Skip to comments.Firing Line Broadcasts
Posted on 02/14/2017 1:37:34 AM PST by iowamark
From 1966 to 1999, the television series Firing Line with William F. Buckley Jr. was a venue for debate and discussion on political, social, and philosophical issues with experts of the day. The broadcast collection includes administrative files, program preparation materials, photographs, transcripts, sound recordings, and videotape copies of the 1,505 programs.
With 1,504 installments over 33 years, Firing Line is the longest-running public-affairs show in television history with a single host, William F. Buckley Jr.
The Firing Line archives consist of: tapes of all the shows; transcripts of all the shows; for about two-thirds of the shows, the newsletter that went out to the individual television stations describing the show (the news letter was not begun immediately, and only sporadic copies survive for the first several years); and research packages for nearly all the shows.
Firing Line kept substantially the same basic format throughout its life, but with certain variations.
(1) It began as an hour-long show for commerci al television (i.e., with time subtracted for commercial breaks), syndicated by WOR in New York City. In 1971, under the auspices of the Southern Educational Communications Association (SECA), it moved to public television and became a full hour. This move is reflected in a numbering change in the attached cata logue: shows numbered 1 through 240 were on commercial television; the SECA series th en begins with S1, taped on May 26, 1971. The WOR shows were numbered according to the or der in which they were taped; the SECA shows were numbered according to the orde r in which they were first broadcast. In 1988 the length of the regular sh ows was changed to a half-hour.
(2) Starting in 1978, interspersed among the regular shows are occasional specials and two-hour debates--formal debates, with opening statements, cross-examination, and closing statements. The debates were initia lly numbered as regular shows (the first Firing Line Debate was #S306, although a debate spons ored by Columbia College's Debate Council was filmed as shows #S296 and #S297 a few weeks earlier). Beginning in 1986, a separate numbering system was instituted for Firing Line Specials (with the number prefaced by the letters FLS). ( Note: Debates listed as "Part I" and "Part II" were shown on consecutive weeks in the regular time slot rather than being s hown all at once in a special two-hour time slot.) We have listed Firing Line Specials in their chronological places, interspersed among the regular shows. Starting with #S961, in March of 1993, the fo rmal debate would often be followed by two or more shows in which roughly the same participants were released from the debate format for informal discussion.
(3) Over the years Mr. Buckley and his produc er, Warren Steibel, used various methods of bringing an extra perspectiv e to the discussion. In the ea rly years there would often be a panel of three questioners--sometimes students, sometimes adults. Starting in 1977 there would often be a single "examiner," who would play a larger part in the proceedings than the panel of questio ners had typically done. We have not listed the examiners in this catalogue, but the one s who appeared most frequently were Jeff Greenfield, Michael Kinsley, Harr iet Pilpel, and Mark Green. In 1988, when the show went to half an hour, the examiner was eliminated, but there was often a "moderator," whose role was similar to that of the moderator in a formal debate. The moderator would introduce both host and guest, and then ask the opening question. The moderators are listed in the catalogue; the most frequently appearing was Michael Kinsley. [Some early programs included a person cal led a chairman, who functioned like a moderator. For programs discovered to have a chairman, he or she has been designated in the online database by including the chairman's name in the guest field and the word "chairman" in the biography field. Some ear ly programs had a three- or four-person panel. When located, these have been desi gnated by including the names of persons in guest fields and the word "panelist" in the respective biography fields. Hoover Institution Archives staff ]
(4) Beginning with show #171, in October of 1969, approximately twice a year the tables would be turned, with a panel of questione rs putting Mr. Buckley "on the firing line."
A leftist commentary:
“375+ Episodes of William F. Buckleys Firing Line Now Online: Features Talks with Chomsky, Borges, Kerouac, Ginsberg & More”
I loved this show as a kid.
Tried to never miss is.
My Sis would say “”Why do you watch that crap!?”
Are they available for free? I’d pay as long as it wasn’t too much. Podcast/flash drive. Some subjects would bore me.
They are on YouTube - link in 1st post.
You can see them here for free.
They seem to be in the process of uploading all of them..they started 3 weeks ago.
As time passed, Mr. Buckley seemed interested in placating his die-hard enemies, as with his sell-out of the Panama Canal, propped up on that one by none other than John Wayne. He also was for open borders before that was so popular.
Remember the interviews with Malcom Muggeridge, which were in December, I believe.
Hindsight is always 20-20. Giving up the Panama canal was good. A throw-in in the deal was our right to invade if civil unrest put the canal at risk. The South Americans are happy that the Russians didn’t build/own it. For our next trick I say get the Limeys out of the Falklands.
Thanks for the links. I started watching these on Amazon prime which also has them for free, back in the fall. I especially liked the one with Mother Theresa - yes that’s right - she was his guest the week she came to accept the Nobel peace prize. We dumped Amazon - they are on our boycott list so it’s nice to know I can continue watching.
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