Reed Irvine - Editor
|March A, 1976|
A PRICE TAG ON SECRETS
CBS News correspondent Daniel Schorr has gotten himself into hot water by his efforts to market a hot government document. This episode has served to expose the hypocrisy of the claims of the news media that their exposure of nearly every government secret they can lay hands on is motivated solely by their concern for the public welfare. By showing that government secrets have monetary value to the news media, Schorr deeply embarrassed many of his colleagues. Schorr has been suspended by CBS News and has been criticized by a New York Times editorial. The House of Representatives has voted to have its Ethics Committee conduct a probe of the affair, and it is possible that Schorr may have his Congressional Press Gallery privileges lifted. Or he may even be cited for contempt of Congress.
On January 29, the House of Representatives voted by 246 to 124 to bar publication of the Pike Committee report on intelligence activities. Dan Schorr decided that it was his privilege and responsibility to overrule this action by the House. Having a copy of the secret report in his possession, he began to negotiate for its publication. Thinking that he had the only leaked copy, he recognized that it might have considerable monetary value.
He did not want the money for himself, but he decided to see that the sale of the secret report benefited a cause he was interested in. According to a story in The Washington Post, Schorr discussed this with his CBS News colleague, Fred Graham, who is also a member of the executive committee of The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. We do not know whether it was his suggestion or Schorr's that the Reporters Committee be the beneficiary of the sale of the secret report, but Fred Graham and five other prominent Washington journalists who make up the executive committee of The Reporters Committee agreed to accept the proceeds.
They have stated that the only help they gave Schorr was to put him in touch with a lawyer who could be of help in making the arrangements. The lawyer, Peter Tufo, told the Washington Post that he was contacted by Fred Graham, who asked his help in seeking publication of the report in book form. Tufo did not succeed in interesting a book publisher, but he did negotiate a deal with a leftist New York tabloid, The Village Voice. The Voice, which is edited by Vice President Nelson Rockefeller's son-in-law, Thomas Morgan, received the secret report and published large portions of it verbatim. In return, its publisher, Clay Felker, was to make a substantial "voluntary" contribution to The Reporters Committee. The exact amount has not been revealed. Tufo told The Washington Post that he was acting on behalf of The Reporters Committee, for which he had done legal work previously.
The Reporters Committee insists that Tufo was acting on behalf of Schorr, and it asserts that no member of the committee approved or had knowledge of the final arrangements for publication. That suggests that it was Schorr who approved the amount that Clay Felker was to pay for the report.
According to The Washington Post, when Schorr was asked for an on-the-record statement about his role in this affair, he denied having the document or having arranged for its publication in The Voice. This lie did not hold up for long, since too many journalists were in on the secret. Schorr was quoted the following day admitting that he had been responsible for turning the document over to The Voice.
Schorr denies that he did anything wrong. He points out that he did not make any personal profit from the deal, and he doesn't think that publication of the report damaged national security. He notes that he had reported much of the contents on CBS News and by The New York Times.
The New York Times disagreed. Having published the leaked Pentagon Papers and numerous other secret documents, The Times saw nothing wrong with the publication of secret documents. In a February 15 editorial, The Times said: "Mr. Schorr had every right to seek access to the Pike committee report and to communicate the information in his possession to viewers of CBS News." The Times added that, "reporters and news organizations have rightly declined to accept the Government's judgment on what documents it is appropriate to publish." What bothered The Times was not the publication, but the sale. The Times said: "It is flatly wrong for reporters to be involved in any commercial traffic in such documents. The attempt to launder the transaction by devoting the proceeds to high constitutional purposes just does not work."
Charles Seib, ombudsman for The Washington Post, expressed similar sentiments in his February 20 column. Seib said: "Schorr should have recognized that the dollar sign is a danger sign in journalism. The buying or selling of news inevitably taints the product."
Some liberal columnists disagreed. Tom Wicker, whose column is syndicated by The New York Times, emphasized that Schorr had not sought personal enrichment. He quoted from a letter Schorr sent to The Times in which he explained his motives. It seems that Schorr not only wanted to help the Reporters Committee, but he saw no reason why Clay Felker of The Village Voice should enjoy all the profit to be gained from publication of the government document Schorr possessed. "If our system inevitably creates profits, should Felker enjoy them exclusively?" he asked. Schorr thought Felker ought to share the wealth with the Reporters Committee. And so Wicker concludes that there was no "sale" and that Schorr thought he was doing the right thing in siphoning profit away from The Voice.
