This 1948 film takes a critical look at the commercial radio broadcasting industry, focusing on its excessive commercialism It includes, from 9:08 to 9:51, footage of Lee de Forest, inventor of the grid Audion, reading his famous admonition to the NAB: “To the National Association of Broadcasters, New York City. Gentlemen: What have you done to my child, the radio broadcast? He was conceived as a potent instrumentality for culture, fine music, the uplifting of America’s mass intelligence. You have debased this child, dressed him in rags of ragtime, tatters of jive and boogie-woogie.” New York Herald-Tribune critic John Crosby is filmed, noting: “Radio broadcasters don’t own their own souls.” The film describes pollster C.E. Hooper and "Hooperatings." Included are film clips of radio personalities Jack Benny, Bob Hope, Fibber McGee & Molly, Edgar Bergen, Walter Winchell, and Fred Allen. The film offers a commercial broadcasting rebuttal, focusing on news and public affairs, exemplified by Carl Sandburg discussing Lincoln, and an Arturo Toscanini symphonic broadcast. The film closes by returning to the excesses of commercial radio, including audience participation shows, in with people are urged to make fools of themselves, rigged game shows, and the proliferation of soap operas. The final scene shows ‘March of Time’ announcer Westbrook Van Voorhis signing off.
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