“The Hippie Temptation” Documentary

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Remember when you first heard, “Don’t trust anyone over thirty!” That quote is attributed to Jack Weinberg, a UC Berkeley Free Speech protester who climbed on to a police car to proclaim his opinions in 1964. He was promptly arrested.Not everyone greeted the youth movements of the 1960s with positive anticipation. A CBS news crew led by veteran journalist Harry Reasoner created a documentary called, “The Hippie Temptation,” that aired on August 22, 1967. This was at the height of the Summer of Love when the youth of the country were still flocking to the Haight. Here is seven minutes of the 50 minute program. There is an interview with the Grateful Dead and a clip of the band singing “Dancing in the Street” in Golden Gate Park.
Reasoner concludes that the Hippie movement is, “style without content.” There are folks who would dispute that now. Many things that defined life-as-usual in our country changed in the late 1960s. Individual experiences determine if the changes were good or not.

Reasoner went on to become a founder of the “60 Minutes” news magazine in 1968. In 1970, he moved to ABC. In 1976, his co-anchor for the evening news broadcast was Barbara Walters, the first woman assigned to co-anchor a network’s evening news. Some believed that Reasoner disliked the idea of a woman anchoring the network news.  His answer was, “I am trying to keep an open mind about it.” Both he and Walters were replaced in 1978 and he returned to CBS to continue his broadcast career until his death in 1991.

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