William E. Borah





For published article -- see Journalism Quarterly, 67:1 (Spring 1990), pp. 214-224.


Donald G. Godfrey, Ph.D.
Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Telecommunication
Arizona State University
Tempe, Arizona


Val E. Limburg
Associate Professor
Department of Communications
Washington State University
Pullman, Washington 99164

Donald G. Godfrey, Ph.D., University of Washington (1975), teaches videography and programming at Arizona State University. His research interests are in history and criticism.

Val E. Limburg, M.A., Brigham Young University (1964), is an Associate Professor of Communica tion, Washington State University. His research interests are in history and law.



Senator William E. Borah of Idaho was a controversial and powerful Progressive at the time the U.S. Senate was formulating radio legislation. His political ideologies left an indelible impression on the history of broadcast legislation. His philosophy and influential rhetoric on the issue of anti-trust clearly were critical factors in the debate surrounding the Radio Act of 1927.


Senator William Edgar Borah has been described as Russia's unofficial ambassador in the United States, a dreamer and a rogue elephant.1 He was a figure of intrigue, controversy, and power. Most historians know Idaho's Senator Borah as a "son of the wild jackass" and a leader of the "irreconcilables,"2 but few have recognized his influence in the 1926-27 congressional debate over the proposed radio legislation.3 Borah was intrigued by radio. In 1924, he noted that its development marked "one of the most interesting phases of world prog ress."4 By 1926, his interest was directed toward radio monopoly and radio's possible "control of free speech."5 Historians discussing the passage and development of the 1927 Radio Act have emphasized the work of Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover,6 and the legal history of the 1912 Radio Act.7 Little has been written about Borah's participation in the struggle for radio legislation.

Borah's contributions to the Radio Act obviously were limited compared to the central figures of Wallace H. White and Clarence C. Dill, but his influence nevertheless was significant. Borah represented a progressive anti-monopolistic ideology that was important in the final rounds of debate surrounding the legislation. His intervention into the debates of the 69th Congress served as a catalyst to the discussion and brought the heretofore dormant "Dill Bill" into the forefront of Senate consideration. His tangential activity illustrated the legislative dynamics of the 1927 Radio Act. The purpose of this article is to document Borah's involvement in the arena of radio legislation.

The Historical Era

The rapid development of radio in the 1920s was part of the era of genuine idealism. The business ethic permeated almost every aspect of life. President Coolidge's comment reflected the era: "The man who builds a factory builds a temple, the man who works there, worships there and each is due not scorn and blame, but reverence and praise."8 The government of the 1920s existed as a coordinator for the nation's business growth. As President Harding declared: "America's business is everybody's business."9

Amid the business optimism of the 1920s there also was controversy and scandal. The Progressives, led by Senator Borah, considered it their responsi bility to arrest the growth of big business monopoly and give economic control to the people. The Elk Hills and Teapot Dome oil scandals left the country outraged at the exploitation of public resources.10 According to Tucker and Barkley, it was Senator Borah who told Attorney General Harry M. Daugherty "... to his face, that he owed it to the administration and the Republican party to get out."11 Barnouw has noted that it was the oil scandals that left Congres sional Representatives determined to conserve the radio "ether as a new national resource, free from big business exploitation.12 Congress wanted to preserve this natural resource (radio) by licensing the frequencies to the broadcasters rather than allowing them to own a frequency. Congress sought authority to regulate radio through the public ownership of the airwaves. It actively fought those who were "homesteading the frequencies," and it worked to develop the technical standards for the new radio industry.13 Secretary Herbert Hoover, Representative White, and Senator Dill guided the legislation in the spirit of rugged individualism. They sided with the industry in opposing a tax on receiving sets, governmental ownership of stations, and governmental censorship of program material. They drafted technological regulatory standards. They advocated industrial self-regulation. Hoover declared: "The more the industry can solve for itself the less will be the burden of government and the greater will be the freedom of the industry in its own development."14 It was within the spirit of government/industry cooperation that the radio industry grew rapidly. Thus, radio drew the attention of Senator Borah. He was alarmed at the monopolistic growth of radio, particularly the acquisitions of RCA; and decided to do something about it with the Borah Radio Bill. Borah was known for his anti-monopoly position and was always suspicious of government/industry assistance. He led a "coalition of progressive senators that held the balance of the power in the Senate for years."15 His position and independent individuality was not always appreciated by his colleagues, but the coalition of Progressives and Senator Borah were a dominent force in the Senate. Some members of Congress considered it a destructive force. The NRA and the New Deal reflect the most widely celebrated campaigns.16

