April 18, 1936 - Article - Oh, Say, Can You Hear By The Dawn's Early Mike, by H.I. Phillips
The trouble with America - Trouble No. 765-D., reading from east to west - is that things are going from bad to voice. Too many people are engaged in firing the "shout" heard round the world.
This is getting to be the home of the loud-speaker and the land of the radio attack. Millions of Americans are singing America to the words:
"Mike country, tis of thee......"
With the presidential campaign in full swing and my old four-bulb radio set seething with invective, abuse, general denunciation and scurrilous attacks, I yearn for the good old days when it took a campaign orator years instead of seconds to get a national audience. I pine for the era when any speaker near enough to be heard was not too far away to be heckled.
It seems to me that far too much advantage is being taken of the fact that science has not yet shown a way to throw a tomato over the national network.
A man can't tune in on his radio these days without hearing language that, before the horse-and-buggy days, used to be considered too violent even for outdoor meetings. He can't twist a dial without hearing some fellow make allegations that would have meant a wholesome use of artillery and vegetables back in the days before the protection of a soundproof room was open to almost anybody who wished to do some ground and lofty traducing in a deep voice.
Almost every turn of the dial is bringing into our homes the charge that some prominent American is an unmitigated liar, a bloody-handed betrayer of the peepul, a five-star scoundrel and a capitalistic bounder who would try to strip the shirts from the shirtless.
There are millions of long-suffering Americans, I suspect, who, too, are beginning to heave a sigh for the time when it took a political orator, however good and however bad, many years to get his voice across with the general public, and when every home in the land wasn't a receiving station for the loud and unrestrained yawpings of any Johnny-Come-Save-Us with what is known as a network personality.
The situation at present is particularly bad for the kiddies. To have little Willie, age five, chirp, "Popper, what's a larcenous tool of the hell-born imps of Wall Street?" and "Mommer, what's that man mean by a perfidious, paltry, pettifogging plunderer of the public domain?" has become a common incident in every home.
Many a parent has been jolted to his heels during the past few months by suggesting "Would you like to hear a bedtime story my child?" and getting the answer, "Aw, naw! I wanna hear that man with the big voice who is always telling about blood money and leeches!" (pg. 27)
It is now time to fac the facts, however, and consider whether the whole thing isn't getting out of bounds. Only a few weeks ago, Mr. Owen D. Young brought the matter to national attention in a speech in which he expressed the opinion that "free speech for the man whose voice can be heard only a few feet away is one thing, and free speech for a man whose voice may be heard all over the world is another." (pg. 109)
But the thing to remember today is this: The great unseen audience is inclined to believe everything, up to and including the idea that Joe Penner is a duck salesman, that Kate Smith is a mountaineer, that anybody who has saved money is a capitalistic reptile, and that the way to assure happiness to America is to break a dozen eggs over a microphone, add four quarts of scrambled ideas, stir well with an amplifier, and try to consume the omelet by ear. (pg. 110)
Comments: The same principles, even more so, apply with television. It is very expensive to buy air time on television. This means that television is controlled by great wealth, and this naturally excludes most people. Television stations operate under license from the Federal Government. Television does an excellent job in assisting the labor Cannibals in conditioning the minds of the people to pay all the taxes and fees imposed on them. Sterling E. Edmunds, who was a member of the St. Louis Bar back then, wrote a book entitled: The Roosevelt Coup D'etat of 1933-40. He saw what happened when television was ready to market to the public. This quote from his book is of interest. It states:
In the Federal Communications Act of 1934, the President assumed control over interstate communications by wire and radio, through a commission to which all radio stations must apply regularly for rents of six-months licenses to operate. The result has been censorship on whatever opponents of the President and his policies may wish freely to broadcast, with none upon the President, who may use the radio at his pleasure and without cost. That the Federal Communications Commission has been guilty of a glaring act of oppression and repression of private enterprise is seen in its decision in March, 1940, forbidding the Radio Corporation of America to manufacture and sell television sets to the public, which would open up an entire new industry based upon years of costly research and provide new employment for an incalculable number of persons now without employment.
Wasn't putting people back to work one of the primary goals of the New Deal? Then what's up with this? To borrow another denunciation from this article that thundered over the radio back then, I guess we could say that these people in control of television are a bunch of porch workers with the souls of ghouls and the hearts of cockroaches, who ply their nefarious trades with the cold and glassy stare of modern Bluebeards.