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July 07, 1972 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1972-07-07

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64t £i*4igan ~aitj
Edited and managed by students at the
University of Michigan
Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual
opinions of the author. This must be noted in all reprints.
FRIDAY, JULY 7, 1972 News Phone: 764-0552

Hot air in Washington...
...Getting set for Miami

High Court decision
a setback to public
THREE DAYS AGO, almost every newspaper in the
country wrote some sort of editorial concerning
freedom and independence in America. Those editorials
spoke glowingly of our people's constitutionally-insured
freedoms-of speech, of worship, and dissent.
But there is one basic freedom which the editorial
writers of America probably didn't mention-in fact,
probably choked on if they thought of it at all. That
quality, once cherished in this country, has been labeled
"the public's right to know."
This "right to know idea" has a partner-freedom of
the press. For it is the press which informs the public,
which brings to that public the knowledge to which they
have a "right."
Both these ideals have been dealt a severe blow by
the recent Sunreme Court decision limiting a reporter's
privilege to keep information sources confidential.
THE PURT IC WILL be the loser in more ways than one.
quent 5-4 decisions, ruled that requiring journalists
to reveal sourges did not violate First Amendment guar-
antees of freedoms of sneech and press.
A strange ruling. Perhaps the freedom of the press
is not explicitly violated, but that freedom is of dubious
value to a renorter who can't get interviews with people
involved in activities controversial enough to come be-
fore a grand jury?
The specific cases before the court involved two
newspaper reporters and one television newsman. Two
reported on the activities of the Black Panther Party,
and one on the sale of hashish. Both subjects are of pub-
lic interest, and both are tonics where those involved are
apt to talk only if reporters can promise anonymity of
That promise can no longer be made. As one of the
reporters involved in the court case said: "If I now be-
tray those who decided to trust me, reporters everywhere
will find it difficult to deal with such informants. The
ultimate loser will be the public."
mTHE SUPREME COURT, in one of its increasingly fre-
First, the public's right to know has been threatened
by this restraint on the information-gathering abilities
of the media.
In an elouent dissenting opinion, Supreme Court
Judge Potter Stewart wrote "The press has a preferred
position in our constitutional scheme not to enable it to
make money, not to set newsmen apart as a favored
class, but to bring fulfillment to the public's right to
know .. . (which is) . . crucial to the governing powers
of the people."
IN ADDITION, Stewart's dissenting opinion stated that
the court has left the door open for state and federal
governments "to undermine the historic independence
of the press by attempting to annex the journalistic pro-
fession as an investigative arm of government."
This, he added, is an example of a growing govern-
mental trend. "As the years pass the power of govern-
ment becomes more and more pervasive. It is a power to
suffocate both people and causes."
Thus, the Court's ruling symbolizes a loss to the
public greater, even, than the loss to the Fourth Estate.
NO WONDER THE journalists . of America-and all
friends of the Bill of Rights-may have choked this
Independence Day as they sang "From every mountain-
side, let freedom ring."
Today's staff .
News: Loren Labardee, Carla Rapoport, Marilyn Riley.
Editorial Page: Alan Lenhoff.
Summer Staf
Dan Biddle, Jan Benedetti, Meryl Gordon, Jim Kentch, Loren
Labardee, Alan Lenhoff (co-editor), Diane Levick, Chris Parks,
Carle Rapoport (co-editor), Marilyn Riley, Gloria Smith, Paul
Travis, Ralph Vartabedian.
Bob Andrews, Dan Borus, Elliot Legow.
Andy Golding, .Business Mgr.; Sherry Kastle, Circulation Mgr.;
Karen Laakko, Classified Mgr.; Bill Abbott, Display Mgr.; Diane
Carnevale, Supplement Mgr.; Elliott Legow, Deborah Whiting,
Carol Wieck, Assistants.

Denny Gainer, Rolfe Tessem, Gary Villani, Jim Wallace.

Fdittor's Note: The following is an
arraouat at ane day ef he arigs Sr.
e hecrdentalsacomittee a
the Democratic Party. The creden-
tials committee serves as a micro-
cosm of the convention and its pro-
cedings thertefoe caattnrda
seak previes'fawhat will happena
Washington D.C.
June 29
A HEAVY PURPLE funk which
hung like the Voice of Doom
over the McGovern forces follow-
ing the disappearing act of half
their California delegates was lift-
ed when the tables suddenly turn-
ed and The Senator's reform-
minded young followers knocked
out kingpin Richard Daley and 58
other Chicago delegates.
Although the gain delegate-wise
of about 50 votes hardly makes up
for the 151 from California lost
Wednesday, the win provided some
sorely needed adrenalin to a cam-
paign that the day before seemed
to have collapsed like a punctured
It is 10 a m. Thursday morning
and the Sheraton Park Hotel-
site of the Credentials hearings-
rises like the Castle Dracula out
of the Washington landscape. Set
on a hill, is a towering maze of
corridors, dormers, towers and as-
sorted examples of neo-Gothic
architecture. The entrance is
through a long tunnel lined with
portholes. One gets the impression
that the place was designed to
withstand a seige.

open election." To charges that
party regulars openly pushed a
slate of candidates which grossly
underrepresented minorities he re-
sponded, "I don't think it's fair
to say that elected officials can't
speak out to endorse candidates."
gers is David Rosenstein from
Chicago. He is a typical middle-
aged, Jewish, ACLU, liberal Demo-
cratic lawyer with All the Cre-
dentials. His hair spills down
around his collar. He wears stylish
gold-rimmed glasses, and sports a
very neatly (almost too neatly)
fitting gray suit. As he mono-
tones in a nasal voice, the cameras
swing and focus.
He is really leaning into the
meat of his message. He has a
"liberal solution" to the problem
of resolving the challenge. Estab-
lished proportional representation
for the districts, he says. The idea
is to pick out some of the over-
thirty, male Muskie delegates and
replace them with women, blacks
and vaung people, presumably

