Kefauver led an investigation into television and juvenile delinquency in the mid 1950's. This was followed by an even more intensive investigation in the early 1960s, promoted by public concerns over juvenile violence, and the possibility that this behavior was related to violent television programs.
Kefauver’s progressive stance on the issues saw him being accused by fellow Democrats as being a "fellow traveler" and of working for the "pinkos and communists" with the stealth of a raccoon. In a televised speech in Memphis, in which he responded to the charges, Kefauver wore a raccoon skin hat. He adopted the cap as his trademark and wore it in his successive presidential campaigns.
Kefauver was unique in Tennessee politics in his outspoken liberal views, a stand that established a permanent bloc of opposition to him in the state. His constituency included many prominent citizens whose views were considerably less liberal than his but who admired him for his integrity.