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CBS (ended 1967)

JOHN DALY Forum

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    The1Factotum1i1

    [81]Jan 17, 2006
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    Well I would expect he would be none too happy. In his day, the radio news was pretty much a headlines-only reading, and more emphasis on commentary and analysis. A stock phrase of the radio era was "See your newspaper for more details."A lot of stations were owned by newspapers, so it was self-serving as well.

    Network TV news began as early as there were networks. But as far as being in any way in depth, forget it. There was only 15 minutes alloted nightly to the news, so it was still barely more than headlines, and an occasional photo. Separate single topic programmes like "The War As It Happens" were also offered. There were film presentations too, made by the newsreel companies, for instance The "Telenews" was produced by News of the Day, the MGM newsreel. But the film was of days-old events at best.
    During Daly's career, technology advanced enough to have far fresher film, but the same quarter hour format was in place. (there wouldn't be a half-hour network news show until 1963).
    In that short space of time, only the most important of the day's events got in. The stuff that's covered now, all the "health", "Life Style" and especially all the celebrity puff was never worthy of a dedicated newsman's coverage. Those things were reserved for other programmes, the chat and homemaking shows aimed at women earlier in the day. Now it's so saturated in with hard news, it's importance is now blurred as to bring it up to the level of what's actually useful to know, or perhaps, it's brought down the level of the hard news to it's level.
    The old line newsmen/commentators are virtually extinct. News shows mainly feature a handsome younger fellow with an expensive head of perfectly styled fake hair, and a beautiful and equally vapid feminine counterpart co-hosting. They laugh and kid each other a lot. Daly and his breed were craggy, balding, average looking, and down to earth men that earned their fame and positions. Today's versions are closer to actors.
    If female anchors are now in the majority, it's probably more on purpose than by chance. They're there to help make it more airy and pretty. Woman can do that. These female newsreaders ain't going to look like, or have the experience of the late Mary McGrory. With 24/7 news channels, to keep the audiences tuned in, they want to keep it as light as possible. I've been watching tv news for many decades, and I'll tell you- the changing way it's presented has definitely become less serious. It's a lot more technosavvy, and bigger, faster and flashier, but far more dumbed down. Would Daly be happy? Not likely.
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    billsav57

    [82]Jan 17, 2006
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    I was watching a local TV report today about a fairly serious matter, a fire or something, and the reporter sounded like my 12-year-old daughter. Edward R. Murrow was once "director of talks" at CBS ... those days are long gone.
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    The1Factotum1i1

    [83]Jan 18, 2006
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    In many ways, the unseriousness of television news lies in the overheated competition. They have to try to keep your interest every second, lest you jump over to another all-news choice. So they will put on hot looking babes as newsreaders, give you lighthearted studio camaraderie to offset grim (and ultimately exhausting) news stories, dramatic footage of something endlessly rerun, the scare stuff, ("Mad cow disease! Is it affecting YOUR CHILDREN??? Stay tuned!") and of course when the slightest new story enters the mix, announcing it as a "Breaking Story".
    There just isn't the time to be as thoughtful when every second counts. More than ever before, the news business is show business.
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    Linneman

    [84]Jan 19, 2006
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    I'm convinced that there is much more real news and analysis than there was in the 1950's. With 30+ outlets dealing with topics that could possibly be called news and public affairs there almost has to be. It's just submerged in a tidal wave of the trite, mixed with hype. (or perhaps tripe, rather than trite).

    Winnowing is the problem. I do not really wish to sit through the news that Ms. Jolie is gravid to find out what's going on with Iran's nuclear program.
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    The1Factotum1i1

    [85]Jan 19, 2006
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    There is more real news, maybe too much. With saturation,doesn't necessarily come comprehension.The special evening news broadcasts of Daly's day might have offered better understanding, or the perception of it. Leaving as he did in 1960, he never was involved with developments from the first earlybird satellite to the cell phone, which all lead to, and now sustain, today's 24/7 television news.
    Years ago only the most earth shaking events could spill into space alloted for entertainment. Now with Cable all-news networks, every single day must have an earth shaking story, even if there are decidedly few to be had.
    Today an audio tape of some four-week-old ravings of Osama Bin Laden surfaced, and if you were tuned to CNN or Fox News, the same story played and replayed as "Continuing Coverage" with no promise of new developments, until stupefaction set in. But they have no entertainment shows to give a viewer a breathing space. So the trade off is sure, more, better coverage, but less eloquence.
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    billsav57

