From 1962 to 1968, Den Hideo hosted the TBS news show “News Scope,” becoming the original prototype for the Japanese kyastaa (newscaster). In WWII, he had been moments away from departing on a kamikaze suicide mission when news came of the war’s end.
After making comments on his show critical of the LDP’s leadership and foreign policy, Den was forced to quit his job as newscaster and later went into politics, holding a longtime seat in the Diet’s Upper House as a member of the Japanese Socialist Party.
In 1972, Den said the following about leaving his job:
The fundamental reason that I had to step down from TBS News Scope was not that my reporting on the Japan-Korea problem, the defense problem, the Vietnam problem, or the Narita Airport problem was counter to the facts or biased, but that the broadcasted content was very unsatisfactory to and could not be tolerated by the VIPs in one section of the government’s Liberal Democratic Party. Actually, at the time that the normalization of diplomatic relations between Japan and Korea was the greatest political issue, right after I broadcasted News Scope I received a call from the secretary to Prime Minister Sato, who said, ‘The Prime Minister just now saw the broadcast of your program, and I am making sure you know that he said that it was terribly unsatisfactory.’ You can surely call this pressure, but first of all, with a news program, there’s no reason we can give a supporting argument that would make Prime Minister Sato happy… Whether I yielded to political pressure and quit newscasting, or it was the firm that self-regulated the situation, it doesn’t matter to me now. More than that, with the mass media — which broadcasts under the permit system — it is of greatest concern to me that when the authorities simply pose that they are unsatisfied, even in the most hidden, minute way, the weak mass communications structure totally loses its backbone. This is something I can not tolerate. Rather than a ‘mass communications structure,’ it’s probably more correct to say that it’s just a human organization corresponding to that structure. (“The Myth and Reality of the Information Revolution,” 1972)
(As quoted in テレビー「やらせ」と「情報操作」 by 渡辺武達, 1995. Translation mine.)