Newspaper Articles


Charleston Gazette
May 2, 1960

Criticism of Brinkley Mounts

Gov. Underwood said Sunday that he found out that David Brinkley himself did not approve of one of his television programs on West Virginia.

The “Huntley-Brinkley Report” looked into conditions here during the past week because of all the interest in the state caused by the Democratic presidential primary.

Underwood had protested by telegram to the National Broadcasting Co., the Radio Corporation of America, the Federal Communications Commission and the Texas Co., which sponsors the programs. He said they had been rigged to distort true conditions and demanded they be stopped.

On Sunday, Underwood followed up with a letter to the same companies. He referred to an article on the Brinkley tour in the Wednesday Sunset News-Observer of Princeton-Bluefield.

“Brinkley did not particularly like the filming of the Kennedy campaign in Wayne County which was shown on the ‘Huntley-Brinkley Report[‘] last night,” the article said.

“He maintained it did not give a true picture of the people. It gave the impression that all of West Virginia is full of old timers whittling sway on the courthouse steps. Also he did not like the amount of time donated to showing an old rickety bridge that was filmed in the area,” the article continued.

“There are many fine people in this state and the old bridge was played up too much.”

Brinkley denied, after Underwood first criticized him, that there had been either rigging of distortion.

In his letter, Underwood not only stuck by his criticism, but made it stronger.

“I maintain,” he wrote, “that reporters who picture West Virginia as a completely devastated land and who present only its bad side are just as guilty of news distortion as the Soviet propagandists who present only their good side to the complete exclusion of their bad.

“I think you can understand why the people of West Virginia are incensed with this slanted reporting.


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