can define "red," because it is what most people agree is red. The ethical difficulties of defining morality is more difficult - it varies between individuals and changes over time.
Seldes notes the return of Elmer Davis to the air - a short television show and a radio program. He mentions Davis' book "But We Were Born Free" and his discussion of freedom of the press. He discusses the role of the journalist in the interpretation of news. What is the obligation of a news organization to print possibly slanderous allegations. He notes the "shirt tails" of stories, which may be salacious and irrelevant. The old standard of purely factual journalism is no longer enough. He discusses Davis' dislike of ex-radicals, who now are acting intellectuals of society.
Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection
WNYC archives id: 71504
Municipal archives id: LT3087