Major politics in the 1920s revolved around the issues of the League of Nations and the Elk Hills and Teapot Dome oil scandals. It was toward the end of the decade that the smaller issue of radio evolved. Radio was an issue that initially concerned only a few politicians. In fact, the Senate seemed barely interested. The GOP controlled the legislature, and politics revolved around "four distinct political factions: Republicans, Democrats, Progressives, and William Edgar Borah."17 Leading the discussion of radio legislation, Hoover and White represented the Republicans; Dill, the Progressives and Democrats; and Senator Borah represented himself.

The thrust of the Borah Radio Bill was primarily to control the growing radio monopoly. According to Representative White, the issues that excited the 1926-27 legislative debates were government, censorship, advertising superpowers, and corporate mergers.18 To Senator Borah, all four of these issues revolved around one central controversy -- monopoly. It mattered not whether the specifics were governmental monopoly, Secretary Hoover's power to censor, the ability of department stores to purchase a station and promote their wares, or the growth of RCA. To Borah, it was all a question of monopolistic control. The Borah Radio Bill proposed the most strenuous anti-monopoly control measures to date. It created a three-person commission and gave it anti-monopoly powers drafted from the Federal Trade Commission Act and the Clayton Act. "I want to see radio conserved for the benefit of the people generally and not permitted to come under the control of monopoly,"19 Borah wrote.

Borah Ideology: Monopoly and Censorship

The problem of monopoly exerted itself in three forms: first, the possibility of political monopoly or the censorship of political ideas by a private source; second, the specific public or governmental censorship charges leveled at Hoover as Secretary of Commerce; and, finally, the rapid expansion of corporate monopoly.

The power of political censorship by private sources worried lawmakers, constituents, and industry representatives.20 Enthusiasm for radio as a developing medium brought forth colorful descriptions of radio's persuasive powers. Popular Mechanics described the "political spellbinding" of radio and its "silent switch" exercised at the 1924 national conventions.21 The "silent switch" meant radio operator control and was synonymous with censorship for the politicians. Requests from radio stations that speakers submit their material to the management prior to delivery made men like James Watson, Robert LaFollette, and Norman Thomas insist there would be no censorship.22 They considered censorship a "clearly highhanded act ... [that would] be duplicated ... if governmental authority ... does not curb the power of the private radio owners."23 Norman Thomas, the executive director of the League for Industrial Democracy and prominent Socialist candidate for the presidency, asserted that both sides of any question should be heard over the air.24

Borah recognized the impact governmental censorship could have on free speech and the political process. In correspondence with E.F. McDonald, the first president of the National Association of Broadcasters and president of the Zenith Corporation, he said "broadcasters, almost without exception, have advised me that they were heartily in favor of an independent commission ... but that they did not dare openly oppose Mr. Hoover."25 Irving Herriott, attorney for the Zenith Corporation, decried Representative White's proposal: "If it becomes law," he said, "it will make the Secretary of Commerce the Supreme Dictator." Herriott suggested that Borah introduce legislation to remedy the problems in both the White and Dill bills.26 Talk of political censorship from Hoover or the censorship of ideas concerned Borah. The censorship of ideas, even of Darwin's evolutionary ideas, did not fit the theme of the 1920s.27 So Borah acted upon Herriott's suggestion and introduced his own legislation. Although Borah was elected as a Republican (he strongly supported Hoover's 1928 presidential campaign) he was noted as an independent progressive. He was not afraid to oppose the party or the individual. In radio, he was not afraid of Hoover or the growing corporate monopolies. "The power of a broadcast station must be curbed," he said, "if [the stations] persist in affronting the sensibilities of a larger or small part of the country."28 The Borah Bill placed full respon sibility for the control of censorship and monopoly within the power of the proposed Radio Commission.