Anthony Lewis, another of the syndicated columnists of The Times, said flatly that Schorr "gave" the document to The Village Voice and that he had done "nothing that in essence is not common in Washington." In Lewis's view, it was terrible that he should be "pilloried" while nothing was done about "CIA and FBI officials who grossly abused their power and told flagrant lies."
AIM's chairman, Reed Irvine, sent this comment to papers throughout the country that carry the Anthony Lewis column.
In a recent column, Anthony Lewis said that CBS reporter Dan Schorr "gave" the secret House Intelligence Committee report to The Village Voice.
Mr. Schorr stipulated that, The Voice, could publish the secret report if the publisher would make a "voluntary" contribution to a cause in which Mr. Schorr was interested. Mr. Schorr recognized that the secret report had a high monetary value. He did not want to take money for it, but he says he did not see why all the gain should accrue to the publisher of The Voice.
Mr. Lewis apparently sees nothing wrong with this arrangement. One wonders what his reaction would be if it were the Congressman or government employee who leaked the report to Schorr who stipulated that a substantial sum be paid to his favorite charity. I am sure that Mr. Lewis would recognize that such trafficking in secret documents by a government official would be despicable. But if it were ethical for Schorr to do this, why would it be less ethical for the leakers?
What this points up is that the right to designate to whom large payments are to he made is a valuable consideration. Being able to be a major benefactor to The Reporters Committee probably gave Mr. Schorr as much satisfaction or psychic income as he would have derived from, say, a weekend at the Rockwell Corporation's hunting lodge.
Another columnist, Tom Wicker, claims the secret report belonged where Dan Schorr put it-on the public record. The House had just voted by nearly two to one against that position. Do we have a democracy, in which decisions are made by majority votes of the representatives of the people? Or do we have a mediocrity in which un-elected individuals such as Dan Schorr, Wicker and Lewis have the right to overrule the clearly expressed will of Congress?
Lewis criticizes public officials for having abused their power and having "told flagrant lies." Some would say that Schorr abused his power. Certainly he told a flagrant lie when he at Fast denied having the secret House report or having arranged for its publication by The Village Voice. He told the truth after it became clear that the lie would not hold.
In a separate letter to The New York Times, Mr. Irvine pointed out that Anthony Lewis would no doubt be very indignant if an FBI employee were to leak material from the fries damaging to Martin Luther King on condition that the recipient make a large contribution to the Birch Society. He recalled that The Times had not always taken the tolerant view toward publishing leaked government secrets that it manifested in its editorial on Schorr. The Times was outraged when someone leaked the information that Adlai Stevenson had taken a dovish position at the time of the Cuban missile crisis. Also, The Times could never forgive Otto Otepka for having honored a request from the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee that he provide certain information that his superiors at the State Department did not want the committee to have.
The Schorr case is a media Watergate in the sense that it has focused attention on some of the misdeeds and phony pretensions of some of our leading media luminaries.
Schorr and the Reporters Committee have not been the models of openness and candor that might be expected of men and women who demand that everyone else be open and candid, in the name of exposing secrets for the public good, they conducted their transaction in great secrecy. To its great credit, The Washington Post blew the lid off. At first, Schorr lied about his role in the affair, and the Reporters Committee refused to say anything publicly because of the "confidentiality" of its conversations with Schorr.
Twelve days after The Post exposed the deal, the executive committee of the Reporters Committee finally issued a formal statement admitting the facts that had already been disclosed. It also said that it had decided to decline any gift that might be offered in connection with the publication of the report.
We have the spectacle of a transaction which the principals insist was legitimate and ethical but which had to be carried out in deep secrecy and which was cancelled after it was exposed to the glare of publicity.
It seems a little unfair that Daniel Schorr has ended up taking virtually all of the criticism for this deal. The executive committee of the Reporters Committee was clearly co-conspirators, as were Peter Tufo, the lawyer, and Clay Felker, the buyer. The press has been extraordinarily shy about focusing any light upon the distinguished journalists who run the Reporters Committee. The steering committee of this body includes such luminaries as Walter Cronkite of CBS News and Howard K. Smith of ABC News.
