Your Influence Counts ... Use It! The SPOTLIGHT by Liberty Lobby

Reprinted from, home of The SPOTLIGHT archive

SPOTLIGHT celebrates Silver Anniversary

  • Sept. 17 marks The SPOTLIGHT's 25th anniversary. Here's a brief look back at the makings of the voice of the American majority -- and America's last real newspaper.
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By James P. Tucker Jr.

The need for The SPOTLIGHT was obvious during the early 1970s when Willis Carto, founder of Liberty Lobby; the late Col. Curtis Dall, then chairman of the Board of Policy, and other senior staffers discussed the prospects of laun ching a new weekly journal, to substitute for the Washington Institution's monthly newsletter, Liberty Letter.

There were more newspapers 25 years ago -- big metropolitan newspapers that chose to hide important stories from their readers and small town newspapers that lacked the resources to develop the information.

Such a gap could not be filled with a monthly newsletter, even when a special "emergency" mailing was utilized when hot topics erupted. Clearly, a weekly rather than monthly publication was needed to maintain timeliness. Equally clearly, more space was needed to tell the full story of what the mainstream press ignored.

But would Liberty Lobby members and subscribers embrace a weekly newspaper that, obviously, would have to cost more? Not unless the Board of Policy approved such a venture.

The fact that many supporters live on low incomes or Social Security was not lost on Liberty Lobby. It still isn't. There were also some distinguished backers who strongly supported the newspaper venture, including the late actor John Wayne and the renowned author Taylor Caldwell, among others, who were members of Liberty Lobby.

The decision was made to move forward on the newspaper and, when the plan was pulled together, to present it to the Board of Policy for approval. Ob viously, this eventually came to pass and SPOTLIGHT's maiden appearance came on Sept. 17, 1975.

Suddenly, a newspaper staff had to be crowded into a building which was al ready full of Liberty lobby staff.

Gradually, more space was obtained and life became less hectic but just as exciting.

Meanwhile, keeping up with constantly evolving technology has im pro ved the paper typographically and effected econo mies in production that par tially offset the increases in news print and postage costs as The SPOTLIGHT struggles to remain affordable to America's middle class -- the nation's last great hope.