70 Years Later: CBS Radio broadcasts D-Day

“Shortly after 1 a.m. Eastern War Time, Berlin Radio opened its news program with a so called Invasion Announcement…”

Into the Jaws of Death: US Army troops wade ashore on Omaha Beach on the morning of June 6, 1944 / Chief Photographer's Mate (CPHoM) Robert F. Sargent

Into the Jaws of Death: US Army troops wade ashore on Omaha Beach on the morning of June 6, 1944 / Chief Photographer’s Mate (CPHoM) Robert F. Sargent

That was CBS Newsman Robert “Bob” Trout, the “Iron Man” of broadcast, when news of the D-Day invasion broke on June 6, 1944. The first reports came from German news sources and the Allied War Department press flacks were playing coy after the news broke.

“Frankly, we don’t know at this time if reports are true or not,” said Trout, about two hours after first German news stories of Allied D-Day invasion broke.

He and other Allied news sources were weary of relying on German reports because it could have been a propaganda campaign to have freedom fighter cells within occupied France activate prematurely, so Axis forces could eliminate them.

“No other British report that might indicate the invasion is on has been released,” said Trout.

Later, Trout would tell NPR that at the time, no one really knew how to cover a war on the radio. Essentially, that during the early hours of the invasion, as information was trickling out of Europe, the correspondents were desperate to simply fill air time. Trout says it was an amazing experience made all the more remarkable by the fact that all of the reporters were basically making up the procedures for coverage as they went along.

You can listen to clips from that day’s radio broadcasts here. Enjoy. Ω

John Oliver on Net Nutrality: Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet

John Oliver spent most of his show on June 1 explaining net neutrality. Specifically, the proposed rule changes the Federal Communications Commission is considering. He explains it much better than I could ever hope to, hence the embedded video above.

Here’s the call to action Oliver implored of the online community around the 11:15 timestamp:

Good evening, monsters. This may be the moment you’ve spent your whole lives training for. […] Ralph Macchio, you’ve been honing your skills—waxing cars and painting fences. Well guess what? Now it’s time to do some fucking karate. For once in your life, we need you to challenge that anger—that badly spelled bile—that you normally reserve for unforgivable attacks on actresses you seem to think have put on weight. Or politicians you disagree with. Or photos of your ex-girlfriend getting on with her life. Or non-white actors being cast as fictional characters. […] We need you to get out there, and for once in your lives, focus your indiscriminate rage in a useful direction. Seize your moment, my lovely trolls. Turn on caps lock and fly, my pretties, fly!

By June 3 the FCC’s comments system was reportedly swamped with comments thanks to Oliver‘s segment.

As a journalist, net neutrality is something that I feel very strongly about. Below is the comment I posted on the FCC’s Proceeding # 14-28 Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet:

Paid prioritization agreements for broadband access will degrade and damage the inherent openness of the Internet. Allowing providers to give priority service to those that are willing and able to pay a premium would be akin to saying that first amendment rights regarding freedom of speech and of the press only apply to those that can afford a price tag companies like Comcast are trying very hard to inflate.
It would disrupt the marketplace of ideas that has allowed the Internet to become a hotbed of innovation.
Cable companies are lobbying against net neutrality to remove any competition to their outdated business model. These companies, instead of adapting to new technology, consumer habits and the marketplace are instead trying to keep the status quo of their monopoly for as long as possible by attacking net neutrality.

You can read other people’s comments regarding Proceeding # 14-28 on the FCC site here.

Please go to the FCC and tell them why you support net neutrality, or ask Oliver puts it, “Preventing Cable Company Fuckery.” Ω