Of all the aspects of the monopoly issue that extended into the legislative arena, the concern over the power of the corporate monopoly was most prominent. It was a red flag for Borah. In his communication with colleagues, industrial representatives, and constituents, he consistently included the phrase, "I am opposed to monopoly."29 But large corporations had invested heavily in the development of radio; and, when it appeared that there were profits to be made beyond the sale of receiving apparatus, they protected their patents and "vested rights" with zeal. Hoover, who had initially expressed a "debt of gratitude"30to the American Telephone and Telegraph Company and Westinghouse for their development of network interconnection, later saw that interconnect develop into a large radio trust. It was during the 1926 legislative debate that AT&T sold its broadcast interests to RCA, which already owned one network. Now RCA's Red and Blue network chains began to program to numerous smaller independent stations. Borah had been carefully watching RCA's growth since 1924.31 The Borah Radio Bill reflected what he now considered to be necessary governmental intervention.

Not surprisingly, while Borah and other Progressive legislators struggled with the monopoly control provision of the proposed radio law, the larger corporations sought to ease the fears of the legislators and push through more favorable legislation. RCA indicated that the proposed White-Dill legislation would foster competition and consequently curtail monopoly. Radio Broadcastreported that monopoly that was "such delightful music for the politicians' song" and "most effectively fostered by the fact that there [was] no incentive for the establishment of rival broadcasting chains."32 Noting the growth of RCA's National Broadcasting Company, the trade publication pushed to clear the air as a resolution to the dangers of monopoly.33 There were stations that took on an even more defiant stance. They denied public ownership of the "ether" and declared their ownership of the wave lengths. True to the spirit of the post- war decade, they asserted that business interests were identical with the public interest. While pushing for the clearance of the "ether," they took up squatters' rights on their frequencies and attempted to underplay the issue of monopoly.34

The Borah Radio Bill

The Borah Radio Bill, while declaring the government's right to regulate in the "public convenience, interest, and necessity," referred matters of monopoly to the anti-trust law of the Federal Trade Commission Act. It specifically limited any vested property rights in the license. Borah was concerned with the commerce and ownership control aspects in his legislation. His bill made continual reference to the provisions of the 1914 Federal Trade Commission Act and the anti-trust legislation within the Clayton Act. Borah proposed that the Radio Commission have "concurrent powers with the Federal Trade Commission and the Interstate Commerce Commission under the anti-trust provision."35 In essence, the proposed national Radio Commission was to be bound by the standards of anti-trust legislation.

Senator Dill was convinced that the Commission he proposed would have sufficient control over radio, without including the anti-trust provisions of the Borah Bill. Representative White, seeking passage for the White-Dill version of the radio bill and in response to the question of monopoly, asserted that the compromise bill would control monopoly. "It is offered to you as an advance over the present right of the individual to demand a license whether he will render a service to the public thereafter or not."36 An examination of the White Papers leaves the impression that the Congressman was willing to invest the Commission with more power over programming and licensing, but he was dissuaded by a genuine fear of censorship from doing so.

