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But TV also assisted with a seldom recognized part of the transition process, Caro adds: It reintroduced a man who for three years toiled in the margins Johnson, Kennedy's vice president as he was summoned to command at a crisis point of Fendi Braided Handle Hobo
Coverage that November weekend 50 years ago signaled, at last, that television could fulfill its grand promise. It could be "more than wires and lights in a box," in the words of newsman Edward R. Murrow, and not just the "vast wasteland" that Federal Communications Commission chairman Newton Minow had branded it just two years before.
In life and especially in death, JFK changed TV In this April 3, 1960 file photo, Sen. John F. Kennedy, Democratic presidential nominee, sits next to a playback of his televised appearance in Milwaukee, Wis. for the Wisconsin presidential primary two days later. (AP Photo)
Four years later, he was running for the presidency, with TV joining him on the campaign trail.
"The reporters and crews, nobody said much or could say much," recalls Abernethy, now 85 and still busy as the host of "Religion Ethics Newsweekly" on PBS.
President John F. Kennedy stands at the lectern behind a production slate board during a television taping at the White House. (AP Photo)
Says Caro, "You have to recognize the relationship of television not only to the dead president, but also to the new president taking over his reassuring, calming effect on the public because of his demeanor."
"Television intensified all the emotions of those four days. It intensified the shock and horror of the murder, and then the murder of the murderer," Caro says, referring to Lee Harvey Oswald's slaying. "It intensified the grief and the mourning and the mystery. And it intensified the healing process of the funeral ceremonies."
His landmark televised debates with Republican nominee Richard Nixon helped seal the deal. Some 70 million Americans watched the first debate, with the telegenic Kennedy deemed the clear winner. Televised debates would become staples of future presidential campaigns.
In life and especially in death, JFK changed TV In this Oct. 21, 1960 file photo, Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. John F. Kennedy, center left, and Republican Fendi Handbags Amazon candidate, Vice President Richard Nixon, stand in a television studio during their presidential debate in New York. Polls found those who listened on radio awarded Nixon the debate victory. Those watching on TV gave Kennedy the nod. (AP Photo)
Then, on Nov. 22, 1963, and in the days that followed, TV devoted itself to an all consuming national tragedy.
"The answer to the first is yes, and the second is no," he quipped, his face crinkled in a grin. "I don't recommend it to others at least, for a while."
Once, a newsman asked Kennedy if, given the burdens of the presidency, he enjoyed the job and would he recommend it to others?
Rising to an unprecedented challenge, television could perform an incalculable public service. It could hold the country together: Americans convened in a video vigil, gathering before an electronic hearth. Nonstop broadcasts by America's three networks provided a sense of unity, a chance to grieve together, a startling closeness to distant events.
Clustered nearby were some 50 members of the media, including NBC News correspondent Robert Abernethy, whose primary memory is how "eerily quiet" it was as they waited.
"Television brought John Kennedy and his family into America's living rooms as had been the case with no president before," sums up historian Robert Caro, whose books include a multi volume biography of Kennedy successor Lyndon Johnson.
His inaugural address in 1961 was seen by millions as he urged Americans to "ask not Fendi Backpack Karlito
Viewers loved his wife, Jackie, too. In February 1962, all three networks CBS, NBC and ABC aired her tour of the newly restored White House. More than 80 million Americans tuned in.
Johnson's demeanor was first on display just hours after the assassination as he arrived from Dallas at Andrews Air Force Base in Washington on Air Force One, accompanying the casket and Mrs. Kennedy, still in her bloodstained pink suit.
Once in office, Kennedy and the growing medium of television (households owning a TV had soared to 46.9 million in 1960 from 9.8 million a decade earlier, according Fendi Card Wallets
trauma and alarm.
NEW YORK It's a measure of how long ago President John F. Kennedy died that, at the time, television was described as a young medium. With the shooting in Dallas, TV grew up.
to Nielsen) created further indelible images.
what your country can do for you." He charmed viewers with his televised press conferences, which were candid, off the cuff and sometimes talk show host witty.
In life and especially in death
In life and especially in death, John F.
And television, exhaustively chronicling the murder, memorial and burial, gave viewers the final scenes of a political career ushered in almost in tandem with the video age.
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