"Atrocious." That was the word Sen. Strom Thurmond (D-S.C.) used in a Broadcasting story to describe the radio and television coverage of the 1963 March on Washington for Civil Rights, which occurred 37 years ago today (photo, left). "I would be amazed and pleased, in view of the networks' past performance on this issue, if this program showed objectivity and fairness in its presentation."
Sen. Hubert Humphrey (D-Minn.) praised the coverage saying, "I wish to thank them-yes, generously thank them-for what they did today ... fine public service."
ABC, CBS, NBC and Mutual Broadcasting had more than 460 staffers cover the event, which cost the network news organizations about $400,000. There were 49 television cameras in use by ABC, CBS and NBC, including 23 pool cameras. Ratings reached a peak 33.9% at 12:15 p.m.