For the 98th episode of the Journalism History podcast, hosted by Nick Hirshon, author Andrew Stoner describes how advice columnists, such as Ann Landers, Dear Abby and Dr. Joyce Brothers, affected public opinion on homosexuality.
Andrew Stoner passed away last week. He was a professor of communication studies at California State University, Sacramento, and the author of several nonfiction works, including Dear Abby, I’m Gay: Newspaper Advice Columnists and Homosexuality in America.
Andrew Stoner: When those columns began talking about gay people, it’s a breakthrough of a really serious wall of where topics like that are just not brought up.
Nick Hirshon: Welcome to Journalism History, a podcast that rips out the pages of your history books to re-examine the stories you thought you knew, and the ones you were never told.
Teri Finneman: I’m Teri Finneman, and I research media coverage of women in politics.
Nick Hirshon: And I’m Nick Hirshon, and I research the history of New York sports.
Ken Ward: And I’m Ken Ward, and I research the journalism history of the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains.
Nick Hirshon: And together we are professional media historians guiding you through our own drafts of history. This episode is sponsored by the College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia. For more than a century, the college has educated students to relentlessly pursue the art, science, and integrity of stories. They are –
committed to following First Amendment principles in a digital-first environment as they prepare democracy’s next generation. Transcripts of the show are available online at journalism-history.org/podcast.
The advice column is a hallmark of the daily newspaper. There, amid the police blotters and sports scores and comic strips, millions of readers pour their hearts out in public – to writers they’ve never met – in search of honest suggestions and reassurance about their jobs and families and relationships. By the 20th century, advice columnists were fielding letters from people that much of society frowned upon, or even demonized: homosexuals.
At the time, newspapers mostly relegated their coverage of homosexuality to psychological or social stories about so-called deviates from the heterosexual norm, or crime reports that treated intragender relations as a problem needing an answer. Some columnists –
expressed scornful opinions about homosexuality. Others were empathetic and compassionate.
Throughout the 20th century, these columns illustrated the journey of homosexuals from residing in a problem perspective to more sympathetic portrayals of lesbians and gays as legitimate members of the family and society. On this episode of the Journalism History podcast, we examine how these columns affected public opinion with Andrew Stoner, a professor of communication studies at California State University in Sacramento, and the author of Dear Abby, I’m Gay: Newspaper Advice Columnists and Homosexuality in America.
Andrew, thanks for joining me today to discuss your book. You describe the role that newspaper advice columnists played in shaping attitudes towards LGBTQ people throughout the 20th century. But I’d like to start more broadly by discussing this concept of the advice column and why people would even find it appealing.
You point out early in your book that advice –
columns don’t make practical sense for people needing help. You have to wait days or weeks for the columnist to publish their advice for you, and chances are the columnist won’t respond at all because they’re flooded with so many other letters. And while all advice columnists may have a genuine desire to help people solve their problems, their main audience isn’t really those people. It’s the voyeurs who are curious and nosy about others who aren’t really writing in.
So broadly speaking, why do you think so many people put themselves out there and write their innermost thoughts in a letter to an advice columnist?
Andrew Stoner: I think some of it has to do with some people write and aren’t really asking a question as much as making a statement. I think if you read their questions carefully they’re often asking for advice, or at least couching it in terms of seeking advice, but more often than not seem to be making a statement or at least revealing a portion of their own experience that they’re struggling with, or that they are looking for some input on.
And I think you’re correct: The voyeuristic feature of these columns is why I think they’ve just remained so popular from the 1920s on. And even today in online features they still remain very popular.
Nick Hirshon: So now that we’ve discussed that kind of nature of the advice column itself, let’s get to the columnists that you have in your book. Each chapter covers a different column, and we’ll get to a few of them. Let’s start with perhaps the most famous. No newspaper columnist reached more readers than Ann Landers, whose real name was Esther Pauline Lederer.
At its peak, her column was published in more than 1,200 newspapers worldwide, had an estimated daily readership of 90 million. She was born in 1918 in Iowa, and her columns benefited from that Midwestern common sense. And of course she had a twin sister who also became an advice columnist – none other than Dear Abby, and that competition lead to hard feelings over the years that maybe we’ll get into it a little bit later.
