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  September 29, 2017

Norman Lear: A lifetime of changing TV and its audience, Part I

The 95-year-old television icon talks about his time in the military and his shows' biggest controversies. [Contains mature language]


Robert Scheer is the editor-in-chief of Truthdig. He's also a professor at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, and host of the KCRW podcast Scheer Intelligence. For decades, Bob was the national correspondent, and then columnist, for the Los Angeles Times. He's the author of many books, including The Great American Stickup, The Pornography of Power, and most recently They Know Everything About You: How Data-Collecting Corporations and Snooping Government Agencies Are Destroying Democracy.

Norman Lear is the creator and producer of many notable television series, including All in the Family, The Jeffersons, and Sanford and Son. Lear, a strong supporter of the first amendment, is also the founder of People for the American Way, an advocacy organization for progressive causes. In the first of this two-part conversation, Lear discusses why he decided to join the military and how it showed him that in certain circumstances, anyone is capable of evil. He recalls his early struggles as a press agent before turning to television writing. He says one of his proudest achievements was a television special in the 1980s when conservatives and liberals appeared together on the same stage. [Contains mature language]

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