AIM has been told that only the six-member executive committee was privy to the negotiations with Schorr. The members of this committee are: Fred Graham, legal reporter for CBS News, Lyle Denniston, legal reporter for the Washington Star, Jack Nelson, Washington Bureau Chief of the Los Angeles Times, Jack Landau of the Washington Bureau of the Newhouse newspaper chain, Robert Maynard, editorial writer and former ombudsman for The Washington Post, and Eileen Shanahan, financial writer for The New York Times.
This group includes some mighty moralists who seem to demand absolute honesty, purity of motive, and complete openness from government officials and businessmen. How do they themselves measure up by the standards of the post-Watergate morality?
When Schorr came dangling an opportunity for their group to profit from the sale of a secret government document did they throw him out on his ear and write stories exposing his plan? Not at all. They put him in touch with a lawyer to help him negotiate the sale. Did Fred Graham consult with Walter Cronkite, who was both a member of the steering committee of The Reporters Committee and his superior at CBS News? Did either he or Schorr consult with the CBS legal department? We have asked Graham, and he has declined to comment. We have asked William Paley, Chairman of CBS, Inc., but he has refused to answer the questions we put to him about what his two employees did and whether they had violated CBS's operating standards.
Were all these noted reporters open with the public, or even with their own newspapers, about this important story? Schorr told The Washington Post: "I have no knowledge of how The Village Voice acquired its copy. I had no connection with it." The Reporters Committee kept officially mum for 12 days after The Post broke the story.
But what is perhaps most embarrassing is that the action of Schorr and his co-conspirators has focused attention on the fact that secret government documents have monetary value for the news media. The media want us to believe that their interest in revealing government secrets is simply to promote the public welfare, to serve the people's right to know. Schorr crudely put a price tag on a secret document. It was a high price, precisely because the document had been obtained illegitimately, and it had scarcity value.
It is hypocritical for The New York Times or The Washington Post to condemn Schorr's action. Are we to believe that when they publish secret information from leaked government documents they never give a thought to what this might do for their circulation and their profits? Jack Anderson markets his column, and its marketability is increased if he can include in it from time to time-genuine secrets, especially such leaks as those from the National Security Council that won him a Pulitzer Prize. When The Times printed the Pentagon Papers in book form, did they sell the books at a loss or give them away? Hardly. They were capitalizing on leaked secret documents just as much as Dan Schorr was.
The major difference was that Schorr did not have his own press or his own newspaper column. He sought an outside publisher, and that meant attaching a price tag. That is something The Times does not have to do.
Schorr did not seek personal monetary profit, but he highlighted the fact that secret documents are valuable assets for those in a position to exploit them. Those who routinely exploit such documents would prefer to kid the public into thinking that their only concern is the public interest. They have reason to be angry with Dan Schorr for revealing the truth.
The Schorr affair is an ugly one insofar as it reveals the antidemocratic arrogance and the hypocrisy of some of the best and the brightest in the Washington press corps. But the nation will profit from it if the public learns to take a more realistic view of the motives of the press in trying to obtain and publish government secrets.
1. CBS has been both praised and criticized for suspending Daniel Schorr. It has done nothing about Fred Graham, who seems to have been deeply involved in the transaction. You may wish to express your views. Write to William S. Paley Chairman of the Board, CBS, Inc., 51 West 52nd Street, New York, N.Y. 10019
2. Thanks to a resolution proposed by Congressman Samuel Stratton of New York, the Schorr case is under investigation by the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct. The Chairman of the Committee is John J. Flynt of Georgia. His address is House of Representatives, Washington, D. C. 20515. Write to him requesting a thorough and honest investigation, not a whitewash.
On September 3, 1975, UPI reporter Alan Dawson left South Vietnam. He had been the last American to work for a news agency or a major American publication in that country. It had taken the Communists a little over four months to rid the country of the once huge corps of American newspapermen who had wielded such fateful influence.
No longer would American correspondents influence the course of history in Vietnam by exposing to the world the alleged sins and failings of the rulers. Back in 1963 a trio of young American correspondents had boasted that they were going to bring down President Ngo Dinh Diem. They and their colleagues were instrumental in spreading throughout the world the falsehood that the Catholic, Diem, was persecuting the Buddhists. Opinion in the U.S. was so turned against Diem by this successful propaganda campaign that the U.S. Government sanctioned the coup that resulted in his murder.
