[Progressive magazine]

Sunday, July 03, 1955

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

Gilbert Seldes discusses the magazine, "The Progressive." An article he quotes encourage more freedom of the press and a strict restriction of censorship.

Discusses Walter Lippman's work and call for censorship of motion pictures and comic books. Walter Winchell quotes Seldes and issue of whether freedom of speech is unlimited. Chiefs of state on television. Rules put down now for television will prevail in the future. The provision of equal time. Vice President Nixon's recent appearance following Darkness at Noon (anticommunist work) is not the same thing as FDR appearing on Norman Corwin's December 15, 1941 program on the Bill of Rights.

He moves on to discuss the appearance of political figures on television - and another critics call that politicians be shown "warts and all."

Seldes discusses his own "sewer theory" about the evolution of popular arts: Each new art form initially drains off the least desirable elements of the preceeding art form.

He also talks about color television. Musical, The Chocolate Soldier. Bernard Shaw play.

No outro.

Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection

WNYC archives id: 71200
Municipal archives id: LT6455

Hosted by:

Gilbert Seldes


More in:

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.


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.


Supported by