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January 15, 1970 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1970-01-15

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Seventy-nine years of editorial freedom
Edited and manbged by stidents of the University of Michigan

Protecting the press from the innocent


)Maynard St. Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-0552

Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.



The new vice presidency:
A matter of faith

ON THE Dick Cavett show the
other night, Joe Namath was
giving the press hell for its alleged
disdain for truth and nothing that
has happened in the last 24 hours
is likely to have mellowed h i s
mood. In headlines across t h e
country his name has been
"linked" to the investigation of
gambling in sports, and only those
who read the small print h a v e
discovered that he had b e e n
neither convicted nor even charg-
ed with any offense. When he
initially failed to say anything in
rebuttal, the follow-ups portrayed
"Namath Silenta on Gambling
Quiz," or some variation thereof,
and his subsequent disclaiming
seemed a pallid footnote.
Accepting the prescription of
innocence that happens to ,be
basic to our legal system, Namath
would appear to have a case on
the size of the splash evoked by
the report. But he is missing the
key point when he overlooks the
origins of the story.
This storm-like so many others
-broke into print presumably be-
cause it was leaked by some ir-
responsible government attorney
who-in the fashion of too many
others-was trying to win favor

with a newsman, or paying a debt
for past notices. In this instance,
the newsman was NBC's Detroit
correspondent, Bill Matney, whose
report was unveiled on the Hunt-
ley-Brinkley show.
Namath was one of three prom-
inent pro quarterbacks listedas
slated for questioning by a feder-
al grand jury in connection with
its exploration of a national
gambling operation. Matney said
his information had been con-
firmed by un unnamed "federal
It is always a misfortune when
news must be attributed to un-
named sources: but that is how
much big news is born.
S. attorney assigned to an organ-
ized crime task force in Detroit
said: "We have released no names
except that of Mr. Dizzy Dean
and we have no intention of do-
ing so at this time." This cryptic
remark hardly cleared the air.
On a lesser scale comparable
episodes occur every day in cities
and towns throughout the coun-
try, not excluding - Washington,
D.C. They occur primarily be-
cause too many prosecutors a r e

totally indifferent to the rights
and reputation of prospective de-
fendants or even witnesses a n d
capriciously release information
(or speculation) with full aware-
ness of the kind of premature,
prejudicial stories that will fol-
It seems a reasonable guess that
this is what happened in the cur-
rent flap.
One sanctimonious local sports-
writer has muddied the matter by
asserting that the true moral of
the episode is that "once again
it is shown that athletes m u s t
adhere to a stricter moralscode
than the rest of us if sports are
to retain public confidence." Just
why the associations of those who
play games should be more fastid-
ious than those who write about
them eludes me; on that point
Namath might well deliver a live-
ly rebuttal.
The larger issue is whether
newspaper-with all their flaws-
should be the whipping boys when
justice is flouted by those most in-
timately concerned with the ma-
chinery of the law-whether jur-
ists, or prosecutors.
The Mafia needs no defense
committee; but the conduct of the

federal judge who this week or-
dered the release of the transcripts
of the (illegal) FBI eavesdrops in
the Newark conspiracy-extortion
case can only be described as a
shameless assault on the judicial
process. It was delicious winter
Runyonesque reading. But how
could any judge fail to recognize
that he was giving official blessing
to publication of conversations in
which truth and fantasy must be
so indiscriminately blended?
The Mafiosi have long been
known as incorrigible name-drop-
pers; it is no disparagement of
their power or ruthlessness to sug-
gest that they have a tendency to
boast about both influence and af-
fluence without any scrupulous
reverence for precision of fact. It
was not the press, however, that
initiated the issuance of the docu-
ment; the production was pro-
moted by Federal Judge Robert
There were rumblings of the in-
trusiveness of the ,press in the
tragedy on Chappaquiddick. Cer-
tainly there were morbid overtones
in some of the inquiries. But it was
the failure of the Massachusetts
authorities to order an immediate
inquest that really ignited the

press pursuit. In retrospect Ted
Kennedy himself must lament
what had such palable aspects of
local cover-up until newspapermen
began asking hard questions.
MORE RECENTLY there have
those who deplored the preoccu-
pation of the press and TV with
the My Lai horror. We have been
alternately accused of lacking pa-
triotism and depriving Lt. Calley
of the chance for a fair trial. The
answer, of course, is that My Lai
would still be an untold story if
the media had not-belatedly-
shattered the Army's conspiracyof
suppression. The courts will de-
dide whether pre-trial publicity
has rendered Colley immune to
prosecution. But it is surely prefer":
able that he go free than that the
total infamy remain hidden.
Some of this may sound as if
Vice President Agnewr had trans-
formed me into a defender of the
infallibility of the communications 4
industry. That allegation will be
disproved on many ensuing days.
But the tendencies to make the
press the scapegoat in all such
unhappy conflicts is becoming a
foolish fad. There is another side
to the story.
© New York Post

