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cast interviews of Senator Taft, of spokesmen for General Eisenhower, and of other candidates for the Republican nomination. Mr. Schneider claimed as a result that section 315 (a) required us to give him equal opportunities on the CBS radio and television networks.

Mr. Schneider took us to court and to the Federal Communications Commission. The Commission ruled that Mr. Schneider was right and that he was entitled to the protection of section 315 (a). And so Mr. Schneider joined the ranks of General Eisenhower and Senator Taft and had himself two network half hours free.

As a footnote to this painful lesson which we learned, I may add that Mr. Schneider got only 230 votes in the New Hampshire primaries; we never did find out how many votes he got in Oregon. But we did discover that Mr. Schneider who under section 315 (a) was thus held to be a qualified candidate for the Republican nomination was not, in the mind of the Republican Party, even qualified to be admitted to the Republican convention. He was unable to get a ticket to get into the convention hall.

The implications of our little adventure with Mr. Schneider are obvious and, as we look toward 1956, frightening. You can readily appreciate why in 1956 we are going to have to think twice before we provide as comprehensive coverage to candidates for the nominations as we did in 1952. For there is hardly any practical limit to the number of people who could do what Mr. Schneider did. All they have to be is 35 years old, American citizens and willing to accept the nomination if it is tendered to them. A chance to appear before millions of people with no cost at all to themselves might well prove an enormous temptation to a great many soapbox orators and publicity seekers. As time goes on Mr. Schneider's triumph becomes recognized, it is inevitable that we will have to cut down on our preconvention political coverage. One needs only a couple of dozen Mr. Schneiders for the air to be filled with little else. We will have to be very careful about presenting on our news, panel, interview and public affairs programs well-known candidates for the nomination, because we know that by doing so we will place ourselves under the obligation under section 315 (a) to put a potentially unlimited number of people, in whom the public has no interest at all, on the air.

And the problem is the same even after the nominations are in. Although here the numbers of potential candidates get reduced from the hundreds of thousands or millions to the dozens, the number is still too large to be workable. For it is after the nominations are in that we find that the broadcaster cannot accept what all political commentators and historians accept-that ours is essentially a twoparty system. Again let us look at the 1952 record.

How many of you have ever heard of Homer A. Tomlinson, Fred C. Proehl, Don Du Mont, Edward Longstreet Bodin, or Ellen Linea W. Jensen? Each of these was a duly nominated candidate for President in 1952. They were the candidates of the 18 political parties which presented presidential nominees in the last campaign. There were presidential candidates presented not only by the Republican and Democratic Parties, but there were also presidential candidates of the American Party, the American Rally, the Christian Nationalist Party, Church of God Bible, Constitution Party, Greenback Party, Poor Man's Party, Progressive Party, Prohibition Party, Republi

merican Party, Socialist Labor Party, Socialist Party, Socialist Workers Party, Spiritual Party, Vegetarian Party, and Washington Peace Party.

No matter how obscure some of these parties may be, section 315 (a) allows us to make no distinction among them. We cannot, therefore, consider allowing the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates to appear on a press interview, forum, or panel program or a debate without taking into account the fact that under the law we would be required to do the same for the other 16 parties.

As a result, with a list of parties as formidable in numbers and as obscure in national interest as this list, we have in general been forced as a matter of simple commonsense, in the interests of our own selfpreservation, as well as the protection of our listeners, to adopt restrictive policies during campaign periods.

The problem is not limited to candidates for presidential nominations or elections. Let me give some further illustrations of our 1952 experiences where we found section 315 (a) limited us in serving the obvious public interest in clarifying and sharpening national issues. During the 1952 campaign, the CBS radio and television networks carried a series of programs called Pick the Winner. The purpose of this series was to present each week a spokesman for the Democrats and a spokesman for the Republicans discussing face to face a different major issue of the campaign. We tried in each case to pick the most qualified leading spokesman. Often the most obvious choice of such a spokesman was a Congressman or a Senator or a governor who had taken leading parts in the formulation, articulation, or execution of the policies which were under discussion. But section 315 (a) precluded us from this obvious choice because every one of the Congressmen-except those who were retiring-one-third of the Senators, and 32 governors were running for reelection. Therefore, the FCC ruled they were "candidates" within the meaning of section 315 (a) and anyone who was running against them was entitled to equal time, at least in States or districts where the spokesman was running. Consequently, as a practical matter, almost all Congressmen and a substantial number of Senators and governors were barred from this important national program although they were often the best possible spokesmen for their parties on the issues under discussion. When almost all Congressmen and so many Senators and governors cannot as a practical matter be given time for debate on national issues in a national campaign, it seems clear that section 315 (a) is inconsistent with the objectives of public service and public enlightenment.