But on the topic of homosexuality, you wrote that Ann Landers –
advanced slowly. In 1976, she wrote that homosexuals suffer from a severe personality disorder. “Some are sicker than others, but sick they are.” So can you tell us a little bit more about Ann Landers’s views on homosexuality, and how did they progress over the years?
Andrew Stoner: Well, her earliest views obviously reflected the period in which she started the column in the ’60s and ’70s, and not surprisingly she wasn’t particularly supportive. She was sympathetic to gays that were subject to discrimination or, or cruel treatment, but she, she basically subscribed to the American Psychological Association’s view of what homosexuality was and, and classifying it as a – as a disorder of some type. And that was one of the manners in which she wrote her column.
She would frequently ask for experts to help her, or at least assist in answering a question. And so she would –
call upon psychiatrists and other social work experts, and their views were very much influenced by the general thinking of the – of clinicians in that era. And so I think as a result, you watch – if you compare her, for example, to the opinions expressed by her sister, Dear Abby, I think Ann Landers does progress quite a bit slow – quite a bit more slowly.
And if you look at even just the issue of gay marriage, for example, right up until shortly before she gave up the column when she – and, and died – Ann Landers was really not completely on board with the idea of gay people marrying one another.
Nick Hirshon: Mm, that’s very interesting. And also the relationship between Ann Landers and Dear Abby – I don’t know if a lot of our listeners would realize that they were sisters. I certainly didn’t even though I’d heard of both of them. And so Dear Abby, real name Pauline Esther Phillips, premiered in the San Francisco Chronicle in 1956,
and Ann Landers already had an established column. In fact, Ann Landers ran via syndication in the Chronicle’s main competitor, the San Francisco Examiner.
As you’ve just mentioned, there’s been some difference between the two. Dear Abby wrote short; Ann Landers provided longer, more traditional answers. And we’re concerned here with Dear Abby’s views on homosexuality.
So, she did have a famous reply to a reader’s question, that you described in your book, in 1972. An older couple had written in that they were concerned about two openly homosexual men who had moved in across the street, and how this was wrecking their property values. The couple asked, “How can we improve the quality of this once respectable neighborhood?” And Dear Abby responded, “You could move.”
And you describe how that was typical of her sometimes tart and always witty replies, but that response alone, though it’s very famous, did not reflect her overall views perhaps on homosexuality. So how did she view LGBTQ communities?
Andrew Stoner: Well, I think it was somewhat more influenced by the fact that –
she had gay friends. One of her closest friends was a hairdresser that she spent a great deal of time with, and he was very closeted so her, I think, worldview on gays was influenced in part by him.
Um, he is mentioned by her several times when she did interviews with Eric Marcus and other gay historians, but she was more progressive in terms of accepting gay people as friends, or as confidants, or as colleagues than her sister was, and didn’t subscribe to the medical or clinician’s view that there was a disorder involved here. She was just more accepting, I think, from the beginning.
I don’t know if that has to do with the fact that she lived out in San Francisco as opposed to Chicago, where Ann Landers was based. Um, they both came out of the same household. The rivalry between the two was quite serious actually, and I’m not sure that it ever fully healed.
There was some sharp words said between the two of them. I think Ann Landers was particularly convinced that Abby had attempted to steal her, her show and to cash in on her success. And I’m not – the feud between them was, was real.
Nick Hirshon: Yeah, that’s another interesting aspect of your book. Ah, and so we’re going to hop around some of the other columnists that readers might be more familiar with. I happen to hail from the borough of Queens in New York City, and so while I was scanning your table of contents, my attention turned to one of the favorite daughters of Queens, Dr. Joyce Brothers.
She was raised in Laurelton, Queens, and attended high school nearby. And the New York Times described her as a bridge between advice columnists like Dear Abby and Ann Landers, who had started in the mid-1950s, and the self-help advocates of the 1970s and afterwards. For decades, she offered advice on every medium – newspapers, radio, television – and became known as the mother of mass media psychology.
She was also a bit of a crossover celebrity. She appeared as a guest on talk shows like The Tonight Show. She played herself, or roles similar to herself, on TV series like Happy Days and The Simpsons. She received lots of letters from parents about their gay children, and later during the AIDS crisis in the 1980s.
So how would you describe Dr. Joyce Brothers’s approach to homosexuality, and how did her engagement with different forms of media like radio and television perhaps affect her message?