services has come to be regarded as
such a delicate assignment that candi-
dates for the job are warned that the
mission, should they choose to accept it,
may be a nearly impossible one.
In part to reduce the tensions which
might otherwise plague a new vice presi-
dent, the student-faculty search com-
mittee has suggested certain safety valves
for the office. The committee, which
selected five candidates it considered
suited to the task, recommends that the
post be assigned on a term basis so the
vice president's performance would be
subject to periodic review and so the vice
president might exit gracefully in a dif-
ficult situation.
Furthermore, many committee mem-
bers sought candidates who would feel
responsible toa student-faculty advisory
board, not only to ensure adequate rep-
resentation of student interests, but also
to avoid agonizing situations in which the
vice president might end up with the full
responsibility for representing student
WHILE THESE two prescriptions for a
b e t t e r vice president for student
services seemingly make good sense, they
both have d r a w b a c k s which deserve
Although the new office of student
services should be a student lobby in the
University governing system, it Is ques-
tionable whether the vice president
s h o u ld feel obliged under all circum-
stances to merely convey student-faculty
sentiment to the hierarchy and attempt
to arrange implementation of student
government proposals.
It is not contested that the University
bureaucracy needs democratizing, with a
special effort to include students in the
governing process, But it is unclear
whether students have much to gain by
securing a lobbyist who is not free to
maneuver among the other vice presi-
dents, exercise his own judgment, sug-
gest innovations and compromises.
THIS IS NOT to suggest that the vice
president should remain the adminis-
tration's strategist on student affairs,
but rather that he or she should be the
trusted advocate of student interests. All
of the candidates say they identify
strongly with student viewpoints, but
most also express reservations over sub-

mitting to a "Magna Carta" abdicating
their own beliefs on all matters to those
of a board or a student council. For to do
so, a vice president would run a very real
risk of becoming an "executive secre-
tary," as President Fleming and several
candidates have indicated.
The vice president might rather le ex-
pected to pledge to articulate student
causes as forcefully as possible and work
to influence the course of student affairs.
Neither student nor faculty should be-
grudge the vice president some autonomy
as long as he honors student interests.
And if a credibility breach develops, the
vice president cannot hope to survive,
regardless of any artificial commitment
to a policy board.
CLEARLY, WITH so many "student in-
terests" to reconcile, the vice presi-
dent cannot expect to avoid friction and
cannot expect unlimited tenure.
But at the same time, the decision to
limit the vice president's term before he
has even assumed office may serve only
to highlight the impermanence of the
position and thus diminish its influence.
The abuses of the tenure system are too
apparent to require elaboration, but the
tenuous nature of a limited appointment
could lead to an undesireable and un-
necessary degree of instability.
Although everyone from the President
to the most radical candidate seems to
favor the limited term for the vice presi-
dent, the dangers of this procedure are
considerable. In an effort to make the
vice president more responsible to his
student constituents, this procedure may
only render the individual powerless-
ignored by students and administrators
IT IS IN THE student interest to have an
effective vice president who derives
guidance from a faculty-student board,
but who relies on his- own initiative as
well as theirs.
The new vice president neednot be ,a
sadomasochist or a clerk; he can be
both a valuable addition to the Univer-
sity hierarchy and a responsible agent of
students. But he can succeed only as long
as he is secure in his own job and feels
he is a trusted member of both the stu-
dent and University community.