Borah opposed the White-Dill compromise because he felt it was too weak to control the growth of monopoly. Borah had opposed the White Bill from as early as March 1925. "I do not believe the White Bill ... will conserve radio for the benefit of the people ... at least not without some drastic change," he wrote.37

The Borah Bill "contained the most drastic anti-monopoly and anti-trust provisions yet written."38 Borah adopted anti-monopoly measures for his radio bill from two pieces of prior legislation. He used the FTC Act of 1914, which created and empowered a federal agency to implement anti-trust/anti-monopoly measures; and he used the Clayton Act of 1914, which was to supplement existing laws regulating monopoly. He used the FTC Act in the proposed structuring of the National Radio Commission, even down to the description of salaries, powers, duties, and so forth. His sentiment toward monopoly was clearly reported in his Lincoln Day address in 1913: "Monopoly is at war with Democratic institutions and the conflict is as irrepressible as was the contest between freedom and slavery."39

Representative White and Senator Dill had sought to provide a degree of regulation that would preserve industrial freedom and the public interest. This was not an easy task. As Senator Dill commented, the legislators were "trying to steer the legislative ship between the Scylla of too much regulation and the Charbydis of the grasping selfishness of private monopoly."40 The RCA "radio trust" concerned Congress, and most legislators were being pressed about the urgent need for regulation. The final provisions of the 1927 Act provided two sections theoretically dealing with the control of the monopoly: it gave the Commission power to make special regulations applicable to stations engaged in chain broadcasting and it encompassed all U.S. law pertaining to monopoly declaring it applicable to radio. These were the provisions of the Dill-White compromise. The specific anti-monopoly provisions Borah wanted in the Act never were adopted.

So, why did Borah introduce a radio bill? The Borah Radio Bill took into account all the major provisions of the Dill/White Bills and Borah's bill was never debated in committee. Dill indicated that although he had discussed the matter with Borah, that "he [Borah] didn't even show up for a hearing on the radio bills."41 Simply stated, according to Dill, the Borah Radio Bill was introduced largely as a result of a progressive push for the passage of legislation.42 Borah himself stated, "I first became interested in radio through its possibilities for the control of free speech."43 The New York Times, reporting on the Dill Bill, stated that Borah's bill acted as an endorsement for the commission and "now Senator Dill, a democrat, follows suit."44 It is important to note here that Senator Dill's proposals had previously contained the commission provision, however, he had been unable to interest the Senate in his bills, until Senator Borah provided his apparent endorsement. The irony of this political maneuver wAs that while Borah's Bill pushed Dill's provisions into the forefront of consideration, as we shall see the pressure for passage was so high that finally even Borah gave way. Dill was no doubt pleased to have the endorsement of such a powerful Senator and fellow progressive. He was a relatively new member of the Senate and as he described it "I was a one eyed man among the blind," in the development of radio legislation.45 The Borah Radio Bill thus served notice to the Senate "that from now on he [Borah] was a factor to be considered in radio matters and probably might be counted upon to block any measure which did not have his approval."46

Borah's Participation: A Chronology

To understand Senator Borah's impact on radio legislation it is important to note the chronology of the discussion within and surrounding the 69th Congress.

Popular and legislative discussion at the time revolved around the House action on the White Radio Bill and the Hoover Radio Conferences. The Fourth Radio Conference preceded the opening of the 69th Congress by just one month in 1925. Hoover and White had worked throughout these conferences to establish the technical standards for the regulation of radio. The White Radio Bill resulted from the conferences and had been actively considered several times in the House of Representatives.

The 69th Congressional Session began on December 7, 1925. The New York Times reported that with radio legislation likely to pass this session there was a scramble in the senate to see "who [was] going to get credit for putting it through."47 Senator Robert B. Howell introduced the first proposal on December 1, 1925.48 Senator Dill introduced the second measure on December 16.49 However, both bills were met by a disinterested Senate. Senator Howell's bill produced no discussion and never was reported out of committee. Radio legislation was yet of little interest to the Senate.50

The House of Representatives agreed to the White Radio Bill on March 15, 1926. This action immediately prompted Dill to again introduce his legislative proposal to the Senate. His legislation was referred to the Committee On Interstate Commerce.51 There still was no push from members of the Senate to bring the radio legislative proposals out of committee, even though members of the Senate recognized that time was pressing.52

