Seventy-nine years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students of the University of Michigan
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Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
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)AY, FEBRUARY 6, 1970 NIGHT EDITOR: JIM NEUBACHER
Keeping the press free
On the ways of prevarication
THERE ARE many pillars of freedom.
Democracy itself would be diminished
without the freedoms of speech and as-
sembly. Freedom would be lessened if
citizens were denied recourse to a lawyer
and a trial by their peers. And without
freedom of the press, a country is the cap-
tive of those who control information.
Two recent news items should cause
the defenders of freedom of the press to
recoil in horror. The suggestion by a
.member of the National Commission on
Violence that newspapermen be licens-
ed by the government, if put into prac-
tice, would threaten the meaning of the
First Amendment guarantee of a f r e e
press. And the government's practice of
seeking broad subpoenas of newspaper
arid TV news records would, as effective-
ly if more subtly, undercut the strength
of the press.
Both practices fail to comprehend the
reasons behind the existence of news-
papers as the Fourth Estate.
THE FIRST AMENDMENT was intended
to insure that there would always be
independent critics of the government.
The leaders of the state governments who
forced the adoption of the Bill of Rights
- knew of the frailities of men, that in
office they would seek to stifle those who
challenged them. They would do so as
naturally as they would seek office and
honor in the first place. The one assur-
ance against such official arrogance was
a strict, absolute injunction barring the
federal government from interfering with
In our times, and in history, we have
seen the press misused. It has whipped
the nation into war fever when no justi-
fiable cause has existed. It has attacked
and destroyed good and honest men. It
has shown conflict where there was none
before. In short, there has often been a
failure of the truth to prevail.
But there is no acceptable alternative,
there is no way to improve this imperfect
system, for the imperfections are inher-
ent in men.
THE, NEED FOR improving the quality
of the press would be denied by only
a fool. But the suggestion of Dr. W. Wal-
ter Menninger that licensing is the an-
swer, or any answer at all, is at least as
foolish. Not only does it fail to insure
anything close to perfection, let alone im-
provement, it also treatens the integrity,
and freedom of those who are licensed.
,Does anyone suppose that a reporter,
knowing he must face a board of govern-
ment licensers, will feel perfectly free to
write a story damning a politician in
power? It is not the problem of libel,
which journalists accept as an appropri-
ate limit on their activities. Rather, it is
the problem that a man's fivelihood
would be threatened by his performing
honestly his function as a Journalist.
If Tad Szulc's story on the imminence
of the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961 had
been printed by the New York Times,
President Kennedy would have undoubt-
edly, as Times editors feared, blamed that.
institution for the failure of the invasion.
Kennedy was later to tell Turner Cat-
ledge, then managing editor of the Times,
"I wish you had run everything on Cuba
.. . I am sorry you didn't tell it at the
Curiously, Kennedy was not so charit-
able toward David Halberstam, the re-
porter who first started to shoot gaping
holes through the fiasco in Vietnam. His
attempt to get the Times to take Halber-
stam out of Vietnam is one of the black-
est marks on Kennedy's record.
Would these two men's "irresponsibil-
ity" in writing too close to the so-called
edge of national security have cost them
their licenses and their jobs? Unques-
THE GOVERNMENT'S use of subpoenas
poses a threat of a different kind.
It is an attempt to compromise the inde-
pendence of the press, striking at t h e
roots of the question of who the press is
The practice is an unsavory one, and
journalists are not to be lauded for co-
operating, which they do more than the
public knows. But the government is the
more culpable for being the more power-
ful party and the initiator of the process.
And it should be clear to editors and pub-
lishers that there will come a time when =
they will not be able to agree with the
government on what is and is not to be
The press will have to fight such sub-
poenas eventually, and the sooner it does
THE THREAT OF the press becoming
an information gathering arm of the
government for the purposes of prosecu-
tion is obvious. The result would be a
limitation on the ability of the press
to inform the public. No reporter c a n
gather news appropriate for publication
without gathering more, that for many
reasons, shouldn't be printed. If a source
cannot feel safe in talking to a reporter,
if there is a reasonable chance the report-
er will be forced to speak against him,
then he cannot tell him anything.
