When LBJ stunned the experts

Barrett, Marvin
July 1968
Columbia Journalism Review;Summer1968, Vol. 7 Issue 2, p10
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.


Related Articles

  • The era of Johnsonian normalcy. Bagdikian, Ben H. // Columbia Journalism Review;Winter1965, Vol. 3 Issue 4, p10 

    This article takes a look at U.S. President Lyndon Johnson's relations with the press and his attitude toward journalists as of January 1965. The author observes that in the first year of his presidency, Johnson courted the press with manic zeal. However, after one year, Johnson ended his...

  • LBJ Should Hold Formal Press Conferences. Strout, Richard L. // Nieman Reports;Winter99/Spring2000, Vol. 53/54 Issue 4/1, p161 

    Deals with press conferences of United States (US) President Lyndon B. Johnson. Relation of the press with the US Presidents; Criticisms against radio and television press conferences; Evidences that Johnson is two of minds about regular scheduled press conferences.

  • REMARKS of President Johnson.  // Art Education;Nov65, Vol. 18 Issue 8, p21 

    The article presents a speech delivered by U.S. President Lyndon Johnson on the plan to create a National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities.

  • Our System Of Government. Johnson, Lyndon B. // Vital Speeches of the Day;12/15/63, Vol. 30 Issue 5, p131 

    Presents the text of a speech given by U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson on Thanksgiving Day in 1963, which deals with the subject of nationalism.

  • time line.  // State News (Council of State Governments);Sep2008, Vol. 51 Issue 8, p39 

    The article recalls topics related to U.S. state governments published in the past September issues of "State News." Former U.S. President Lyndon Johnson delivered a speech during the 1968 National Governors Conference, calling on states to initiate programs to serve the needs of the people. In...

  • President Johnson Addresses The Congress.  // Congressional Digest;Jan1964, Vol. 43 Issue 1, p1 

    Presents the address of U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson during a joint session of the Congress. Assassination of former U.S. President John F. Kennedy; Fight against poverty and misery, ignorance and disease; Appeal to enact a civil rights law to eradicate discrimination based upon race or color.

  • President Johnson Reiterates the Nation's Objectives In Vietnam. Johnson, Lyndon B. // Congressional Digest;Apr66, Vol. 45 Issue 4, p105 

    Presents a speech delivered by U.S. President Lyndon Baines Johnson on the occasion of receiving the National Freedom Award in New York City on February 23, 1966, re-stating the nation's objectives in Vietnam during the war of 1961-1975.

  • Russia, China And England.  // Vital Speeches of the Day;11/1/64, Vol. 31 Issue 2, p34 

    Presents the text of the speech given by U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson on October 18, 1964 which deals with the foreign policy on Russia, China and England.

  • Vietnam War. Johnson, Lyndon B. // Vital Speeches of the Day;7/15/66, Vol. 32 Issue 19, p578 

    Presents the text of a speech given by U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson on June 30, 1966, which deals with the global food crisis.


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics