Goodbye To The Presidential Radio Address?
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.
STAMBERG: But you can't fake it.
SEABROOK: No, you can't.
STAMBERG: You cannot fake sincerity.
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...
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.
SEABROOK: NPR's special correspondent Susan Stamberg. To see a video of my conversation with Susan Stamberg...
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.
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