    [86]Jan 19, 2006
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    It's too bad Daly didn't drift into some sort of journalism from 1967 on. We've read he pondered being a newspaper publisher. Obviously, the Voice of America wasn't the place for him. I don't think he needed the money, but his experience could have been put to use. Maybe he just rubbed too many people the wrong way over the years (see Mike Wallace).
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    The1Factotum1i1

    [87]Jan 20, 2006
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    The impression left is that he was not one to check his ego very often. Possible employers would be aware of his reputation. Why work with an aging Prima Donna? That he never was offered to do commentary, in a news magazine/documentary type show like NBC WHITE PAPER or CBS REPORTS says a lot.
    His post 1960 credits are to less than serious things like Beauty pageants, and guesting on sitcoms. But then again, he did a lot of things like it ante 1960 as well. He thought of himself as equally qualified an actor as well as newsman, and certainly he was given opportunities to act pretty steadily.
    I guess John Charles Daly was unique, a man who was comfortable in two fields, and was accepted in both the way other broadcast journalists would not have. For instance, Mike Wallace began his career as an actor and sometime game show panelist and MC. Pretty lightweight stuff, but he graduated to a far more successful career when he went on to public affairs and news. He never went back, and we would consider him less in earnest, even unprincipled if he suddenly hosted a game show or showed up as a character in a situation comedy today, yet John Daly could do it and his public stature stayed the same.
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    billsav57

    [88]Jan 20, 2006
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    Daly supposedly thought Wallace was a lightweight. An interviewer at best, not a journalist. But has anyone ever seen a surviving tape or film of Daly interviewing any newsmakers of his time? Outside of WML of course.
    I can't believe he didn't do any interviews at the political conventions in the 1950s, for instance.
    Or did he consider that beneath him? Even Murrow did interviews. Cronkite, too. Maybe Daly let the VP title go to his head at ABC.
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    The1Factotum1i1

    [89]Jan 24, 2006
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    I have seen some pieces of Daly as an ABC newsman. In one, he's just a standard issue anchor man doing a network news show, and I've seen him at the 1960 Republican convention. He seemed to be presiding over films of interviews by other reporters, but that could be just what that particular 15 minutes held. Very little was saved by ABC of their news shows. I'm sure he did do interviews. After all, you can't gather news if you don't ask questions, and to be seen talking to important people sort of makes you important too.
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    billsav57

    [90]Jan 24, 2006
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    I would think he did interviews, too. But it seems as if they often refer to him as a news "analyst." I wonder if, by his later years at ABC, his interviewing days were in the past and he was more like Eric Sevareid at CBS.
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    The1Factotum1i1

    [91]Jan 25, 2006
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    Well, true, but the guys that got designated "Analyists" or "Commentators" could in a pinch do routine reporter stuff, I recall Lowell Thomas doing exactly that, and Hans Kaltenborn wasn't above an interview with someone of big news value like (Senator) Richard Nixon during the Hiss trial. Unless these guys had their own series, they could be heard/seen on press-confrence type shows like MEET THE PRESS, which I guess qualifies as a gang interview.
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    billsav57

    [92]Jan 27, 2006
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    I don't think it's a reach to say Daly was an acting wannabe, and he probably wouldn't have had to have his arm twisted to have done more acting. I wonder if he ever looked at a show such as "Lou Grant" and thought that he could have fit in on that sort of show. He wouldn't have fit in under any circumstances in a 1970s sitcom (which eliminates shows with broadcast settings such as "Mary Tyler Moore" or "WKRP"). But "Grant" was more his speed, and Daly was only a few years older than Mason Adams, a regular on "Grant." Daly was only in his early 60s when the show aired. He could have played the role of a crusty old editor or something (especially with his "Front Page" background). Unfortunately, I think he had long since fallen out of the public eye by then. He was also probably too patrician for prime-time TV by the 1970s.
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    W-B

