Monday, September 27, 2010

Debunking the Kennedy-Nixon TV Myth

At Slate David Greenberg challenges much of the accumulated mythology and misunderstanding surrounding the first Kennedy-Nixon debate in 1960. His basic argument: the election did not hinge on the contrast in appearance between the two men on television.


Clare said...

Arthur Penn, the legendary director who coached JFK for those debates, just passed away.

"[He] made his mark outside of the entertainment world as well, advising then-Senator John F. Kennedy during his televised debates with Richard Nixon in 1960. Penn directed the broadcast of the third debate. Dave Kehr of The New York Times writes that Penn instructed Kennedy to "look directly into the lens of the camera and keep his responses brief and pithy"—a strategy that allowed JFK to project an air of confidence that Nixon couldn't muster."

dcat said...

Thanks for this, Clare!