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with respect to candidates, certainly in the field of forums, debates, and discussions. I am not so sure tħat the law as it is written and as we interpret it would be sustained if ever put to the test. We say that a candidate becomes a candidate in accordance with the local law of the State. I am not so sure that a candidate does not become a candidate the day after election for the next term. I see no great harm. As a matter of fact, I see a disservice to the country not to permit a local broadcaster who is trying to develop and perhaps has developed a sense of public responsibility and views his station as a sort of profession, in having those people come back-I am talking about those who are in office and tell the people back home what it is all about.

The American public is not quite so credulous that it does not understand the attempts now and then to aggrandize oneself on the radio or television. But weighing the two, it is much better that it be given that opportunity than be denied any contact at all. The entire political selection of our country is changing and changing somewhat rapidly.

In the old days you had the torch parade and you had a lot of public halls where the candidates were given an opportunity to meet and talk to the people. Today that opportunity is being removed further and further. The population of this country has increased from the 1950 census of 150 million to 165 million in 1955. So it seems to me that the door should be kept open to some thinking with respect to how we can allow the broadcaster or encourage him to program public interest matters, including candidates, without being scared away under the provisions or a strict interpretation of this act.

Mr. HALE. Do you suggest, Mr. Doerfer, that any incumbent in public office is a candidate for reelection until he files à notarized waiver?

Mr. DOERFER. I would say in answer to that, Congressman Hale, that a good argument can be made that he is a candidate.

Mr. HALE. I think there is much to be said for that point of view.

Mr. DOERFER. Perhaps the court will sustain what we wrote into our rules and regulations. But in the event that it doesn't, I can see where we probably will just close the valve entirely. There will be more and more a retrogression or reluctance to program any figure in public office. That is one of the dangers that I think this committee should consider.

Mr. Rogers. Will the gentleman yield?
Mr. HALE. Yes.

Mr. ROGERS. Mr. Commissioner, isn't the problem here not so much a question of public notice, but isn't it really a question of giving to 1 industry the right to prefer 1 candidate over another, or the power to prefer 1 candidate over another!

Mr. DOERFER. I might use an illustration which may be a sort of boomerang: The press has done it. They are not subject to censorship. I ride under the whips and scourge of the press on many occasions, but essentially it has been quite an institution in this country. You have to remember this. You can't get a fixed concept that there is only 1 radio station or 1 television station in the community. So the more broadcasting stations you have, the more it dilutes the power to control.



Unfortunately, we don't have as many television stations on the air as we would like to have. We are running into some problems and some growing pains. That is why I am not prepared today to como in with something which is full blown. I merely suggest that there is more to this entire problem than meets the eye. I am not so sure you should not try the proposal which would permit some of the broadcasters that conduct these debates and forums an opportunity to show whether they were living up to their

responsibilities. Let us bring to the people the so-called Lincoln and Douglas debates. As between the two, as between the danger of abuse and complete denial to the public, I am not so sure that I would not experiment and trust the good sense and the sense of fairness of the broadcaster.

In other words, I would much rather proceed on the basis of fairness and then retreat in the case of abuse than I would to deny the people the opportunity to know their men who are running the affairs in this country.

Mr. Rogers. Mr. Commissioner, I heartily agree with you in bringing the Lincoln-Douglas type of debate to the people, but I think when you limit the powers of an individual who wants to be in on that debate to be heard, it is like giving a man a set of golf clubs, and access to a fine golf course, with no balls available. It is just a sort of situation of saying, sure you can run for office, but unless you are in with the local broadcaster or television man, you won't be heard from unless you see 699,000 people between now and July 1 personally,

Mr. DOERFER. Congressman, if you will allow me to wade in over my head just a little bit, here is a suggestion or thought. Broadcasters are interested in audiences. They don't want to lose an audience under any circumstances if they possibly can. They develop the same type of ability that a newspaper does. They know what is of public interest. They know the individuals who have something about them which would attract the public, or at least that the public is interested in. If the broadcaster has that, and develops this sense of bringing to the public those bona fide candidates, those who for all practical purposes are candidates, you don't have too much to fear. I think that we are conjuring some fears that don't exist.

