Fighting for the First Amendment: Stanton of CBS Vs. Congress and the Nixon White House
Here is an inside look at how a Congressional Committee, supported by the Nixon White House, sought to establish control over broadcast news by investigating editorial news judgment. Frank Stanton, legendary President of CBS, refused to produce outtakes from the award-winning documentary, "The Selling of the Pentagon," subpoenaed by the Committee in an attempt to condemn the program and CBS. The Committee voted to hold Stanton and CBS in contempt, and the House of Representatives held a full debate on its power to investigate and control broadcast news. Had Stanton not taken up the fight he describes to gain First Amendment protection, broadcast news would have been shaped by Congressional hearings and intimidation. Will new electronic media publishers resist such government efforts on the Information Superhighway? Fighting for the First Amendment can serve as a model for that struggle. Finally Stanton's story is told in his own words in this extraordinary account of his fight to secure First Amendment freedom for the news media. This remarkable book examines the ongoing conflict between media and government and dismisses the theory that press regulation by a government agency is desirable. CBS's fight over "The Selling of the Pentagon" clearly illustrates how government interference can keep vital information from the public. Broadcast news history shows that press regulations are not benign--despite government claims--and once they are in place, neither great resources nor the urgent need for truth may fully remove them. As public opinion polls show increasing support for such regulations, Stanton's story serves as a timely reminder of the need for a press free of government interference as print, cable, broadcast and satellite news move onto the Information Superhighway.
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The Selling of the Pentagon
Staggers First Hearing on the Subpoena
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affiliates Agnew Amendment American asked believed broadcast press Broyhill Burch called Carl Albert Chairman Colson Cong Congress congressional contempt citation coverage critical Davis debate decision Defense Democratic distortion documentary editing editorial electronic Executive Fairness Doctrine film Ford Frank Stanton free press freedom Gerald Ford going H.R. Haldeman hearing Hebert Henkin Ibid interview by author investigation issue John Dingell Johnson journalists Julian Goodman July Kennedy Klein knew legislation licenses Marvin Kalb ment military Mudd Nixon outtakes Paley Pentagon political presidential print press propaganda question radio Red Lion regulation Republican Reuven Frank Richard Nixon Roger Mudd Selling Senate Souvanna Phouma speech Springer staff Staggers Stanton says stations Subcommittee subpoena talk Television Digest television press thing thought tion told Truman Vice President Vietnam viewer views vote wanted Washington Post White House WHSF York
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