The press must be free to dabble on
the edge of legality. It must be one of
the releases for the tensions of society.
As a possible agent of political change,
when other political channels close, when
the ballot box doesn't work and the judi-
cial system is out of date, the press may
be the only tool to effect social and poli-
tical change. 'But to do so, it must be free!
to explore. The constant threat of being
a tool of the government would destroy
-RON LANDSMAN '
By JIM FORRESTER
LAST SATURDAY, The Daily
printed an article stating that
President Robben Fleming was a
liar. But it seems that many people
found it difficult to believe what
This article will differ from
Saturday's: It will present docu-
mented proof of Fleming's lies.
The evidence will be in the form
of Fleming's own testimony at
one of the LSA sit-in trials. The
court transcript is quoted through-
Fleming hedged on the truth.
distorting it and confusing those
who must sit in judgment.
IN THE TRIAL of Robert Wen-
dell, Richard Zuckerman, Eric
Dueweker, Lawrance Soberman
and Steven Schaer vs the People
of the State of Michigan, Fleming
testified on Dec. 8 and 9, 1969.
The following is Fleming's testi-
mony under direct examination
concerning the mass meeting that
took place on Regent's Plaza at
3 p.m. on Sept. 25, 1969. It was
at this meeting that th decision to
occupy the LSA Bldg. was made.
Q. Now, at the time you left
the (Administration) building,
what was the condition of the
doorways of the entrances, sir?
A. The doors were locked.
Q. Why were they locked?
A. They were locked because
for a few minutes before that
somebody had thrownba brick
through one of the plate glass
windows on the west side of, the
building, and there is in that
building no room or classroom or
auditorium that would accommo-
date anything like the numbers of
people who were out front.
On the day to which Fleming
was referring, there were several
hundred people there, but the
doors were locked before they ar-
rived, and before the window was
But the most significant doubts
about Fleming's veracity are rais-
ed by his testimony concerning his
signature of a complaint asking for
an injunction against the people
sitting-in at the LSA Bldg. The
following cross-examination is
Q. I see. Now, Mr. Fleming,
could you tell us who the defend-
ants named in this complaint are?
A. (Reading.) Robert Par -
sons, Mark VanDer Hout. P e t e r
Denton, Martin McLaughlin, Dav-
id Miles, Gary Baldwin, Joseph
Jersey, David Duboff, Eric Chester,
Steven Nissen, David Bernstein,
John Scott, John Doe and Jane
Q. I see. Now, Mr. Fleming, be-
fore signing this, did you appear
before Mr. Forsythe (the Uni-
Q. I see. And, before signing
this, sir, did you state under oath
that you were duly authorized to
execute this Complaint?
Q. I see. And, sir, before sign-
ing it, dik you state that you knew
the contents thereof?
A, A. did.
Q. And did you also state the
same is true of your own know-
A. I did.
Q. I see. And didn't you fur-
ther state (the same to be true
of your own knowledge) except as
to matters stated therein to be
on information and belief.
A. I did.
Q. I see. And, any matters that
you state in there on information
and belief, you believed to be
true. Is that correct?
Q. Sir, is there any matter at
all in that Complaint stated on
information and belief?
A. I don't recall at the moment
without going through it.
Q. Sir, the question is: Did
you at any time, does this c o m-
plaint at any time say that you are
informed and believe a fact is
A. I haven't looked at this in
three months. (Witness reviews
Exhibit - the Complaint. I do not
see such a statement.
Q. Then it would be your -
excuse me sir, you did sign this un-
der oath, is that correct?
A. I did. _
Q. I see. You rose your hand
and signed it under oath, is that
A. I don't know whether I rose
my hand or not, but I certainly
signed it under oath.
Q. You sure did. And, sir, you
say nothing in there is stated to
be on information and belief. Is
A. It does not appear to be
stated that way..
This testimony established that
Fleming swore to the information
in the complaint on the basis of
his own personalknowledge, not
on thfe claims of anyone else. Yet
what Fleming says he knows of his
own personal knowledge to be true
is simply false.
