[Investigation of the Ford Foundation]

Tuesday, June 01, 1954

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

Seldes opens the program by making a correction regarding a mix up in a previous broadcast - he confused Laertes and Horatio when discussing Hamlet. Seldes then refers to letter that admonishes him for saying that socialized medicine is the same as health insurance. Seldes doesn't think he made this statement, but if he did he didn't mean it.

Seldes discusses the upcoming study of tax-exempt foundations, particularly he mentions the Ford and Sloan Foundations. (This refers to the Dodd Report and Reece Committee investigation into non-profit foundations.) He mentions Norman Dodd, who has accused some foundations of being unconstitutional and un-American.

He goes on to discuss the role exhibitors play in influencing content of television shows. He presents an example from Dragnet. He talks about others who have protested the portrayal of 'types' - stereotypes based on race and profession.

Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection

WNYC archives id: 71530
Municipal archives id: LT3100

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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