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Frank StantonFrank Stanton
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Session:         Page of 755

Stanton:

That wasn't my idea. I didn't oppose it. The instant analysis didn't come up in connection with the debates. Instant analysis came up with something else I stubbed my toe on. When the State of the Union address was made, the opposition wanted the chance to say something about it. That led into the news people analyzing not only the State of the Union address, but other addresses by the President, and the opposition.

Well, before I retired (I don't recall the year), I came up with the idea of institutionalizing the loyal opposition. The idea was that the party out of power would have opportunities throughout the year to state a position in opposition to what the administration was saying. Because, there's no way to give the guys who are out of office an opportunity to really address the issues thoughtfully. Now, they can give sound bites, and that's better than nothing, but it's such a demeaning kind of way to treat important issues that some of us at CBS -- Dick [Richard N.] Salant was the leader, and I and we had others but he was the strongest for it -- who said, “Let's organize a thing we'll call the loyal opposition, and let's get the party out of power to designate somebody who will be their spokesman, either on a regular basis or on special occasions.”

Because the White House has the power to say, “We've got an important statement to make,” and get time to talk. There ought to be some mechanism, other than just this instant analysis. But that's where instant analysis crept in, because the Republicans took me all the way to the Supreme Court on the loyal opposition thing.

Q:

Could you describe that a little bit? Could you tell us a little bit about the history of that?



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