Tag Archives: President Nixon

Tobacco, Smoking and the Media

 

Timeline for blog

EVENTS OVER TIME


                                                                                                                      1500-1940-1950-1960-1970-1980-1990-2000-2010-2015

Post idea suggested and with assistance by Olivia Boye from Florida

By Rick Bretz

The tobacco crop was an original export from the colonies to England and Europe at the onset of colonization of North America.  It was a building block for the economic security of the United States. As the United States expanded and grew, tobacco products gained a healthy share of the disposable income market.  In time, for some people, that disposable income became a necessary purchase for many Americans.  The medical community and government officials came to the conclusion in the 20th Century that tobacco products, although enjoyable for some smokers, may create significant health issues with usage over time.

1940s Cigarette Ad
1940s Cigarette Ad

Tobacco product advertising from the 1940s through the middle 1960s remained unchallenged but the health argument remained in the background of the issue. Several television shows and networks brought on major tobacco companies to finance their programming.  Film stars were seen smoking while some were paid to endorse a certain brand.  The youth of America saw that smoking was cool and smoking meant that you were among the “in-crowd”;  and furthermore, your  personality exuded danger and adventure.  All of this, in addition to the belief that smoking was harmless, contributed to the steady rise in smokers over time.  This, of course, increased profits, and provided the necessary marketing funds for further advertising strategies.

The other side of the smoking issue relates to the altering of the carcinogen levels and other additives by companies to increase the likelihood of addiction. This is an important part of the story.  Nevertheless, it is an issue for another time.

The advertising game changed after the Surgeon General released a Health Advisory Report on June 11, 1964, outlining the negative health issues from long-term smoking.

From the Center for Disease Control website:

The Advisory Committee concluded that cigarette smoking is—

  • A cause of lung cancer and laryngeal cancer in men
  • A probable cause of lung cancer in women
  • The most important cause of chronic bronchitis
1960s ad
1960s ad

Later, the U.S. Congress adopted the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act of 1965 and the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act of 1969. These laws—

  • Required a health warning on cigarette packages
  • Banned cigarette advertising in the broadcasting media
  • Called for an annual report on the health consequences of smoking
1980s print media ad
1980s print media ad

Despite pressure from the tobacco and broadcasting lobbies, the push to get a law passed to ban tobacco advertising gained momentum.  That led to the act to ban cigarette advertising from television and radio in 1971. On April 1, 1971, President Richard Nixon, a pipe smoker himself, signed into law legislation that prohibited tobacco advertising on television and radio.  Estimates at the time, showed that broadcast companies lost more than 220 million a year from advertising revenues.  At that time, 220 million dollars was a big chunk of change that had to be replaced in order for the industry to satisfy investors and profit margins. According to broadcasting records, the last televised cigarette ad aired on the Johnny Carson Show at 11:50 PM on January 1st 1971.  Carson’s ad occurred on January 1st, so that, in a compromise to the broadcasting lobby, they were able to get their last influx of profits by airing cigarette ads on the New Year’s bowl games.  What was broadcast media’s loss, was print media’s gain.  Tobacco company marketing campaigns moved advertising dollars to magazines and other print media.

Here are the primary 1971 smoking ad ban laws.

  • Made it unlawful to advertise cigarettes on radio or television beginning Jan. 2, 1971.
  • Changed the mandatory wording on cigarette packages from: “Caution: Cigarette Smoking May Be Hazardous To Your Health” to: “Warning: The Surgeon General Has Determined That Cigarette Smoking Is Dangerous To Your Health.”
  • Prohibited all state and local health-related regulation or prohibition of cigarette advertising.

Other provisions in the law are included here:

http://library.cqpress.com/cqalmanac/document.php?id=cqal70-1292742

The video link below is from the archives and shows different cigarette ads through time.

https://archive.org/details/tobacco_epv08h00

 


According to the druglibary.org, “On October 20,1971, a U.S. District Court ruled that the Congressional ban on cigarette advertising is constitutional. The ruling stated that such advertising does not qualify under the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech; a sharp distinction was drawn between guarantees of freedom of speech for individuals and the “limited extent” to which broadcast advertising qualifies for such protection.”


