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There was one way out which I had, of course, often considered, and that was simply to tell the truth. But, as long as I was trying to protect only myself and my own reputation, and, as I thought, the faith people had in me, I could not believe that was possible. But I was coming closer and closer to a true understanding of my position. I was beginning to realize what I should have known before, that the truth is always the best way, indeed it is the only way, to promote and protect faith. And the truth is the only thing with which a man can live. My father had told me this, even though he did not know the truth in my case. I think he didn’t care what it was so long as I told it. Other people said the same thing, even though they, too, did not know what the truth was. In the end, it was a small thing that tipped the scales. A letter came to me which I read. It was from a woman, a complete stranger, who had seen me on the Garroway show and who said she admired my work there. She told me that the only way I could ever live with myself, and make up for what I had done—of course, she, too, did not know exactly what that was—was to admit it, clearly, openly, truly. Suddenly, I knew she was right. And this way, which had seemed for so long the worst of all possible alternatives, suddenly became the only one. Whatever the personal consequences, and I knew they would be severe, this was the only way. In the morning, I telephoned my attorney and told him my decision. He had been very worried about my health and, perhaps, my sanity, and he was happy that I had found courage at last. He said, “God bless you.” . . .Source: Congress, House, Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, Investigation of Television Quiz Shows, 86th Cong., 1st Sess., November 2–6, 1959 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1960). See Also: "A Make-Believe World": Contestants Testify to Deceptive Quiz Show Practices "Every Effort Was Made to Control the Shows": A Television Producer Details and Defends Deceptive Quiz Show Practices "A Sop to the Public at Large": Contestant Herbert Stempel Exposes Contrivances in a 1950s Television Quiz Show
1 Personal History All the Answers The quiz-show scandals—and the aftermath. by Charles Van Doren July 28, 2008 For fourteen weeks in the winter and spring of 1956-57, I came into millions of American homes, stood in a supposedly soundproof booth, and answered difficult questions. I was considered well spoken, well educated, handsome—the very image of a young man that parents would like their son to be. I was also thought to be the ideal teacher, which is to say patient, thoughtful, trustwor-thy, caring. In addition, I was making a small fortune. And then—well, this is what happened:I don’t remember the dinner clearly, except that at some point in the early fall of 1956 I was talking with a man named Albert Freedman, who knew a friend of mine. Freedman was about my age, suave and well dressed—certainly no bohemian, like most of my friends. He asked me what I thought of “Tic Tac Dough.”