Five day bicycle race, part 1

Highlights from a documentary made at and about the 1976 Democratic National Convention in New York City, which was produced as a live 3-hour cablecast for five days during the convention. It was subsequently broadcast on WTTW and other PBS stations. It chronicles the events on in and around the convention, and includes interviews with various delegates, politicians, members of the media, and people connected to Jimmy Carter, including Rosalynn Carter and Jeff Carter (Jimmy's son). It also includes footage from the convention floor, and demonstrators outside the convention, led by Ron Kovic.

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00:04Copy video clip URL Title card: Five Day Bicycle Race 1976. Audio of the crew bantering back and forth. “Quiet, please.”

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01:35Copy video clip URL Title card again: Five Day Bicycle Race, Image Union, New York City, 1976. Audio of the crew bantering back and forth. “Quiet, please.”

02:12Copy video clip URL Raw footage. Various b-roll at Madison Square Garden. Seats, a Welcome to Madison Square Garden Center sign.

02:28Copy video clip URL On the street interview with a male passerby. Interviewer Nancy Cain says this show will be on cable Channel 10. The man says, “I don’t have anything to say. I just want some money in my pocket.”

03:01Copy video clip URL Inside the Garden two interviewers playfully interview each other. One named Mark communicates via walkie talkie with a video control room. A voice tells him to wait while they work out a technical glitch.

04:26Copy video clip URL B-roll of video crews setting up in the Garden for an event. A tech member sets up a microphone. ABC News crews work to set up gear and people. A man says he’s in charge of setting up podium mikes. He says he works for all the networks. He thinks the Shure 635 is the best microphone in the world. “In Chicago in ’68 we had these things during the riots. We used them to fend off people.”

06:01Copy video clip URL Interview with crew workers on break. “We can’t talk to you, we might get fired.” “We are working on the ceiling.” “Are you Democrats?” “There’s one here.” “I like Brown.” “It doesn’t matter who’s Democrat or Republican where money’s concerned.” He says he doesn’t know who he’ll vote for. “Reagan is all right.” “A Democrat is for the working people in my opinion. I think they’ll have construction, crack down on big business.” Various b-roll of the convention center being set up for the convention.

08:53Copy video clip URL An audio board operator says, “We started setting up yesterday. This is not the same as a normal show. A little more involved.”

09:34Copy video clip URL Two young girls say they just got opinions of the convention from Walter Cronkite and Roger Mudd, what they think is exciting about the convention. She thinks the convention will be dull. Jimmy Carter will probably be the presidential nominee. It will be dull compared to the Republican convention. “The journalists we talked to think maybe things will happen for Brown in 1980.” Another young girl says they could get interviews with journalists that adults couldn’t get. They got to interview Roger Mudd when adult journalists couldn’t get to him.

10:37Copy video clip URL B-roll of the empty convention hall. A news woman says shooting today went well, but they’ll come back tomorrow.

11:25Copy video clip URL Footage is interrupted. Black.

11:31Copy video clip URL Back in the studio, the show host, Joel Gold, appears saying to camera: “Let me tell you what I think is going to happen. We’re gonna do some video, live television. We don’t know how far we’ll go. A phone number will be given in case you want to be part of the show. In the studio are all my friends. This show will run 10pm to 1am. We’ve made some video tapes. We’ll come on live. We’ll do a strange pace setter. Turn on your TVs, we’re on channel 10.”

13:00Copy video clip URL The show cuts to taped footage, inside a taxi cab, driving through a tunnel. Titles: We Meet Carter. Chinese dragon on an outdoor festival. Chinese drums beat. Balloons and a street barker call out: meet Jimmy Carter 4pm, in front of the Americana Hotel. B-roll of people with picket-like signs promoting Jimmy Carter. A woman shows off her Jimmy Carter earrings. “He’s gonna be our next President. He’s a good man.” She says she met him at a convention once. “I had the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Carter. She’s a doll. She’s a simple honest to goodness person. I think this is going to become a country with feeling again.”

14:35Copy video clip URL Skip Blumberg says, “We’re here in front of the Americana Hotel to meet Jimmy Carter. It’s Saturday.” He walks through a crowd of people. “I’m excited because I haven’t met the man yet. There’s a couple thousand people here. You might wonder why all these people are here and might wonder if we’re going to ask that question. We’re not.”

15:14Copy video clip URL B-roll of Latin band playing for the crowd. Thousands of people wait for Carter.

15:49Copy video clip URL A reporter goes up to a street food vendor and orders a Jimmy Carter Coca Cola. The servers say they are campaign workers. All their proceeds go to the Carter Campaign. “We work for him cause we want a young new political force in office right away. We think he’ll do a better job than Ford.”

17:20Copy video clip URL A reporter outside the Jimmy Carter rally addresses the camera and says she bought her Jimmy Carter cola for forty cents, a good deal. They are going to talk with some of the crowd about Carter’s religious aspects. She starts asking some of those at the rally. One correspondent playfully tries to interview a picture of Jimmy Carter. A woman reporter interviews a campaign worker. Why do you want Carter to be president? “‘Cause I think he’d make a nice President of the United States. He’ll be better than Ford. He’ll straighten out the country and give more jobs. I think he’s a religious man. That appeals to me. I don’t think religion affects how he’ll be as a President, but it brings out different feelings.”

