[Investigations and how to avoid them]

Saturday, February 26, 1955

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

Gilbert Seldes questions if it is the place of the government to decide what is and is not good in broadcasting. He speaks specifically about a congressman's concerns over the amount of alcohol consumption shown on television.

Seldes voices his concerns on these matters being settled without first consulting the public. He also discusses a content code, which he believes is unlikely to be successful.

He discusses a senator's recommendation for a commission of "distinguished citizens" who would report to the senate about the state of television. Seldes disagrees with this concept, which he views as very dangerous. Seldes recommends community groups that come from the ordinary people - representative of the television watching public.

Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection

WNYC archives id: 70767
Municipal archives id: LT6411

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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