If I were put to the question, "Would you shut off the fourth or fifth political party?" I am not sure that I would not. I think that this country is much better off under the 2-party system than the 40- or 50party system in Europe.

Mr. ROGERS. Mr. Commissioner, if you will permit me to indulge in an interposition right there, I think that you have a great deal of merit in that. I think this; I think perhaps the problem is one that could be attacked from that standpoint. In other words, in many of the States you now have laws requiring certain qualifications of a man to run for public office, and certain requirements in the number of people who must sign a petition even in municipal corporations before a man can run for office. He must have a certain percentage of the last vote in a general election. I think that perhaps might be a better way of going about it. I don't want to deny to anyone the right to be heard in America if he wants to be heard.

Mr. DOERFER. That does not present too much of a problem where you have a primary. But nonethelsss, even the right to run for a primary or the opportunity sometimes is very important.

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Mr. ROGERS. Yes.

Mr. DOERFER. As a matter of fact, that may be of the prime imoprtance.

Mr. FLYNT. Commissioner Doerfer, if there should be any clearly evident abuses of the discretion which this proposed amendment would give to the broadcasters, don't you believe that Congress would be the first to act to revoke that discretion?

Mr. DOERFER. I think so. I incline .very heavily to a good deal of trust and confidence in the people who are engaged in the newspaper business, and in the broadcasting industry. I think that you can trust them over a period of time rather than to keep in perpetuity this provision which, I think with some justification, presents a danger in denying the public the opportunity to see some worthwhile people come to the front, just because of the danger of refusing all because of a host of crackpots or publicity seekers demanding equal time.

Mr. FLYNT. Let me ask you this question. From your personal observation, from the programs you have seen, from the opposing candidates that you have seen run against each other, and from the various issues of national importance and interest, has that personal observation of yours been that the broadcasters have tried to be eminently fair?

Mr. DOERFER. I think that they have from what I have seen. I would say this, that no one can lay a charge of continued bias and prejudice in behalf of a broadcaster with respect to any public question. I am not talking about poltical candidates.

Mr. WILLIAMS. Mr. Chairman, may I ask a question?
Mr. HARRIS. Mr. Williams.

Mr. WILLIAMS. May I ask a question in that regard? Mr. Commissioner, the question that is running so hot in the South at the moment is a hot poltical question, as you know. It is the question of segregaion, separation of the races and racial relationships. On radio and television every day, you will hear someone campaigning against the southern way of life, which is a poltical issue. Do the local television and radio stations make any effort whatsoever to see that the propaganda they are putting out in that respect is countered with equal time on the other side?

Mr. DOERFER. Congressman, my answer to that is this. You are talking about public discussions or candidates!

Mr. WILLIAMS. I am not talking about candidates.
Mr. DOERFER. About issues.

Mr. WILLIAMS. You mentioned on issues they have been fair in giving equal time. I say on that particular issue they have been most unfair.

Mr. DOERFER. Let me say this. As I conceive my duties as a Commissioner, I would say, and I think my fellow Commissioners agree, that a broadcaster is required to balance his programs. He is not permitted, and should not be permitted, to present a biased or lopsided side of a question. I see no particular difficulty after a pattern has been shown in definitely requiring that broadcaster either to assume his obligations of presenting a balanced program with respect to public issues, or I think within our powers lies the power to revoke.

Mr. WILLIAMS. I suggest that the Commission look into that. There may

be a few licenses revoked.


Mr. DOERFER. We don't go out and look for any.

Mr. ROGERS. I just want to make this suggestion about granting the right that you might have to revoke later on. I am as scared of those rights as I am of tax laws. I have never seen one repealed.

Mr. DOERFER. Let me approach this from a practical viewpoint. Either you or I could be a broadcaster and we could be definitely very biased and prejudiced toward a certain candidate or party, but knowing full well that each 3 years our license is up for renewal and knowing full well we don't know what the political complex of the country is going to be, I am not so sure that as a practical proposition we would not lean over to be absolutely fair and reasonable, so that the charge could not be laid against us.

Mr. ROGERS. Would you not be putting yourself in the position where somebody could fix the political complexion of the country 3 years from a given date?

Mr. DOERFER. Yes. You can conjure up a lot of dangers. But I have unbounded faith in our system of government.

