Conventions 72

This tape features a portion of the Group W national broadcast version of TVTV's 1972 convention coverage of the Democratic and Republican National Conventions. (Separately produced as two 60 minute programs: "The World's Largest TV Studio" on the DNC and "Four More Years" on the RNC.) It includes 45 minutes of FMY and 10 minutes of WLTVS, in addition to providing context for the way the television audience viewed the highly influential programs, including the introduction and commercials. This footage was the first independent video ever shown on national television.

00:00Copy video clip URL This tape begins with static.

00:11Copy video clip URL Cut to a classic Purina Cat Chow commercial. It is followed by a promo for the Don Chamberlain television program.

00:51Copy video clip URL Teaser for Conventions 72 featuring a montage of clips from the show.

01:36Copy video clip URL Cut to a Woolworth commercial. This is followed by an introduction by Group W News Bureau Chief Sid Davis. “What you are about to see is unique to commercial television. It is a chronicle of the two major 1972 political conventions as seen through the eyes of young men and women, only twenty six of them, with a budget of a few thousand dollars.” Davis talks about the alternative perspective that the programs offer.

03:42Copy video clip URL TVTV graphic dissolves into a shot of a TV.

04:01Copy video clip URL Young people rehearse “Nixon Now” song. Intro Credits.

05:30Copy video clip URL “Right on, Mr. President” button. People cheer for Nixon at the convention, chanting “Four More Years!”

06:12Copy video clip URL Young people shout various cheers for Nixon outside building.

06:38Copy video clip URL Young protesters chant “Hey Hey Ho Ho Tricky Dicky’s Gotta Go.”

07:03Copy video clip URL Young people chanting “Four More Years” in the convention hall.

07:22Copy video clip URL Student Nixon supporters on a bus claim that their support for Nixon and cheers are not dictated by campaign leaders.

08:28Copy video clip URL A Nixon supporter uses a bullhorn to direct young supporters as a bus arrives. A young girl from Florida expresses her excitement about seeing Nixon. She’s a Nixonette. Button: “Get to know a Nixonette.” She explains what she does as a Nixonette, and how recruiting is carried out (mainly in sororities).

09:51Copy video clip URL A woman directs the Nixonettes on how to serve people during a large party.

10:35Copy video clip URL Nixon’s children arrive at a party, much to the excitement of young party-goers.

11:30Copy video clip URL A man asks for an autograph from Julie Nixon Eisenhower. She talks to an interviewer about her plans to travel across the country campaigning for her father, campaign parties, and the youth for Nixon. Button: “One of 250,000.”

12:54Copy video clip URL Tricia Nixon Cox describes her father as the youth candidate and talks about the demographics of the youth for Nixon. She talks about students supporting her father’s choice to end the draft and her father’s position as a peacemaker in the world in his trips to China and Russia. She says that the anti-war, anti-Nixon youth represent the minority of America. She claims that it takes more courage to stand with the majority than with the minority.

15:34Copy video clip URL Nixon’s son-in-law Edward Cox talks to an interviewer about his role in the upcoming campaign. He answers some policy questions and abruptly ends the conversation.

17:56Copy video clip URL An NBC news announcer introduces convention coverage saying it was “brought to Americans by the Gulf Oil Company.”

18:24Copy video clip URL Cassie Mackin of NBC news talks to Skip Blumberg about the convention. She says that the convention looks very packaged for the public, but that it’s the press’ duty to stick with the convention.

19:15Copy video clip URL Mike Wallace discusses the evening’s coverage, asserting that a single night doesn’t allow enough coverage of the events. Wallace speaks against advocacy reporting, even if the convention is pre-packaged.

22:04Copy video clip URL Herb Kaplow from ABC comments on predictability of convention.

22:45Copy video clip URL Roger Mudd from CBS refuses to talk to Skip Blumberg.

23:38Copy video clip URL Skip Blumberg plays the “Republican Convention Drag” on his harmonica. A man on the floor asks to see his press credentials.

24:20Copy video clip URL Button: “Vietnam Veterans Against the War.” Shot opens on Ron Kovic, a handicapped Vietnam veteran and activist, being helped into his car from his wheelchair. “I joined the Marine Corps in 1964, and I felt that I had an obligation to serve my country at the time. I felt that–I was really gung ho– I felt like I was doing the right thing. I was for Goldwater in ’64. And when I went to ‘Nam, I began to see Napalm babies, began to see United States’ genocidal policy in Vietnam, the fact that we were murdering civilians, babies. Then I spent seventeen months in the Veterans Administration Hospital, and I saw men who were twisted and crippled by the war, men who had lost their legs and arms, paraplegics, quadriplegics. I saw Nixon cut back $100 million in expenditures to the V.A. hospital system, and completely forget about the veterans who came back from the war.”

