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The Political Process in the Media Age: A Yearlong Seminar and Screening Series at The Museum of Television & Radio

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

New York, NY and Los Angeles, CA—During the next year, The Museum of Television & Radio will present The Political Process in the Media Age, a multipart seminar and screening series examining how politics and the media are becoming increasingly integrated. The series will begin inNew York on September 30, 2004, with the University Satellite Seminar MTV's Choose or Lose and the Campaign for the Youth Vote and continues through next year with seminars that will gather journalists, political strategists, Washington insiders, leading historians, and political scientists for insightful discussions, accompanied by examples from the Museum's vast collection.  

The Museum will also present C-SPAN: Adventures in Democracy, a four-part series celebrating and analyzing the impact of C-SPAN's twenty-five years on television. Fall seminars will examine Book TV and congressional hearings. In Spring 2005 "C-SPAN as a Model for the Future" will be presented in Los Angeles, and "C-SPAN and the Judiciary" will be presented in New York.  

A series of screenings examining the political process will be shown in the Museum's theaters in New York and Los Angeles, beginning on November 12,

2004, and running through July 17, 2005. This multi-part series will present documentaries such as Robert Drew's  Primary (filmed in 1960) and Journeys with George; political humor including The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour and  That Was the Week That Was; fictional programming such as the 1958 production of All the Kings Men (with Maureen Stapleton); and Dennis Potter's teleplay Vote, Vote, Vote for Nigel Barton; and television interviews with Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Nixon, Carter, and others.    

Funding for The Political Process in the Media Age was generously provided by The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation. Funding for C-SPAN: Adventures in Democracy was generously provided by The Rosalind P. Walter Foundation. 


·University Satellite Seminar

MTV's Choose or Lose and the Campaign for the Youth Vote

Thursday, September 30, 2004

6:00 to 7:30 p.m.

New York Museum 


Matt Catapano (Director, MTV Research & Planning)

Rosario Dawson (Actress, Cofounder Voto Latino)

Ben Ferguson (Radio Talk Show Host)

Alexis McGill (Executive Director, Citizen Change)

Ian V Rowe (VP, MTV Strategic and Public Affairs)

Moderator: Brianna Keilar (CBS News anchor for mtvU) 

With less than half of voters between the ages of eighteen and twenty-four going to the polls for the 2000 presidential race, increasing young voter turnout has been the focus of many nonpartisan groups concerned about the health of American democracy. In 1992 MTV spearheaded an effort to increase civic engagement and voter turnout with its ongoing Choose or Lose campaign. The network continues to inform young voters about the political process by working with voter awareness groups both seasoned (Rock the Vote and Youth Vote Coalition) and new (Declare Yourself and New Voters Project). This seminar, on the evening of the first presidential debate, will survey the history of the youth vote, examine the issues young people are concerned about, and assess whether voter-mobilization efforts have been successful. 

Seminars in the Museum's University Satellite Seminar Program are sent via satellite to universities and colleges across the country. These seminars include a live question-and-answer session between panelists and the off-site audience. The series is offered free of charge to universities. 

·Decisions That Shook the World

Preview Screening (excerpts) at the New York and Los Angeles Museums

(Featuring FDR, LBJ, and Ronald Reagan) 

In this media age, presidencies take on mythological proportions. This new documentary series, in contrast, examines the presidency from its most human level: as a series of decisions. Decisions That Shook the World takes viewers inside the administrations of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Ronald Reagan as it explores presidential choices that shaped history. 

The Museum will screen excerpts from each of the three documentaries. Decisions That Shook the World will have its television premiere October 12, 19, and 26 on the Discovery Channel. 

In New York

Monday, October 4, 2004 

6:00 to 7:30 p.m. 


Donald A. Baer (Senior Executive Vice President, Strategy and Development, Discovery Communications, Inc.)

Michael Beschloss (Presidential Historian; Coproducer and Narrator)

Jerry Rafshoon (Filmmaker)

Moderator: Maureen Dowd (Columnist, The New York Times

In Los Angeles

Wednesday, October 6, 2004

7:00 to 8:30 p.m. 


Michael Beschloss, (Presidential Historian; Coproducer and Narrator)

Jerry Rafshoon (Filmmaker)

Moderator: Michael Kinsley (Editorial and Opinions Editor, Los Angeles Times)  

·C-SPAN: Adventures in DemocracyBook TV: Promoting Citizens' Literacy

Thursday, October 7, 2004

6:00 to 7:30 p.m. 


Connie Doebele (Executive Producer for Book Programming, C-SPAN)

Joni Evans (Executive Vice President, William Morris Agency, Inc.)

