Search transcripts:    Advanced Search
Notable New     Yorkers
Select     Notable New Yorker

Frank StantonFrank Stanton
Photo Gallery

Session:         Page of 755


It's too early to tell. As we get closer to 1996 I get nervous about the efforts on the part of some members of Congress in superimposing their moral standards on the standards for the country as a whole. My own philosophy is the less regulation in terms of content the better, and in fact I would have no regulation on content, but I would expect that the editor of a paper or the editor of a magazine or the editor of an evening news broadcast to show some consideration for the audience and the decency of society as a whole.

We've gone through it in the movies. They went through periods--they had the whole Office as a result of public reaction to quality in the films. The quiz scandals, that was not a matter of quality so much as it was honesty in terms of what you were seeing. It wasn't really what it purported to be. All of these things are difficult to write regulations for, and that's why I said it goes back to the character of the person who's running the show. So if a [Walter] Cronkite, for example, if you learn over a period of time that he is a decent guy and he goes out of his way to make sure his figures are correct and so forth, dull or not you're going to respect that and say: “When I get my news that's the way I want to get it.” If you want a racy kind of program then you'll get the tabloid kind of journalism that we've had in print, and you're beginning to get it in television. I think some of the programs that are on in syndication, not from a network, but they're in syndication, play pretty loose with standards of quality and standards of accuracy. They're sensational and they get a lot of attention.


Switching a little bit to electronic communication in terms of what's possible now through Internet, which is the current pathway, what do you think about the passage of the recent amendment on the Communications Decency Act? Do you think that has any negative implications?

© 2006 Columbia University Libraries | Oral History Research Office | Rights and Permissions | Help