25:45Copy video clip URL Holding an upside-down American flag, the Vietnam Veterans Against the War march down the street, facing off with a line of police.

26:23Copy video clip URL Having blockaded the entrance to the Convention Center, police refuse a Congressman admission until he shows his identification. “You really don’t know who I am?”

26:53Copy video clip URL Vietnam veterans talk to the Congressman about treatment of returned veterans in the US. “You’ve got a government that fears you, if you can believe that. The police don’t fear you… most of those guys fought in Vietnam, they’re just as decent as you guys.” Kovic complains that he’s been arrested several times for protesting the war, despite his large sacrifice he made to his country.

27:51Copy video clip URL A WWII veteran, watching the protesters, complains about their actions. He claims that these particular soldiers must have been “all hopped up on drugs” in Vietnam. “How many guys got killed because these guys were hopped up?… What were these guys doing? They were nothing in the army… They weren’t protecting the guy next to them. They were flying. So they weren’t doing a goddamn thing.” He shows off his war injuries and claims to have accepted his injuries without blaming anyone. Hudson Marquez asks, “Don’t you think there could be a time when there aren’t going to be any more wars?” “No, that’ll never come in nobody’s lifetime.”

28:59Copy video clip URL A group of middle-aged women watch the protest and complain about the disrespectfulness of the Veteran protesters. “I think it’s awful. I really do.” “I’m not for it also. My son was in Vietnam, and if he can come home and go along with the establishment, I’m sure they can too.” “Especially when they fly the flag of the enemy.” Maureen Orth asks, “Have you talked to these people to find out what their issues are at all?”  “We understand a lot aren’t from Vietnam… They’re just here with the group, but they’re not really Vietnam veterans.” “Do you feel they have the right to dissent?” “Definitely. Of course. That’s the American Way…. But it’s rather treasonable to fly the enemy’s flag.” Later, one of the women says that she doesn’t believe that the protesters pose any physical threat to women, but another woman disagrees. “I think they have an ulterior motive when they do this. I realize they’re dissenting and they have a perfect right to dissent, but I have a feeling that they are looking for confrontation with the police. They are absolutely looking for it…. They are aimless creatures.”

30:57Copy video clip URL Maureen Orth interviews a senior citizen. “I belong to a generation that is the most patriotic group in the whole United States. If the 30 million older people–over 60 years of age–in this country would get together and stand up and bear witness to the values and standards by which they’ve lived and which made this country great, we wouldn’t have this kind of nonsense going on.”

31:24Copy video clip URL Several jumpy zooms out of the Convention Center mark the transition away from the street protest.

31:42Copy video clip URL Cut to a commercial break for Sanka Coffee, White Front, the Buddy Clyde Show, and Bell and Howell Focus-Matic Movie Cameras.

33:54Copy video clip URL Button: “Italians for President Nixon.” A well-dressed Italian-American man complains about protesters. He says he would shoot people for burning the flag. He claims that poverty doesn’t exist in the U.S., then makes some racist remarks about interracial marriage and broken families. He says Nixon will be remembered as the best president in history.

36:21Copy video clip URL Buttons: Slovaks, Irish, Italians, Germans, French for President Nixon.

36:41Copy video clip URL The Reagans and other wealthy Republicans arrive for a private boat party.

37:23Copy video clip URL Maureen Orth catches up with Henry Kissinger leaving a party and asks him whether, if the polls show Nixon winning in a landslide, if they would start surprise peace negotiations before the election. “We don’t care what we are doing to domestic politics. I think that we’ll be moving at whatever pace we’ve established.” “How come it has taken four years to bring peace in Vietnam?” “Because it’s a very complex problem and it doesn’t depend only on us.” “Are you having a good time here?” “Very good time.” “How are the girls?” Slyly: “They’re very pleasant.”

38:21Copy video clip URL The camera moves down a line of eerily silent, dead-eyed, ghoulishly painted protesters while a fiddler and drummer march down the line playing “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

39:46Copy video clip URL Out on the streets. Anti-Nixon protesters plan a nonviolent sit-down to keep the delegates from entering the building at the 17th street gate.

40:05Copy video clip URL At the entrance, the delegates are alarmed by the security guard’s warnings to hurry up and get inside before they gas the protesters. “Calm and easy, slow and easy… There’s plenty of time, nothing to worry about.”

