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June 20, 1974 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1974-06-20

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Michigan Daily
Edited and managed by Students of the
University of Michigan
Thursday, June 20, 1974
News Phone: 764-0552
Loathing in Lansing
A BILL INTRODUCED in the state House of Repre-
sentat ive~s Tuiesday would require newspapers and
the broadcast media to provide an opportunity for reply
to criticism directed at any public figure.
The measure, already supported by some 60 house
members, must be defeated because it seriously threatens
the right of a free press as guaranteed in the Constitu-
Under the bill as presented the demand for reply
may be made for any news article or radio and television
report that: "charges any candidate for, or holder of,
a public office with malfeasance, misfeasance or other
misconduct of a civil or criminal nature, or otherwise
attacks the person's official record . ."
This proposed law if enacted would injure the media's
role as a watchdog on government which when operat-
ing unimpeded has been able to bring to the public eye
such indiscretions and legal transgressions as the myriad
Watergate scandals.
Moreover, the media almost always gives those per-
sons who come under attack the opportunity to respond
before the allegations are actually made public.
But these efforts to insure fairness and objectivity
are often met with no reaction from those who are the
subject of the media's investigations.
NOT SURPRISTNGLY Tuesday's bill was introduced by
State Rep. John Smeekens (R-Coldwater) whose own
unethical - if not illegal dealings were first exposed
in the press.
A newspaper reported that Smeekens had been sec-
retly paid by a foundry in his district, at the time a state
commission was investigating the operation for alleged
violation of certain anti-pollution laws. Smeekens testi-
fied before the commission without revealing his finan-
cial ties to the foundry, and as a result the investiga-
tion was curtailed.
The measure is very similar to a Florida statute
that was struck down by the Supreme Court earlier this
year. Hopefully the state house will learn from that pre-
cedent and defeat Smeekens' proposal which is nothing
more than a vindictive attack on a vigilant press.
The male myth tique

,; .
. A

,, f
' k -
. ,,

America's longest war

Monday next, the Public 1road-
_asting System is presenting a
program called "Male MIc-s
pause, the Passe thatePerplex.
In conlnCtion therew'' n, P1'S
has pren-red a little qwz. to
help viewers determine wheth-
er the program concerns them
personally. The ques:ians in-
0. "lavesyou lotved dona a
couple of steps hut refused to
admit it?"
"Is the pressure to per-
form on the jo and in the bed-
room more than you can han-
* "'ave you become con-
cerned lately about how yo ulook
to younger women?"
0 "Have you become a ser-
io reader of the cti'uary
AFFIRMATIVE answers to a
preponderance of these ques-
tions supposedly indicate that
you are a middle-aged man in
the throes of male menopause.
But although I most assu:ed-
ly am a middle-aged man, ard
although I answered yes to all
of them, I don't think 'he quiz is
indicative of anything.
Most of the young man I Know,
and at least half of the voung
women, probably would have re-
sponded in the affirmative too.

If you really want to know
where you stand male neno-
pause-wise, see how you score
on this:
I. Do you seriously beieve
here is such a thing as mole
menopause, or is PBS jut try-
ing to compete with Monday
sight baseball?
2. When you feel inclined to
make a pass at a young wo-
man are you inhibited by the
realization that you are old.
Mnough to be her father?
3. If so, would you be inter-
ested in meeting her mother?
4. If not, does she have a sis-
5. Do you ever give up some-
thing for Lent and never get it
back again?
6. Do you find that most of
rotur New Year's resolutions al-
ready are being observed?
7 Have you ev r been mis-
taken for Gabby Hayes?
8. Were you secretly hoping
that Bobby Riggs would lose?
9. During the "Pepsi genera-
tion" commercials on television,
do you get up and get another
10. When you stroll down me-
mory lane, do you ever forget
where you are?
YES ANSWERS to 8 or more
definitely in a sign of m a I e
menopause. But look at the
bright side, It means you no
longer have to worry about acne.