Looking out over the sea of
faces, you see a meeting of the
old Democratic Party and the New
Democratic Party. The old liners
are all there--liberal Jews, old
blacks from the NAACP, and the
ugly old ward healers and corrupt
utnion officials.
But a lot of them are new
faces. Starry-eyed, liberal and
idealistic, they are McGovern
people in their first big run-in
with big-time politics.
RECESS--the delegates are all
over the floor. Some just slump in
their seats catching up onthe
morning paper. Two old women

Pied Piper of youth
more sympathetic to .Senator Mc-
The lawyer's time is up and the
echair* is throwing discussion open
to the floor .Up rises Claude Hol-
man-an Illinois delegate reputed
to be Daley's major plant on the
Credentials Committee. He's a
loud little old man in a loud
yellow jacket. He's blustering, red
in the face. He talks a lot about
party unity and how it's necessary
to let the Illinois delegation avoid
the reform rule in order to main-
tain it. Otherwise, he warns,
"You'll be handing it to Nixon on
a silver platter in November."

Trying to hang on
from Oregon are chatting earnest-
ly it a corner. Some are big
shootet's. like Illinois' Roman
Pucinski, who is buttonholing,
backslapping, handshaking -- try-
ing to drum up some deals. Most,
however, are just plain bored,
tired and they have their minds
tmade up.
There is more debate, resolu-
tions and eventually, the vote-
70-65 in favor of accepting the
challenge. It is a small victory
for McGovern and the reformers,
and a loss for Humphrey and the
"stop McGovern" old liners who
were gloating so unbearrably in
all the Washington papers.
It is now between sessions, and
in the halls of the Sheraton Park,
deals are being made and broken
at full speed. A fierce-looking man
--a delegate from Hawaii-is talk-
ing to his pretty young daughter
-also a delegate from Hawaii.
Apparently she has been express-
ing some independent ideas and
he is visibly upset. In fact he's

An old face
Inside, the hotel's Sheraton
Room is awash with color height-
ened by blinding batteries of tele-
vision lights. Almost everyone is
wearing sunglasses to avoid the
lights which, create an effect as
though someone had taken Tiger
Stadium and moved it indoors.
Delegates squint and shield their
eyes while the television cameras
swing and focus.
the day concerns delegates from
the 17th, 19th, 22nd and 23rd
Congressional districts in Illinois.
The basis for the challenge is
alleged underrepresentation of
minorities and women. It is sort of
the warm-up event for the main
heavyweight headliners - Mayor
Daley and his Chicago mob.
The first speaker is Jerome
Torshen-a big shot lawyer from
Chicago and one of Daley's top
henchmen. Replete in a greasy
black suit, he strides up to the
podium and grips it as if clinging
to life itself. Strands of black hair
straggle down the back of his
head like clinging ivy.
Like a cripple who has to make
up for the loss of his hands he
uses his feet to express emotion.
His high-gloss patent leather
shoes move back and forth as he
speaks. And as he drones through
a phrase his . right foot slides
slowly back until it rests on his toe
about two feet behind him.
Describing how democratic and
open the Illinois Democratic pri-
nasry was, he ventures a few fur-
tive hand gestures quickly return-
ing his hands to the podium as if
afraid he will lose his balance.
"We don't have enough women
(in the delegation), and I admit
that. And there's not enough
young people, and I admit that."
But, he goes on, "There's no way
to insure that voters will select a
balanced group of delegates in an

"God damn McGovern" the old man snarls.
"He says he won't support the noninee. Hell
then, he no Democrat. I'd just like to see him try
to win the nOmination without the party organ-
ization." The McGovern kids are grinning. They
apparently think he can.

A bright young McGovern wom-
an f rota California takes the floor.
She is just what you would expect
a McGovern kid to look like-
healthy, well-scrubbed, eager and
super earnest.
She is asking for a clarification
of the specific rule involved in
the impending challenge. That's a
weakness of the McGovern people.
They seem to believe in rules as
something impartial used to de-
termine right or wrong on a posi-
tive scale. They fail to realize
that all rules exist to be twisted
by those with enough power to
twist them.
AFTER THE California chal-
lenge, one would think they would
have known.
The debate creeps on. The out-
raged challenged delegates are
seeking to defend themselves.
"The precinct committeemen
are the very foundation of the
party," one exclaims in exaspera-
tion. "If I did something wrong
by asking for their support (bang-
bang, goes the chair, time's up)-

She looks kind of scared, "You
have your principles and that's
fine, but we made a deal. These
are cold hard realities." Apparent-
ly, the young woman wants to
speak at the next session in favor
of spine challenges which equal
representation for women.
Two heavies join her father in
the assault, and she's just stand-
ing there alone, biting the tip of
her finger. "You're making deals
with our enemies. You may go
with them today, but they will
leave you tomorrow."
She's holding fast-not exactly
what they might call "a together
woman." When the challenge
finally comes she will vote, with-
out lifting her head, a quiet "no."
IN THE MIDDLE of the after-
noon there are more challenges
over representation in Illinois.
Challengers contend that the party
regulars drew up slates of favored
candidates and put the weight
of the party machine behind their
campaign. Very few women,
blacks, Chicanos, or young people
appeared on these slates.
See LOTS, Page 8

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