For example, in the complaint
Fleming swore that he knew that
the people named did three things:
They were in the LSA Bldg., they
took part in the Institute for Sci-
ence and Technology sit-in the
week before, and they had taken
part in the North Hall takeover:
"9. That Defendants, and di
verse other persons unknown to
Plaintiff, acting in concert with
them, have threatened similar ac-
tion against other buildings on the
Campus of the University of Mich-
igan and have occupied the build-
ing known as North Hall on the
Central Campus and the Institute
of Science and Technology on the
Eight of those named could and
can prove they had nothing to do
with North Hall. Five can do the
same concerning IST and at least
two of those named were nowhere
near the LSA Bldg. the night of
When, after occupying North
Hall for several hours, people es-
caped out: the rear of the building,
the police took video tapes of
those involved. The Ann Arbor
police were unable to identify any
of the insurgents. But, "of his own
knowledge," Fleming did just that
-identified people in the build-
ing. Examine the following cross
Q. I see. Was Marty McLaugh-
lin in fact in the ROTC Building?
A. Well, one of the things
about the ROTC Building was, of
course, that many of the people
burst out.. .
Q. h (Interrupting.) Is that a
A. . , . without getting identi-
Q. Is that a hard question?
A. He may have been in part
of the time, but he was not in all
of the time. I know because I
talked to him at various times in
the course of the evening.
McLAUGHILIN at no time en-
tered North Hall. The decision to
enter the building was made at a
mass meeting in Angell Hall. Mc-
Laughlin voted against the motion.
After the vote, people left for
North Hall while McLaughlin went
to David Bernstein's house on Wil-
lard St. From there he went to
the SAB and then to The Daily.
At The Daily, he was informed
that North Hall was surrounded
McLaughlin got as far as the
front door of the building, but
no further. If heahad chosen to
enter he could have been identi-
fied upon going in the door. He is
well. known to Det. Lt. Eugene
Staudenmeier and he talked with
Staudenmeier in front of the
Yet the police made no identi-
fication of McLaughlin because
McLaughlin never entered the
building. Yet if we are to take
Fleming at his word, as attested to
in the complaint he signed, Mc-
Laughlin was in the building.
Indeed it appears that Fleming
knew little of the whereabouts of
those he swore "of his own knowl-
edge" were present. Most startling
is the admission that he didn't
know whether one of the people
named in the injunction was in
Ann Arbor the night of the North
Hall takeover. In cross examina-
Q. Steve Nissen was in Cali-
fornia onthat night, wasn't'he?
A. I don't know.
Excepting those arrested,. Flem-
ing is not sure who was in the
LSA Bldg. Again, under cross ex-
Q. David Duboff. Do you be-
lieve he was in the building too?
Q. You believe he was?
A. I believe he was.
Q. Did you see him there, sir?
A. I don't remember,
The Monday morning after the
arrests defense lawyers went to
the County Bldg. to challenge the
injunction as a complete fabrica-
tion on the part of the University
administration. But shortly be-
fore they arrived the University's
attorneys withdrew the complaint.
A public airing of this ridiculous
injunction last fall would have
exposed Fleming-and his lies.
Letters: Fleming rests his case
Strike the Ann Arbor Bank
To the Editor:
YOUR RECENT comments on
my veracity, plus the clarifications
and reclarifications which have
ensued, remind me of the famous
story of the judge who was taken
ill and had to go to the hospital.
While there his colleagues on the
bench sent him a telegram wish-
ing him a speedy recovery. The
vote was four to three.
On the larger question of truth-
fulness, perhaps both of us will
simply have to rest our case on
our respective reputations within
the academic community.
--R. W. Fleming
To the Editor:
WHEN IS the judgment of an
editorial "too negative?" Is it
when the reader does not agree
with the editor's point of view?
Mr. M. McLaughlin says that "ob-
viously Hirschman and Gannes
have learned nothing from the
teach-in repression." Obviously,
then in his eyes they had no right
to even write a column about it.
