The News, Reality and The Truth

How do you find out what is happening in our world? As we begin a new year, we can access our daily news through technology, or in the old fashioned way by reading a paper and ink copy of a newspaper. In the 1960s, we only had paper and ink choices: the San Francisco Chronicle; the San Francisco Examiner; the San Francisco News-Call Bulletin until 1965; and beginning in 1966, the weekly alternative newspaper, the San Francisco Bay Guardian. In this new year, the SF Chronicle is the only paid-subscription daily newspaper operating in the City.

How do you define reality? Today we have “reality tv” where viewers watch “celebrities” living day-to-day or game contestants competing for prizes, including someone to marry. In the 1960s, we looked to the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour to comment on the reality of the day. Here is a 1968 video clip of Dick and Tommy Smothers, joined by comedian George Carlin, talking about the decline in newspapers and giving the audience their interpretation of the true news of the day:

The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour was on CBS from 1967 to 1969. The show was controversial because they regularly used satire to comment about racism, the Vietnam War and the President of the United States. The show was pulled off the air on April 4, 1969, resulting in a breach of contract lawsuit that the brothers won in Federal court in 1973.

In 1968, the team of writers for the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour got an Emmy Award for “Outstanding Writing in a Comedic Series.” Tommy was the head writer but refused to have his name listed with the team because he felt he was too controversial. He was awarded a Special Emmy for his achievement in 2008. Here is his acceptance of his award with comedian Steve Martin making the presentation. Martin had been a writer for the program. Tommy included his definition of the truth:

Best wishes,