August 1, 2009


(Senator Kenneth Keating, 1962 - Politics with a civil tongue)

I don't think it's any surprise that Sunday Morning talk shows have changed dramatically over the years. Formats are no longer the same. Programs like Meet The Press and Face The Nation were only two of the almost dozen programs on most weekends. Usually a panel of three interviewers fielding questions to a single guest. The questions ran the gamut but they were always on point and they always dealt with real issues and real concerns to most people.

The days of news as info-tainment were a long ways off.

One of the more popular shows was a radio-only series run on CBS called "Capitol Cloakroom". This show, typical of their format, featuring George Herman, Wells Church and Nancy Dickerson was from May 6, 1962 featuring newly elected Senator Kenneth Keating (R-New York). The questions were regarding legislation introduced by the Kennedy Administration, including the Medicare Bill (which died the first time in 1962).

Keating gives his assessment of the first year of the JFK administration.

Wells Church(CBS News):

“It would appear to the casual viewer that things are in trouble. What’s the situation, really?”

Senator Keating:

“Well, not only a casual observer but I would think anyone intimately associated with the entire program would realize that the Administration program is in trouble. You could go right down through the list. The Medical Care for the Aged is opposed by the Democratic Chairman, both in the house and in the Senate of the committees that deal with that matter. The tax bill passed the House, but as Senator Byrd, the Chairman of the Finance committee in the Senate has said it doesn’t seem to have the support of anyone – I don’t know of anybody that’s for the tax bill, if the House bill were before the Senate today I’d vote against it."

No drama. No screaming. Nothing shrill. Just solid information about the goings on in Capitol Hill.

Kind of refreshing. Makes you wonder when did it all go wrong.

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