Resurrecting Guerrilla Television: Henry Kissinger and Rosalynn Carter

An ongoing series reflecting on our favorite videos from the Resurrecting Guerrilla Television project.


In 2021, Media Burn, along with the University of Chicago and other partners, began the “Resurrecting the 1970s Guerrilla Television Movement” project, which is funded by the Council on Library and Information Resources. That grant has funded the digitization, cataloging, and sharing of hundreds of essential tapes from the early history of video, with hundreds more to come. This is “the people’s television” – a version of the media that encouraged active participation and that gave voice to the concerns and interests of ordinary citizens.  

This newsletter is part of an ongoing series highlighting some of our favorite videos from the Guerrilla Television project. You can browse the full selection of videos here – a list that will continue to be updated as tapes are digitized and logged. 

In this edition, we’re highlighting unconventional coverage of two recently deceased political figures: Henry Kissinger (1923-2023) and Rosalynn Carter (1927-2023).

In 1972, TVTV’s Four More Years caught Henry Kissinger at the pinnacle of his power and celebrity. As he’s walking to his limo, Maureen Orth interviews Kissinger briefly about the war and then asks “How are the girls?” Kissinger suddenly lights up and says “Very pleasant,” as he walks away.


TVTV, like much of the Guerrilla Television movement, was irreverent toward the powerful. Their documentaries Four More Years and The World’s Largest TV Studio exposed the utter emptiness of political conventions. 

The difference between the serious consequences of the decisions made by Kissinger and the unseriousness of the spectacle is highlighted again later in the video. Ron Kovic, author of Born on the Fourth of July, and other anti-war activists yell at the politicians to “Stop the bombing! Stop killing! Stop the war!” with a passion that seems fitting for the gravity of the crimes being committed. The editors contrast that with Party’s well-dressed supporters clapping in unison. Kissinger smiles and gazes approvingly at a small boy wearing a suit.

That cheekiness towards power is found throughout Media Burn’s archive, and throughout the Guerrilla Television movement. 

In 1976, members of TVTV and other video groups assembled to cover the 1976 Democratic National Convention using the name The Image Union. They managed to capture very sweet and unfiltered footage of Rosalynn Carter before her husband became President. In this casual exchange, she talks about the new political button she is wearing.



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