Keywords

Network television news; Richard Nixon; Spiro Agnew; television, White House, ABC, FBI

Abstract

Less than a year into the presidency of Richard Nixon, Vice President Spiro Agnew launched a series of attacks on television journalists, accusing them of being biased and having too much power to determine what news millions of Americans watched on their televisions. Because the government licensed and regulated their stations, the networks considered Agnew's statements, and other White House criticisms, to be threats. As the smallest, most vulnerable network, ABC found itself at a confluence of relationships with the administration: It employed both Nixon's favorite and least favorite anchors, as well as a highly placed executive who lent sympathy and assistance to the White House. In addition, one of ABC's senior correspondents went to work for the president. Finally, the network aired a popular television program with the assistance of The FBI. This article focuses on ABC during The Nixon administration's war on television news

Original Publication Citation

Journalism History Vol 46 (no. 4) DOI 10.1080/00947679.2020.1845042

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

2020-12-17

Publisher

Routledge

Language

English

College

Fine Arts and Communications

Department

Communications

University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor

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