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You and Television Lyman Bryson, educator and CBS counselor on public affairs, was joined by Edward R. Murrow, CBS news analyst and commentator, in discussing television on CBS’s reg- ular fifteen-minute series (6:15 E.S.T.) devoted to topics of popular interest. Edited excerpts from the ediphone script of the discussion appear below. . . . . . bryson: Some of my colleagues in the educational world have asked me recently: What are you going to do with television? What are you going to do to make the world a more enlightened and pleasant and intelligent place with

[ 186 ] Rudy Bretz FROM VOL. 5, NO. 3, SPRING 1951 The Limitations of Television Rudy Bretz, TV pioneer, entered the television field eleven years ago when CBS formed its original staff. Cameraman, director, and inventor, he later became production manager of station WPIX. He is at present preparing one of the first definitive books on television production facilities and techniques. His article, “Television as an Art Form,” appeared in Volume V, Number 2, of the Hollywood Quarterly. . . . . . AN EXAMINATION OF THE equipment and the methods of operation today in

(Radio Télévision Marocaine). Extensive news and both rounds of the elections and the Chirac-Mitterand debate were televised by the RTM and closely followed in the Arabic- and French-language presses; in Rabat coverage was also available on francophone TV 5. These images appeared in counterpoint to the special Ramadan programming. Tele- vised discussions between fuqahâ? (specialists in Islamic jurispru- dence) were followed by commentaries from the activist Dany Cohn- Bendit, tirades from famous French soccer players fed up with politics, or shots of the champagne

the age of video, or “blind television.” Many writers described Firesign’s records as a form of television criticism. Greil Marcus wrote in 1976 that Firesign’s LPs were “the best TV criti- cism of the day” and had “caught the lunacy and the hysteria of the medium; they create the media shock we need to understand what we see every day.”82 A reviewer for the Los Angeles Times wrote that the pleasure of the Firesign Theatre derived from “seeing someone get back at the very nearly implacable and ceaseless banality of the tube.”83 The New York Times wrote in

we were approached by a company in Los Angeles that specialized in product placement. For a fee they would work on our behalf to get our wines to show up on TV and movie screens. This is a practice going all the way back to the early days of the entertainment industry. Everything from cars to sunglasses to cigarettes has been strategically placed on TV and fi lm screens. The product placement company contacted us several times over a period of months. And we debated it back and forth internally. Our chief concern was that our wines would appear in a way

3 TELEVISION: STRUCTURE VERSUS CULTURE Architecture and language are durable sources of culture. Loose boundedness appears more obviously and dramatically, however, in distinctively modern creators of culture. Of these, television has been most noteworthy. Television has been the subject of thousands upon thousands of commentaries. No other segment of the creation of contemporary American cul- ture has been the subject of so many words, from testimonials to celebrations to jeremiads. Therefore, any consideration of politics and culture in America can

to its technological and economic basis, television is fun- damentally condemned to being watched by families. The size of the image limits optimal viewing to the normal number of family members, that is, from two to fi ve or six spectators. Since the way it is used generates TV’s programming, there ensues a virtual censorship that limits television’s audacity to a level comparable to the kind of cinema directed toward family audi- ences. We should, however, give French television its due, not- ing that it does create programs “for adults” while suggesting

minimize expenses incurred along the way. As an investor of Skiatron, Fox thought that good, desirable library films could earn significant money on pay television. But pay tele- vision’s wide-scale infrastructure was stunted for most of the 1950s, and he needed to immediately start repaying his loans for the RKO acquisition. In 1959, United Artists purchased C&C TV’s ownership stake in the RKO library for $6 million ($1.25 million in cash, with the remainder to be paid from incoming revenues). Even at this low purchase price, it had a difficult time earning

conceivable. Since the Orthicon 3 4 Jean Gabin Gets TV’s “Sour Lemon” Prize Television and Cinema / 175 camera is capable of capturing a scene even if it is in half-light, and since it can reproduce an image projected directly on a screen, we were able to be present—and without any special eff ect—during the dubbing of a musical scene in an American movie. But ultimately we want to visit a fi lm studio in order to watch something actually being shot, so Pierre Tchernia was obliged at last to decide to take us onto a sound stage. There he met Jean Gabin and