The Making of a Rumor, 1964

The Fourth Estate

(Ed. Note: The following is a transcript from a network's coverage of the Republican National Convention shortly before balloting for the GOP's presidential nominee. Governor Scranton, watching the proceedings from his suite in the Mark Hopkins Hotel, has just retired to the bathroom.)

McHEE: This is Frank McHee outside Governor Scranton's suite on the 15th floor of San Francisco's Mark Hopkins hotel. With me here is Governor Scranton's press secretary, Jack Conny. Where is the Governor at this moment, Jack?

CONNY: I really couldn't say right now, Frank.

McHEE: Is he still in the hotel, Jack?

CONNY: Yes, I believe he is still in the hotel, Frank.

McHEE: Did the governor tell you that he is in the hotel, Jack?

CONNY: No, the governor didn't tell me that, but I believe he is in the hotel.

McHEE: But you cannot tell us exactly where he is.

CONNY: No, I cannot say at this moment.

McHEE: You have just heard Jack Conny, Governor Scranton's press secretary tell us that he cannot tell us where Governor Scranton is at the moment. This is Frank McHee at the Mark Hopkins Hotel--where Governor Scranton may or may not be--returning you now to our Convention headquarters at the Cow Palace.

BLUNTLEY: On the convention floor we are still hearing seconding speeches for Senator Fong. We seem to have somewhat of a mystery over Governor Scranton's whereabouts. Chet?

HINTLEY: Yes, David. There has been speculation that Governor Scranton would come to the Cow Palace and withdraw before the balloting begins, and make a bid for party unity. If you recall, Senator Goldwater did that at the 1960 convention. David?

BLUNTLEY: And we might note that the governor's mysterious disappearance may indicate that something is brewing in the Scranton camp. Sander Vanogre has a report for us on the convention floor. Sander?

VANOGRE: This is Sander Vanogre behind the podium with Senator Hugh Scott, Governor Scranton's floor manager. How do you feel, Senator?

SCOTT: Well, we feel we're still in the running.

VANOGRE: So you feel it's not over yet.

SCOTT: Yes, we feel we're still in the running.

VANOGRE: Senator, most people here feel that Senator Goldwater has the nomination wrapped up on the first ballot. Do you really feel that Governor Scranton has any chance at all of winning the nomination? Isn't this campaign just an exercise in futility now? Don't you feel that the cause is hopeless at this point? Aren't you just going through the motions now?

SCOTT: No we have no intention of giving up before this fight is over.

VANOGRE: We have a report, Senator, that the governor is not in his hotel room. Is he on his way here to withdraw?

SCOTT: No, I don't know of any such thing. We have no intention of withdrawing before the balloting.

VANOGRE: Has the governor told you that he does not plan to withdraw?

SCOTT: We discussed it this morning, and he will not withdraw before the balloting.

VANOGRE: Thank you, Senator Hugh Scott. This is Sander Vanogre on the convention floor where rumors are circulating that Governor Scranton is on his way to the Cow Palace to withdraw before the balloting begins.

BLUNTLEY: Well Sander, if Governor Scranton is inded on his way to the Cow Palace, he is facing more obstacles at this moment on the expressway than he ever encountered in this convention. Chet?

HINTLEY: Yes, David. John Chanticleer is on the Convention floor with Mrs. Scranton. John?

CHANTICLEER: This is John Chanticleer on the convention floor; on my right is Mrs. William Scranton. Mrs. Scranton, we have reports that the Governor is at this moment speeding down the expressway on his way to the Cow Palace. Is he coming here to withdraw before the actual balloting begins?

MRS. SCRANTON: I'm sorry I can't hear you now because of this demonstration. Could you come back in a few minutes?

CHANTICLEER: Well, how do you feel at this moment, Mrs. Scranton?

MRS. SCRANTON: (Silence.)

CHANTICLEER: This is John Chanticleer on the convention floor where Mrs. Scranton can't hear, returning you now to our broadcasting booth atop the Cow Palace.

HINTLEY: The Fong demonstration is beginning to subside on the convention floor. We are still trying to verify the report that Governor Scranton is presently speeding down the expressway on his way to the Cow Palace. David?

BLUNTLEY: As you noted earlier, Chet, many delegates have urged Governor Scranton to withdraw as a gesture for party unity. And there is now every indication that he will do just that. Chet?

HINTLEY: Yes, David, that would seem to be the case. And if the reports are corect, he should be arriving at the Cow Palace any moment. Now to Sander Vanogre on the convention floor.

VANOGRE: Senator, we have learned that Governor Scranton has just arrived at the Cow Palace. Have you seen him yet?

SCOTT: I have not seen the Governor since this morning, and as far as I know he is still back at the Mark Hopkins.

VANOGRE: Then he has not come to the Cow Palace, Senator?

SCOTT: No, to my knowledge he is still back at the Mark Hopkins.

VANOGRE: This is Sander Vanogre on the convention floor where everyone is eagerly awaiting Governor Scranton's appearance on the platform.

BLUNTLEY: And we now go immediately to the Mark Hopkins Hotel where Frank McHee is waiting with a special report.

McHEE: This is Frank McHee outside Governor Scranton's suite at the Mark Hopkins Hotel with Governor Scranton. Governor, how do you feel?

SCRANTON: Relieved, Frank. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a meeting to attend.

McHEE: Well, could you just tell me where your press secretary is, governor?

SCRANTON: I really can't say right now, sir.

McHEE: Is he in the hotel, governor? .