But Mr. McLaughlin does not say
this. He just says that the judg-
ment of the writing is "too nega-
tive." To him, the writer obviously
doesn't have to know what he is
talking about, as long as the atti-
tude is in line with Mr. McLaugh-
lin's own thinking.
If Mr. McLaughlin does not
agree with meeting a crime with
"...the most fitting or appro-
priate punishment for the crime,"
then what d o e s he suggest be
done? Should a society use the
laws that are in general use by
consent of the overwhelming ma-
jority of that society, or should
there be oppresive new "laws" de-
vised especially for the occasion?
Judging by the tone of his letter
(Feb. 3) it appears that Mr. Mc-
Laughlin is very much against re-
pression of any kind. Yet he_
doesn't want society to absolve the
crime in the most fitting or ap-
propriate way. He certainly does
not deny that a crime has been
If there is to be no enforcement
of society's rules then we don't
need a body to make up rules,
either. We could start this pro-
cess right on the student level by
disbanding SGC and CSJ. Mr. Mc-
Laughlin's statements favor this.
Why. then, does he want to be
president of SGC?
THE SDS people feel that no
crime wascommitted. They feel
their raid on the university's
North Hall and on Ann Arbor
bank w e r e not only excusable.
While they're certainly entitled to
defend the action, t h ere is no
other attitudes that don't agree
with its own, by force if neces-
Since when is destruction of
property, malicious vandalism,
a n d breaking windows called
"trashing?" Perhaps "trashing" is
used with justification to describe
dumping trash, especially since
DDT is indeed "trash;" but it is
called "covering up" to use the
word and its connotations when
much plainer and more honest
words are available.
-Robert M. Knapp
To the Editor:
IN THE Februar-y 5 issue of The
Daily, I was misquoted as having
said, "However, nearly every
library has at least been able to
automate the routine jobs such as
circulation, ordering books, and
cataloguing." What I said was,
"The more successful automation
that has taken place in a few li-
braries has dealt with the more
routine aspects of such areas as
circulation ordering books, and
-Thomas P. Slavens
To the Editor:
FOR OVER TWO WEEKS I've
been waiting for either a letter or
an editorial condemning the lead-
ers and membership of Temple
Beth Emmet for respectively call-
-ing police to protect themselves
from the voice of Charles Thomas
reading the Black Manifesto, and
for failing to overrule or criticize
Actually, I did see a letter from
a P. W. Charles, but I really have
waited for a Jewish voice to be
raised in protest . . . Time's up!
I wonder how many members of
the congregation had their houses
cleaned by "schvartzes" that day,
and whether they sent home the
family's cast-offs with the maid.
And how did the members cele-
brate Chanukah this year? Per-
haps they lit some candles and
bought expensive toys to com-
memorate the victory of the free-
dom-loving Massabees over the op-
pressive Philistines, in days-long
BUT TODAY,. in this country,
and for some years hitherto,nthe
real "Jews" have been (and are)
Perhaps they too, will one day
be able to light candles and give
their children expensive toys on
the anniversary of their victorious
freedom struggle. If so it will not
To the Editor:
FRIDAY AT 2 p.m. my Econo-
mics 201 Lecture in Natural
Science Aud. was interrupted by a
group of SDS people denouncing
government warfare contracts to
certain private industries.
The lecturer, Mrs. Muriel Con-
verse, stated at the beginning of
the interruption that she was op-
posed to such things in lectures,
but that she would not try to
outshout the group. Econ 201 stu-
dents began to boo and hiss in
opposition to the demonstrators,
who still refused to leave,
The lecture was finally allowed
to begin at 3:25.
I might add here that the same
group of SDS people had been
demonstrating throughout the day
in the Fishbowl, where they re-
ceived a great deal of favorable
THE POINT I wish to make is
this: I have paid my tuition at
this University so that I may enter
the Nat Sci Auditorium and listen
to an Econ 201 lecture. I have not
paid tuition to see an SDS, or any
other, demonstration. If I wish to
witness such a demonstration, I
know that I may do so in public
areas of the campus, such as the
Diag and the Fishbowl.