It was not until Borah introduced his bill on April 13, 1926, that the Senate began its debate on radio legislation.53 The Borah Radio Bill created an immediate and heated exchange between senators and the president; and the press flurry that followed immediately dubbed the Borah Radio Bill as "virtually an anti-administration measure" because of the proposed radio commission.54 The Borah Bill focused attention on the commission. Its introduction was "equivalent to serving notice on the Senate" that Borah was a factor to be considered in radio legislation.55 On April 16, a U.S. District Court in United States v. Zenith struck down Hoover's licensing power under the Act of 192. This made radio legislation imperative, but it is noteworthy that the first Senate discussion revolved around the commission, monopoly and free speech provisions of the proposed legislation. The very provisions endorsed by the Borah Bill. A heretofore disinterested Senate finally began the radio legislative debates within the chamber.

Critics charged that Borah had little interest in radio, but his bill certainly introduced new agitation within and outside the legislature. The Minneapolis Journal illustrated the press flurry, editorializing on behalf of Hoover and criticizing Borah for dragging politics into the radio arena:
The House version of the bill does not suit Senator Borah at all ... which is probably not surprising. He has introduced an elaborate bill in the Senate setting up a new, independent commission for radio regulation.... Borah wants ... a commission, instead of permitting the efficient Mr. Hoover to act. They fear that he may become boss of the radio then run for President with a myriad of invisible, but zealous radio backers.56

Just a few days after the introduction of the Borah Bill, Senator Joseph T. Robinson of Arkansas began stressing the theme of too much "executive dicta tion."57 Robinson, in his Senate chamber remarks on April 28, also called for the creation of an independent commission for the control of radio. Robinson's remarks were clearly aimed at President Coolidge, and although he cited the Dill Bill, currently before the Senate, his remarks centered on Borah's concerns. He condemned the president for seeking the resignation of the Shipping Board members who had refused to accept his dictates. Robinson felt this was too much executive dictation and this was a danger to free speech.

We are told that the Dill bill is not acceptable to the President because it does not recognize the right of the Executive to dominate the activities of the agency contemplated by the bill for the control of radio ... I know that it is in conflict with recent and more ancient experience to entertain the belief that freedom of opinion and freedom of speech will be promoted by giving the President power to dominate one of the principal agencies of publicity.58

President Coolidge was against the extension of government through the creation of independent commissions.59 He wanted the regulatory powers of radio under the Cabinet where regulators would be responsible to the President.60 He objected to the growing number of commissions that he felt would be the defacto creation of a fourth branch of government.

The Borah Bill gave prominence to the Commission issue. For two months (April/May, 1926) Dill remained quietly in the background as Borah led the Commission issue into the dominant position within the public and legislative radio debates.61 Although the basic difference between the Senate and House versions always had been the creation of the Commission, Senator Borah's support of the Commission proposal made the Senate and the administration take it seriously. Senator Robinson had criticized the administration, and the popular press was quick to print the exchange. Borah had served notice with his bill that, if radio legislation were to pass in the Senate, a Commission would necessarily be a part of that bill.62 He was the lawmaker with clout who got things moving. As Senator Dill noted, Borah "sometimes had bigger press conferences than even President Coolidge."63 The Borah Radio Bill never was brought to the floor for formal debate, but its anti-monopoly provisions were hotly contested.

After the discussion subsided, Senator Dill tried again, on June 17, to call his bill up for consideration, but only after action on the Veterans' and Farm Bills had been completed.64 The delay meant that there would be only a few days in the Senate for debate. During the last days of the 1st Session of the 69th Congress (July, 1926), Borah tried to amend the Dill Bill to insert the monopoly control amendments from his bill. However, time was short, and Senator Cole Blease was taking up much of it in his proposal to eliminate the discussion of evolution on radio. Due to time constraints, the Borah Amendment never was formally considered.65 Borah tried again to call the radio legislation back from conference early in the 2nd Session (December 7, 1926), but other business and the Christmas break were pressing.66 When the conference report finally was introduced (January 31-February 2, 1927), pressure was very high for passage.67

It was during January and February, 1927, that a few legislators, including Borah, fought to defeat the final versions of radio legislation proposed by White and Dill. Even though pressure for passage was growing rapidly with the chaos on the air, Senators Davis, Pittman, and Borah fought to defeat the Dill-White Radio Bill in an attempt to force an amendment that would strengthen the control over corporate monopoly and deal with the vested rights issues.

