Cancelling is hardly new

Among the scattered preserves of OTR is one 1954 Mutual news broadcast by Frank Edwards, at KFWB in Los Angeles.

Edwards made a point of NOT insulting the audience. He was clearly trying to tell the truth as he saw it, and understood that normal people are also capable of seeing the truth.

In discussing unemployment stats, he mentioned that the official unemployment was considerably lower than real unemployment because a huge number of job seekers are automatically dropped from the rolls every week. “But you already knew that.”

Public health officials were distributing gamma globulin to help in the fight against polio, “though no evidence shows that gamma globulin helps. Well, if it doesn’t help against polio, it does help the company that sells the compound.”

Can you imagine a modern newsman saying that about muzzles and lockdowns and mRNA “vaccines”? Not even worth asking.

I wasn’t familiar with Edwards, so looked him up. His Mutual news was sponsored by AFL, and he was fired in 1954 because he was giving too much positive attention to CIO.

Broadcast Magazine tells a more detailed story. Reading between the lines: George Meany of AFL simply disliked Edwards, and made some sudden contract changes, knowing Edwards couldn’t go along with the changes.***

Edwards moved to local stations and focused more on scientific oddities like flying saucers, continuing to tell the truth as he saw it.

Was this his last network broadcast? That would explain why it was preserved. It includes a positive item about AFL and no mentions of CIO, so this wasn’t the immediate trigger.

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See also Don Hollenbeck, another truth-loving newsman who was lethally cancelled by Deepstate in the same year. Edwards was lucky to be fired by a sponsor, not killed by CIA. Radio was a fast-moving business at that time, and sudden firings were common. Edwards regained his balance and found his niche.

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** Footnote: Gamma globulin did work to some extent, and there was evidence, but the evidence was not “scientific” because good parents who wanted their kids to be healthy messed up the “scientific” trials. In hindsight Edwards was wrong about this, but the facts were not publicly available in 1954. His conclusion was valid from available facts.

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*** Footnote 2: Edwards later said that Meany wasn’t the culprit. The Air Force was pissed at Edwards for the UFO stuff, and they extorted Meany by threatening to move defense contracts to non-union companies.

When industries submerge

This British Youtuber covers some of the same old tech areas that I cover, with the same general attitude. He doesn’t go as far back in time, but he goes much deeper than I do.

In this clip he tells about the mysterious re-emergence of tape cassettes in recent years. How did they get underway so fast when old became new again? The answer is surprising.


For the usual arbitrary reasons, prisons only allowed cassettes for many years. No 8-track, no CDs, no digital formats. And they only allowed clear cassettes in clear players, so the guards wouldn’t have to use Xrays to watch for contraband.

When cassettes lost popularity, the cassette makers realized they had a literal captive audience, so they served it. When retro became fashionable again, the assembly lines were still running, so there was no need to set up new facilities.

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‘Second life’ stories are always fascinating. Several good cars were kicked out of US by planned obsolescence, then lived a long second life in Russia or Argentina or Brazil. Coherers were replaced by crystal detectors in 1910, but returned for an encore in computer memories.