I resent being forced to witness
any demonstration as a blatant
infringement upon my rights as a
citizen of this country and as a
student of this University.
Furthermore, to attempt to f.orce
an audience to listen to a dissent-
ing viewpoint by disrupting nor-
mally scheduled activities and by
the use of insophistication and
profanity cannot possibly serve to
promote that viewpoint-but in-
stead to promote extreme opposi-
tion to that dissention.
-Judy Norris '70
Reseni m ent
To the Editor:
THIS LETTER is a response to
John Feldkamp's letter of Jan. 23.
In that letter~ he accuses thole, of
us in the Baits tenants union lead-
ership of misleading both the ten-
ants of Baits and the general uni-
versity community. I must say that
we resent this accusation; and
at this. time I hope to set the rec-
If you recall, Mr. Feldkamp
noted that a double in Baits rents
for $112.50 a month. In eight
months this equals $980.00 He
then noted that the apartments
in Northwood are on a twelve
month basis. So far so gpod. The
fault in his logic shows wGvhen one
notes that Baits is not empty in
According to the figures Mr
Feldkamp gave me after our Dec.
8 meeting, an additional $200 is
generated by every double in Baits
during the summer. This addi-
tioinal revenue brings the Baits
double total to $1180. Bear in mind
that this is $40 above the total for
a Northwood efficiency. Also re-
member that this is for a 12' x 12'
room and a john shared with an
FURTHERMORE we do not
have cooking priviledges or facili-
ties as do those in Northwood.
Those of us involved with the
B.T.U. try to be honest in our
dealings with the tenants of Baits
and the University as a whole.
We can only hope Mr. Feldicamp
will do the same in the future.
-George C. Caruso
Letters to the Editor should
be mailed to the Editorial Di-
rector or delivered to Mary
Rafferty in the Student Pub-
lications business office in the
Michigan Daily building. Let-
ters should be typed, double-
spaced and normally should not
exceed 250 words. The Editorial
Directors reserve the right to
edit all letters submitted.
E TENANTS Union's call for mass
ithdrawals from the Ann Arbor
k this afternoon is a fitting and ap-
)riate protest. Acting against that
k's practices in dealing with garnish-
.t of strikers' accounts, the Tenants
)f has a legitimate grievance for
h they have chosen an appropriate
i of dissent. Strikers and those who
pathize with them should participate
arnishment is a legal procedure by
h a court order may be obtained to
ze funds held in a bank account. In
ease a landlord ray seek such a
t order to freeze 125 per cent of the
uted rent in the strikers account thus
enting anyone from withdrawing that
ae Ann Arbor Bank's handling of
e procedures has proved flagrantly
,ir. The basic complaint of the Ten-'
Union has been that the Ann Arbor
K has not notified students that their
unts have been garnished. The stu-
s then write checks without knowing
account can no longer cover them.
checks are bounced and the students
then pay the resulting penalties.
WEVER THE Tenants Union cites
xamples of mistreatments which are
asked payment be stopped on, The stu-
dent had written a new check to the
Tenants Union; which the bank subse-
quently invalidated. When the student
confronted the official, he reportedly told
him the landlord should have the money.
As an alternative to the Ann Arbor
Bank, the Tenants Union suggests that
students open accounts at the other Ann
Arbor banks. The union claims that
other banks in town, while complying
with the court order of garnishment,
have been courteous and helpful to the
students being garnished. The union says
these banks notify the students of their
garnishment as soon as possible. "They
also say that in some instances, these
other banks have informally suggested
Legal methods by which the student might
make himself less accessible to garnish-
BUT THE Ann Arbor Bank has clearly
gone out of its way to make the
garnishment proceedings more difficult
Looking at these circumstances con-
cerning the Ann Arbor Bank's conduct
towards its student depositors, it seems
that today's demonstration is an entirely
appropriate one. By a mass withdrawal
of accounts, the bank will be hit where
^.. fr. .
11 ' N ii UI~1i~' El ~,wrIY 'U U