The public was becoming impatient. Citizens and the press began to push their Congressmen for passage, and Borah was not immune. "Press reports indicate you're blocking radio legislation," wrote Frank Stanberry in a letter to Senator Borah. "A suffering public is looking anxiously toward Congress and urges you to cooperate and do something for their relief."68 One unsigned letter indicated the rural flavor and emotion of Borah's constituents. "In Nezperce, Idaho ... during the winter I depend upon radio for amusement, entertainment and many matters, but now it cannot be used because of interference."69 At first Borah tried to answer each letter explaining his position, but the task was too great. There simply were too many.70

Despite the fact that Borah had been previously active and felt the Dill- White compromise was weak, his participation began to diminish. He recognized that the debate was over. In the final rounds of the legislative discussion, Borah gave his support to Senators Pittman and Davis, who led in the discussion against monopoly. Borah felt that a law prohibiting radio monopoly took priority over the congestion of the air. His position was reflected in correspondence received just before the passage of the White-Dill Conference Report. "While legislation is imperatively needed, we believe that it would be better that there should be no legislation than that the conference bill be enacted with these serious omissions,"71 he wrote.

Borah struggled to control monopoly in radio, but his bill gave way to time in the legislative debates of July and December of 1926; and by February 27, 1927, it was too late. The 1927 Radio Act was passed and signed into law February 23, 1927.


Was Senator Borah, the rogue elephant of the 1927 radio legislation, really interested in the radio bill or was he interested merely in obstruction as his critics had claimed? "Borah will simply talk about it. He will not go through. He will do nothing,"72 wrote Tucker and Barkley. Whether Borah was an obstructionist in the radio legislative process or a dreamer does not really matter. The Senate's attention was focused on radio only after the introduction of the Borah Radio Bill. His bill motivated Senate debate. It created a heated exchange between Senator Robinson and President Coolidge on the subject of commissions. It led to the criticism of Borah himself, with the press accusing him of injecting politics into radio. His insistence on the commission control of radio, as opposed to allowing control by "the efficient Mr. Hoover," whom Representative White had called "the good samaritan of this generation,"73generated discussion in the press and Senate chambers. Borah's participation served notice that radio legislation would contain "commission" control over broadcasting. It was his expression of interest and participation that motivated the Senate. As Senator Dill noted, "the doors [of the Senate] all swing in when Borah speaks."74
Borah's role in radio legislation is as Tucker and Barkley suggest:
For Borah to expose the cause is half the battle. Others may stir the Senate, but he moves the Senate's masters. Lesser men in the Senate possess the plodding qualities needed to steer a bill. But there is only one Borah to arouse opinion so mightily that those other legislative grinds will do their stuff.75

Senator Borah's radio activates were ideologically motivated by his prominence as a part of the Progressive faction in the Senate. He was primarily interested in the control of what he saw as the growing radio monopoly and its effect on free speech. Senator Dill, Representative White, and Secretary Hoover all were unable to get the Senate to act on radio legislation; but when Senator Borah endorsed Dill's proposals the Senate masters were moved and radio legislation began to make its way through the chamber to become law.


1. Ray Tucker and Frederick R. Barkley, Sons of the Wild Jackass (Seattle, 1932), pp. 70-95.

2. In the late 1920s Senator George Higgins Moses described a group of progressive independent Senators as "Sons of the Wild Jackass." The "irrecon cilables" were a group of Senators who did not want the League of Nations and did not mince words in their opposition to it or President Wilson.

