Paul Harvey’s 1965 Warning To America -“If I Were the Devil”

Paul Harvey’s particular style relied on exaggerated pronunciation, pregnant pauses, delayed revelations and a staccato delivery. His quirky openings and catchphrases were often parodied — “Hello, Americans, this is Paul Harvey! Stand by … for News!” — but his audience ate it up.

Paul Harvey was America’s National Commentator.  His listening audience was estimated, at its highest, to be around 24 million people a week. Harvey’s broadcasts were carried on 1,350 radio stations, 400 Armed Forces Network stations and had columns in 300 newspapers. His broadcasts and newspaper columns have been reprinted in the Congressional Record more than those of any other commentator.   He was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame and in November of 2005 was awarded our nation’s highest civilian honor, the Medal of Freedom.

Paul Harvey didn’t just report the news with his distinctive voice; he would always make the point that the news was reflective of society. You could take the pulse of America’s moral health by reading the daily newspaper. Harvey’s broadcast of “If I Were the Devil” took place on April 3, 1965.  It is a warning to America from 47 years ago about its own decay.

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