Letters: Commendation


Mrs. Newell

To the Editor:
ALTHOUGH .I WAS pleased to
read the recommendations of the
Vice-Presidential Selection Com-
mittee, one name was noticeably
missing, and I can only wonder
why? In my relationship with Mrs.
Barbara Newell, the current Vice-
President for Student Affairs, I
think she did an excellent job. At
all times, she was honest, open and
forthright. She has been an arti-
culate and effective representative
of the student interest.
On a number of occasions she
did not agree with- Student Gov-
ernment Council leaders, but on
all occasions that I personally
know of she stated her objections
rationally and exhaustively.
My one lasting memory of Mrs.
Newell will always be when she
dashed down to the County Jail,
walked by some goony Sheriff's
depuity and 'bailed out ad lrge
group of students who had just
been arrested following a Welfare
Mother's Sit-in. Where she un-
covered a Student Bail Fund in
the thirty minutes between my
phone call to her and the time
she arrived at the jail, I never
found out and never asked.
I THINK the University com-
munity should be grateful to Mrs.
Newell for herbfine performance
under tremendous pressure and
under a variety of difficult and
complex circumstances.;
-Mark Levin
Jan. 13
the majority,
To the Editor:
I MUST SAY I find your edi-
torial "The Frightening Majority"
(Jan. 10, 1970) to be really quite
frightening. You seem to be afraid
that the opinions and views of the
majority of the American people
will not square with your own. I
do not recall the Michigan Daily
editorializing in a similar vein dur-
ing the recent decade when it was
thought the Liberal Democrat
voices were those of the majority.
Perhaps it is necessary to remind
you that this is a country where
political decisions are made on a
democratic basis. It is quite likely
that as things are now turning
out, the majority of the people, as
silent as they may have been, are
indeed indicating a very fund-
amental disagreement with the
mannner in which the political
and economic affairs of our nation
have been conducted in the past.
Possibly this is a result of their
gradually becoming aware that the
programs brought upon their by
the modern liberal mentality sim-
ply have failed; and that massive
governmental intervention by legis-

lative act, the expenditure of vast
public funds and the general at-
titude that a few self-styled elite
know what is best for the many
is really wrong, unworkable and
ultimately disastrous.
FORTUNATELY it now appears
that the American majority,
having been exposed to the often
biased public media, (perhaps even
including the Michigan Daily) are
now expressing their dismay at the
path along which we have been
led. Let us hope this is the case
and that the political atmosphere
in this nation in the 70's can re-
flect the genuine human compas-
sion and good will this majority
is capable of delivering when in-
spired, not coerced.
-John A. Clark
Professor of
Mechanical Engineering
Jan. 13
To the Editor:
THE ISRAELI snatching of five
gunboats from France and a radar
station from Egypt adds to an al-
ready impressive record in intrigue
and adventure. Friend and foe
alike must acquire a healthy re-
spect for "the long arm of Israel"
for they are both equally vulner-
able if. they stand in the way of
its military and political objec-
The smuggling of RAF planes
from Britain (during the 1948
war), a MIG plane from Iraq
(with the aid of the C.I.A.), mis-
sile secrets from France, the ab-
duction of Eichmann from the
Argentine, and the conspiracy
against Gen. de Gaulle (when it
became evident that he was for
Algerian independence) are a few
examples that are public knowl-
FOR BIG TIME conspiracies,
top level collusion is assured as
in the 1956 British-French-Israeli
invasion of Egypt. We may also be
sure that the full story behind the
1967 invasion of Syria, Jordan and
Egypt has not leaked out yet. How,-
ever, we do know how Gen. de
Gaulle (unlike his British and
American counterparts) suddenly
became a "bad guy" when he'
wouldn't go along with the 1967
American targets have not been
sacred either. In the early fifties,
Israeli spies bombed American
Embassy buildings in Cairo and
Alexandria with the aim of pro-
voking the U.S. against Egypt (re-
lying on their agents in this coun-
try to fan the flames). "Unfor-
tunately," the Egyptians appre-
hended the spy ring responsible for
the explosions, earning Israeli

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picion about the enthusiasm it is
evoking in some high places," and
we ourselves are suspicious of the
tendency to suggest that this new
issue is replacing ,Vietnam as the
primary concern of youth.
Student activism was directed to
civil rights before Vietnam, but
we doubt that the war has entirely
supplanted racism as an issue
among students.


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"Well, they certainly don't LOOK Jewish..

Intramural funding:
Postponing the agony

denunciations for "persecuting in-
nocent Jews." Years later, in what
came to be known as the "Lavon
affair" (which brought down
more than one Israeli cabinet),
the official Israeli complicity in
those explosions was exposed.
SIMILARLY, "it was just for-
tunate," said McNamara (on "Face
the Nation") regarding the Israeli
bombing of U.S.S. Liberty which
cost 34 American lives in 1967,
"that we were able despite the
confusion which followed the at-
tack to ascertain that it was Israel
not the U.A.R. nor the U.S.S.R.
which was responsible."
Naturally, Israel claims it was
a "mistake" and to the extent that
it did not bring about an Amer-
ican retaliation against Egypt, it
was a "mistake"! The survivors
of the ship testified that it had
all the earmarks of a premeditated
attack, occurring in broad day-
light and preceded by three recon-
naissance missions. The ship's
colors were boldly displayed.
Though it was hushed up, the
Liberty incident had several les-
sons; one is that Israeli interests
are not necessarily those of the
U.S. regardless of how much Is-
rael and the Soviets may like it
to appear so.
THE RISE OF Israel, from the
point of its inception in the minds
of European Zionists, points to an
international Zionist conspiracy

