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The Museum of Television & Radio Presents The Presidency: Political Image-Making and Television

Wednesday, June 9, 2004

New York, NY and Los Angeles, CA—As the 2004 presidential campaigning heats up this summer, The Museum of Television & Radio will present The Presidency: Political Image-Making and Televisiontheater screenings and a listening series that feature programs addressing the process of political image-making, where the ways in which a candidate is packaged and sold to the American public can dictate his success as much as the political and social stances he assumes. From July 2 through November 7, 2004, the Museum will screen Madison Avenue Goes to Washington: The History of Presidential Campaign Advertising which will include a collection of the most memorable and historically significant presidential commercials created from 1952 through 2004 for fourteen general elections. The Museum will also screen Robert Altman and Garry Trudeau's groundbreaking mockumentary Tanner '88 in its entirety on scheduled weekends. The radio listening series Campaigns and Conventions, running from June 22 to October 31 in New York and June 23 to October 31 in Los Angeles, will feature a variety of campaign-related programming including commercials, political discussions, and celebrity endorsement events from the 1930s, ‘40s, and ‘50s. 

Madison Avenue Goes to Washington: The History of Presidential Campaign Advertising

From the 1960 spot in which Jacqueline Kennedy campaigns for her husband in Spanish, to Ronald Reagan's 1984 "It's Morning Again in America" spots, to's 2003/2004 "Bush in Thirty Seconds" Internet competition, presidential commercials offer a remarkable opportunity to witness the evolving preoccupations of American politicians and, by extension, the American people. Exclusive to the Museum, Madison Avenue Goes to Washington is narrated by CNN's senior political analyst Jeff Greenfield, who provides historical context for the commercials. Madison Avenue Goes to Washington is presented in association with Syracuse University, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Center for the Study of Popular Television and Syracuse University Library, Edwin Diamond Collection of Political Advertising and Commercials. Beginning on July 2 and running through November 7, screenings in New York will be Tuesdays to Sundays at 4:00 p.m. and Thursdays at 6:00 p.m. and in Los Angeles Wednesdays to Sundays at 2:30 p.m.  

Tanner '88

Directed by Robert Altman (M*A*S*HThe Player) and written by Doonesbury creator Garry Trudeau, Tanner '88 chronicles the campaign trail of fictional Democratic candidate Jack Tanner, an underdog struggling to brand himself "for real" in the presidential race. The eleven-part miniseries—which Altman has called "the most creative work I've ever done"—originally aired on HBO in 1988 and starred Michael Murphy, Pamela Reed, and a young Cynthia Nixon, with cameo appearances by real-life politicians Bob Dole and Gary Hart. In New Yorkthe entire eleven-episode series will be shown July 24 to September 5, on Saturdays and Sundays only, from 12:00 to 6:00 p.m., with an encore presentation on October 30 and 31 from 12:00 to 6:00 p.m. Tanner '88 will screen in Los Angeles from 12:00 to 6:00 p.m. on July 2 and 3, and October 30 and 31. 

Campaigns and Conventions

In addition to the screenings, the Museum will present Campaigns and Conventions, a radio listening series in the Museum's Ralph Guild Radio Listening Room in New York and the Ahmanson Radio Listening Room in Los Angeles. The series will feature The Roosevelt Special from 1944, hosted by Humphrey Bogart with performances and comments from Judy Garland, James Cagney, Rita Hayworth, Frank Sinatra, and many others; Political Commercials, such as a 1944 Franklin D. Roosevelt ad featuring Orson Welles; the ILGWU Campaign Committee Programs from 1948, a series of four programs paid for by the International Ladies Garment Workers Union to support Harry S. Truman's campaign, starring Humphrey Bogart, Ronald Reagan, and Tallulah Bankhead; 1952's America's Town Meeting of the Air, a panel discussion on the upcoming election between Dwight D. Eisenhower and Adlai Stevenson; Highlights of the 1944 Republican and Democratic Conventions anchored by NBC's Ben Grauer; and 1948's You Are There: The Election of Thomas Jefferson, a dramatic reenactment of the events surrounding the 1800 election of Thomas Jefferson over Aaron Burr. The listening series can be heard from June 22 to October 31 in New York and from June 23 to October 31 in Los Angeles.  

Admission to The Presidency: Political Image-Making and Television 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.  

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 to5:00 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