Andrew Stoner: I think that she went for a more populist approach, if that word fits. I think she viewed her responses very much like you experience her writing and her speaking very much like I think you would if you had sat down across from her in a counseling or advising session.
She was always very much true to her, her clinician’s training, but she was very interested in expanding the rights of gay people up to the degree in terms of eliminating discrimination, and she was very
fair-minded about that. And I’m sure she encountered quite a few gay people with her really extensive activities in Hollywood.
If you look at IMDb, she appears in literally dozens and dozens of television shows both as just an interview source, but also as a character at times on things that you mentioned as, as broad as The Simpsons or Mama’s Family, for example. But I think that her desire for popularity to remain a panelist on The Hollywood Squares, for example, required her to take a middle-of-the-road approach that was not too strident and didn’t insult too strongly on either side of the issue.
Nick Hirshon: When you mention that, I’m a little curious there then because Dr. Joyce Brothers obviously is known for including the doctor in her name and presenting herself as a true mental health professional, someone who is an expert in giving advice.
But it almost sounds like you’re saying that the main objective here is not necessarily to give the actual advice that would be clinically recommended, but more how to sustain an audience and become broadly popular maybe with the kind of group of people in New York City who she was hobnobbing with.
So what do you make of that sort of, you know, conflict there maybe between their actual clinical opinion and what they should say to remain popular?
Andrew Stoner: Well, I think that’s always been the critique of Dr. Joyce Brothers, is was she clinician or was she entertainer, and I think she tried to straddle or stretch across both of those titles, and as a result I’m not sure held the respect of fellow psychologists or psychiatrists who were dealing with clients on a regular basis.
She was credited early in her career, in her radio career, for helping talk through a suicidal person, get them help live on a New York radio station one day famously. But,
she was not really known as a traditional treatment specialist where she’d take clients and sit and, and, and have sessions with them. She was, I think, if you look at the whole span of her career, really more focused on becoming an entertainment figure, and that matches, by the way, how she started out.
She started out as a game show contestant on this – and was answering questions about boxing, of all things. And so I think her desire for that kind of attention superseded sometimes her more professional or clinical approach.
Nick Hirshon: That’s a very intriguing part of your book to me is what actually the role that these folks are playing, and are they being true to their own ideas, philosophies, or the popular philosophies of the medical associations they may be associated with. And that brings us to this broader influence of the advice columnist.
You asked some –
questions in the preface of the book that I’d like to discuss now. One of them: What role did these columns play in forming ideas and opinions about the homosexual in America?
We know there are many factors for the acceptance or rejection of LGBTQ people: Religion and politics and race and gender and class can inform your opinions. But how did opinion leaders like Ann Landers and Dear Abby and Dr. Joyce Brothers, do you think, influenced the views of their readers?
Andrew Stoner: Well, first of all, I think you have to consider just exposure, or just enlightenment, or just even discussion of the issue at all. I think a lot of gay people look to these columns to see – get other gay people mentioned in any way other than what was traditionally where you’d see a gay person mentioned maybe in a police blotter, you know, someone arrested for a public indecency charge, or a vagrancy charge, or, or something like – or some school personnel being dismissed.
There was a lot of coverage from the ’50s and ’60s out of Washington –
about gays as a security risk in the State Department and other parts of the federal government. And so those all come from what, what I call a problem perspective where gays are a problem that must be dealt with. And I think the advice columns particularly the earliest ones, give gays at least a chance to have a voice.
Ann Landers and Dear Abby did run columns or letters from actual gay people. The letters weren’t always a response letter from, you know, a straight person wanting to know how do I deal with my gay son or daughter, or in the case you mentioned of Dear Abby, how do we deal with new gay neighbors?
Um, sometimes these – getting letters from gay people into a newspaper could be very enlightening and very, you know, refreshing for a gay person to relieve sense of isolation. I know that I would look to Dear – to an Ann Landers column and try to see what I might learn about other gay people along the way. I think that isn’t an experience that is altogether unusual.
And again, it’s just the matter of just getting mentioned, being included in some way and getting past the, you know, love that dare not speak its name kind of “but we don’t talk about those sort of things.” And you, you see, by the way, Ann Landers and Dear Abby do get some criticism early on, and several columnists do from readers who don’t want these topics discussed in the column.
