This video contains raw footage shot for "Five Day Bicycle Race," a project comprised of live in-studio commentary and taped edited coverage of the 1976 Democratic National Convention in New York City. Produced by independent videomakers calling themselves The Image Union (including many members of TVTV and Videofreex), it aired on Manhattan Cable for three hours per night for five days during the convention. In this video, Tom Weinberg and other videomakers visit the creator of Reliable Source, political consultant, and political prankster, Dick Tuck.
00:00Copy video clip URL This video begins with a blue screen.
00:21Copy video clip URL Cut to footage of two people holding a conversation about war.
00:38Copy video clip URL Tom Weinberg and the crew report from the Statler Hilton across the street from Madison Square Garden. We follow the crew into a large area dedicated to the different media organizations that were in New York for the Democratic National Convention. The organizations are separated from one another by curtains. Weinberg makes a few comments about the setup of the area.
01:36Copy video clip URL Weinberg approaches some of the writers from Reliable Source. He speaks with a man named Rex about the newspaper. Rex talks about founder and political consultant Dick Tuck and a recent prank he pulled on Rolling Stone Magazine. Rex explains that Dick Tuck had printed a party invitation to a Rolling Stone party that was not open to the public. Apparently, thousands of people showed up for the party. It was quite a debacle. Rex goes on to talk about the newspaper in more detail. He then takes Weinberg and the crew to Toots Shor’s Restaurant and Lounge across the street to meet Tuck. This lasts for several minutes.
04:47Copy video clip URL Weinberg speaks with a writer from Texas Monthly Magazine about Barry Jagoda. He and the crew continue to make their way out of the hotel.
05:37Copy video clip URL Cut to a shot of Dick Tuck at Toots Shor’s. Weinberg and the sardonic Tuck joke around with one another before talking about legendary New Yorker and owner of the restaurant, Toots Shor. Tuck says about Shor, “He’s probably the oldest fruitcake in New York.”
07:05Copy video clip URL Tuck satirizes the DNC by calling it a fast food convention and saying that everyone is here because “they’re waiting for Colonel Carter to prepare a product that will sell well out in the provinces that’s you know–it’s kind of manila.”He jokes with the videomakers for the entire interview.
09:00Copy video clip URL Tuck and videomaker Joel Gold talk with one another about what Tuck does with his free time. When asked why he’s so cynical, Tuck responds with a few smug remarks. He and Weinberg go on to talk about the recent Rolling Stone prank. He states that Rolling Stone having political influence is “absurd.” Tuck makes numerous humorous remarks about the current Rolling Stone editor and a number of different politicians including Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford.
13:19Copy video clip URL Tuck makes a few comments about Senator Henry M. Jackson. Jackson had been in the running for President in the previous months. Tuck states that he’d like to send Jackson a get well card because of a car accident he’d supposedly been involved in. The story is fairly humorous.
14:58Copy video clip URL When asked what he believes will be the peak moment on the floor of the DNC, Tuck jokes that when the circus left the Garden in presumably the previous week, some of the animals left behind a bacteria known as “sleeping sickness” and that those on the floor should be careful of the flies. Tuck then begins to talk about Reliable Source and the Rolling Stone party that occurred that past Monday night.
17:48Copy video clip URL Tuck jokes about his upcoming visit with Hunter S. Thompson. He states that Thompson was escorted out of New York in handcuffs and a straight jacket and sent to a facility in Colorado. He also jokes about Thompson’s presentation of a bathtub to Astronaut John Glenn. He also does an impersonation of Congresswoman Barbara Jordan and labels her as one of the “greatest inventions of mankind.” He then says that Thompson and Jimmy Carter are good friends. Thompson had written an endorsement for Carter in Rolling Stone magazine earlier that year. Tuck also talks about journalist and former George McGovern campaign director Frank Mankiewicz and Thompson’s involvement with the man.
22:15Copy video clip URL Weinberg asks Tuck about Rolling Stone and whether or not they serve the interest of their readership. The videomakers had done a poll on this subject on one of the live broadcasts. It came back 9 to 1 that people believed the magazine was in their interest. Tuck talks about Rolling Stone’s demographic and labels them as “rich kids” and “weekend hippies.”
23:22Copy video clip URL The camera operator decides to start shooting the scene through a pint glass. Tuck begins to speak with Jane O’Reilly about her writing and involvement with covering the convention. Tuck then takes out his wallet to pay his bill.
26:33Copy video clip URL Tape ends.