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July 08, 1975 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1975-07-08

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The Michigan Daily
Edited and managed by Students at the
University of Michigan
Tuesday, July 8, 1975
News Phone: 764-0552
Biljotoo much for tub
'OR THE FIRST eight months following Gerald Ford's
slippage into office, before the reins of power felt
comfortable in his hands and he went over the hump in
the popularity nolls, the new President was quite willing
to line up behind the nation's conservative bastions in
policy feuds, preferring not to stand alone lest his politi-
cal weight prove too flimsy to prevail.
But with the recent surge of national esteem for the
chief exec. Ford has donned a new headiness spurring
him to bypass even such old guard pillars as the Depart-
ment of Defense in his stalwart journey to the right.
The latest product of Ford's love affair with govern-
ment by decree is a $1.2 billion nuclear cruiser the Presi-
dent is preparing to steamroll through Congress on be-
half of his old buddy Adm. Hyman Rickover of the Navy.
Even the butch-cut crowd at the DOD, who've never
been ones to bold a zillion-dollar price tag against a
proiect as lone as it had a nifty name and one of their
buddies got the contract, advised Ford that dumping a
bundle dollars on the tub still wouldn't let it be in two
places at once, and that for the same price they could
get several less lavish but perfectly adequate ships, a
couple dozen simulated kapok life preservers, ten free
passes to the Tokyo Boat Show, and the inside track on
the Lower Marianas.
EVEN FORD'S BUDGET Office came down against the
cruiser, noting that fiscal responsibility wasn't one
of the proposal's strong suits, but Ford will have none
of it.
When a President pursues a policy of uncompromised
opposition to all people-oriented programs that come
before him and of complete support for the powers of
U.S. expansion, that is something to mull over.
When a President begins to build walls around him-
self and rely on his own instincts to decide the course
of national policy, that is a clear and present danger
both to the American people and to the right to self-
determination to which they're secured.

Keeping their guard up

Special To The Daily
.WASHINGTON - They s a y
opportunity knocks but once in
life. It that's so, it's all down
hill for me.
I set a new University of
Michigan record Tuesday by be-
ing the first reporter kicked out
of the White House inrJuly, per-
haps the first all year. =:
What happened was de-eptive-
ly simple. Assigned to cover my
first White House function, I had
arrived minutes early to ge_ my
official temporary press clear-
ance at the gate. Convinced I
wasn't a murderer, likely to in-
volve myself in acts of crazi-
ness, or wanted for any out-
standing crimes, the guards
quickly waved me through.
As casually as if I had been
attending for years, I walked
in for Ron Nessen's daily prees
briefing among a slew of media
heavies. Although 5 wasn t cov-
ering the event, I stood quietly
in the corner, taking down ev- have the run of the swanky
ery word said, asking no ques- joint. She sauntered through,
tions, and just soaking up the jabbed a paunchy reporter in
atmosphere. the gut, and told another he was
After the briefing was over, I losing his hair.
went over to the head of the Eventually I was led out with
White House staff, introduced the others to the fabled E a s t
myself, and asked when the Garden. I had been assigned to
"One doesn't go wandering around the halls
of the White House. Newsmen need escorts and
clearance to go anywhere. Only moronic creeps
like Susan Ford have the run of the swanky

news reporters would he led out
to where the day's main event
would take place.
One does'nt go wandering
around the halls of the White
House, I learned to my chagrin.
Newsmen need escorts and
clearance to go anywhere. Only
moronic creeps like Susan Ford

WNW HAVE AL. 1'tub 6t46? -

cover the Presidential Schol-
ars, a group of 121 snot-n's.ed
youngsters who were ges'lng
bronze medallions imprinted
with the graven image of Ger-
ald Ford. The meals qualify the
brats for admission to the right
schools, good jobs and a perpet-
uation of their upper middle
class economic domination over
the rest of the country.
After watching the dorky-look-
ing eggheads parade across the
stage, the big bozo himself, the
ex-Wolverine center, appeared
and made typically vapid re-
marks. When he disappeared
with most of the press carps
trailing behind him, I just as-
sumed none of the CBS h o t-
shots wanted to talk to these
brats, which was my assign-
ment. I had two kids to inter-
view for the papers 1 cover.
So when the scholars and their
proud parents filed into the
Executive Mansion, I followed,
having been told that the recep-
tion was open to the press.
Without too much trouble, I
found one of the kids I w a s
supposed to talk to, and asked
him tough questions like, "How
do you like Washingeon?"
I finished the talk ad started
to look for the other yo-yo when
a grim man who looked like a
lie-in for a horror movie saun-
tered up. The extra they hire
to lie in the coffin and look dead
and ghoulish.
This cat had the face for it.
Thin and gaunt, he had bags
under his eyes a porter couldn't
have carried. In his grey pin-
stripe suit which billowed around
his slim frame like a tent, he
looked recently exnumed.
In his best funeral manner, he
asked if he could help ne, notic-
ing my press tag. I told him I
was a reporter looking for a
kid, and asked him to help me
find another one.
He said he'd help, but hard-
ly in the manner I had hoped.
He made a quick call to a
faceless voice in the p r e s s
room, and handed me the line.
A curt voice told. me I had
crashed a reception closed to the
press. I protested that the Of-

fice of Education liason had said
the affair was open.
She cooly reminded me that
the Office of Education was not
the White House, and that t h e
White House decided what w a s
open, and what was not.
She spoke briefly on the phona
to a guard; hethen turned and
pointed me to the door. He told
me to head out to the Northwest
I acrepted the comand with
hidden strategy. I'd exit through
the front door, all right, b u t
head back to the press office and
press my complaint. I wasn't
going to be pushed around, and
I could outsmart these dunder-
So I casually sauntered out
the door, convinced that my
plan had outwitted the palace
guard, and headed for the brief-
ing room.
To my surprise I discovered
that not only was I not going
to get away with my plan, I
wasn't even going to get close.
As soon as thay saw where I
was heading, one of the frscists
came running after me.
Where was I going, he wanted
to know. Just to the press of-
"In the best German
tradition, he told me
that when one is invit-
ed to leave the White
House, t h a t means
don't pass the press of-
fice and don't pass
fire I savuely replied, wavipg
my press pass at him to 'cdi-
cate I was cleared to go. Not
any longer. In the best German
tradition, he told me that when
one is invited to leave the
White House, that means don't
pass the press office, and don't
pass go. With that he reached
over and took the temporary
press tag off my jacket. So
much for clearance.
Then the Nazi-h-training took
my elbow the way you grab an
old grandmother too mentally in-
firm to walk alone, and march-
ed me to the Pennsylvania Ave-
nue exit.
At the gate, the buzzer sound-
ed; I pushed the handle, walted
out, and the gate clicked be-
hind 'me, locked. Just like in
the movie, I was gone in 60 s6
Sic transit gloria.
Stephen Selbst is T h e
Daily City Editor and an al
leqed summer intern for the
Thomson Newspapers
Washington Bureau.

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