WGBH Openvault

Ten O'Clock News; Racism in the campaign


Christy George reports that critics have charged George Bush's presidential campaign with exploiting racial fears among white voters. George notes that there is controversy over the Bush campaign's Willie Horton advertisement, which criticizes Democratic nominee Michael Dukakis's furlough program in Massachusetts. George's report includes footage of the Horton advertisement and footage of Jesse Jackson criticizing the advertisement. George interviews Dr. Alvin Poussaint (psychiatrist) about racism in the campaign and in Bush's political advertisements. Poussaint says that white voters see Horton as the "universal" African American criminal and that African Americans are associated with crime in the minds of whites. George reports that the Bush campaign advertisement does not use the face of William Horton (furloughed prisioner), but that campaign advertising by Bush supporters has used Horton's face. George notes that Bush has disassociated himself from the groups producing these ads. George's report includes footage from a political advertisement produced by "Americans for Bush." Poussaint says that the "Americans for Bush" advertisement is racist. He adds that Dukakis may lose white votes if he complains too much about racism because Americans do not like to be called racist. George notes that Poussaint believes that Horton's face triggers associations with other negative images of African Americans. Poussaint goes on to analyze race in US pop culture and in US politics. George's report is accompanied by images of African American figures in US politics, sports, and culture and by footage from Saturday Night Live of a satirical campaign advertisement. George's report is also accompanied by footage of Dukakis at a campaign rally.

License Clip

View online at the Boston TV News Digital Library

More material is available from this program at the WGBH Archive. If you are a researcher interested in accessing the collection at WGBH, please email archive_requests@wgbh.org.

Untranscribed item: Request Transcription

Ten O'Clock News

Racism in the campaign

Series Description

NIGHTLY NEWS WITH CHRISTOPHER LYDON AND CARMEN FIELDS Began January 1976. Replaced evening news show EVENING COMPASS. Original host: Steve Nevas. Other anchors, Christopher Lydon (1977-91) and Gail Harris (1983). In 1980 - hour long. Ended in 1991.

(PREDECESSORS: Louis Lyons began news operations at WGBH in 1952. The News at 10 began in 1966. The Reporters premiered in 1970. The Evening Compass started in 1974.) Series release date: 1/1976



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Advertising, Political
Dukakis, Michael S. (Michael Stanley), 1933-
Presidents -- United States -- Election -- 1988
Political campaigns
Jackson, Jesse, 1941-
Poussaint, Alvin F.
Race relations
Bush, George, 1924-
Horton, William, 1952?-
News Report
Poussaint, Alvin F. (Interviewee)
Jackson, Jesse, 1941- (Speaker)
George, Christy (Reporter)
Chicago: “Ten O'Clock News; Racism in the campaign,” 10/25/1988, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed October 21, 2016, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_B5D0E27DFAC044C292E62048F459D100.
MLA: “Ten O'Clock News; Racism in the campaign.” 10/25/1988. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. October 21, 2016. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_B5D0E27DFAC044C292E62048F459D100>.
APA: Ten O'Clock News; Racism in the campaign. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_B5D0E27DFAC044C292E62048F459D100
If you have more information about this item, we want to know! Please contact us, including the URL.