The fall of Diem brought about a long period of political instability in Vietnam, which pushed the country to the brink of disaster. It was to avert that disaster that President Johnson decided to introduce American ground forces on a massive scale. The fun and games of a few young newspaper correspondents in Saigon brought about a greater tragedy than they ever dreamed.
The correspondents who followed in their footsteps in the months preceding the collapse of the Thieu government also demonstrated that they could influence the course of history by the way they reported the news. Here are some of the typical headlines over stories that were given prominent space in our two most influential newspapers when the continuation of American aid to Vietnam was being discussed:
Stories such as these did much to erode popular support for aid to Vietnam in this country. The picture of Thieu as a corrupt dictator who ruthlessly oppressed his opponents and stifled civil liberties became firmly imbedded in the minds of many Americans.
Since the Communist victory, there has been a remarkable improvement in the headlines on the stories about Vietnam. The stories are far fewer in number and are usually buried deep inside the paper. They carry such headlines as these:
Election of Panel to Rule a City Ward Reported by Saigon (Times, 7/8/75) Saigon Laborers Complain of Boss (a capitalist hold-over) (Times, 7/14/75) Vietnamese Salute Independence Day (Washington Post, 9/3/75) Life is Peaceful in Mekong Delta (Times, 9/16/75) Saigon Primate Bids Catholics Help Build a Reunified Nation (Times, 12/24/75)
More is happening in Vietnam than one can detect from the pitifully small flow of controlled information that finds its way into our daily newspapers. For example, Fr. S. Acquaviva, writing in the Catholic weekly, The Wanderer, states that Christians now experience persecution in South Vietnam. He states that all foreign missionaries were expelled by the end of 1975 on the excuse that their visas had expired. He reports that native priests and bishops are having trouble. Some are in jail, some are under house arrest, and others are confined to their towns or villages. He states that the Most Rev. Nguyen Van Thuan, Auxiliary Bishop of Saigon, has been confined to a village outside Saigon, and that the only food he gets is a pound of rice a day. Fr. Acquaviva says seminaries have been badly hit, with faculty members having been expelled or put under house arrest. He states that, "all candidates for ordination must first be approved by the government."
This kind of information escaped the attention of Time magazine, which devoted eight pages to South Vietnam in its February 16 issue-six of them devoted to color photos. Time painted a rosy picture. The communists were being cautious and conciliatory. Time tells of "enemies" being sent to "camps" for "re-education," not of advocates of freedom being sent to prison where they are forced to do hard labor and are subjected to brainwashing. This is a good example of how quickly our news media voluntarily adopt the terminology of the communist propaganda machine.
In the same week that Time came out with its rose-tinted pictures, a slight indication that the reality might be slightly different crept into the press.
On February 13, Communist security forces had surrounded the Vinh Son Catholic Church in Saigon and captured 15 people, including the curate, after a 15-hour siege. One of the Communists was killed by gunfire from the church. Who these desperate people were and why they risked their lives, we do not know and may never know. The Communists have announced that they will be tried, and their fate is sealed. None of the groups so concerned about civil liberties in countries such as Chile and Brazil seems to have shown any interest in the "Saigon 15." The story of their capture merited a dozen inches on page 10 of The New York Times. The announcement that they would be tried was given less than three inches on page 14. Our television, of course, had nothing to say about it. A year ago, such an incident would have been given at least two minutes on all the network evening news programs.
The heroic but doomed action by the people at the Vinh Son church reached the American public colored by the language of the communist propaganda organs. The people in the church were described in our press as "reactionaries" and "renegades." They were portrayed as counterfeiters and speculators, intent on sabotaging the economy. They were linked to the CIA. The curate was described as a "ringleader."
The Washington Star on February 27, 1976, carried an article, which suggested that the Vinh Son church incident was not an isolated case. It quoted Saigon radio as saying this "was a typical case." Again, the practice is followed of using the communist terminology to describe these resisters. They are not "freedom fighters" or even "anticommunist guerrillas." They are described, in our press, using the very words carefully chosen by the communist propaganda officials: "lackey spies," "reactionaries hiding under the cloak of religion," etc. The use of quotes only slightly mitigates the impact of these loaded words.
