The university had an often contentious relationship with Jesse Helms that extended long before he was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1972. As a commentator for Raleigh TV station WRAL, Helms often criticized Carolina students who were involved in protests and was a frequent opponent of the Daily Tar Heel. In the late 1960s, when the state of North Carolina was discussing the creation of a state zoo, Helms is reported to have said that instead of building a zoo they could just put a fence around Chapel Hill. However, there is no evidence that he ever made the comment. It does not appear in the transcripts of his WRAL editorials, and Helms later denied making it.