Nuclear Power: The Public Reaction 3

A live television special about a large protest in Washington, D.C. against nuclear power.

00:02Copy video clip URL Anchor David Prowitt announces a break for local station identification. 

00:16Copy video clip URL Title card over footage of the crowd listening to a speech about Jimmy Carter’s failures. 

01:53Copy video clip URL Prowitt returns. 

02:27Copy video clip URL A segment produced by Nick DeMartino about the anti-nuclear movement. 

02:58Copy video clip URL Activist Sam Lovejoy of the Clamshell Alliance discusses property destruction and tactics he employed that were once considered too extreme by the rest of the anti-nuclear and environmentalist movements.

04:11Copy video clip URL William A. Rusher of the National Review characterizes the anti-nuclear movement as “hysterical” and hypocritical for also opposing the pollution caused by fossil fuels. He implies that the environmentalist activists chose their cause because they had nothing else left to protest after the end of the Vietnam War. He criticizes Daniel Ellsberg and Jane Fonda. 

5:38Copy video clip URL Marjorie Stamberg, a socialist activist belonging to the Spartacist League, criticizes the protests for not being forward looking. 

06:13Copy video clip URL A report from Demartino in front of the Capital Building in Washington, D.C. Demartino speaks with activists about the anti-nuclear and environmentalist movements. 

08:40Copy video clip URL Demartino contextualizes the anti-nuclear protesters within other protest movements of the 1970s and speculates that the debate may foreshadow the politics of the 1980s. 

09:17Copy video clip URL Prowitt returns to discuss the politics of protest with Tom Bethel of Harper’s Magazine and Edwin Diamond of MIT. Bethel discredits the crowd as being “unrepresentative” of American society and implies that the protesters are all spoiled and rich young people. He likens government funding for solar energy to “Daddy” giving his child a credit card. 

15:28Copy video clip URL John Hall plays a song, “Plutonium Is Forever”

17:02Copy video clip URL Hall brings up Jackson Browne and John Sebastian to sing a song, “Power.” 

22:38Copy video clip URL Prowitt introduces a segment in which Rep. Michael McCormick (D-Washington) discusses the “sensationalism” in the press after the disaster at Three Mile Island. 

24:24Copy video clip URL Governor Jerry Brown gives a speech about the anti-war movement’s ultimate vindication in spite of initial opposition. Brown tells the crowd to take the cause back to their home state and calls for a moratorium on nuclear power. 

29:52Copy video clip URL Prowitt introduces a report from David Ensor about Jimmy Carter’s approach to nuclear power.

31:08Copy video clip URL Footage of a press conference in which Carter speaks about the accident at Three Mile Island. Back in D.C., Ensor discusses the President’s other thoughts on nuclear power. He expects that the administration will ignore the protest entirely and that they don’t wish to be associated with it. 

34:03Copy video clip URL An interview with singer Joni Mitchell backstage at the rally, who compares nuclear power to cigarette smoking. 

34:46Copy video clip URL Author Kurt Vonnegut explains that he is against nuclear power because his brother, a distinguished scientist, has been raising the alarm about the damage caused by unregulated and unmonitored nuclear technology. 

35:27Copy video clip URL A live speech from activist and comedian Dick Gregory. Gregory emphasizes the importance of the cause and discusses the racial makeup of the protest.

40:20Copy video clip URL Prowitt introduces a segment about Karen Silkwood’s death, possibly caused by radiation poisoning, with David Burnham of the New York Times. Dr. John Gofman and Sara Nelson appear. 

46:04Copy video clip URL Prowitt announces that the crowd has reached 125,000 people and then introduces Edwin Diamond, who offers criticism of the overly generous press coverage of the nuclear industry. 

49:30Copy video clip URL Tom Bethel responds to Diamond, claiming that there is too much “government intervention” to regulate the energy industries. He and Diamond debate and Bethel criticizes the impulse to regulate safety for nuclear power plant employees as wanting “to live in a risk free environment […] like the Indians.” 

53:34Copy video clip URL Interviews with members of the crowd about why they came to the demonstration, including Ralph Nader. 

55:00Copy video clip URL Prowitt summarizes the event at the end of the third hour. 

56:20Copy video clip URL Graham Nash performs “Barrel of Pain.” 

57:38Copy video clip URL End credits. Nash performs “Teach Your Children Well.” 



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