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Cedar Rapids Gazette Newspaper Archive: September 24, 1974 - Page 6

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Publication: Cedar Rapids Gazette

Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

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   Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - September 24, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa                                Banned in Boston Editorial Page Tuesday, September 24, 1974 Kennedy sits one out THER big-name politicians "have announced in unequi- vocating English that they wouldn't run and couldn't be: induced in any way to run then turned, around eventually and run just the same. But few have turned around such unequivocat- ing no-run oaths as Senator Kennedy's avowal this week concerning the Democratic pres- idential nomination for 1976. "I will not accept the nomina- tion. I will not accept a draft." It was a "firm, final and uncondi- tional" decision. "There is ab- solutely no circumstance or event that would alter this decision." Give him credit for a tightly slammed door. Words as plain as those can only be meant. There is no way to recant them later as "inoperative" without creating so profound a credibility collapse that this itself would wreck the candidate. That was obviously that. The reasons behind it, on the other hand, leave a little more room for flexibility. Senator Kennedy put the emphasis on family commitments, manifestly a strong force in his decision as well as a valid one. Only in re- sponse to questions did he deal with an equally strong item of deterrence: the cloud on his elect- ability (apart from getting nom- inated) cast by criticism and lingering doubt in regard to the Chappaquiddick incident and its still-unsettled aftermath. As long as overtones of cov- erup remain heavy there (as they do) and as long as much of the senator's known behavior in the drowning tragedy raises questions as to fitness (as it any presidential bid by Edward Kennedy will encounter bad trou- ble. Asking for it would mean get- ting it. Considering his immediate family's own needs and problems, the tragic record of two brothers' quests for high office and the Chappaquiddick shadow, there- fore, not to launch an all-out bid for the 1976 presidency was a wise decision. The wisest course for his supporters everywhere would be to let it stick. Sheppard case recalled No coverup tolerated By Don Oakley THE SAM SIIEITAHD case bobbed up ogata briefly the other day. The celebrated murder trial was obviously one of the things President Gerald Ford had in mind when he said that Richard Nixon could not obtain a fair trial any- where In the dulled olates "under gov- erning decisions of the supreme court." Commentators immediately recalled how the Bay Village, Ohio, osteopath, sent to prison In 1954 for the murder of his wife, had won a new trial from the U. S. supreme court on the grounds that adverse publicity had hopelessly preju- diced the minds of prospective jurors against him. In the second trial, held in 1968, Dr. Sam was found innocent. No one is going to claim that the Sheppard story was one of journalism's shining hours. Looking back, it is ob- vious that the man was tried and convict- ed in the local newspapers. Yet it was a matter of something more than a handful of editors hoping to sell newspapers at the risk of a man's life or freedom. They were reacting to what they perceived to be a gross injus- tice. For days after the discovery of the murder, absolutely nothing was being done to attempt to solve it. Protected by his family, the prime suspect was not talking to police or anyone else. It had all the aspects of a cover-up. The newspapers demanded that Dr. Sam be interrogated and confronted with a long list of puzzling questions about the circumstances of his wife's death. Eventually, newspaper pressure forced Bay Village police to turn the investiga- tion over to Cleveland detectives. The papers kep1 up a steady drumbeat of publicity until Sheppard was indicted. By the standards that have been erected in the last 20 years, the news- papers behaved irresponsibly. (No one has ever asked, of course, to what extent the publicity about the supreme court's decision or the fact that Sheppard had al- ready served 10 years made it impossible for the state to find 12 unbiased jurors in IBM.) Possibly in another 20 years it will be thought that the press behaved irre- sponsibly in the Watergate affair. This seems unlikely, but should it happen, let it be remembered that in this ease, too, the press was-striking out at what it saw as a gross injustice being done to the people. Cose in point: N. Y. Times Idle fund interest rate 
                            

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