Since those years when legislation was passed to curb cigarette advertising, the government and particularly congressional leaders have sought to prevent the sale of products to children, teenagers and adults by requiring age checks and high taxes on cigarette packs, cartons and boxes.

Some researchers have questioned whether this has curbed smoking numbers, considering the fact these same companies sell to foreign countries despite increasing legislation to do what the United States accomplished in the 60s and 70s.  It seems today, that it may be easier and cheaper to buy a marijuana cigarette or product than a tobacco product.  So, as they used to say in the military, “At ease, smoke ’em if you got ’em!”

SMOKING BY TOPIC


 

                                                              1940s-1971                        1972-1990                           1991-2000            2001-2015


Film                                                Used frequently                                                                                              Used Sparingly


 

Television/Radio                      For advertising dollars until Jan 2, 1971                                             Characterization


 

Print                                              Continued with Surgeon General’s Warning


 

Billboards                                   Continued with Surgeon General’s Warning


 

World Wide Web                                                                                                        Pro-smoking imagery on websites

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/810400_6


 

Medical Research                             Jan 11, 1964, Surgeon General releases first Health Advisory Report


 

Overseas                                             Effort to increase market in other countries after consumer domestic  demand decreased


Strategies                                           Marketing can’t depict smoking as being cool or moving up the social ladder

        http://www.streetdirectory.com/travel_guide/29195/advertising/cigarettes_advertising_what_is_allowed_and_what_is_not.html


 

Notable Links:

http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/sgr/history/

http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/library/studies/nc/nc2b_10.htm

http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/about/about_collections.jsp

http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/Data_statistics/sgr/history/index.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tobacco_packaging_warning_messages

http://www.fda.gov/TobaccoProducts/Labeling/ucm259214.htm

http://www.fda.gov/TobaccoProducts/Labeling/MarketingandAdvertising/default.htm

http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/library/studies/nc/nc2b_8.htm

http://healthliteracy.worlded.org/docs/tobacco/Unit1/2history_of.html

http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/smoking-cessation/humans-start-smoking.htm

Superior Performance-President Richard M. Nixon

President Richard M. Nixon
President Richard M. Nixon

 

by Rick Bretz

No former President provokes more passion and stimulates more conversation than former President Richard Milhous Nixon.  Voters elected him as the 37th President of the United States serving from 1969-1974, resigning on August 9, 1974, one day after announcing it to a national TV audience. Nixon’s legacy is more complicated than just a Watergate cover up.  After his resignation, according to the book “The President’s Club”, Presidents from both sides of the aisle sought his advice and relied on him for overseas missions on a range of diplomatic topics including the Soviet Union,  the Middle East and the Far East.  Actors tried their talents at being Nixon a few times in film. Few have tried to master the nuances of Nixon’s personality. There are several movies about Richard Nixon such as All “The Presidents Men” and the “Assassination of Richard Nixon” but these releases keep Nixon behind the scenes as a looming figure. We only see him in news footage. I have selected actors who have taken on the responsibility to carry the whole movie. There are a few who have accepted the challenge.

 

Nixon (1995) Directed by Oliver Stone

Anthony Hopkins as President Richard M. Nixon

Played against Ensemble Cast portraying significant people throughout his life.

Nixon and Hopkins
Nixon and Hopkins

Anthony Hopkins’ portrayal of President Richard Nixon shows a Nixon who relies on his wife Patricia Nixon for advice and support.  He shows him as someone who plays hardball politics to succeed. Hopkins doesn’t look all that much like Nixon but he splashes the screen with Nixon’s paranoia and emotional repression. The movie gives a glimpse of how tough Nixon could be when dealing with his adversaries and pushy friends looking to gain something from his position. This movie was not well liked by Nixon’s family and friends. However, the criticism aside, Hopkins does an admirable job of revealing Nixon’s complicated, multifaceted personality. The movie also gives the viewer an idea of Nixon’s childhood challenges that shaped his personality and character.

