National Association of Educational Broadcasters Convention; National Association of Educational Broadcasters Convention - Banquet (Reel 2)
Me. The thought of thermonuclear conflict lead some of us to paraphrase Milton this way. Who overcomes by force. Has overcome himself as well as follow. Now with this. I'm honest and starkly sober in fact before this. We began to understand that perhaps for the first time in human history. The possibility are the threat. Of mutually applied force does represent something of a restraint on men and nations. It limits their overt responses to their feelings of resentment and revenge. It limits the extent to which they dare put into overt action their feelings of avarice. Or ambition. Yes certainly we're not unaware. Of the fact that these emotions avarice ambition
resentment revenge are as much in abundance today as they were in the time of John Adams. And because they still do exist. The international contests of pride go wrong. The difference is however. That instead of the contest being based as much on force as much on the use of the militia as might have been the case 100 years ago. It today is in large measure a contest in which nations employ. The gentle art of persuasion. I think for example of an interview that. Former Premier Khrushchev. Gave not too long ago to a correspondent of an Italian newspaper. And he said to that correspondent. We communists have often and consistently said that we are against war. But we have never said that we were in favor of ideological
coexistence. And we will never be in favor of ideological coexistence. Another statement by Khrushchev was no news to us. Because we were acutely aware of the fact that they others in the Communist Bloc have been waging the ideological struggle. As violently as shrewdly as passionately. As they know how. And some of the things they've done we found amusing. For example they too have come to understand that the motion picture can be a great force for influencing opinion. And one of the motion pictures they produced. Was a great hit. They called it simply communist. But because it was a great hit we noticed that they sort of stole a line from Hollywood and they came out with a sequel. Which they called son of Khan.
Now there are a lot of other things that our adversaries are doing about which we don't laugh a great deal. For example. The Chinese are today busily appealing to racial feeling and particularly in Africa. I picked up a Kenyan newspaper the other day and saw a report of a writer's conference in Africa and the reporter in this newspaper in Kenya. Had noted that at the conference Chinese delegates were going through the corridors saying don't forget we blacks had better stick together. And at the Afro-Asian solidarity conference last year. The Red Chinese told the Russians in no uncertain terms white men aren't wanted here.
And they succeeded in getting the Russians barred from the conference on the grounds that the Russians were more akin to the Europeans and the capitalists the exploiters of the United States. Well this angered the Soviet Union no little but they still didn't get into that particular conference. We find also that well just a few weeks ago they put on my desk a copy of Newsweek and it looked like a legitimate thing to me a great big picture of late President Kennedy on the cover. And it wasn't until I opened it that I realized that it was a phony copy of Newsweek. Being distributed all over Africa and that this issue of Newsweek. Was devoted exclusively to photographs and text dealing with incidents of racial friction and violence in the United States. I can swear that the Communists that the Chinese Communists put this one out. But it was pretty obvious that nobody who meant us any good. Had put it out.
So. Africa is aware of the fact that. In this arena of. Racial emotion. The Chinese are openly openly pitting themselves against the Soviet Union. And they resent this keenly. The Africans incidentally tell me that they have a wise proverb which incisively sums up their attitude toward the Sino-Soviet split. They say. When two elephants fight it is the grass that suffers. Well we do a little suffering to many of you may think that because of the Sino-Soviet split we in the US Information Agency can lie back and chuckle and wish a plague on both their houses. But the problem is that when the Chinese move into Africa with grossly stepped up propaganda campaign. And the Russians move in to
protect their interest and to match this grossly stepped up campaign it means that we've got twice as many headaches as we had before. Well you know that. Therefore this country has got to be in this. Little battle of persuasion. Our task at the U.S. Information Agency is to ensure that this country does not lose in the arena of ideological conflict. What it has never lost on the battlefield. What it has never been willing to surrender at the conference table. Now I point out of course that there are a great many people involved in this gentle art of persuasion who don't belong to the U.S. Information Agency. Our diplomats in the State Department. Indeed our military people overseas are part of the act too. But for the most part it's the U.S. Information Agency that has the job of protecting this nation's vital interest.
