Sundays With Snyder - Number 13

April 30, 1992. I’ve been looking for this edition of The Radio Show for quite some time – and here it is.

Tom Snyder broadcasts live from Los Angeles as the city suffers through the violence and rioting that follows the acquittal of the policemen who beat Rodney King. If you don’t have a sense of what that day was like, you will after you hear this recording.

It is an historic Tom Snyder program, incredible in so many ways, not the least of which is Tom’s insight, compassion and ability to convey the horror of what’s taking place while remaining, as ever, the consummate host and reporter. Forget Tom’s Charles Manson interview, essentially just a freak show with a person who’s insane – this may be Tom Snyder’s most impressive achievement, as he works to make sense of a city gone insane.

This is history – a sad day in the history of the country – and  it happened less than twenty years ago. It is well worth your time.

As the program begins, the rioting is spreading throughout the city, phone lines are down, and Tom announces that he may have to end his broadcast prematurely and “send it back to New York.” What follows… seems unreal.

At the very end of Tom’s interview with one of the jurors is a bizarre moment of unbelievable, unintentional gallows humor which escapes both “Madam Juror” and Tom, though a caller later points it out. Listen carefully to the last sentence spoken by “Madam Juror.”

This is a partial program which contains the full first hour and the majority of the second hour, with most commercials and local segments deleted. I’ve left portions of newscasts in, as well as a few commercials which seem to provide unintentional oblique or ironic commentary.

Listen or download.

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