 

 Frost/Nixon (2008) Directed by Ron Howard

Frank Langella as former President Richard M. Nixon

Played against Michael Sheen as talk show host David Frost and Nixon’s interviewer

Frank Langella as Nixon
Frank Langella as Nixon

The negotiations leading up to David Frost’s interview with Richard Nixon is a slice of history people weren’t aware of during the airing of the show. The movie shows the interview as a chess game between Frost and his people and Nixon and his aides. Nixon didn’t want to reveal anything that would further damage him but he also wanted to get his side of the story to the public. Langella does a skilful job of portraying Nixon as someone who his smart and is good at countering verbal maneuvers. The movie was criticized for its compression timeline that didn’t show Nixon having his way during a majority of the interview. The suspense lies in how Frost can get Nixon to admit he made a mistake and was wrong.

 

The Checkers Speech, the Real Frost/Nixon Interviews, the Farewell Speech to White House Staff

(1952, 1977, 1974)

Richard Nixon as Richard Nixon

Nixon gives his farewell speech with family by his side.
Nixon gives his farewell speech

Nobody does Nixon like  Richard M. Nixon himself.   His Checkers Speech saved his position as Dwight D. Eisenhower’s running mate and Vice Presidential candidate during the 1952 election campaign. Checkers refers to his dog and he explains in the televised speech that the dog is beloved by his daughters and he won’t give it up. The speech addressed concerns about Nixon’s financial dealings.

If you want to get a better idea of how the Frost/Nixon interviews went, then watch the whole conversation. In this interview, you get an idea of Nixon’s intellect and command of foreign policy. It’s the reason why President William Clinton sought out Nixon’s advice when he needed answers about foreign policy and the current political climate.

The Farewell Speech to the White House Staff is riveting. The speech to his loyal followers in the White House addresses his childhood, his father, mother, revenge and serving in politics. This speech had more drama in it than 50 percent of the movies released in the 1970s.

Towards the end of the speech, Nixon says this, “We want you to be proud of what you have done. We want you to continue to serve in government, if that is your wish. Always give your best, never get discouraged, never be petty; always remember, others may hate you, but those who hate you don’t win unless you hate them, and then you destroy yourself.”

 

The Real Person

There are many caricatures when people portray Nixon. The real person was an intellectual and political heavy weight who got caught up in government politics as take no prisoners game defined earlier in the 1900s.. His failure was to realize the shift in the political climate and how the press had changed concerning how they reported on politicians as the Vietnam War wage on in the late 60s and early 70s.  His downfall was using the tape recording system started by Franklin Roosevelt in the 1940s.

http://whitehousetapes.net/

The record, however, shows that Nixon began several programs that still live with us today. He began the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Natural Resources and proposed ending the draft. His trip to China thawed relations between the two countries and he used triangle diplomacy to further America’s interests. He also signed into law Title IX, legislation that states, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” He made it possible for all daughters to participate in sports so they can have a chance at scholarships and education.

After he left office, Richard Nixon became a consultant to later Presidents as well as a prolific author and statesman.

Conclusion

President Richard Nixon will always be viewed as tragic figure with personality flaws. Some will view him as a criminal for his actions. The record is more complicated than to paint his legacy with broad brush strokes. He started many positive programs and probably helped to end the cold war when he visited China. As we have seen in the past 30 years, being a President is fraught with political landmines that can trip up the most talented of people. The Presidents that came after Nixon had and will continue to have the benefit of learning from his mistakes.

 

Notable Links:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0113987/?ref_=nv_sr_3

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0870111/?ref_=nv_sr_1

http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/1997/gen/resources/watergate/nixon.farewell.html

President Richard M. Nixon Links:

http://nixonfoundation.org/

http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/richardnixon

 

Links to Checkers Speech Frost/Nixon interviews and Farewell Speech:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4UEv_jjPL0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UzyZYBYg8g

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32GaowQnGRw