By influencing what foreigners know and believe. Now you notice that I said no and believe me. I put it that way because I believe that our first function is to inform is to have people understand what our policies are to understand what it is that we're trying to achieve. I say this because I believe that the first friend of tyranny is ignorance and that wherever this agency can provide the light of knowledge freedoms chances grow brighter. To illustrate the distinction between. Explaining. And influencing people to support our policies. Let me talk a little bit about a recent incident just to give you some idea as to how we operate. Let's take the recent crisis in the Gulf of Tonkin. After the August 4th attack in international waters on our naval vessels
it was decided in the National Security Council that some U.S. military response was necessary. Plans were made for an attack. By our planes on bases from which the aggressor boats had come. But there was more thought involved that day than simply whether or not to attack to attack and where to attack. There were people in that meeting who know that in a nuclear age prudence requires that all nations avoid miscalculations that can lead to horrible widespread conflict. Thus we wanted the world and most surely any potential miscalculated. To know of the limited nature of our response. And of this country's Stern intentions for the future. So. The president would say to this nation that night. And through the U.S. Information Agency hopefully to the world.
And I quote but repeated acts of violence against the armed forces of the United States must be met not only with defense but with positive replied. That replies being given as I speak to you. Every action is now an execution against gunboats and certain supporting facilities of North Vietnam which have been used in these hostile operations. Yet our response for the president will be limited in 50. We Americans know although others appear to forget. The risks of spreading conflict. We still seek no wider war. End of quote. Now the significant point that I want to make is that. That at the time the president went on the air that night peak radio listening time in Southeast Asia had long passed. And normally the transmitters of the Voice of America would not have been on the air. But as I've indicated we considered it of the
utmost importance that no man be in a position to miscalculate because of ignorance of what U.S. policy was or of what the US actions were. So. Because we are. In the Security Council because we are in on the proceedings early because we knew what the president was going to say we could plan ahead of time. And through telephone calls to California of the Philippines Okinawa South Vietnam. We'd roused our people and by the time the president went on the air. We had also on the air in Southeast Asia alone some 4 million wives are 80 times the power of the most powerful radio station in the United States. In addition. In 36 languages and worldwide English. We could tell the people of the whole world the facts the who the what the
where and the why. Of the events in the Gulf of Tonkin. We thought that these facts in themselves added up to persuasion in its most effective sense. Persuasion that we were a nation using our force responsibly. To restrain the avaricious and ambitious but ever careful not to destroy in an act of revenge. Man's fragile dreams of peace. Now I need not add of course that our adversaries are constantly busy trying to paint a picture completely different from the one that we're trying to paint. And you ask then. How well are we don't. How well is us-I doing. In competition with the commies. Well let me say before I. Make a few serious comments that I'm not going to spend a great deal of time. Boasting about how the U.S.
Information Agency is doing. Even though I imagine a little bit of bragging would be understandable in Texas. I say this because. I came down a couple of years ago to speak at an AP managing editors convention in Dallas and. One Texan who was there just bit my ear half the night about the glories of Texas and he got away with it but then e went over untangled with an editor friend of mine from Minnesota and he began to tell him about how Texas was the absolute paradise and finally my editor friend said to him no I love you buddy. We're both in the newspaper business together you can level with me isn't there anything wrong with Texas. He said Well I'll tell you partner. If you promise not to breathe it outside this room I'll admit that there is one thing we need. We are a little bit short of water. And if we had a little more water this would be the far side of paradise.
And my friend said Well you know where I'm from Duncan he said yep you from Minnesota. He said that's not what I mean pardner you know where I'm from and he said what do you mean the land of 10000 lakes. He said No that's exactly right. He said Now I understand you Texans are about the best in the world at building pipelines aren't you. And he said doing nothing but the best part and he said well no buddy I've just thought of the solution to your problem. Paradise is within your grasp and he said what do you mean. He said well you just lay yourself a big pipeline all the way from Texas to Minnesota. He said Yeah. And when you get it all laid you dip the far end of that pipeline into one of our lakes and he said I'm with you pardner. Now what'll I do. And he said Now when you get it in at year end you take a big straw and you put it in the pipeline. And but if you can suck as hard you can blow you've got it made. Some of that morning I'm going to be extremely cautious and talking about
how we're doing in the propaganda struggle. Let's take radio broadcasting. I wish I could say that. The country that has the biggest richest most sophisticated radio broadcasting television broadcasting industry in the world is also number one in international broadcasting. But in radio broadcasting we're not number one. And we're not number two. Where third. After the Soviet Union in communist China. Radio Moscow was broadcasting some thirteen hundred fifty hours a week. Radio Peking some nine hundred nine hours as compared with 790 hours by the Voice of America. Total output of international broadcasting by all communist countries is a weathering four thousand three hundred seventy five hours a week and in no less than sixty seven different languages. What's
more the communists have wised up considerably in recent years they seem apparently just as ready to shift their schedules and change their broadcasting Patt patterns as any American network mogul having just read the latest Nielsen or trend X ratings. Let's look at Latin America for example Russia China. And Castro Cuba together a broadcasting four hundred twenty hours a week into Latin America. As against one hundred three hours of direct broadcasting by the Voice of America. And I might mention that those hundred three hours represent more than a two fold increase for the Voice of America over the last four years. Now the one thing however that we've done. To close the gap. And to do it much more cheaply and I also think much more effectively. Is that we're placing on the local radio stations of Latin America.
