Persuasive Encounters: Case Studies in Constructive Confrontation

By Gary C. Woodward | Go to book overview

4
"This Just Might Do Nobody Any Good": Edward R. Murrow and the News Directors

Our history will be what we make it. And if there are any historians about fifty or a hundred years from now, and there should be preserved the kinescopes for one week of all three networks, they will there find recorded in black and white, or color, evidence of decadence, escapism, and insulation from the realities of the world in which we live.1

Edward R. Murrow

From the beginning of World War II until his death in 1965, no American broadcaster had ever known as much power or national prestige as Edward R. Murrow. He was an institution not only at CBS but to the nation as a whole. In a 1957 cover story, Time magazine called him "TV's top journalist" and the "VIP's VIP."2 His lean features framed in the smoke of a cigarette instantly signaled his presence. Murrow was the rarest of intellects: a man who could translate his intelligence into remarkable fluency without sounding stuffy or borish. There are now Murrow schools of journalism and Murrow awards. Modern industry giants ranging from the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) to cable television's Home Box Office (HBO) have broadcast dramatizations of his unique and outsized career as a war correspondent and the conscience of electronic journalism. The major networks are now much stricter in what they will allow their best and brightest to do and say, but between 1939 and 1959, CBS gave Murrow much freer reign. He was a reporter, commentator, documentary producer, newscaster, and celebrity interviewer. In our time network

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Persuasive Encounters: Case Studies in Constructive Confrontation
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents ix
  • Preface xi
  • Title Page *
  • 1 - The Politics of Confrontation: From John Lennon to Wendell Phillips 1
  • Notes 23
  • 2 - Persuasive Encounters: A Theoretical Overview 27
  • Notes 49
  • 3 - Edward Kennedy: Behind Enemy Lines 53
  • Notes 75
  • 4 - "This Just Might Do Nobody Any Good": Edward R. Murrow and the News Directors 77
  • Notes 96
  • 5 - The Theater of Conflict: "Donahue" in Russia 99
  • Notes 129
  • 6 - Thomas Szasz and the War against Coercive Psychiatry 133
  • Notes 159
  • 7 - "How Am I Doing?": Gorilla Politics in the Town Meetings of Ed Koch 163
  • Notes 185
  • Selected Bibliography 189
  • Index 193
  • About the Author *
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