It appears that the spark of freedom still flickers in Vietnam, but the American media aren't doing much to keep it alive. They don't seem to know how to cope with the situation. A favorite topic used to be Thieu's restrictions on the free press. Now there is no free press. Corruption may exist in South Vietnam, but how does anyone find out about it? Street demonstrations were a favorite subject for the media in years gone by. Now they are unthinkable. Political prisoners used to be good copy. Now there are far more prisoners than ever before, but our press parrots that they are simply undergoing "re-education." False stories about persecution of Buddhists once made headlines. Now the persecution of Christians and other sects is noted only in the religious press.
Douglas Pike, an outstanding student of the Viet Cong, predicted that if the Communists won, they would create a silence, and the world would call it peace. As Walter Cronkite would say, that's the way it is, less than a year after the fall.
The death of Paul Robeson on January 23, 1976, brought forth a spate of obituaries in the press which gave deserved praise to the artistic talents of this noted black singer and actor, but which generally falsified the facts about his political activities and the reasons for his unpopularity in postwar America.
Accuracy in Media compared the Robeson obituaries published in several newspapers, Time and Newsweek, and the announcements of his death on the three evening network news programs.
Time and the Communist paper, The Daily World, did not allude to the charges that Robeson was a Communist Party member. However, most of the obituaries did touch on this controversy, which so dominated the latter part of Robeson's life.
The New York Times obituary, written by Alden Whitman, managed to ignore most of the hard evidence of Robeson's Communist affiliations. Whitman suggested that aft ion with the Communist Party "was generally imputed to him (Robeson) because he proudly performed for so many trade unions and organizations deemed 'subversive' and for so many causes promoted in leftwing periodicals." Whitman stated that Robeson had denied under oath that he was a Communist Party member, but he neglected to point out that this was in 1946. In 1948, the party gave instructions to its members to plead the Fifth Amendment when asked about membership, because the government was producing witnesses who could support charges of perjury against those who testified falsely. Whitman notes that Robeson uniformly took the Fifth when testifying before congressional committees beginning in 1948. He also noted that Robeson's passport was cancelled in 1950 because he refused to sign the non-communist oath.
The Washington Post obituary by Dorothy Gilliam charged, "the white establishment cast aspersions on (Robeson's) patriotism." Gilliam described Robeson as "an early victim of Sen. Joseph McCarthy's Communist hunting in the early '50s," overlooking the fact that Robeson's serious troubles began in 1948, two years before McCarthy emerged as a scourge of Communists.
The year 1948 brought forth events and revelations that profoundly changed the attitudes of many Americans toward the Soviet Union and communism. The breaking of the Alger Hiss case shocked America into realization of the penetration of high levels of government by Soviet agents. The communist coup in Czechoslovakia and the Berlin blockade shattered many illusions about Stalin's intentions. Stalinism ceased to be chic, but Paul Robeson continued to be a defender of Stalinism. Gilliam in her obituary said, "He refused to disavow his admiration for the Russian people." She would have been more accurate if she had said that he refused to disavow his admiration of Stalin, who's "Peace Prize" he accepted in 1952.
The Trotskyite paper, The Militant, made no bones about Robeson's being a Stalinist. It described him as having been "trapped in the vice of Stalinist politics," and said that Robeson had "responded to every twist and turn of Kremlin diplomacy, not to the needs of black people." No "capitalist" paper that we examined approached this degree of candor.
None of the obituaries we examined mentioned that Paul Robeson had been identified as a member of the Communist Party by another black American who was a high ranking member of that party from 1930 to 1940. Manning Johnson was a member of the party's Negro Commission and its National Committee and was privy to information about secret members of the party. In his testimony before the House Committee on Un-American Activities on July 14, 1949, he said this:
I have met Paul Robeson a number of times in the headquarters of the National Committee of the Communist Party, going to and coming from conferences with Earl Browder, Jack Stachel and J. Peters. During the time I was a member of the Communist Party, Paul Robeson was a member of the Communist Party. Paul Robeson, to my knowledge, has been a member of the Communist Party for many years. In the Negro Commission of the National Committee of the Communist Party we were told, under threat of expulsion, never to reveal that Paul Robeson was a member of the Communist Party because Paul Robeson's assignment was highly confidential and secret. For that reason, he was not permitted to attend meetings of the National Committee of the Communist Party, or any other than broad, general meetings.
