Boston-Radio-Interest Digest, Vol 16, Issue 160

A Joseph Ross
Tue Jul 10 00:48:31 EDT 2012

On 7/9/2012 1:42 PM, Attorney Chase wrote:

> I suppose your right, otherwise Reagan wouldn't have been able to do his simulated announcing of ballgames although that probably happened before War of the Worlds. There was an "announcer" for the Brooklyn Dodgers who did the same thing from a radio studio in Washington DC. Nathan Matthew "Nat" Allbright (November 26, 1923 - July 18, 2011)

That's not the same thing either.  Simulated announcing of ballgames was 
quite common in the early days of radio, when travel and remote 
communications were not as readily available as now.  Donna probably can 
provide much more details, but I don't think anyone pretended that the 
announcer was broadcasting live from the actual event.

I remember hearing one such broadcast circa 1949-1950.  There would be 
some clicking of a machine, and then the announcer would say what just 
happened at the game.  My father explained to me that the clicking was 
from a teletype machine or ticker-tape or some such, and the announcer 
was sitting in a studio in Boston, repeating the information that he was 
getting from the machine.  I didn't understand it then, but more 
recently I've read about such things. Sometimes this was done by an 
announcer repeating what someone at the game was telling him by 
telephone.  Some announcers could do a very good job of getting excited 
the way someone actually seeing the game would.  But this sort of 
recreation was not the same thing as the realistic simulation of news 
bulletins that was done on the War of the Worlds broadcast.

> Although the police seized all but one of the scripts after the War of the Worlds broadcast as "evidence of a crime" apparently no one was charged. I'll bet with some of the harassment and other laws extant today some DA would try to expand the envelope and bring some type of charges if the same type of thing as War of the Worlds happened today. Not saying it would pass muster under the 1st Amendment, just saying some DA would at least try it.

I wouldn't be surprised if some DA somewhere tried to prosecute 
something like this, but at some point, they'd have to have some law on 
their side, or they'd see the case dismissed.  And they might even be 
sued for malicious prosecution.

A. Joseph Ross, J.D.|92 State Street|Suite 700|Boston, MA 02109-2004

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