    [93]Jan 27, 2006
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    I.I.N.M., if this hadn't been noted before, Mr. Daly did do a short-lived TV version of The Front Page in 1949 with Richard Boone - and I seem to recall in one of the latter's guest panelist spots that the former didn't think much of his performance on that program. So apparently John did dabble in acting. . . .
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    billsav57

    [94]Jan 30, 2006
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    Some of John Daly's rivals in the 1930s considered him more an actor than a journalist ... by their poker-playing, Scotch-drinking standards. They probably considered him the equivalent of our own "pretty boy" TV anchors of today. I don't think that's necessarily fair, but that's apparently how some of them felt.
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    dad1153

    [95]Jan 31, 2006
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    Wow, even the standards for 'pretty boy' TV news anchors have declined as badly in today's climate as everything else on TV. Nothing against the likes of Anderson Cooper or Sheppard Smith, but John Charles Daly wipes the floor with both of them on his worst night on 'WML?' (which ain't even a news program).
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    TheNooz

    [96]Jan 31, 2006
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    dad1153 wrote:
    Wow, even the standards for 'pretty boy' TV news anchors have declined as badly in today's climate as everything else on TV. Nothing against the likes of Anderson Cooper or Sheppard Smith, but John Charles Daly wipes the floor with both of them on his worst night on 'WML?' (which ain't even a news program).


    He waxes and buffs it with them, too, then tosses those lightweights in the wastebasket like a couple of used Swiffers. Then he beats his chest and gives a Tarzan yell. John rules! LOL!

    Midge
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    The1Factotum1i1

    [97]Jan 31, 2006
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    Who knows where Daly was headed in the 1930's, when he was the local Washington D.C. CBS affiliate's announcer,if President Roosevelt hadn't decided that he was his personal favorite? It raised his stock immensely, and more or less forced him to be taken as a serious news man, whereas if FDR didn't think of him so highly, he would have been just another voice that would continue to be used to describe a parade, play parts in a radio play, or sell soap chips.
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    ymike673

    [98]Jan 31, 2006
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    I remember hearing the original radio announcement of FDR's death about 30 years ago. It was John Daly who announced FDR's passing on CBS.
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    billsav57

    [99]Jan 31, 2006
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    The thing is, Daly would never get near a network TV anchor job today, and FDR wouldn't get anywhere near the White House.
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    The1Factotum1i1

    [100]Feb 1, 2006
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    ymike673 wrote:
    I remember hearing the original radio announcement of FDR's death about 30 years ago. It was John Daly who announced FDR's passing on CBS.


    I'm sorry to tell you this, but Daly's well-known announcement we've all heard where he tells of Roosevelt's demise, and dramatically stumbles over the word " Cerebral" when describing the president's "cerebral Hemorrhage" is probably a recreation. So is the equally famous Daly soundbyte informing us that Pearl Harbor had been attacked, breathlessly mispronouncing the word "Ouahu". Both of these events were faked for the late 40's-early 50's series of recordings offered to the public by CBS, "I CAN HEAR IT NOW". These were collections of Bytes illustrating the news events of the 30's and 40's, scripted and produced by Edward R. Murrow and Fred Friendly.

    This fraud has been perpetuated and given new life any number of ways through the years, someone along the way combined it with a Philharmonic programme from later in the day to make it seem like a news flash breaking in on it. CBS publicity says Daly made the first PH announcement on CBS at 2:25, breaking into a programme called "Spirit Of '41", which was not recorded. Documented radio logs say no show was interrupted, and the first announcement was made at 2:30 at the top of their news programme, THE WORLD TODAY.This would mean CBS came in behind NBC Blue,NBC Red and Mutual. It also implies the first PH story could be given by Robert Trout.
    It's not even a GOOD fake, being spliced together from two or three other recordings. The first words Daly says, "We interrupt this programme for a special announcement" is in fact the EXACT SAME CUT used in the FDR death announcement.
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