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August 23, 1973 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1973-08-23

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Summer Dail
summer rNillio of
Edited and managed by students at the
University of Michigan
Thursday, August 23, 1973 News Phone: 764-0552
ornography ruling
brings ileffects
rTHE U.S. SUPREME COURT opened the dam (pardon
the obscenity) last June when it ruled that individual
communities could set their own standards concerning
pornography and now, three months later, the rushing
waters are rapidly drowning free expression.
In at least 12 American cities "Deep Throat," perhaps
the most widely-known porn flic ever produced, has been
confiscated. Judges in New York City, Cleveland, and
Miami Beach have ruled that the movie is obscene. Court
tests are pending elsewhere.
The issue at stake is not whether one enjoys movies
like "Deep Throat" or whether one believes they should
be prohibited. Rather, the question is whether one be-
lieves others should have the opportunity to make their
own assessment.
A CITY COUNCIL has the responsibility to set laws for
the welfare of the community, but the Supreme
Court ruling allows enactment of laws that go well
beyond basic community welfare. It strikes at the in-
dividual's right to see or read ,anything which that
individual wishes. In essence, the new ruling allows a
tyranny of the majority.
Such a statement is far from an exaggeration when
one considers the lengths to which some communities
have exercised their local control.
In Georgia, a community seized the film "Carnal
Knowledge" one that has drawn hardly a gasp in our
own city, because they felt it was obscene.
IN YPSILANTI, a town not more than ten miles from
Ann Arbor, a librarian proposed that the book
"Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test" by Tom Wolfe be banned
because she "was shocked when she read it."
The direct result of such attacks will be the slow
dissipation of creativity in this country. Instead of writing
a book or producing a movie that fulfills the author's or
producer's conception of art, future works will be watered
down to meet the obscenity standards of every hick town
in America.
The Supreme Court decision will not allow each in-
dividual town to make its own decision, but rather will
force the producers and writers to re-define art to what
is acceptable. This has been traditionally abhorrent to
our concept of free speech.
The June decision will alter the movie and book in-
dustries at the expense of creativity. Hopefully, in the
future, strong citizen pressure will force the Supreme
Court to reassess their position and correct a grave mis-

Here's the story behind the story
The White House press briefing

By The Assotated Press
The stories often start in a
straightforward enough way: "The
White House said today that ..."
Behind them, in many cases, is
the daily news briefing where a
presidential press secretary meets
reporters in the White House press
room and dispenses the day's an-
There are always questions. The
reporters are not always satisfied
with the answers.
In the Watergate period, t h e
questioning and the answers often
have become caustic as the re-
porters press in and the W h i t e
House spokesman defends his pre-
scribed positions.
Here are excerpts from the
transcripts of two briefings in the
wake of news that Vice President
Spiro Agnew was being investi-
gated in a criminal probe in Mary-
Reporters were trying to deter-
mine the White House posture.
In both sessions, the briefing was
by Deputy Press Secretary Gerald
Warren, who has been the most
frequent White House spokesman
in recent months. The newsmen,
Q., are not identified by name. The
responses, A., are by Warren:
From the briefing Tuesday, Aug.
Q. Does the President have any
reason to believe that the Vice
President has broken the law?
A. I think you know that t h e
Vice President issued a statement
on the matter . . . We are not go-
ing to have a comment at this
time . . .
Q. You leave the impression that
he (Nixon) may indeed have some
information that the Vice Presi-
dent has broken the law. I did not
want to leave the impression, if
that is not the impression you
wanted to give?
A. That is not the impression
I want to give. . . As I said last
night we are not going to have a
comment at this time .. .
Q. Was the President informed
of the investigation?
A. I have nothing further to pro-
vide . . .
Q. You are leaving the impres-
sion that the President has ordered
you to let the Vice President dan-
gle slowly in the wind, to use a
certain metaphor. Now, I realize
that you have been told that you
can't say anything, but the sum
total of the impression you give
is, the reason you can't say any-
thing is that the President wants
to wash his hands of this matter?
A. In all due respect to you and
the way you frame your question,
I thoroughly disassociate myself
from the words that you are using
in your questions, and I mean to
leave no other impression. I will
restate it one more time:
The Vice President issued a
statement last night. We respond-
ed to questions last night that we
would have no comment at this
time. I have nothing further to
add. I am not guiding you to any
impression other than that. That is
a very flat statement.
Q. Does the President have con-
fidence in the Vice President?
A. We are in a position where
whatever I said would lead some-
one to some impression and some-
one else to another impression. I
just have nothing further to say.
Q. It is a simple question. Does
the President still have confidence
in the Vice President?
A. I am refering you to a state-
ment that the Vice President made
last night . . . I have nothing fur-
ther to provide.
At the briefing Wednesday, Aug.
Q. Does the White House believe
that the Vice President is innocent
of the charges for which re is
being investigated?
A. Look, there was-a discussion