Mr. ROGERS. I have unbounded faith in it, too, but suppose you run into a situation where some Communists got hold of some radio or television stations. You have a two-edged sword in a thing like this. If we bend over backward to do something for what we think is one particular group, another group can come in later on and ruin the right.

Mr. DOERFER. Congressman, do you suppose that section 315 here would prevent the Communists from seizing by force the radio and broadcasting interests of this country, if they could !

Mr. Rogers. No, I don't think that at all. We are just supposing what might happen, and what might not happen.

Mr. DOERFER. Our present law, as I understand it, permits us to prohibit or grant the broadcaster the right to deny the broadcasting facilities to subversive elements in this country.

Mr. ROGERS. That is exactly right. The trouble about that, Mr. Commissioner, is this: Subversion is not black and white.

Mr. DOERFER. That is true.
Mr. ROGERS. You know what I mean.
Mr. DOERFER. I understand.

Mr. ROGERS. The infiltration process is a very insidious thing, as we found out.

That is all I have, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. HARRIS. Mr. Heselton.

Mr. HESELTON. Mr. Commissioner, I am not a member of the subcommittee. It is only by the courtesy of the chairman and members that I am permitted to sit here. But I am very much interested in the discussion. There is one piece of mechanics I would like to have clarified. I am not interested in getting into any discussion of the pros and cons of a particular program.

You said, I think, that you would be content to rely upon those in charge of broadcasting a program, whether it be by radio or television, to see that it was a balanced one. In other words, I think you used the words "fair program.” Am I right about that!

? Mr. DOERFER. Yes. I was speaking about the public discussion and public forum, which may include some candidates.

Mr. HESELTON. Let me ask you about the mechanics of this. I saw a television program last week which subsequently created a good


deal of discussion. I assume that program or a greater portion of it was a series of so-called film shots put together. That was the program with reference to the agricultural problem.

To your knowledge does anybody or did anybody in connection with the network preview that program in order to determine in their own good judgment whether it was an impartial and fair presentation or not?

Mr. DOERFER. Congressman, I could not answer that. We don't police the programing, even close to that extent. I did not see the program. Is that the Edward Murrow program that you are referring to?

Mr. HESELTON. It is.

Mr. DOERFER. As I understand it, and perhaps Columbia Broadcasting can answer, isn't Edward Murrow on the board of directors of Columbia Broadcasting System.

Mr. HESELTON. Let me recall, to you, Mr. Commissioner, I asked whether to your knowledge if any responsible official of the system which broadcast that program reviewed it before it was placed on television and determined that it was a fair and impartial presentation of the problem.

Mr. DOERFER. My answer to that would be, Congressman, that you should inquire of the Columbia Broadcasting System. They could give you a direct answer on it. I cannot.

Mr. HESELTON. In other words, we get right back where we started. The Commission has no way perhaps of determining that or else does not care to do so.

Mr. DOERFER. No, that does not follow. I would say this; whether it is Columbia, NBC, or ABC, or any broadcaster, that puts on a program which to a reasonable mind would be a one-sided presentation, there is an obligation to give an opportunity to present the other side.

Mr. HESELTON. How is that brought before the Commission? Mr. DOERFER. By complaint. Mr. HESELTON. From whom? Mr. DOERFER. Anybody. Mr. HESELTON. That is all, Mr. Chairman. Mr. HARRIS. Any further questions? If not, thank you very much, Mr. Commissioner. Mr. Chairman, I am sorry to have taken so much time on one. I

I am afraid it is going to interfere with some of the things you had to say on some of the other bills. You were about to proceed.

Mr. McCONNAUGHEY. I was about to proceed on H. R. 3789, which would amend section 315 (a) of the Communications Act to provide that a station or licensee need not afford the right to equal broadcasting opportunities to: One, persons convicted of espionage, sabotage, treason, sedition, or subversive activities; two, members of the Communist Party or any successor organization; or, three, members of any organization which under the Subversive Activities Control Act of 1950 is registered as, or has finally been determined to be, a Communist, Communist-front, or Communist-infiltrated organization.

There are two existing provisions of law which concern political broadcasts by subversive organizations. Section 769 of the Internal Security Act of 1950 provides that any broadcasts sponsored by an organization registered with the Attorney General pursuant to that

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