The 1952 campaign illustrated still another facet of the tendency of section 315 (a) to frustrate a broadcaster's achieving his full potentiality as an electronic journalist. A radio and television format which has proven particularly effective in bringing facts to the public firsthand is the press interview type of program-such as Face the Nation and Meet the Press. In these programs, leading political spokesmen are subjected to penetrating and searching questions by correspondents. These programs are useful in getting down to bedrock. James Reston of the New York Times has described them as important antidotes to "one-way campaigns," tending to offset candidates' reliance on what he calls the "techniques of modern salesmanship" by which the candidates are encouraged to "put over their arguments without giving the people much chance to answer back."

Yet the FCC ruled that even though these programs were in no way under the control of the candidates, a candidate's appearance on them falls within the reach of section 315 (a). Thus, if a candidate appears on Meet the Press or Face the Nation to answer news correspondents' questions, every other candidate for the same office must be afforded the same opportunity. I would venture to guess that even though the space in a newspaper may be rather less restricted by the forces of nature than the time in a broadcaster's day-a newspaper can go from 48 to 50 pages, but a broadcaster can do nothing about inventing a 26-hour day-it is probable that a newspaper editor would lose his enthusiasm for press interviews if he were required to cover and give space to the press interviews of the Washington Peace Party's candidate or the Poor Man's Party's candidate equivalent to the coverage and space given to the interviews of President Eisenhower or My. Stevenson.

Here, again, section 315 (a) restricted a broadcaster's use of a most effective means of bringing information to the public during a campaign. And it was the public and its right to know which was the loser.

In short, by precluding debates between the candidates, by barring them from panel and press interview programs, and by limiting the spokesmen who may appear in discussion programs, section 315 (a) has not worked out well in practice no matter how good it looks on paper. As has been stated by Jack Gould, radio-television editor of the New York Times (May 28, 1955):

In practice the effect of section 315 is less a guaranty of fairness than a formidable barrier to adequate broadcasting of political opinion and controversy. The provision thwarts the conscientious broadcaster who wants to do a rounded job. It is a wonderful alibi for the broadcaster who doesn't. * * *

*** It is time that section 315 were reexamined with a view to allowing the broadcaster to make his own journalistic decisions.

It is important to note that we are not alone in our deep concern about the hobbling effect of section 315 (a). Our proposal to modify that subsection in the manner embodied in H. R. 6810 has received general approval by those who have thoughtfully considered the problem. I am attaching to my statement editorials by the New York Daily News; the New York Post; the Milwaukee Journal; and the Des Moines Register; as well as articles by James Reston and Jack Gould, of the New York Times; and Roscoe Drummond, of the New York Herald Tribune. Each of these agrees that section 315 (a) has the undesirable consequences which I have discussed and each agrees that there should be modification. It is significant that editors and writers covering such a wide range of political views should be in agreement on this subject. I think it indicates that we at CBS are not regarding this from a purely parochial point of view-and that this is not so much a broadcaster's problem as it is the public's problem.

I recognize that some concern has been expressed that the proposal in H. R. 6810 raises the possibility of favoritism for one candidate over another. The unspoken premise of this criticism seems clearly to be that in handling news and public affairs functions, a broadcaster, in his role as a part of the press, is so little to be trusted that he must be prevented from exercising any discretion.

This is a dangerous premise on which to base legislation-a premise that people licensed by the Federal Government to act in the public

interest, convenience, and necessity are unworthy of trust. If a broadcaster is not deemed qualified to make his own journalistic decisions, even in this limited area, then it can only be asked by what standard did the FCC give him a license in the first place.

