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[Senator McCarthy's reply to Edward R. Murrow]

Saturday, April 17, 1954

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

Seldes discusses a previous show when he critiqued Edward Murrow's series of TV news reports (that helped lead to the censure of Senator Joseph McCarthy). Seldes received many negative responses and defends himself here.


Comedians can't campaign for a candidate because perhaps more money can buy a more famous comedian. There is no way we can say equal time will create fairness in campaigns. During a campaign, a candidate will say things that may not be true, but afterward they shouldn't do the same.


Congressional investigations on television. Bob and Ray.


Two new developments. The supreme court decided give-aways on TV and radio are legal, if contestants aren't required to make a purchase to participate. New appointment for investigation in to McCarthy-Stevens, to begin in April. No TV or radio broadcasts of the hearing can be sponsored.


The prevailing moods in song today are frustration, nostalgia, and love.


Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection


WNYC archives id: 71525
Municipal archives id: LT3096

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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