The Advocates was a weekly debate program that aired nationwide on PBS through much of the turbulent decade of the 1970s. Policy issues selected by the show’s editorial staff ranged over the many hot political topics of the day, from the Vietnam War to same sex marriage, campaign financing reform, abortion, affirmative action, nuclear power, federally funded health care, and many more.
Americans are still battling over many of the same issues today, and possibly the simple and civilized Advocates format could serve us well in our own uncivil times. Using a courtroom setting, and shooting often at Faneuil Hall or in the WGBH studios, staff producers deployed an array of impressive witnesses over the years, from Billy Graham to Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee, then-senator Joseph Biden, Michael Dukakis, novelist Pearl Buck, Hubert Humphrey, and Antonin Scalia – hundreds of eloquent spokespersons over the life of the series.
We’re excited to bring these complete programs to Open Vault and most feature sync-able transcripts so you can follow along.
Keep checking back as we continue to add more programs.
The Advocates on Open Vault collection was funded by the Open Society Foundations. As a part of Open Society’s Youth Initiative Global Debate’s program, The Advocates will be featured in an online collection of debate resources offered by IDEA, the International Debate Education Association. IDEA is an international network that trains young debaters and inspires informed discussion around the world. To learn more, please click on this link.