11000 hours of taped programs every week. I think it's particularly effective. To have stations in the communities of Latin America run as part of their regular programming. These materials which tell and I think in a very effective way. The story of. The you know of this country. And of what it stands for. But we note that. The Communists are changing their programs in this kind of way for example recently. In June. The Soviet Union. Reduced sharply its broadcasting to Western Europe and North America. In order that it might increase its broadcasting toward channels. Toward Latin America toward Africa. For example. It began for the first time broadcast in Mali Allam. Now the average American would say well what the heck does that mean. Well Molly Elam just happens
to be the language of Kerala State and South India and Kerala just happens to have state elections coming up in January elections which the political experts say the communists are very likely to win. Well obviously the Soviet Union began to broadcast in Mali Allam So as to give the Communist Party a better chance to score this great coup of winning a free election in India something that would indeed be a big feather in their cat. They have also for example. Added some seven other new language services. They've begun to broadcast in Lingala for the Congo Zulu for South Africa Malik Gacy for Madagascar wigger for the western Chinese province of Sindh Kion. In other respects radio Pyongyang and North Korea has quadrupled its Russian language broadcast and it's introduced a French service to
Africa the first time incidentally that any Far Eastern communist country other than red Channer has tailored special programs for African audiences. East Germany has come up with a nice European first. It has begun a Swahili service to Africa. And not to be outdone by his comrades Fidel Castro has beefed up his broadcasting efforts. Last year he introduced two new language services Creole for Haiti and Guarani a dialect spoken by the Indians and parent God. This year he added broadcasts and I moderate spoken by the Indians of Bolivia and Piru. You'll be interested in know also that Castro continues to direct broadcasts our way. He's got a couple of stations one called the friendly voice of Cuba. And another one which he calls Radio Free Dixie company. Could it be that.
The latter is either somewhat naive attempt to peddle the communist line to negroes in the southern part of the United States. But just how large is this total communist propaganda effort not just radio but everything they're doing. Well a study published by. The. Internal Security Subcommittee of the Senate Committee on the judiciary in 1960 said that the communists have a personnel of about 500000 and an annual expenditure of approximately 2 billion dollars. They went on to cite another Senate committee as saying the Soviet effort is roughly 100 times as great as that of all the rest of the world. Now let me say that unless you think in citing that report I'm about to cry poor mouth and pass the collection plate. I'll tell you that I think the report painted the enemy a lot taller than he is. I don't have any doubt that the communists are outspending us by a considerable margin but
I don't think it's remotely at 100 to 1 margin. Furthermore I don't believe merely that more money in itself is going to carry the day far as. Our greatest resource at us I guess first of all what it is that we've got to say. And secondly the skills and the enthusiasm the dedication the experience of the people who are trying to sell this idea of human freedom to the rest of the world. No we don't have all the money we need. But every year we learn something new about ways in which to stretch your tax dollars. Our operating budget. I'm like this so called 2 billion dollars that they say the communists are spending our budget is one hundred thirty eight million dollars this year. Now I know a lot of housewives perked up the ears and said what I couldn't do with that but. But I'll just point out that it's a lot less than Procter and Gamble spends to advertise
soap every year. All right it's about half the price of one Polaris submarine. Are to put it another way I think a ID gets a pretty lean budget these days but if I had a IDs budget for one year. I could run USA for two decades. Indeed if I had the Defense Department's budget for one year I could run us for three hundred ninety six years. Beyond that. The truth is I could run it forever because I can run USA all year on the interest from the feds to wasn't. It. Well what all this means in practice of course is that. We have us I must discipline ourselves to a tight set of priorities. We've got to decide. What is the message we want most want to put across today or this week or this month. We've got to
decide. Which of our media is the best one for putting that message you're pros. We've got to decide what is the audience that we want to reach this particular week. Now to this tough minded heroines to priorities we have to bring a meaningful mix of flexibility of imagination because you see we are on the ground and a hundred and six countries and they're all different. They all do is there some carefully tailored attention and we try to give it to them. Now this doesn't mean that. We say different things to different people are trying to talk out of one hundred and six sides of our mouth. But we do have individual country programs that are specifically and carefully tailored to gain support for established United States foreign policy objectives that relate to the particular country in question. And this means of course that. We have to run the whole gamut we try
everything that's ever been known to influence what anybody thinks. For example you may not know it but we use Ancient Age in more reality plays. Avant garde American art. We've been at it while newspapers and learned academic journals. We employ a travelling village of troubadours to tell our story. And we use orbiting relay satellites will use in any given case. The best communications medium available to get the right message to the right audience at the right time. Despite our being out financed and out manned. I think we're doing a pretty good job of getting the message through. For example we've recently received reports that I think are reliable. That the Voice of America is today the most listened to international broadcasting service on the Chinese mainland. And this despite the fact that.
