This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.
Communications arts is constantly changing. One consequence is that as soon as you find the answer to one question, you find that you raise more questions. Ethical standards in communications arts are still developing. Latest development is televising of the White House press conference. Seldes is neutral on this matter. Reads article by editorial writer of the New York Post. Seldes precedes reading by saying the New York Post is not neutral, the metropolitan newspaper devoted to the cause of the New Deal and Democratic party. "This isn't a live television show, it's a carefully edited documentary." Censorship has nothing to do with national security; it has to do with Republican security. Many questions asked were deleted before the conference was broadcast. Calls it a GOP propaganda project. The original question: whether television should be governed by the rules and laws developed for the newspapers or if new ones have to be developed instead? President speaking "off the record." If he's going to be frank and he's going to take a chance, you have to allow him some leeway to make corrections. Don't care for the kind of stuffiness like is practiced by the British Prime Ministers before Churchill. Should the president put the press conference on the air while it is happening? Is it right to put out an edited version? Seldes says yes. The catch is that the edited version is offered as if it is the real version. These hearings are casual, not directed. Doesn't think all the errors must be exposed to the public. Bing Crosby started the practice of recording shows in advance and having them played later. The real vs. the apparent real.
Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection
WNYC archives id: 70371
Municipal archives id: LT6412