Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on July 4, 1976 · Page 66
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Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 66

Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, July 4, 1976
Page 66
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Page 66 article text (OCR)

Richard Chamberlain and Blythe Danner share a quiet moment as Scotland Zelda Fitzgerald in"F. Scott Fitzgerald and 'The Last of the Belles,' " 9 p. m., Teesday, July 6 on ABCrTV. What if TV had been there on July 4,1 776? By Jay Fredericks Have you ever stopped to think of what it might have been like 200 years ago if television had been around and politicians then had been like politicians now? We take you to Philadelphia, Pa., on July 4, 1776, and our reporter Walter Chancellor Reasoner of the Colonial Broadcasting System (CBS). Come in, Walter. "Good evening. This is Walter Chancellor Reasoner speaking to you from the square in front of the hall where the delegates from the 13 colonies are meeting. Although no official announcement has been made about what is being discussed inside, a usually reliable source informs CBS that the delegates are in heated argument over a document said to place the blame squarely on King George III and his ministers for the internal dissension between the colonies and the Mother Country. Just a moment -- here comes someone we might talk to now." A man in periwig and satin coat emerges from the hall. He sees the camera pointed toward him and he smoothes back his hair and walks quickly toward it. "Good evening, Walter," he says. "Good evening, sir. You are, I believe, Buford Sigafoos of the Virginia House of Burgesses." "That's correct, Walter. I'm not actually a delegate to this meeting but I am an official onlooker. I've just been in the hall there, onlook- ing." "Can you tell us, Mr. Sigafoos, what's going on inside?" "Well, Walter, as I'm sure you understand great matters of colonial interest'are being debated in there and I don't think it would be in the. inter^sts'of coloriialsecurity SHOW TIME; July).'1976 '"''," Sunday Solo for me to talk about them publicly. Let me just say that the taxpayers of the colonies are in for a shock when they discover-what some of their government officials over in London have been up to. I. have been telling them in Williamsburg for years that London just isn't in touch with the people any more. These crazy tax programs that Parliament has been passing are draining the pockets of the common man, Walter, and what are we getting in return? Nothing. Not only that, we haven't got any voice in how our tax money is spent. Taxation without representation is tyranny. You can quote me, Walter." "You said tyranny, Mr. Sigafoos. Just who is being accused of tyranny? Is it the king?" "I didn't mention the king, Walter. I didn't say a word about the king. But I think all of us realize that the king has been getting a lot of bad advice." "Mr. Sigafoos, you were as 1 recall elected to the House of Burgesses on a platform pledged to loyal support of the king." "Not exactly, Walter, not exactly. I said I'd back the king unless they could actually show me where he was guilty of wrongdoing. I told them I'd have to see the smoking pistol, to coin a phrase. Now King George may or may not have been fully aware of what his ministers were up to. What we have to find out is what King George knew and when he knew it." "Thank you, Mr. Sigafoos. We switch now to our reporter, Dan Wrather, who has a late breaking bulletin." "This is Dan Wrather. Walter, we have just been handed what purports to be a copy of the document that's being discussed inside the hall and it's dynamite. It states flatly that when citizens don't approve of a government then it's their right to change it. It accuses Xing George III of a number of crimes. And, finally, it declares that the colonies are independent of England. If this is actually what the document says, Walter, this means war between England and the colonies." "Dan, if I can just break in for a moment. I see Mr. B e n j a m i n Franklin, one of the Pennsylvania delegates, leaving the hall. Mr. Franklin, Mr. Franklin -- over here." "Hello there, Walter. Nice to see you." "Mr. Franklin, we have just learned that the document the delegates are discussing inside the hall declares that the colonies are independent of England. Is this true, sir?" "Who told you tha*, Walter?" "As a newspaper publisher sir, you should know that a reporter doesn't divulge his sources." "By gadfrey, sir, this is intolerable, intolerable. This leaking of information has got to stop. I don't know who your snitch is, Walter, but we'll find him. And you'd be well advised to cooperate with the committee." "Mr. Franklin, surely you realize...." "What?" "I said, surely you realize Mr. Franklin.-.." 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