Goodbye To The Presidential Radio Address? President-elect Barack Obama has promised to put a video of the president's weekly radio address on YouTube every week. NPR's Susan Stamberg talks to host Andrea Seabrook about why she thinks this is an outrage.
NPR logo

Goodbye To The Presidential Radio Address?

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/97071771/97071758" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Goodbye To The Presidential Radio Address?

Goodbye To The Presidential Radio Address?

Goodbye To The Presidential Radio Address?

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/97071771/97071758" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

President-elect Barack Obama has promised to put a video of the president's weekly radio address on YouTube every week. NPR's Susan Stamberg talks to host Andrea Seabrook about why she thinks this is an outrage.

ANDREA SEABROOK, host:

Shattering news now from the desk of Is Nothing Sacred? The staff of President-elect Barack Obama announced yesterday that his weekly radio address, a modern tradition started by President Ronald Reagan, will be released on video and put on YouTube. The first one is already posted there.

The radio address on video? For those of us in the radio business, this is just the last straw, and I have NPR's Susan Stamberg on the line. Susan?

SUSAN STAMBERG: Yes, the last straw indeed. I'm so delighted that you called me about this. If radio was good enough for Franklin Delano Roosevelt, it could certainly be good enough for the president-elect. What is he thinking?

SEABROOK: I have no idea. I mean, this was like the last frontier.

STAMBERG: I would say so. And the thing about it is, there are so many advantages to radio, but one of the main ones is you can fool around on it. I mean, you can have fun.

SEABROOK: Right.

STAMBERG: But you can't fake it.

SEABROOK: No, you can't.

STAMBERG: You cannot fake sincerity.

SEABROOK: No.

STAMBERG: People hear that voice, and they know if it's telling the truth, if it's speaking with conviction, if it means what it says. Television, you know, you put on makeup...

SEABROOK: Yeah.

STAMBERG: Kind of curl up the side of a mouth, just smile photogenically. It's all so distracting and then...

SEABROOK: Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

STAMBERG: The tie is funny-looking.

SEABROOK: Nothing compares, and I, frankly, am disappointed with the first decision of the president-elect.

STAMBERG: I am, too. I am, too. It's like roast beef for Thanksgiving, you know.

SEABROOK: This just doesn't work.

STAMBERG: No.

SEABROOK: NPR's special correspondent Susan Stamberg. To see a video of my conversation with Susan Stamberg...

STAMBERG: Huh?!

SEABROOK: No?

STAMBERG: No. No videos. No cameras. I haven't combed my hair, which is another great advantage of radio. You don't have to comb your hair before you go on it.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SEABROOK: Thanks, Susan.

STAMBERG: Bye.

SEABROOK: Bye.

Copyright © 2008 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.