ERIC Number: ED228671
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Apr
Reference Count: 0
The "Checkers" Speech and Televised Political Communication.
Richard Nixon's 1952 "Checkers" speech was an innovative use of television for political communication. Like television news itself, the campaign fund crisis behind the speech can be thought of in the same terms as other television melodrama, with the speech serving as its climactic episode. The speech adapted well to television because it was engrossing (the audience was able to perceive it as a real event); it engaged in moral labeling ("good guys" and "bad guys"); and it gave the impression of being definitive and authoritative. Among the conclusions that can be drawn from the episode are the following: (1) television demands soap opera, and the speech was an example of early 1950s soap opera at its best; (2) direct televised appeals are superior to alternative forms of political communication, particularly for "apologia"; and (3) "apologia" virtually requires the direct use of television for the speaker to reach his or her intended audience. (JL)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Nixon (Richard M); Political Communication
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Central States Speech Association (Lincoln, NE, April 7-9, 1983).