And actually, you know, one lady writes to Ann Landers about she diligently works to make sure she gets the paper or newspaper away from her teenagers and checks out that column before she allows them to read the paper for that week. So you, you see that to me is evidence that they were breaking new ground and challenging existing mores of the period.
Nick Hirshon: Well, you mentioned some of the letters that these advice columnists were getting, not only the letters from people seeking advice, but letters from people –
complaining or maybe praising their columns. How did you access some of that information? Were there archives specifically for folks like Ann Landers and Dear Abby, or were you finding this in some publicly available database that they maybe published the contents of some of those letters?
Andrew Stoner: Right. I primarily used Newspaper Archives online, which – and then just searched through hundreds of newspapers around the country. And I did look, in most cases, almost always look at Ann – say if I’m looking at one Ann Landers column from a June day in 1970, I would then go look and see when that letter ran in other newspapers.
Having worked at a newspaper and having edited these advice columns, I know that papers would cut the letters for space, for length. I worked at a newspaper once where we – where we would chop up the replies pretty, pretty much to fit the space. So some papers would run a longer answer, which was a complete answer –
that came from the syndicate, and others would run a shorter take. And so I thought it was important to take a look and see, Does this letter appear?
Interestingly, by the way, some letters would appear months after it might have – say it appears in Chicago in June and it doesn’t show up till November in, in a newspaper in Nevada, for example. So it was very interesting to see how that played out, but that’s, that’s where it’s not purely a pure sampling because you do have to allow for the fact that newspapers were, were making decisions about how much of this to run.
And Ann Landers also mentions in her column a couple of times that some newspaper editors just refuse to run some of her columns. That the topic was such that they just didn’t think their readers would want or need to know about that, and so they would preempt the column for that day, or save up letters and older letters and rerun them. So it – but Newspaper Archives
allows for a really vibrant search function.
And so I, I spent a lot of time with newspapers and understanding that, you know, it’s not a precise collection but it – but it ended up with, you know, literally hundreds of letters.
Nick Hirshon: And many considerations that you have to put in there, as you’re saying, about when exactly they were published may not be when they were first written. Ah, it’s also interesting to consider that these folks were physically mailing letters, so that would take even longer to get to somebody, as opposed to today when you could e-mail an advice columnist, get it there immediately. Um, so another just, yeah, consideration there.
Ah, a few other columnists that you mention here. You discuss some thought leaders who were not necessarily known primarily for advice columns, but did use columns as one conduit to reach the masses. This group includes folks like psychics, astrologists, evangelists, etiquette experts.
For example, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote a column
titled “Advice for Living” for Ebony magazine from 1957 to 1958. And you recall how he received a letter from a boy wrestling with his sexuality. The boy wrote, “My problem is different from ones most people have. I’m a boy, but I feel about boys the way I ought to feel about girls.”
And King wrote back politely, but he said the boy had a “problem” that was culturally acquired and not innate. What do you make of King’s response here?
Andrew Stoner: I feel like it was, given the period we’re talking about, 1957, it’s pretty generous, actually based on if you compare it to what some other people like Dr. George Crane and others were doing in that period. I feel like it, it was gentle.
Um, it reflects probably the pastoral background that, that Dr. King had. He was a parish minister prior to becoming a civil rights leader. And so I’m sure he had –
moments of dealing with, with members of his congregation and their personal problems. So I felt like it was a gentle response, but it does, again, of course, still cast this young man’s experience in the perspective of a problem that needs to be overcome.
And that’s the other part, that it could be overcome, that it was an acquired issue suggesting, I think, probably hinting at that a boy feeling that way maybe had been subject to maybe child sexual abuse, for example, or that he’d been recruited in some way into his sexual expression of homosexuality.
And we know now that those are pretty ridiculous ideas that, that don’t reflect the true experience of gay people. But in 1957, or when that’s being written, I think that that would have been about as generous as you could expect.
It’s interesting, Dr. King gave that column up after just a year. Um, I think his schedule got –
quite a bit more crowded. And he also, you know, a lot of people don’t remember, he was stabbed in that period after making an appearance and suffered an injury. And his civil rights work was, was getting a lot more serious, and I think that the column was, was one of those things that had to be shed for time.