Todd Gitlin (Author)

Mitchell Kaplan (President, American Booksellers Association)

Peggy Noonan (Author)

Sam Tanenhaus (Editor, New York Times Book Review)

Moderator: Neal Gabler (Author)

Through Book TV—airing every weekend, all weekend, on C-SPAN 2-the network has significantly fueled the literacy movement in this country, creating a greater interest in books on history, politics, and public affairs. This seminar will examine Book TV's impact on the democratic process—how by creating a national forum for dialogue about books on these subjects, it has helped to develop an informed, engaged citizenry.   

·University Satellite Seminar

C-SPAN: Adventures in Democracy—C-SPAN and Congressional Hearings

Monday, November 8, 2004

6:30 to 8:00 p.m. 


Senator William W. Bradley (Managing Director of Allen & Company LLC)

Al Felzenberg (Deputy for Communications, 9-11 Commission)

Reuven Frank (Former President, NBC News, 1968-73)

John Fund (Member, Wall Street Journal Editorial Board)

Peter Hart (CEO, Peter Hart Research)

Moderator: Albert Eisele (Editor, The Hill)

Over the years, momentous televised congressional hearings, such as the Army-McCarthy hearings or those regarding Vietnam, have become part of our collective consciousness. But televising such events was an all-too-rare occurrence. C-SPAN opened the dialogue between the public and Congress by televising congressional hearings live. What happens at a day's hearings instantly becomes part of the national discourse, shaping the next day's proceedings, and the recorded C-SPAN telecasts serve as an easily accessible historical record of testimony, raising the bar on witness accountability. Panelists will examine C-SPAN's influence on congressional hearings and the nation's political consciousness. 

Seminars in the Museum's University Satellite Seminar Program are sent via satellite to universities and colleges across the country. These seminars include a live question-and-answer session between panelists and the off-site audience. The series is offered free of charge to universities.  


Part One: Classic Political Documentaries 

November 12–28, 2004


Working with a crew that included D. A. Pennebaker, Richard Leacock, and Albert Maysles, Robert Drew reinvented the documentary form with a no-frills "direct cinema" approach to the 1960 Wisconsin primary battle between Senators John F. Kennedy and Hubert H. Humphrey. (1961; 55 minutes) 

The Making of the President 1960

Based on Theodore H. White's best-selling examination of the 1960 presidential campaign, this landmark documentary retraces the paths of candidates Humphrey and Kennedy from primary to inauguration. (1963; 85 minutes) 

November 30–December 19, 2004

The World's Largest TV Studio and Four More Years

TVTV's warts-and-all coverage of the rallies, receptions, and ruckus surrounding the 1972 Democratic and Republican National Conventions rewrote the book on presidential election coverage while providing viewers with an alternative and unfettered view of the political process. (1972; 120 minutes) 

December 21, 2004January 9, 2005

Journeys with George

Alexandra Pelosi's digital-minicam chronicle of George W. Bush's transformation from cowboy to statesman documents with hilarious and sometimes alarming candor both the absurdity of the campaign process and the complicity of the media in its outcome. (2002; 75 minutes) 

True Life: I'm a Candidate

An engaging cinema verité portrait of two young, untested contestants for the U.S. House of Representatives: Dylan Glenn, a black Republican running in rural Georgia, and John Cranley, a white Democrat campaigning in Cincinnati. (2000; 80 minutes)  

Screening schedules for Parts Two through Four (Fiction, Humor, and Interviews) will be announced at a later date.   

Ticket Prices

Admission to The Political Process in the Media Age screenings is included with the Museum's suggested contribution: Members free; $10.00 for adults; $8.00 for senior citizens and students; and $5.00 for children under fourteen. Admission is free in Los Angeles. Tickets for The Political Process in the Media Age seminars are available in the Museum lobby during regular hours or by calling (310) 786-1091 in Los Angeles and (212) 621-6600 in New York. Tickets are $15.00 for general public; $12.00 for Members; and $7.00 for senior citizens and students with valid ID. 

The Museum of Television & Radio, with locations in New York and Los Angeles, was founded by William S. Paley to collect and preserve television and radio programs and advertisements and to make them available to the public. Since opening in 1976, the Museum has organized exhibitions, screening and listening series, seminars, and education classes to showcase its preeminent collection of over 100,000 television and radio programs and advertisements. Programs in the Museum's collection are selected for their artistic, cultural, and historic significance.

The Museum of Television & Radio in New York, located at 25 West 52 Street in Manhattan, is open Tuesdays through Sundays from noon to 6:00 p.m. and until 8:00 p.m. on Thursdays. The Museum of Television & Radio in California, located at 465 North Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills, is open Wednesdays through Sundays from noon to 5:00 p.m. Both Museums are closed on New Year's Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Suggested contribution: Members free; $10.00 for adults; $8.00 for senior citizens and students; and $5.00 for children under fourteen. Admission is free in Los Angeles. The public areas in both Museums are accessible to wheelchairs, and assisted listening devices are available. Programs are subject to change. You may call the Museum in New York at (212) 621-6800 or in Los Angeles at (310) 786-1000. Visit the Museum's website at