19:24Copy video clip URL Franklin Burke, dressed as Uncle Sam, says, “I’m gonna cheer for Carter. As Uncle Sam I represent the US. I just came from Philadelphia. I participated in the Bicentennial there, the 200th birthday of our country. I marched in the parade, participated in the activities. I met Mr. Carter once before. I think he’s great. I think his nomination is a foregone conclusion. He has possibilities.” Another Uncle Sam approaches. He says a photographer wants to take their picture together. Uncle Sam does a little dance. “It’s a beautiful day in New York City.  People around the world look to America for hope and leadership. We should be proud and grateful for being American citizens.” Uncle Sam two tries to get Uncle Sam one to come with him to get his picture made.

22:08Copy video clip URL Various b-roll of the rally for Carter. The camera works its way through the crowd. A man helps the camera navigate the thick crowd.

23:00Copy video clip URL A woman with a group says, “We’re here to see Jimmy Carter. We’re from New Jersey.” When asked what they think Carter will do for gay people, two men working for a gay rights advocacy group say there are four openly gay people on his delegate slate in California. He has openly gay people on this staff. He said he’s against harassment of gays.

25:18Copy video clip URL A passerby says Carter is not pro-homosexual. “That’s my opinion.” Another man says, “Carter’s stand on gay rights pleases me. He said he’s support Bela Abzug’s bill if it passes. Carter is trying to deal with the issues better than others.” Another man says, “it’s true that Rolling Stone magazine and The Allman Brothers are behind Carter and that’s the biggest sell out. Jimmy Carter is the chameleon candidate. In a black neighborhood he’ll speak out in support of blacks. In a white area he’ll talk about ethic purity.”

27:30Copy video clip URL Inside the Americana Hotel. B-roll of the hotel. Crowds of people wait for Jimmy Carter. A woman says she works for the Democratic Party. She’s not sure if Carter’s the right man for the job. “I want to meet him. I don’t know how I feel about him. It’s 4:25. He was supposed to be here at 4. No one complains. You can’t tell with this New York traffic.”

29:18Copy video clip URL Outside the hotel Governor Carter and Mrs. Carter arrive. Carter makes his way through the crowd, shaking hands. People cheer.

29:38Copy video clip URL Inside the hotel a hotel security man makes the camera crew back up. The crowd waits for Carter to arrive. Various shots of the crowd waiting for Carter. Brief interview with Jody Powell, Carter’s press secretary, who says he suspects he’ll come in this way.

30:58Copy video clip URL Outside the hotel, b-roll of Carter giving a speech. Back to footage inside the hotel. The crew waits for Carter to arrive. A police man makes the video crew back up behind the line. They keep encroaching forward. Back outside. Carter continues his speech. He says he’s “glad to be in New York City, a city of diversity. A diversity we enjoy in our Democratic party and in our nation.”

31:56Copy video clip URL Inside the hotel the camera follows Paul O’Dwyer, running for Senate. The Carter family comes through. The crowd begins to push back as Jimmy Carter enters and makes his way through the hotel. Footage is chaotic. The crowd pushes itself. Carter passes by.

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33:55Copy video clip URL Footage of roasted peanuts for sale, promoting Carter. Joel Gold sings an improvised political song/rant.  The camera walks down the street in New York City. Passes shoppers and passersby. Gold continues telling his improvised rap. A random woman says hello to her boyfriend Ralph. Gold says, “In the Garden, the Democratic Convention is in town.” “I haven’t heard.”  She says she doesn’t know who she’ll vote for.

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38:01Copy video clip URL Back in the studio, Bart Friedman is on the phone in an office. Elon Soltes arrives and says they were just thrown out of the Rolling Stone magazine party because they were trying to tape it and they didn’t want any media there. Soltes introduces Bart to his colleague Margot St. James, an advocate for the rights of sex workers.  St. James enters and chats with Bart. Bart says he hasn’t been to the convention yet. St. James says the issues over there are sexual privacy and the right to smoke dope. Bart asks St. James if she hustles. “All the time.” St. James says, “we had 5 crews going around, photographers, men, women. We hope to get a platform on sexual privacy started. This includes decriminalizing prostitution. We don’t want prostitution to be a federal offense. The other is to get a national campaign going so that states won’t make it a criminal offense. It’s been three years since we began. Prostitution used to be legal. At one time in Greek history prostitutes were with philosophers in public.” St. James leaves.

43:53Copy video clip URL Audio goes away.

44:01Copy video clip URL Various b-roll New York at night. A man dances on the street. Police on patrol. Interview with a series of prostitutes. A woman on the street rants. She says at 12 o’clock police are going come by and put all the prostitutes in jail for 60 days. “I ain’t going for 60 days.” Another woman says, “This is all because of the convention. They’re trying to clean up the streets. If we get busted we have to plead not guilty. The police have to prove we were soliciting.” A man says, “The law was passed only to pass to protect people involved in the convention. It’s a shame because the hookers add a lot of attraction to 8th Avenue. It’s the only good thing here. Seriously, I think it will be declared unconstitutional after the convention.” Another man says, “The girls have treated me nice. They’ll take care of you, make you feel good. I’ve been out with them and have no complaints.”

47:47Copy video clip URL TITLES: End of Part 1. Stay tuned.

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