Communist China is with Cuba East Germany and little Gary are the only places in the world today where they are attempting to jam the broadcast of The Voice of America. But we know something about the distribution of radio receivers on the China mainland and the reports we've gotten indicate to us that it is the most influential segments of that society that are listening to us. The political Padres the students the people in the professions. Well another sign that. People are listening to us. A few months ago. We. Opened up a new medium wave station and way near the border of North Vietnam because we felt there were some things the peoples of North Vietnam ought to know that their leaders were not about to tell them. Just four hours after we put that station on the air. Hanoi had begun efforts to jam it.
Making it clear that the communist took that station very seriously indeed. We've done a lot of other things to increase the impact of our broadcasting. Recently in order to blanket Vietnam in Southeast Asia I had moved from Liberia three transportable 50 kilowatt transmitters. We moved them to our complex in the Philippines this increased our shortwave signal in Southeast Asia by 40 percent. We were able to do this because we've got a new permanent facility that recently went on the air in Liberia. And this together with our. Complex in Greenville North Carolina the single most powerful broadcasting complex anywhere in the world. The most powerful that has long range broadcasting station in the world. Now makes our signal in Africa south of the Sahara loud and clear. And second
to none. But I want to emphasize and I'll do this quite briefly. I don't want to prove my wife's definition of an optimist. She says that's a woman who puts her shoes back on when I say in conclusion. In one. But I just want to emphasize that that while the Voice of America may be the best known of the various divisions of the US Information Agency it is not by any means the most important. It's one of the most important. But for example you know today the great fascination that television has for people in this country. Well the fascination is even greater around the world. And we decided to try to get there fastest with the most news we have in Washington today. Some of the most
modern television facilities existing anywhere and we're producing programs which are viewed every year by some 250 million people in 82 countries. This compares also quite favorably with. Our motion picture operation. We produce some 600 news reels documentaries feature films each year which in the theatres of the world the embassies our embassies around the world. Are viewed each year by some seven hundred and fifty million people. But some of the really little fascinating things and some of the things that may in the long run have the greatest bearing on the issues of war and peace are not the sensational things at all. They are for example things like an exhibit that most of you may never have heard about. Excuse me. A few months ago we had in the Soviet Union a graphic arts example. A simple exhibit of
graphic art paintings that perhaps many of you would walk outside the room to see. But the fact is that in Moscow alone 700000 people jammed their way through to see those exhibits in a five week period. They did this despite the fact that the exhibit site was a half mile from the nearest public transportation stop. On the first two days alone 60000 Muscovite stood in line for up to three hours in 20 degree weather. To have a look at this exhibit. Now the important thing to me was not that. Is vest you had lots of caustic comments about the art. What it said about the decadent nature of capitalism et cetera because there were a lot of people standing in line with a critical article from his vest you in their arms. But our people could overhear them saying well I know about the art I've seen that
before but I'm in line today just to talk to those American Gods again because I want to find out from them whether or not the Americans really live the way people say they do. And we found that. They were so eager to talk to these guides about how the average American working man lives that they would jam up inside the exhibit. The people outside couldn't get in and we would have to pull the 21 gods off the floor for periods in order to get the crowd moving again. And the Gods were in love were loving it because they could hear all of whom of course speak Russian fluently and they could hear the battles going on and there were a few hecklers who would show up and they would notice the little sparring that went on among the Soviet citizens and one would shout at a heckler shut up. You're saying the same thing as Vesty has said we came to hear what the Americans have to say not what you've got to say. We also put a great big book out at
that exhibit so the visitors could write their comments. Their comments range from enthusiastic acceptance to ideological outrage. But they told us a great deal about what's on the minds of a great many people in the Soviet Union. One said the exhibit testifies to the spiritual decadence of your country. Art must be for the people and understandable to them which is something which one can say about this exhibit. Another one wrote it's excellent that you are not afraid to present abstract art. We need to know everything in the Soviet Union. And another one said No doubt this exhibition will be the main exhibition of the year in spite of the reaction of our stupid press. And another one said. The exhibit in general is interesting. No one will deny that advertising is very advanced in America and has no rivals and still gentlemen of