Paul's assignment was to work among the intellectuals, the professionals and artists that the party was seeking to penetrate and influence along Communist lines. As long, as Paul Robeson's identity with the party was kept secret, so long would his work among these groups be effective and serve the best interests of the party . . .
On June 12, 1956, Robeson was put under oath by the House Committee on Un-American Activities, and, among other things, he was asked about the truth or falsity of Manning Johnson's 1949 testimony. Robeson invoked the Fifth Amendment and refused to reply, thus passing up the opportunity to deny Johnson's accusation under oath.
None of the obituaries examined by AIM mentioned Manning Johnson's positive, sworn identification of Robeson as a member of the Communist Party. Only The Times and the leftwing Guardian printed Robeson's own admission that he was a Marxist, which is found in his book. Here I Stand, published in 1957. Robeson wrote:
On many occasions I have publicly expressed my belief in the principles of scientific socialism (i.e., Marxism-Leninism), my deep conviction that for all mankind a socialist society represents an advance to a higher stage of life-that it is the form of society which is economically, socially, culturally and ethically superior to a system based on production for private profit.
Robeson was talking about "socialism" of the variety practiced in the Soviet Union, a country that he so greatly admired that he publicly stated that it would be unthinkable for American Negroes to participate in a war against the USSR.
The obituary writers both for the press and TV misrepresented Robeson's political position. CBS said he dedicated his life to the cause of civil rights. The Washington Star said he was an outspoken critic of repression. Those statements would shock Solzhenitsyn and the other victims who were suffering in the Gulag Archipelago when Robeson was singing Stalin's praises.
On March 4, The Washington Star published the first news story to appear in a Washington, D.C. paper giving a reasonable account of how the top officials of the Democratic National Committee were warned of Watergate nearly two months before the break-in. The account by investigative reporter Norman Kempster made good use of material about this matter supplied by Accuracy in Media. It appeared just one month after AIM published a full-page ad in The Washington Post to bring this story to the attention of the readers of that paper, who had long been kept in the dark. (Copies of the AIM ad will be sent free on request).
The Star pointed out that the AIM ad chided the media for failing to conduct a thorough investigation of the advance knowledge of Watergate by the Democrats. It quoted AIM as saying: "The major missing ingredient was the lack of interest on the part of the press . . . The investigative reporters who pursued other Watergate stories so doggedly showed no interest in probing for the answers to Thompson's questions." (This refers to Fred Thompson, chief minority counsel for the Ervin Committee, who investigated the prior-knowledge story).
Mr. Kempster said: "There is some merit in AIM's analysis. Congressional committees, prosecutors and reporters kept their eye on the main issue-whether Nixon was involved in the break-in or its cover-up-and paid little attention to leads that seemed to go in different directions."
The play given this story by The Star-1300 words under a five-column headline on the third page of the paper-pulls the rug from under journalists such as Bob Woodward of The Washington Post (of Watergate fame) who have contended that their failure to report the story was justified because it lacked news value.
After The Star story appeared, AIM sent mailgrams to the publishers of The New York Times and The Washington Post calling it to their attention and asking if they would not inform their readers about the story. We will be happy to send a clipping from The Star to editors or to readers who may wish to call the story to the attention of the editor of their local paper.
Do you allocate your charitable contributions from habit? On the basis of who importunes you the most often? Or on the basis of who is making the best use of the money you give? If you are in a rut, break out. Our chairman is allocating to AIM half of his charitable contributions because he knows what good use it is making of the money. Why don't you consider assigning AIM a higher percentage of your charitable contributions? We promise to use the money in ways that will please you.
To AIM, 777 14th St., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20005
I agree. AIM deserves higher priority. Enclosed is my tax-deductible contribution to help you achieve my goals.
City, State, and zip ___________________________________________
We are pleased to announce that Mrs. St. John Garwood of Austin, Texas has accepted our invitation to join the AIM National Advisory Board. Mrs. Garwood has long been interested in the media. She wrote feature articles for the Houston Chronicle in the 1950's. In 1958, The University of Texas Press published her biography of her father, Will Clayton: A Short Biography. Will Clayton was an outstanding Texas businessman who also had a distinguished career in government, serving as Under Secretary of State for Economic Affairs under President Truman. Her biography has recently been reissued by Books for Libraries.
