Speakers: Soledad O’Brien, Narrator, David M. Kennedy, President Ronald Reagan, David Baldacci, H. W. Brands
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: Things that you will not learn if you do not have a free press.
NARRATOR: While television proves the downfall of one president and throws America into crisis, another will learn to use this technology to rebuild American confidence and usher in a new era.
(Music and applause)
As the ‘70s turn into the ‘80s, America feels bruised. The Middle East oil crisis, American hostages I Iran; surveys show only 22 percent of Americans trust the government. Unemployment and inflation are both at the highest levels since the Great Depression.
America has endured economic downtime before. In the 1930s, Roosevelt tries to bring America out of its Great Depression with government spending in new initiatives. But he also harnesses the power of the new medium, radio, to speak directly to the nation.
DAVID M. KENNEDY: Franklin Roosevelt had this truly mysterious capacity to speak through the radio in a way that compelled not just the attention but the affection of millions upon millions of his countrymen.
NARRATOR: Now, half a century later, a new president uses television in his attempt to restore the nation’s confidence.
PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: How can we not believe in the greatness of America? How can we not do what is right and needed to preserve this last best hope…