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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - October 23, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa It) Huh Cinisliliiu' Nl'AV YOHK. Oclohcr IV The woman on my right dinner seemed normal Shi1 used knife, fork and spoon anil evlendcd a delicate pinky whenever she sipped her lea. Kill then she said. "If Democrats had broken into Kcpnldican headquarters, ihr newspapers and TV would have laughed il off and we would never have heard of il again." Shi1 mcanl il A tycoon ul' considerable eminence, holder of manv hnnorary degrees from institu- tions uf learning, said to me. "You fellows in the media have deslroyed Ihe reputations of some of the fincsl ;nnl mosl honosl men I've ever mel. They couldn't have dune Ihose things yon accuse them of. Lies. lies, all lies." He mcanl it. "Mori' Coiiccnicd" Publisher-Ambassador Wal- ler Aniienbcrg. at a farewell Imiclieini fur American news- men ill London, said of the Watergate tragedy. "Sections of the press were more con- cerned with a display uf power rather Ulan rosnonsibility." He meant il. Their thoughts and words are echoed here and there in the country, and that's consti- tutionally correct. Bui it al- ways comes as a jolt when persons of discernment ab- solve the Watergate conspira- tors and blame the last free press on earth fur letting the people in on their cimniviugs. It is as if these diehards would prefer tu have had the malig- nancy in the White House gu uiitreatod. The press did not order the plumbers to burgle Larry O'Brien's offices or Dr. Lewis Fielding's files. II did not wire the Oval Room for sound. It did not put the arm on big business to shovel fortunes into CKF.KI' (the Committee to He-Klect the II paid for none of the dirty tricks, engineered, mine nf the "horrors." didn't feed a single shredding machine, taint even oiK1 FBI or CIA man ur bug a soul. Tnld the Truth But. as it must, if il is to survive as a valid link between government and people, it told the (ruth ahiint the most callous and cynical conspiracy in American political history. Nothing is gained, it seems to me. by recalling real or imagined malpractices by past Democratic Presidents and their administrations. Watergate pales scan- dal in American history by a hundredfold: a President forced to resign (after his first vice-president copped a plea and three of his former cabinet members in- dicled nne now un trial his two closest aides un trial, his bag man and attorney in prison, other former aides iu ur out nf jail turning witnesses for I he government. and a widespread epidemic of disillusionment in Ihe integrity of Ihe government. To blame the media lor all this (and more tu come) is like blaming il fur covering World war II. Nelson. Hiiekclelli'r may not win the nod as vice-president but he'll girdown in history nevertheless. He'll always be remembered as the man who made money nnp.ip'ilar.
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