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Harold ("Boake"') Carter was an obscure news commentator for Philadelphia's Station WCAU when he went to Hopewell, N. J. in March 1932 to broadcast descriptions of the frantic search for the Lindbergh baby's kidnapper. Four years later, with the kidnapper awaiting death at Trenton (see p. 20), Broadcaster Boake Carter and his brash news comments had grown to be something of a national institution.

Throughout the month preceding Bruno Richard Hauptmann's electrocution, Carter had relentlessly goaded New Jersey's Governor Harold Giles Hoffman and his henchmen for playing political football with the life of the condemned man. Last week Boake Carter summed up his opinion of such doings by declaring in his sinister British baritone that Hoffman & Co. had "turned Justice upside down and kicked her in the eye."

The official victims struck back at their radio tormenter by distributing about Trenton mimeographed sheets in which they snickered at Carter's "Bond Street elegance and Piccadilly flair," observed that he "flew through the air with the latest of cheese," recommended "more ether" for such radio commentators. Equally irate was Mercer County Grand Jury Foreman Allyne M. Freeman at Carter's implication that politics, not justice, motivated his jurymen. Cried Foreman Freeman: "A cowardly, libelous and malicious lie! I consider his comments an insult to the Grand Jury. I shall never accept a penny nor an ounce of political patronage as remuneration for any statement I ever make about this unfortunate case, and the statements I do make will be based upon facts and will be truthful. Boake Carter. I assume, is being paid for his yellow journal sheet quotations."

Paid and paid well is Boake Carter by Philco Radio & Television Corp., merchandising subsidiary of Philadelphia Storage Battery Co., which gladly puts up $50,000 a year to sponsor his broadcasts of news and editorial opinion, delivered in a melodramatic monotone five evenings a week on the Columbia network.

Not only is Boake Carter currently the most popular of Radio's news commentators, with a rating of 12.6 by the Crossley Survey* he is also far & away the most daring. His freedom to express any partisan opinion that pops into his curly head is the wonder of a notoriously timid industry. However, while Carter's crusty editorializing delights thousands of listeners, it chagrins thousands more, keeps him in a perpetual controversial stew.

Last year Broadcaster Carter's big row was with the Army's General Staff, the Navy's Board of Navigation on the question of U. S. aerial defense. Carter has first-hand knowledge of military aviation, gained in Wartime service with the Royal Air Force; believes the U. S. should have an independent flying corps. When he continued to pepper Washington officials with broadcasts to this effect, jittery patriots spread the word that Carter was a British spy.

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