Newshour: phone wars – presidential campaign – Vegas strike – Jesse Jackson

This series of four news reports covers a variety of topics, including the fight between competing phone companies after the breakup of the Bell System, the tiring campaigns of the three main Democratic candidates for the 1984 presidential election, a hotel strike in Las Vegas, and Jesse Jackson's presidential campaign.

0:01Copy video clip URL This news report covers the business contest between long-distance phone companies in Charleston, WV. It is the first of thousands of similar campaigns that will continue to take place until 1986, when all phone users in the country must have equal access not only to AT&T, but to other competitor services. Some people are calling this contest “the New Hampshire primary of the telephone business.” Elizabeth Brackett reports from Charleston, which will be the first city in the country to provide equal access phone service after the breakup of Ma Bell. Brackett speaks to a few people who are confused about the switch, including Sharon Percy Rockefeller, the wife of the governor of West Virginia.

8:58Copy video clip URL This news segment covers the Democratic candidates’ campaigns for the 1984 presidential election. Walter Mondale and Gary Hart both have grueling campaign schedules, and Jesse Jackson’s schedule has been even worse. Brackett speaks to Dr. Charles Stroebel about the effects of stress, which he says can take a great toll on the body over time. Hart lashed out at Mondale over a nonexistent campaign ad, and his campaign blamed the mistake on a fatigued staff. The traveling press corps are similarly exhausted. The campaign staffs try to schedule time for rest, especially Jackson’s staff, since he was once hospitalized for exhaustion. Dr. Stroebel says that the candidates and their staffs don’t fully appreciate the harm caused by stress and fatigue.

19:41Copy video clip URL This news report covers a large hotel strike in Las Vegas. Brackett reports that “17,000 hotel employees, bartenders, musicians, and stagehands have walked off the job in a bitter labor dispute” with hotel management. The strike has been contentious, involving close to 450 arrests. The methods used to keep the Vegas stage shows running are infuriating the strikers. For example, one show at the MGM Grand used a tape recording of the orchestra that normally plays, which was made without the musicians’ knowledge. The casinos have been the least affected by the strike. However, occupancy is down, leading to great financial losses for hotels and nearby businesses.

24:30Copy video clip URL This segment covers Jesse Jackson’s presidential campaign. Brackett talks about Jackson’s fight for legitimacy, which began as blacks, largely because of Jackson’s efforts, started to turn out in large numbers to register to vote, resulting in thousands of black voters registering for the first time. In addition, blacks have begun declaring for local office in record numbers and in unlikely places. This includes Selma, AL, where civil rights activist Rev. Frederick Reese is running for city mayor. Reese credits his candidacy to Jesse Jackson. His opponent, Mayor Joe Smitherman, acknowledges Jackson’s influence. Mayor Harold Washington supported Jackson’s campaign in Chicago, where he took 20% of the total vote. Jackson has had difficulty gaining white supporters, but Washington says that the fault does not lie with Jackson. Rev. Reese says that regardless of whether or not Jackson is successful, his campaign has been an inspiration.

31:07Copy video clip URL End of tape.





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