Nick Hirshon: Well, and the kind of conflict there between a compassion that you might expect from a faith leader, but also having to stay true to what they believe are the teachings of their church, and what the beliefs would be of their own flocks, right? Similar to what you were saying before even about the Dr. Joyce Brothers considering, “Well, maybe I feel a certain way, but if I say that, this liberal group that I’m rubbing shoulders with in New York City might not really accept me, so I’ve got to be careful what I say.”
And maybe Dr. King had the opposite kind of problem. He had the civil rights issue that he’s trying to highlight, and could that be negatively affected among some traditional populations if he were to –
say something here to the boy that might be different.
Andrew Stoner: And, and we know that from some things Coretta Scott King has said subsequent to his death that he did have compassionate ideas. We know that Bayard Rustin was a close assistant and aide to Dr. King, and he was an openly gay man in that era. And so I think Dr. King’s experience with gay people was probably wider than we know, and that he probably – Mrs. King and her many members of her family have been very active on, in the gay liberation movement. I think that he probably would have been as well if he had lived.
Nick Hirshon: Well, and while we’re on the subject of faith leaders, you also analyze the columns of the Rev. Billy Graham. He started a column in 1952 that reached a reported five million readers nationwide. And in 1961, a wife wrote to report that her husband was a homosexual, and had become very cruel and unreasonable, and even deserted the family at times.
And Graham replied that homosexuality –
is a sin, and he criticized psychiatrists like Sigmund Freud, provided “an excuse to man for his simple practices saying that man cannot help himself.” So how common was that worldview in the columns that you examined, that homosexuality is not just a disease but against God’s will? That’s really ratcheting up the blame.
Andrew Stoner: Oh, yes. I think very common. And Graham’s views while some might think he was rather conservative, I think in that era he was more mainline than people realized. Um, you have to remember, at one time he was referred to as America’s pastor. You know, he was closely aligned with President Nixon and really was a popular icon for many years.
I’m not at all surprised or, or – that’s fully the answer I would have expected him to give, coming myself out of a Baptist background, and a fundamentalist Baptist background. I would view that his answer would be what I would have expected.
He, I think, begins the suggestion there of the early “pray the gay away” sort of idea, that if one turns from this kind of sin that they could – that your sexuality is a manifestation of sin that you, that you could turn from and be redeemed from through a process of in Christianity. That’s a very common belief. Redemption is at the center of Christian belief structures.
And so it’s not altogether surprising that we see the “pray the gay away” movement kind of flow from that, and you see a lot of conservatives will say, “We have compassion for the sinner while we detest their sin,” that sort of thing. And that’s meant to kind of be an entrée toward, “Okay, and so we’re going to lead you back to – into the flock, or back toward what we think is your – is your natural or normal way of being.”
And I think Billy Graham is –
rather ignorant in this sense in that he doesn’t know anything about what it means to be a gay person. And so he’s got a very heterosexual or heterocentric view of what it means to be a gay person, and he’s applying that onto other people.
And I’m certain that his ministry and many others provided a lot of, of doubt and hurt for a lot of people over the years, and his advice, I think is – his column was called “My Answer,” but actually he was always really just delving into what his fundamentalist interpretation of Scripture was. And so it really wasn’t his answer. It was just more parroting of what had been repeated from the fundamentalist movement for, for years.
And so I, I didn’t – didn’t include a lot of his work in this book because it is rather one-dimensional. It doesn’t really ever sway from the example you cited there.
Nick Hirshon: But we’re seeing how geography and generation and faith can affect the advice that is given, of course. And now we might expect to see some doctors in your book, and you do have a few, but one of them is a veterinarian, Dr. Michael Fox, known as the Pet Doctor. And it’s interesting to see people’s questions and concerns about homosexuality carry over to their pets.
For example, one woman said that she was confused and offended by her male cats behaving homosexually, presumably by mounting each other. And Dr. Fox writes back that the behavior wasn’t what it seemed and actually carries strong elements of dominance. Why did you decide to include the veterinarian’s column in your analysis? I wouldn’t have even thought to look for views on homosexuality in a column seeking advice about pets.
Andrew Stoner: Well, I was just very curious about how the – people writing the letters to the veterinarian wanted to apply their morals and their moral views upon their pets.
