Election 1944: Networks post political pay-as-you-go sign (7-25-44)

The Pittsburgh Press (July 25, 1944)


Networks post political pay-as-you-go sign

Lift ban against Democratic song
By Si Steinhauser

Radio’s networks banned the Democratic Party theme song, “Don’t Change Horses in the Middle of the Stream” until the Roosevelt nomination, then let down the bars. That was “for free,” as they say in the entertainment world. Now the bars are up again, unless and until the Democrats contract and pay for time. After that they may sing and play their favorite song until the time runs out.

That’s the network attitude. They didn’t intend to play politics and don’t intend to do so now.

If the Demmies use the song, and it is apparent that they intend to, why doesn’t the GOP have someone write new lyrics to a “dew, Dew, Dewey Day” and give them some competition in a musical way?

“Don’t Change Horses in the Middle of the Stream” was written by the same trio who wrote “Mairzy Dotes:” Al Hoffman, Milton Drake and Jerry Livingstone.

For the rest of the campaign President Roosevelt will have to decide when he is “reporting to the nation” and when he is talking politics. In the first case the networks will give him time, in the latter the Democratic National Committee will have to pay. On the other hand, every time Mr. Dewey speaks his party will have to pay, for the very simple reason that he isn’t President – not yet, his followers would probably add to that.

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Thanks for sharing. It is intriguing how the media handled this during the war. I wonder if there were hiccups when the networks claimed that FDR made a political speech and FDR stated that it was informative. Thank you.