Crooks, Conmen and Clowns

The low rating of American businessmen on television

Television may do for businessmen what a Borgia banquet did for casual dining. From Dallas' oily antihero J.R. Ewing on down, most businessmen on television are depicted as crooks, amoral wheeler-dealers, criminals with Mafia connections, cheats, employers of professional arsonists and, worse still, jerks, clowns and buffoons. With the exception of Margaret Pynchon, the gracious owner of the Los Angeles Tribune on Lou Grant, nowhere on prime time is there anyone remotely resembling such constructive businessmen as Joseph C. Wilson of Xerox, Edwin Land of Polaroid, Alfred P. Sloan of General Motors or...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!