That she somehow viewed this as some sort of I don’t know, sin or, or problem for her pet, and I think that’s going pretty far in terms of – of applying human characteristics to an animal. The doctor’s response really wasn’t as noteworthy to me as was the letter itself.
And that was repeated many times over in many columns where people would question and then it would start arguments on both sides, people arguing, yes, there can be gay animals, or no, there’s no such thing. The doctor, I think, kind of split the baby by saying that it – it’s probably more about dominance and role than it is about actual sexual expression.
I’m not a veterinary expert, would have to talk to somebody who is. But when you, when you do this, the broad searching that I was doing that the term came up and it, it would come up in a column like that, I thought this is really very curious to me that somebody is so concerned.
I never gave it a thought, like you mentioned before, somebody brought it up that such a thing was even an issue.
Nick Hirshon: Yeah, just very interesting going through your table of contents and seeing the diversity of the folks who you included from all walks of life, so great book that our listeners should definitely consider picking up. And as we wrap up today’s episode, I’d like to pose a question to you that we ask all of our guests on the podcast to finish: Why does journalism history matter?
Andrew Stoner: I think it, it really helps us understand today. In many respects, I think what’s past is often prologue, and I think we can learn a lot from the past. I’m really disappointed, I would say, with my students often who aren’t interested in history. The things that came before don’t seem to hold much interest to them.
I’m quite the opposite and always have been. I’m interested in how we got here.
How, how is it that things are the way they are? And that’s really underneath the whole basis of this book, how do we have the attitudes, or how do we happen to have the feelings and beliefs we do about gay people this far along? And I could certainly attest, and we all could, that these views are evolving and evolving quickly.
If you look at the polling, the Gallup Poll on approval of gay marriage has been dramatic in terms of the – how fast that has moved. And many people are very shocked at how, how quickly people have got their head around, their mind around the idea of gay people marrying one another. But I’m always interested in getting to more of the, well, how did we get here? And so I think history is very informative to that.
And I’m particularly a newspaper guy. I started out as a newspaper reporter a long time ago, and I loved newspapers from an early age. I read – I was reading the newspaper every day probably when I was –
eleven or twelve years old and from there on I was hooked. I just thought they were a wonderful thing that got delivered to your home every day, the world in, in one, you know, twelve- or sixteen-page local paper.
And so I think there’s also a lot to learn from newspapers. And it was something, again, that went on every porch in every town every front step that – and so that was a breakthrough. When those columns began talking about gay people, it’s a breakthrough of a really serious wall of where topics like that are just not brought up. And so I’m – I think that’s noteworthy.
And I think that it’s hard to argue that, that there couldn’t have been some influence, and this is where you get into, is there an ideological function going on here? Was there some attempt to move feelings or beliefs?
And I leave – I try to leave that to the reader to decide,
but I’m kind of the opinion that, yes, there is an overall, over time, effect, certainly if you think about agenda setting theory. The idea that putting it on the agenda and getting it into discussion, and then maybe then working on changing the frame of it is very helpful to not only understanding the past, but also where we’re going.
I hope that’s an okay answer. That’s a long answer to your short question.
Nick Hirshon: No, it’s intended to be an open-ended question where you can go in a lot of different directions. And certainly your insightful book shows us a lot of aspects of this we might not have considered, about the role of an advice columnist in the lives of people who are suffering in some cases, who are feeling deep things that they don’t want to express face to face to a mental health professional, and they’re afraid of even talking to their friends and family about it.
So it’s interesting to see how this relationship developed, this kind of parasocial relationship where they’re not physically meeting or talking to these advice columnists,
and yet they’re maybe just by being heard, as you say, they are getting something out of this interaction. They’re just by reading someone else’s struggles in the paper and seeing it alongside more mainstream reporting, it’s some sense that they’ve arrived, or that this is something that can be talked about. This, it doesn’t need to be something they’re ashamed of.
So we thank you very much for writing this book, Dear Abby: I’m Gay. And thank you, Andrew, for joining us today on the Journalism History podcast.
Andrew Stoner: Thank you.
Nick Hirshon: Thanks for tuning in, and additional thanks to our sponsor, the College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast. You can also follow us on Twitter at @JHistoryJournal. Until next time, I’m your host, Nick Hirshon, signing off with the words of Edward R. Murrow, “Good night, and good luck.”