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Well, also the Bay of Pigs, earlier in that year. James [B.] Reston had privileged
information about the upcoming invasion and decided not to print it. I was also thinking of
the Pentagon Papers.
Well, all of us had a lot of that kind of information. But, the Cuban Missile Crisis
was a separate one, and Kennedy said publicly he wished --
He wished he'd been scooped, yes. Yes, that was very interesting.
I had occasion the other day and again last night, in a dinner with an old colleague,
who followed me by twenty years but he's now retired, who was getting into this question of
censorship, in terms of lyrics and things of that kind -- pornography -- and how he would not
allow certain things to be put on the air. I said I had traveled quite a ways away from that
point of view, and for the most part my North Star was get the information out and let the
public be the judge as to whether it was something they should or should not act on. When
you start cutting back -- The thing that always scared me, and still scares me is -- In my day,
you had a seven-man FCC. Four people out of the seven, if they had the congressional
mandate to do it, could say what people got to hear and what they didn't get to hear. They
wouldn't touch print, but they would touch electronic, and there was a time when Senator
Pastore, as chairman of the Senate committee on communication, got the three network
presidents down and said he wanted us to submit any questionable material to a central code
committee, to pass judgment whether we could put it on the air.
When was this?
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