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phony as a three dollar bill, because what they did was to go to the League of Women
Voters. I was opposed to what was going on, but caught -- By that time I had retired, and I
had not been asked to get involved in the debates. My successor thought it would be a
conflict of interest and might embarrass CBS. So, I had to step out. But my position was
very clear. I was opposed to the League of Women Voters getting into it. I thought we
should go down to Washington, get the legislation changed, even on a temporary basis, so
that the control was in the hands of news people, and not in the hands of, forgive the
expression, amateurs. This was not a popular position to take, because this was at the
time the women's movement was coming up. To say that they weren't qualified wasn't a
popular thing to do. Yet, they did almost make a mess out of it --
And this time we're talking about the year --
Let's see, this would have been '76, the [James E. “Jimmy”] Carter debates.
Then, the League of Women Voters had it in '76, they had it in '80, I guess. There weren't
any in '84, and I've forgotten what happened in '88.
There were. [George H.W.] Bush and [Michael] Dukakis.
That's right. But, it never had the vigor that it could have had, if it had stayed in
the hands of the network news department.
Now, at the same time that was happening, the network business was being threatened by
a lot of things. The leadership, the stomach wasn't there to take on Congress on this thing,
and I don't know whether they could have gotten the legislation through or not. I was
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