3. Donald G. Godfrey, "The 1927 Radio Act: People and Politics," Journalism History 4:3 (1977), pp. 76-77.

4. Hanson correspondence with Senator William E. Borah, January 1, 1924. See William E. Borah Papers, Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Box 166. Hereafter referred to as the Borah Papers.

5. "Senator Borah Introduces New Radio Control Bill," New York Times, April 25, 1926, IX, 18:6.

6. Daniel E. Garvey, "Secretary Hoover and the Quest for Broadcast Regulation," Journalism History 3:3 (1976), p. 13.

7. Marvin R. Bensman, "The Zenith WJAZ Case and the Chaos of 1926-27," Journal of Broadcasting 14:4 (1970), pp. 423-437.

8. Calvin Coolidge, "Amherst College Alumni Association," Have Faith in Massachusetts (New York, 1919), p. 13.

9. Warren G. Harding, "Business and Government," Our Common Country (Indianapolis, 1921), pp. 20-23. See also Ellis Hawley, The Great War and the Search for a New Order, for a discussion on business/government cooperation.

10. Frederick Lewis Allen, Only Yesterday (New York, 1964), p. 113.

11. Tucker and Barkley, p. 12.

12. Erik Barnouw, A Tower of Babel: A History of Broadcasting in the United States to 1933 (New York, 1966), p. 195.

13. Walter S. Rogers, "Air as Raw Material," Annals of American History of Political and Social Sciences, 112 (March, 1924), p. 254.

14. Herbert Hoover, Fourth National Radio Conference, Recommendations for Regulations of Radio (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1925), p. 4.

15. Clarence C. Dill, Where Water Falls (Spokane, 1970), p. 104.

16. See Dill. Also see Claudius O. Johnson, Borah of Idaho , Seattle, 1936.

17. Tucker and Barkely, p. 70.

18. Wallace H. White, Jr., "Radio Talk," Bangor Rotary Club, August 1934. See Wallace H. White Papers, Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Box 67, pp. 9-10. Hereafter referred to as White Papers.

19. William E. Borah, Correspondence with J.S. Clark, Payette, Idaho, April 10, 1924. See Borah Papers, Box 166.

20. David H. Ostroff, "Equal Time: Origins of Section 18 of the Radio Act of 1927," Journal of Broadcasting, 24:3 (1980), pp. 368-372.

21. "Political Spellbinding by Radio," Popular Mechanics Magazine, 42:6 (December 1924), p. 881.

22. Walter B. Emery, Broadcasting and Government (Lansing, 1965), p. 15.

23. "The Radio and Politics," Cleveland News, May 10, 1926. From the White Papers.

24. Norman Thomas, Radio Broadcast, 9:5 (September 1926), p. 376.

25. E.F. McDonald, Correspondence with Senator William E. Borah, April 30, 1926. See Borah Papers, Box 217.

26. Irving Herriott, "Radio Talk," April 22, 1926, WJAZ. See Borah Papers, Box 217.

27. Congressional Record, 1927, 67:11:12615.

28. "Radio Censorship," The Literary Digest, October 4, 1924, p. 28.

29. Borah Correspondence, See Borah Papers, Box 166 & 217.

30. Third National Radio Conference, 1924, pp. 3-4.

31. William E. Borah, Correspondence with J.S. Clark, Payette, Idaho, April 10, 1924. See Borah Papers, Box 166.

32. "Danger of Monopoly in Broadcasting," Radio Broadcast, 10:5 (1927), pp. 464-465.

33. Radio Broadcast, 10:5 (March 1927), p. 465.

34. "Radio Regulation in the Great Game of Politics," Radio Broadcast, 10:5 (1927), p. 5.

35. U.S. Congress, Senate, A Bill to Provide for the Regulation of Radio Communication and for Other Purposes, S. 3968, 69th Congress, 1st Session, 1926. Hereafter referred to as the Borah Radio Bill.

