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Frank StantonFrank Stanton
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Session:         Page of 755

Stanton:

Well, this would have been -- I guess this was in Ike's second term. A lot of the information about preparedness was public information out of congressional hearings. It's amazing, once you say you're going to do a story on something, how much free information is out there, if you set your mind to really digging and getting key people to tell you where there might be some information on a subject. But, this takes bright people and it takes extra people, because you might work on a story for months before you get all the pieces together, and this was that kind of a story. It came, clearly, out of that and, I think, didn't violate anything. It was a hell of a service, because we opened up a lot of talk about the state of preparedness. This was back in the days when documentaries were important on the schedule. Now, today, you don't have them, you have talk shows.

But, I never was put to the test of playing God, of saying: “Well, this is something I don't care whether it's embargoed or not, I'm going to break it.” Ed Murrow, one time, gave me a bit of a lecture on the fact that there were times when the journalist had a superior role to play and had to second-guess the government. To the best of my knowledge, he never applied that on our air, but it troubled me that a journalist felt he was bigger than God, so to speak. But, I never did it. Now, I never was put to the test, but I suspect that if I had gotten something that was very, very important -- I can't think what it would be, but --

Q:

Well, a case that comes to mind, just in terms of print journalism, is -- Well, a couple of things. One, the Bay of Pigs, and the New York Times's decision not to publish information they had about the upcoming invasion.

Stanton:

The Cuban Missile Crisis?



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