I know you know that – – everyone knows that – – but think about the implications for a moment. This nationally televised speech is often credited with saving the career of Richard Nixon and making him one of the dominant forces in American politics for the next 20 years. It was unquestionably a turning point in the way that public figures used media, particularly in the face of scandal.
And it happened in 1952.
What's the big deal? Remember that television was still in its experimental phase until the postwar era. It wasn't until around 1947 that it became a national medium and even then, large swaths of the country had no TV stations. The fate of a presidential ticket was determined by something that was, at best, five years old.
When you hear the claim that technology today is changing our lives faster than ever before, remember Checkers.
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