Even soap-opera journalists can fly the flag of human decency

“Betty and Bob have neither thought nor fear of the disasters that may lie ahead. Their newspaper will not only fly the flag of freedom and human decency, but will fight for it.”

Publishers Betty and Bob Drake have turned down the politically corrupt state-capital media magnate’s offer for their crusading paper, The Monroe Trumpet, and seem about ready to renew the fight to make Monroe a “decent American city.” The audio summary at the start of this ninth episode does a pretty good job if you’ve missed the previous days.

(For the past few Wednesdays I’ve been podcasting one or two of what were originally daily 14-minute episodes. They go by quickly, especially if you fast-forward past the two minutes of intro music.)

The episode title, Chet Comes to Visit Claire, refers to a local teacher who is starting to show some interest in both writing and Claire, the widow of the Drakes’ star reporter, Hal, murdered because of his investigative reporting. (Yes, this is a soap opera.) On the night they met, Chet and the Drakes kept a mob from lynching one of their neighbors, and there have been some hints that Chet might be enlisted as a reporter one of these days.

Not to ignore the romance theme, but here’s the next episode, which gets us back to journalism ethics issues, as the Drakes debate whether to suppress a drunken driving story about the new city manager’s daughter:
Bob Is Returning to Monroe to Fight

The quote at the top of this page is an announcer’s summary near the middle of this episode — after a passionate speech by the Drakes about their goals for The Trumpet. I’ll transcribe that speech before I post the next episode, but you have to hear it to appreciate the throb in Betty’s voice.

As mentioned earlier, this storyline is dated June and July 1947 in the Internet Archive’s Betty & Bob collection, but those dates apparently refer to transcription discs sent out when the program was in syndication. There are little hints in the dialogue that suggest the stories are really from the late 1930s.

Earlier JHeroes posts on Betty & Bob and radio soap operas in general.

About Bob Stepno

mild-mannered reporter who found computers & the Web in grad school in the 1980s (Wesleyan) and '90s (UNC); taught journalism, media studies, Web production; retired to write, make music, photograph sunsets & walks in the woods.
This entry was posted in 1930s, journalism, newspapers, political corruption, publishers, soap opera. Bookmark the permalink.

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