36. Congressional Record, 1927, 68:3:2579.

37. William E. Borah, Correspondence with Willis Young, Twin Falls, Idaho, March 19, 1925. See Borah Papers, Box 217.

38. "Senator Borah Introduced New Radio Control Bill," New York Times, April 25, 1926, IX 18:6.

39. Johnson, Borah of Idaho, p. 161.

40. Congressional Record 1926, 67:11:12335. Charbydis is a whirlpool parallel to Scylla, off the Sicilian Coast. The ancient shipmen personified these as female monsters. It was difficult to pass between the two dangers, for avoiding one meant encountering the other.

41. Donald G. Godfrey and William Chamberlin, Interview with Clarence C. Dill, 1975. Broadcast Pioneers Library, Washington, D.C.

42. William Brubaker, Interview with Clarence C. Dill, 1968. University of Washington Special Collections. See also Godfrey, "The 1927 Radio Act: People and Politics."

43. New York Times, April 26, IX, 18:6.

44. "New Dill Bill Advocates Commission to Rule Radio," New York Times, May 2, 1926, IX, 21:7.

45. Godfrey/Chamberline Interview.

46. New York Times, April 25, 1926, IX, 18:6.

47. "Politicians See Credit for Radio Legislation," New York Times, January 10, 1926, VIII, 8:4.

48. Congressional Record, 1925, 67:1:473.

49. Congressional Record, 1925, 76:1:904-905.

50. "Senate May Not Approve New Radio Laws This Session," New York Times, March 14, 1926, IX, 17:1. See also "White Control Radio Bill Lies Dormant in the Senate," New York Times, April 11, 1926, IX, 21:7.

51. Congressional Record, 1926, 67:5:5688.

52. New York Times, April 11, 1926, IX, 21:7.

53. U.S. Congress, Senate, A Bill to Provide for the Regulation of Radio Communications and for Other Purposes, S. 3968, 69th Congress, 1st Session, 1926.

54. "Senator Borah Introduces New Radio Control Bill," New York Times, April 25, 1926, IX, 18:6.

55. New York Times, April 25, 1926, IX, 18:6.

56. "Dragging Politics into Radio," the Minneapolis Journal, May 17, 1926, p. 20. See also unidentified newspaper clippings from the Borah Papers, Box 217 & 237 and the White Papers, Box 73.

57. Congressional Record, 1926, 67:8:8357.

58. Congressional Record, 1926, 67:8:8358.

59. "President Opposed Boards Not Under Executive Control," the Washington Post, April 28, 1926. See also the New York Times, April 28, 1926, 24:8.

60. "Control of Radio," New York Times, April 29, 1926, 22:2.

61. "New Dill Bill Advocates Commission to Rule Radio," New York Times, May 2, 1926, IX, 21:7.

62. New York Times, April 25, 1926, IX, 18:6.

63. Dill, Where Water Falls, p. 261.

64. Congressional Record, 1926, 67:10:11436.

65. Congressional Record, 1926, 67:11:1:12507.

66. Congressional Record, 1926, 68:1:681:106.

67. "Travelers Readers' Radio Protest Reach Senate," Boston Traveler, January 12, 1927. See also organized petitions and individual correspondence demanding regulation as illustrated in White and Borah Papers.

68. Frank Stanberry, Correspondence with Senator William E. Borah, February 3, 1927. See Borah Papers, Box 217.

69. Unsigned letter to Senator William E. Borah, February 5, 1927, Nez Perce, Idaho. See Borah Papers, Box 237.

70. See General Correspondence, Borah Papers, Box 116 & 217.

71. Boyd Jones, Correspondence with Senator William E. Borah, February 12, 1927, Chicago, Illinois. See Borah Papers, Box 237.

72. Tucker and Barkley, p. 82.

73. 1926 Campaign Address, Representative Wallace H. White, p. 8. White Papers, Box 217. See also the Minneapolis Journal, May 17, 1926, p. 20, and the New York Times, April 25, 1926, IX, 18:6.

74. Dill, p. 260.

75. Tucker and Barkley, p. 82.

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