TITLE

When LBJ stunned the experts

AUTHOR(S)
Barrett, Marvin
PUB. DATE
July 1968
SOURCE
Columbia Journalism Review;Summer1968, Vol. 7 Issue 2, p10
SOURCE TYPE
Periodical
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
This article looks back reaction of the media to the lines that ended the speech of speech of former U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson about the Vietnam War on March 31, 1968. For all its immense significance, the speech, given live before an audience estimated at 77 million viewers, was accompanied by vaguely comic overtones. In advance there had been the predictable grumbling from the media over the pre-emption of prime Sunday evening time and warnings about bad public relations and the anger of viewers faced with speechmaking rather than a new installment of Bonanza or a rerun of the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. All this was instantly forgotten when, close to forty minutes past the hour, the president finished the prepared text which he had furnished to the networks, and with an unmistakable flicker of mischief, if not malice, in his eye went on to state that he shall not seek, and will not accept the nomination of his party for another term as president. In a moment he was off the air. What happened in the remaining minutes of the hour will no doubt long stand as an object lesson to television newsmen. With tens of millions of stunned viewers expecting explanation and guidance none of the networks' heavyweight commentators were ready to give it.
ACCESSION #
16250446

 

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