America. It was not necessarily to kill your president and especially such a one as Kennedy for this humanity will not forgive you and another one said it was a wonderful exhibition. But for God's sake abolish racial discrimination in the United States. Well there were all sorts of non sequiturs and comments that seemed to come out of the blue. But you sit and read that book and you begin to get a little understanding of what's bugging people here and what's on their minds there. And after all this is of crucial importance to us in the U.S. Information Agency look because before you can get in and touch the heartstrings of people and be convincing you've got to know what's bothering you. You've got to know what's bugging them. Well that exhibit is now in Romania it's going to Czechoslovakia Poland Yugoslavia. And right now we've got another one called communications U.S.A. and the Soviet Union. And the first day that one opened the line outside was a mile long
waiting to get in. Well what does it all add up to. Frankly I don't know. There are those who point out of. An accurately. That there's no bail that rings or light that flashes on our cash register that clangs. When a man opts for freedom instead of tyranny. And I face a great problem every year as my predecessors have when you go up before that congressional committee and they say now what did you do for the country with that hundred and thirty eight million dollars last year. It's not easy to show what you've achieved in this arena of ideas. But there are some who judge just by what the enemy says about us and. I guess if that's a valid measurement we're doing pretty well. For example I've read at least 20 articles in the last few months in Chinese Communist magazines. All of them designed to prove that I'm a
tool of Wall Street. I've been struggling like the devil to make honest men out of them but my stock portfolio doesn't seem to go up very fast. Moscow radio recently blasted the U.S. Information Agency and said U.S. I provoke sleepless nights in socialist countries. Well I smiled pleasantly at that because somehow or the other I don't think they mean that Soviet teenagers are staying up all night listening to Willy's Khan over the Jazz selections. The communist party journal called communis warns that us-I quote uses the entire arsenal of the means of mass influence over the minds of man unquote. Well that one we don't dispute. But we do point out. That the most powerful weapon in that arsenal is what it's always been. The truth about what is happening in our
society and in the world. The truth that happily strikes the heart strings and lifts the aspirations of ordinary men in every corner of the globe. And how successful us will be in the past. How effectively we can communicate through radio and television. Well depend in large measure on the extent to which we have your help. Not in the loaning of the excellent programmes from which we do get from a great many of you but from your efforts to enlighten the American people. To persuade them of their responsibility to help produce an American society that we can reflect to the world in confidence. That it's going to make people the world over not only respect us but want to emulate us to share some of the liberties and freedoms and institutions that we've come to
cherish and hold dear. Thank you very much. At al. Mr. Ron you said at the start of your address that you felt. Right at home with us. In the educational broadcasting field and surely this warm response the close of your address. Indicates how hospitable we are to your ideas and how appreciative we are of the important communications effort which you direct. And you can rest assured sir that we will continue the cooperation of the NEA be with you as a for the good of the USA. Now before dismissing the ill. I want to make one more
acknowledgement of our gratitude. At the final business meeting Harold Hill extended our thanks to the local arrangements Committee. And to Bob Franken and his wife and to the wonderful staff of his station for all the fine things that they have done in making our convention a success. And now it seems to me only appropriate that we thank the thinker. I. Ask that you express your thanks to the gentleman who again proved this afternoon that he can get a constitution and bylaws approved faster than any man alive. The general term of the convention our vice president Harold Hill. Why. Not. If you can get there. You're about to go home. If a substantial group is marooned here tomorrow perhaps we can have a post convention
session. But in my judgment this has been a most rewarding convention. And not only in the substance of the meetings but in the spirit of harmony and of us breed of car and professional purpose which have characterized this convention. As no other in our history. Maybe it just takes 40 years to grow up. And now I have officially adjourned this 40th convention of the IAB good bye and God bless you all. All. Right.
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- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 4350 (University of Maryland)
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