The fact is that there are other and far more powerful safeguards against the dangers of unfair play than a rule of enforced mathematical equality in these types of programs-equality which reduces service toward zero and thus deprives the public of facts and information to which it is entitled. The listener and viewer regard radio and television as a part of their personal lives. Our daily mail is vivid reminder of their quick reaction to anything which we do as broadcasters. If during the course of the campaign, or at any other time, a broadcaster were to be so flagrantly unfair as to favor one candidate over another, both the public and the political parties would be quick to react. For such favoritism cannot be exercised surrpetitiously or invisibly. It would be there for all to see and hear and a broadcaster could not long survive the public ill will which such favoritism would justifiably create.

It seems to us, therefore, that public reaction is the surest safeguard against any dangers which might be thought to arise by this limited modification of section 315 (a). But there is still another safeguard. The basic ground rules of the Communications Act would remain— the requirement would continue that a broadcast licensee must operate in the public interest. We at CBS and, I believe, almost all other broadcasters, have always considered that one of the components of operating in the public interest is to air all significant viewpoints on any important public controversial issue. Whether that requirement is self-imposed or imposed by the Communications Act, it is one which broadcasters in general have embraced. It is applicable to all important public issues whether political or not and it would remain during campaign periods and during the rest of the year-no matter how section 315 (a) were modified. That there might be some difficult decisions to make is hardly a reason for not amending section 315 (a), if, as we believe, the public is being disserved by the subsection as it stands.

For these reasons, CBS has proposed that section 315 (a) be modified in the manner suggested by H. R. 6810. Enactment of the bill would, we believe, represent a long forward step in permitting this new form of journalism to fulfill its potentiality in bringing facts, faces, and issues to the public.

If section 315 (a) is modified in the manner proposed by H. R. 6810, CBS would invite the leading candidates on our panel discussion programs without charge which we have been prevented from doing in the past. We would give greater coverage in news, news interview, news documentary, and similar types of programs to the leading candidates. And most important of all, CBS, with the approval of our affiliates to whom this question was submitted last spring, would provide free evening time during the campaign for the major presidential candidates to debate the main issues. We would propose to broadcast a modern-day electronic version of the Lincoln-Douglas debates in which both the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates would appear on the viewers' screen debating the great issues of the day. One way we might well do

this would be to have a group of the country's leading newsmen, during the closing weeks of the campaign, designate the half-dozen or so chief issues as they have developed. In special live programs, CBS would invite the candidates to speak, wherever they are, one after the other, on these designated issues.

We strongly believe that if the law is amended to make programs such as these possible, the public will benefit, because television and radio with their enormous circulation and impact will be able to fulfill their roles in bringing the major candidates directly to the public. We believe that this would provide a significant contribution to our democracy.

We share the basic belief of our Founding Fathers that the citizen's opportunity to know and to judge for himself at firsthand will result will result in the best possible decisions in the polling booths.

By increasing the opportunity through radio and television for the major national candidates to face each other and at the same time to face the American citizen directly in the citizen's own home, we will have taken a long step forward bringing radio and television to journalistic maturity and, even more important, in strengthening our democratic processes.

Mr. HARRIS. Does that conclude your statement, Mr. Salant?

Mr. SALANT. Yes, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. HARRIS. Without objection, the attachments to your statement will be included in the record.

Mr. SALANT. Thank you.

(The attachments referred to follow :)

[From the New York Daily News, May 26, 1955]


President Frank Stanton of the Columbia Broadcasting System has come out with a proposal which makes sense to us.

It concerns the Federal law requiring that, if a network gives free time to one candidate in a political campaign, it must give equal times to all other candidates for the same office.

The 1956 presidential campaign is coming up. Mr. Stanton recalls with visible shudders that in 1952 there were 18 candidates for President, most of them running mainly for laughs.


Therefore, the CBS chief suggests, how about Congress amending the law so that the equal-time privilege will be extended only to major-party candidates? If Congress will do that, CBS for one will be glad to put on a series of TV debates next year between the two chief presidential nominees, along the lines of the famous Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858.

We think Congress should consider amending the law in some such way. This is a 2-party country, where 3d parties-to say nothing of 8th or 18th parties-never have amounted to much. Why not recognize that fact, and revise the law to fit it?

[From the New York Post, May 25, 1955]


The use of television as a political weapon may turn out to be one of the liveliest issues of the 1956 campaign. It has become increasingly apparent that the Republican strategists regard the TV blitz as the big political discovery of the century. Given a preponderance of financial assets, the GOP will undoubtedly try to blanket the country.

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