Currently Mrs. Garwood is writing fiction. Her stories have been published in The Texas Quarterly, and one is featured in a new book, Fiction and Poetry by Texas Women, edited by Janice White and published by the Texas Center for Writers Press, Midland Texas.
Mrs. Garwood is a magna cum laude graduate of Smith College, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She received her M.A. in English from the University of Texas. Her husband is a former justice of the Supreme Court of Texas. The Garwoods have two sons.
Mrs. Garwood has been an enthusiastic booster of Accuracy in Media, helping us to carry out some of our most important projects and enlisting others who have given us valuable support.
She is the second woman to be named to the National Advisory Board, the first having been Clare Boothe Luce. AIM is proud to have her join this distinguished group.
Both CBS and ABC will include the AIM resolutions recommending the appointment of an ombudsman for their news divisions in the proxy material to be sent to all shareholders. RCA had previously agreed to submit the resolution.
RCA and CBS have agreed to make their shareholder lists available to AIM to enable us to solicit support for our resolutions. So far we do not have enough money to mail to these large lists. (See Feb. AIM Report for details).
TAPS FOR "PENSIONS"
We regret to report that on February 23, 1976, The Supreme Court of the United States announced that it would not grant Accuracy in Media's petition for a review of the decision of the Court of Appeals in the case of National Broadcasting Company v. Federal Communications Commission and Accuracy in Media. This case grew out of our 1972 complaint that NBC had violated the FCC's Fairness Doctrine in giving its viewers a one-sided picture of the controversy over private pension plans and legislation to regulate these plans. NBC had broadcast a lopsided program called "Pensions: The Broken Promise," which was unfair to industries that had voluntarily adopted pension plans for their employees and unfair to those who design and administer pension plans. NBC refused to air a balancing program. In a landmark ruling, the FCC agreed with AIM's complaint. For the first time, a network was found to have violated the Fairness Doctrine as a result of airing a documentary.
NBC appealed to the courts, and it won a reversal. Two liberal judges supported NBC; a conservative judge upheld the FCC. AIM requested and won a reheating before the entire D.C. Court of Appeals, but this was cancelled when the FCC, in a surprise move, asked that the case be declared moot. The Court remanded the case to the original three-judge panel. Moothess was rejected by a two-to-one vote, but the panel sent the case back to the FCC so that it could voluntarily vacate its finding against NBC.
This highly irregular action by the Court left important questions about the Fairness Doctrine in a state of confusion. We thought the Supreme Court would want to clarify the law, since the Fairness Doctrine had been wounded, perhaps fatally. Why the Court rejected our petition, and by what vote, we shall never know. But we know that its inaction means that it will be a long time before the FCC has the guts to uphold a fairness complaint against a TV network.
AIM IN THE NEWS
The Pink Sheet on the Left has included Reed Irvine and AIM NAB member Clare Boothe Luce among ten nominees for "Patriot of the Year" award. Voting limited to subscribers of The Pink Sheet, a fine newsletter available for $19 a year from 8401 Conn. Ave., Washington, D.C. 20015.
The Munich, Germany TV station recently interviewed Reed Irvine, as a result of AIM's Washington Post ad on prior knowledge of Watergate by Democrats.
Columnist Mottie Ryskind and Paul Scott have given AIM credit for breaking news blackout on Watergate prior knowledge story.
The Senior Independent, published by National Alliance of Senior Citizens, interviews AIM's chairman in the Winter 1976 issue. For a copy and info about the Alliance, write 1300 35th St., N.W., Wash., D.C. 20007.
Barron's issue of 2/9 reports on AIM's shareholder resolutions and notes our efforts to correct baseless statement on cost of "ineffective competition."
The AIM Report is published monthly by Accuracy in Media, Inc. Reed Irvine, Chairman; Francis G. Wilson, President; John R. Van Evere, Executive Secretary. Subscriptions are S15.00 a year. Contributions are tax-deductible.
CHANGING YOUR ADDRESS? Please notify us. You can help us make the change accurately by sending the address label from this AIM Report along with your new address.
AIM REPORT 3/76