in this room yesterday in which I
referred to a statement by the
Vice President in which he said
there was an investigation under-
way. This investigation is pending
in Maryland and various persons
have been mentioned in connection
with this investigation, includ-
ing, as the Vice President pointed

Gerald Warren:
Mau-mauing the flak catcher

Summer Staff
Sports Editor
Bu"siness Manager


ManagingS ports Editor
Associate Sports Editor

out himself in the statement he
released Monday, including t h e
Vice President.
I was asked a number of ques-
tions yesterday and I repeatedly
referred to that statement a n d
said that the White House would
have no comment . . . and said
there would be nothing further to
Now, there have been wide in-
terpretations of that "no com-
ment." It was based on a deter-
mination which we feel is highly
appropriate that nothing should be
said to relate to that investigation
from the White House and nothing
should be said which may tend to
interfere with that investigation
or prejudge that investigation.
We feel that that is the very
minimum of fair play in this pro-
Now, the fact that there is this
investigation pending in Maryland
is no reason for the President to
change his attitude about the Vice
President . . . .
Q. How would you characterize
this unchanged attitude toward the
Vice President?
A. .. . Now, the very fact that
this investigation is underway is,
as I said previously, no reason for
the President to change his at-
titude about the Vice President or
to change his confidence in the
Vice President - - -
Now, I feel that I must stand
on that . . .
Q. Why are you giving this
statement of Presidential confi-
dence in the Vice President today
and you didn't yesterday? Has
there been some additional inform-
ation that the White House h as
A. My determination yesterday
was the same as it is today. I told
you, I think, not to draw impres-
sions yesterday . . . The determin-
ation was the same yesterday as
it is today, and that is that the
White House should not inject it-
self into this investigation.
Q. What we are trying to deter-
mine is if the President knew for
some time that the Vice President
was under investigation, then his
confidence may have waned then
and may be the same now. Can
you tell us when the President
learned of this?
A. No. I have answered it and
I have told you why .
Q. Would it be accurate to say
that the White House is declining
to give a direct answer to a ques-
tion as to whether the President
has full confidence in the V i c e
President today?

A. The fact that this investiga-
tion is going on is no reason for
the President to change his con-
fidence in the Vice President .. .
Q. My question was in terms of
a direct question to you as to whe-
ther the President has full confi-
dence in the Vice President today.
Are you declining to answer that
direct question?
A. Listen, yesterday I asked you
not to draw any impressions and
I was addressing the entire situa-
tion and impressions were drawn.
Today, I have given you an an-
swer. Now, it is not going to help
the investigation for me to go
any further and, if you read what
I said, I think it is clear.
Q. You won't give us the state
of the President's confidence to
begin with, so we have-
A. Of course the President has
confidence in the Vice President
or I wouldn't have said that. I
don't think I have to be that blunt
to you.
Q. Why didn't you say that when
you were asked. We have been
asking that for a half hour.
A. Listen, you have got to put it
in a context because the Vice Pres-
ident, himself, made a statement,
a very clear statement, on this
and I have made a statement on
that and the fact that there is this
investigation under way is no rea-
son for the President to change
his confidence in the Vice Presi-
This ended the formal briefing
comments on the matter. Some
time later Warren talked with re-
porters, said it was a semantic
problem, and then said:
"The President has confidence in
the Vice President.
"He had confidence in the Vice
"Of course, he's had confidence
and has confidence in the V i c e
Then the story began: "Toe
White House said today . . .
Letters to The Daily should
be mailed tp the Editorial Di-
rector or delivered to Mary
Rafferty in the Student Pub-
lications business office in the
Michigan Daily building. Letters
should be typed, double-spaced
and normally should not exceed
250 words. The Editorial Diree-
tors reserve the right to edit
All letters submitted.

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