FDR’s Fireside Chat Needs a Comeback
Frank Bruni over at the NYTimes wrote a column titled ‘Talk to Us, President Biden, but Not About Trump’ and it got me thinking.
I wasn’t very old at the time, but I remember those chats, with Roosevelt leaned back in a comfortable stuffed chair next to a fireplace, no matter the season. Of course, there was no television in those days and FDR actually spoke before a forest of microphones, but there was plenty of print coverage and the president was always shown at his ease before a fire.
All hell had broken loose at the time and the nation was deep into WWII
Roosevelt had a rather nasal and somewhat high-pitched voice, but it came through the radio as someone speaking directly to you and to me. Which was the entire point. Lowell Thomas, Roosevelt’s friend and America’s favorite broadcaster may have been FDR’s inspiration to regularly speak directly to the nation. No matter that fact, when Franklin spoke, America tuned in.
Radio and newspapers were the primary sources of news in those day…