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

Frank StantonFrank Stanton
Photo Gallery

Session:         Page of 755


Some evidence about the ridiculousness of the Section #315 application can be seen in the fact that when the Republican convention of '52 took place, the particular farmer, who was a primary candidate and who had forced this free time, was not even allowed to attend the convention as a delegate. So, he was that low down in the scheme of things, and I was completely justified in saying he wasn't a significant candidate. Yet, the FCC said, “Oh, yes he is.” Well, that scared everybody in the industry. They wouldn't even look cross-eyed at turning a candidate down, when the Commission showed such poor judgment. That had a lot to do with my redoubling my effort to get the temporary resolution. But, that's another story.


Looking back on the Ford-Carter debate, and just thinking in general about the impact of the debates on the election, I think it was a very small turnout that year, I think something like fifty-three percent of the electorate voted. Do you think the debates had any significant role in the decision?


Absolutely. Just consider one fact: We knew from research -- and it shouldn't surprise anybody -- that when a candidate took air time, or bought air time, for his own cause, to make a speech, the only people who came were the converted. The other side didn't come. As somebody said, “It's like preaching to the choir.” So, one of the great things about the debate is, it got people in both camps to come and sample what was going on. In fact, I think that had a lot to do with the Perot performance. In his first appearance he bought a half hour, bought a half hour. People scoffed and said, “talking heads.” If you've got something to say that's interesting, they'll watch you. The proof of the pudding is that Perot had the highest rated show on that week in prime time, really an unknown

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