Major General Frank L. Howley Interview (1953)





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Published on May 23, 2012


Answers for Americans is an American public affairs program which aired briefly, first in prime time and then on Sunday afternoons on ABC from November 1953 to February 1954. Social and political issues, both foreign and domestic, were discussed by a regular panel, including university professors, publishers, and retired military officers.

Series regulars included the hosts Hardy Burt and Devin Garrity, a publisher with his family-owned Devin-Adair Company, journalist William F. Buckley, Jr. (prior to his establishment of National Review magazine), Professors John K. Norton of Columbia University and Charles Hughes of New York University, and Frank L. Howley, a general in World War II, who at the time was the NYU vice chancellor.

Topics on Answers for Americans were taken from the conservative publication Facts Forum, originally subsidized by the Dallas oil billionaire, H. L. Hunt, with steady contributions from commentator Dan Smoot, a former agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation who later set out to expose communist infiltration in the United States government. Facts Forum presented conflicting sides of issues, but it increasingly criticized the liberal and moderate positions of both Democrats and Republicans. Its programs were among the first to present conservative ideology to television viewers.

Prior to the establishment of the John Birch Society and the rise of U.S. Senator Barry M. Goldwater of Arizona as a conservative spokesman and the 1964 Republican presidential nominee, Facts Forum attempted to merge 1930's isolationism, particularly prominent in the Middle West, with the aggressive anti-communism of the Cold War era. Other topics discussed on Answers for Americans were "Is Academic Freedom in Jeopardy?", with conservative Professor Russell Kirk, and "What Next for Formosa?", with Tsiang Tingfu, the UN representative from Taiwan. Other journalists who appeared were investigative reporter Ralph de Toledano, then with Newsweek magazine, and Godfrey Smith.

Selected subjects presented were "Where Does the Eisenhower Administration Stand Today?", "Should Red China Be Admitted to the United Nations?", a determination ultimately made in China's favor in 1971, with the corresponding expulsion of Nationalist China from the world organization, and "What Can Be Done About Korea?", an examination of the divided North and South Korea, which aired some six months after the negotiation of the cease-fire ending the Korean War.


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