Editor's notes This is the second article in a
three part series on the American government
and the occupation of Wounded Knee. Stephen
Most is a free-lance journalist and playwright.
CopI riht, Pacific News Service, 1974.
Trading Post * Authentic Arts & Crafts
A BILLBOARD in large Barnum lettering points
the way to these attractions for tourists who
pass through South Dakota. On the sign, an Indian
in headdress brandishing a ceremonial arrow
appears within a dreamspace of white cloud;
quite a different picture from the 300 Oglala Sioux
and members of the American Indian Move-
ment who on February 27, 1973 entered the town
of Wounded Knee, took over the trading post and
the church built near the mass grave, and pro-
claimed this a liberated Oglala territory.
Surrounded by three ridges and an open valley
to the south, Wounded Knee is hardly a military
stronghold. A few ravines, clusters of pine, and
Wounded Knee Creek' provided scant cover for
the town's defenders. Apart from hunting rifles
and .22s, the Indians' only protection was the
spirit of the 350 Oglala Sioux killed in the 1890
WITHIN HOURS of the occupation, over 200
FBI agents, federal marshals, and Bureau of
Indian Affairs (BIA) police had blockaded the
town. These forces were equiped with armored
personnel carriers, M-16 automatic rifles, 50 cali-
ber machine guns, M-79 grenade launchers; CS
gas, and mobile field communications systems.
"Either negotiate with us for meaningful re-
sults, positive results," declared Russell Means,
leader of the occupation forces, "or you're going
to have to kill us, and here at Wounded Knee
is where it's going to have to happen."
Ralph Erickson, special assistant to U.S. At-
torney General Richard Kleindienst, insisted that
the Indians surrender. "Negotiations cannot be
made at gunpoint," he said.
THE IRONY was unintended. Erickson was re-
ferring to the hostages supposedly captured by the
Indians. Protection of their lives and property
was the rationale offered for the siege - until
newsmen broke through the blockade and dis-
covered the "hostages" feared the marshals and
FBI agents more than they feared the Indians.
One, William Riegert, 86, told reporters, "The
fact is that we as a group of hostages decided
to stay -to save AIM and our own property. Had
we not, those troops would have come down
here and killed all of these people."
The villagers signed a petition which complain-
ed of being held prisoner - by the U.S. mar-
shals. They demanded that federal roadblocks be
removed, and said their rights were being vio-
lated. They referred to the occupiers as their

During much of the siege newsmen were re-
stricted to the Bureau of Indian Affairs. building
where they received government press releases.
On one occasion federal marshals fired at a
CBS truck; on another, a CBS camera crew was
evicted from the reservation; and at least once
troopers took newsmen returning from "The
Knee" inside an armored personnel carrier and
interrogated them.
NOR WERE federal actions confined to South
Dakota. On March 7, a plane brought 304 pounds
of food collected by Michigan Indians to Wounded
Knee. The next day FBI agents arrested the pilot
and the Michigan physician who had hired the
plane. In Nevada, Interior Department agents ar-
rested 11 Indians and 5 others who were taking
food, clothing, and medical supplies to South
Dakota. Jack Murphy, the Department's public
information officer, said the arrests were part
of a nation-wide sweep.
On March 8 a cease-fire achieved when the
National Council of Churches agreed to mediate
the dispute ended when marshals inside an arm-
ored personnel carrier attacked Oglalas patrolling
the edge of the village, injuring two. A Justice
Department spokesman claimed that the Indians,
armed with .22s, fired first at the heavily armor-
ed vehicle.
That night 40 Indians joined the besieged
town's defenders, despite flares, searchlights and
countless rounds of fire.
DURING THE following weeks, federal mar-
shals trained BIA police in offensive military
tactics. These police, given APCs and high-
powered rifles,- established a perimeter encirc-
ling the federal blockade. Their roadblock pre-
vented lawyers and medics, guaranteed f r e e
passage by court order, from entering Wounded
U.S. Border Patrol dogs prowled the combat
zone in an attempt to catch infiltrators. And
vigilante groups formed by South Dakota and
Nebraska ranchers worked in tandem with U.S.
forces throughout the region. One vigilante bul-
let accidentally struck U.S. Marshal Lloyd
Grimm, crippling .him from the waist down.
Federal strategy seemed to call for a waiting
game until increasing military pressure and de-
creasing supplies forced the Indians inside Wound-
ed Knee to capitulate. One tactic, temporary
withdrawal of the blockade, failed when Indians
refused to abandon Wounded Knee, choosing to
fight it out if necessary and negotiate if possible.
FINALLY, ON APRIL 5, assistant attorney gen-
eral Kent Frizzell signed a six-point agreement
with occupation leaders. Russell Means was to
submit to arrest, then meet with White House
representatives in Washington. Once that meet-
ing was well underway, people remaining inside
Wounded Knee would disarm and after 30 to 60
days, those under indictment would be arrested.
In return, the federal government promised to
investigate Indian affairs on the Pine Ridge re-
servation and audit tribal funds. The Justice De-
(Continued on Page 5)

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