40:50Copy video clip URL Douglas Kiker advises the TVTV crew about how to deal with Tear Gas. “Never wash your face or your eyes with water… Apple vinegar… And also take a handkerchief and wet it with it and hold it like this [over your mouth]… Makes a world of difference.”

41:23Copy video clip URL Outside the convention hall, panicked Girl Scouts holding flags rush to get inside.

41:30Copy video clip URL Inside, a group of Southern delegates indignantly complain to reporters about the violence of the anti-Nixon protesters. “No difference at all if you are a lady or a man. They come right in regardless of who it was. Throwing eggs and everything… Right now they are essentially non-violent. But they are in a mood where they can turn violent just that quick.”

42:08Copy video clip URL Some very young delegates seem even more outraged. “They don’t have any right to do this. And I think they should just take the National Guard and just turn it loose on them right now. That’s what they’re here for, isn’t it?” “We might end up with something akin to Kent State on a larger scale. But it would be worth it.”

42:37Copy video clip URL Back to the same Southern delegates. “The troops should be brought in right now and they should be quieted down and moved off the streets.” A particularly nebbish-looking man in a bow tie quivers that “people need to be protected, so that we can leave here without fear of our lives… If that’s any indication of the violence that they want to achieve, then God help the people that are still outside.”

43:08Copy video clip URL Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts continue to run into the convention hall with their flags, upon the insistence of the security guard.

43:41Copy video clip URL Protesters stand outside gates while the “Star Spangled Banner” is played on a bugle.

44:04Copy video clip URL Cut straight into the same phrase of the “Star Spangled Banner” being sung inside the convention hall by some bright-faced young singers onstage.

44:34Copy video clip URL The official nomination of Richard Nixon is announced, camera shows Pat Nixon and daughters applauding.

44:46Copy video clip URL Richard Nixon accepts nomination from the podium. Button: “Nixon’s the One!”

45:11Copy video clip URL As the crowd applauds, the camera cuts to Ron Kovic (somehow inside the convention). In tight close-up he shouts to the podium, “Stop the bombing! Stop killing! Stop the war!” The camera turns in circles showing the large groups of security sent to deal with the protesters’ presence, and back around to Kovic who slumps in his wheelchair with his head in his hands. He sits up and whispers almost to himself, “Tell the truth to the American people.” The camera barely picks up the whisper amid the noise of nearby delegates applauding. Other Vietnam veterans begin to yell again and Kovic, framed in an extremely tight close-up, looks directly into the camera lens and loudly says, “Stop killing. Stop killing human beings.”

46:17Copy video clip URL The celebration on the podium continues uproariously. Kissinger poses with an applauding child in a suit.

46:28Copy video clip URL Celebratory balloons fall from ceiling. The previously meek Southern delegates pop them with surprising intensity and vigor.

47:33Copy video clip URL Camera tracks out of empty convention hall over chants of “Four More Years.” Camera pulls out of television for closing credits.

48:05Copy video clip URL Commercial for the British program “Doctor In The House.”

49:20Copy video clip URL Davis gives another introduction for “The World’s Largest TV Studio.”

50:01Copy video clip URL Opening with TVTV logo. Miami Beach, July 7-14, 1972. Video scrapbook. Pan through exterior of location where the Democratic National Convention is being held.

50:12Copy video clip URL Assorted brief clips from around the convention. A man sings as we see footage from in and around the convention. Cassie Mackin of NBC News and Dan Rather of CBS News comment on the excitement of the convention.

51:23Copy video clip URL Interview with Roberta K. Johnson, Wallace delegate, about why she supports George Wallace.

51:36Copy video clip URL “Waiting for the candidates.” Mayor of Miami Beach on stage. We see the news crews waiting.

53:17Copy video clip URL Johnson claims that God intervened with Wallace because he took five bullets and lived through it.

53:35Copy video clip URL Footage from Colorado, 8/11/71. McGovern claims that it takes no courage to stand up against Vietnam at the present, but that it did take a lot of courage to stand up against it in the early stages of the war.

54:06Copy video clip URL Inside the convention center.

54:28Copy video clip URL Videomaker Tom Weinberg explains the media pass and floor pass privileges at the event.

54:57Copy video clip URL Camera crew gets hassled by Secret Service and are asked to turn off their cameras. Their credentials are checked.

57:01Copy video clip URL We watch as a group of Illinois politicians sing the National Anthem.

58:05Copy video clip URL California challenge. Willie Brown gives speech about injustices suffered by their delegation in removing minorities.

59:06Copy video clip URL Brown talks strategy with delegate crew. He explains that the camera crews will not undermine their mission because the footage won’t be broadcast for a few weeks.

01:01:58Copy video clip URL Tape ends.



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