(of which the State of Isra
only the tip of an iceberg) th;
as menacing to Arabs as to
entire World. Zionists havef
indicated that they will not
till they establish an Empire
the Nile to the Euphrates. Z
next adventure could easily
cipitate a global war.
-Sami Kha]
Jan. 13
To the Editor:
IN A RECENT editorial
article (Daily, Jan. 10), J
Wechsler pointed out that the
issue of environmental deca
being' widely acclaimed a
"healthier topic" than thes
war campaign.
,We appreciate the enthus
that environmental activism
vokes, and one of our major
cerns is to form a broad-bases
gaization that includes the 'ge
citizenry as well as students
ready we have found the gee
citizenry as well as students
ready we have found that hu
survival in a quality environ
is a concern that unites n
different people.
However, we have no desi:
supplant peace as an issue-
as necessary to survival as a q
ty environment.
Wechsler expresses a "mild

SIMILARLY, we doubt that the
environment will or should sup-
plant peace as the only issue now
of importance. As Wechsler point-
ed out, it is difficult to choose
priorities among the many crises
confronting us.
But we feel that the problems
of pollution and population must
be added to nuclear holocaust,
racism, and Vietnam as major
concerns of today.
Unless .we act now, to curb
population growth and ensure a
livable environment, we will very
soon face the happy" prospect of
not having an earth worth fight-
ing over.
-Douglas Scott
"r -David Allan
el is Jan. 12
iat is
early omission
stop To the Editor:
pre- in Saturday's Daily was a good
representation of w h a t Marvin
il Esch said about Vietnam, at the
open meeting which he addressed
on Friday night.
However, it neglected to men-
tSm tion that the meeting was arrang-
ed a n d sponsored by Michigan
Petition Drive for Peace., which
page presented to Congressman Eschat
ames the beginning of the meeting the
new remaining 8,000 of 15,000 signa-
iy is tures which we collected this Fall
s a beneath an antiwar petition.
anti- The meeting was one of several
tangible responses by E s c h to
iasm that petition drive.
con- -Bruce L. Reynolds, Grad
d or- Dec. 6


THE APPARENT decision by the Uni-
versity administration to postpone
final action on the controversial question
of funding for intramural construction
until late spring can only be seen as an
obvious attempt to circumvent student
opposition to current proposals.
In fact, the administration has pretty
much settled on a plan to hike tuition $7
per student per term for 11 years to
fund construction of a $5 million intra-
mural building on central campus. This
is the plan Vice President for Academic
Affairs Alan F. Smith has been talking
about fdr months.
And apparently Smith now intends to
keep on talking for a while longer. The
IM decision, he says, probably will be
delayed so that it coincides with con-
sideration of a possible tuition increase
for 1970-71.
On the surface, there is some connec-
tion between a general increase in tuition
necessitated by shortages in general op-
erating funds, and the $7 increment for
IM construction.
But, in reality, the two decisions will,
very likely be made apart from one ano-
ther. If the expected tuition increase is
large, an additional $7 would hardly make
a great deal of difference to the Re-
gents. On the other hand, if the increase
is small, there will be little to deter the
Regents from imposing the levy for in-
Furthermore, since Smith has said the
University could use short term loans to
defer actual tuition increase until the
new building is ready for use, there is

have for some time now felt that the in-
tramural question is a potentially ex-
plosive one. This prophecy could prove
self-fulfilling if it continues to be coup-
led with high handed actions and intran-
sient positions on the part of the admin-
Smith insists he cannot accept the
idea of "their money" - the concept, en-
dorsed 3-1 in a student referendum last
November, that students should h a v e
control over tuition hikes used for con-
And although the vice president claims
the IM construction project has the sup-
port of most students, he says a referend-
um in March on the question of the IM
building is very unlikely to affect the
administration's recommendation to the
Toping off this Machiavellian position,
Smith suggested ,last term that a refer-
edum on the question should ask simply:
Do you want a new intramural buildling?
Hopefully the question Student Govern-
ment Council places on the ballot will
give students a meaningful opportunity to
indicate whether they believe the build-
ing is worth the cost.
CERTAINLY, IN the sense that it will
come out of the pockets of the stu-
dents, the $7 per term levy does indeed
involve "their money." And since the
building would largely be designated to
accommodate students, it makes sense
that students should have a strong voice
in the decision of whether it should be

. Al-
. Al-
re to
-it is

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.


S 7,


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