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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - August 15, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta THE UTHBR1DGE HERALD Auqujt 1973 Another view of Watergate a news analysis 4TV inquisition has degenerated into McCarthyism' Ervin vs. Ehrllchman By BOYD LEWIS WASHINGTON Like any television show that has been on too the Sen- ate Watergate hearings are winding down in self-defeating flaws. As a consequence they have lost some of the attracted to the glittering pilot program. Millions of T- Bhirts emblazoned with the pro- file of Sen. Sam the chairman of the Senate Se- lect may yet wind up on remainder shelves. Why should this The is- sues the committee was com- missioned to investigate are no less important than they were at the outset of the hearings. The committee had worked its way through a small army of lesser characters to the princi- pal figures in the drama. In- terest by the public should have been not waning in the closing days. One who has watched the hearings from the outset with unabated interest may perhaps be permitted to make some ob- servations on the phenomenon of waning public interest and the as he sees it. of the Senate committee's in- quisitorial process. In the the seven senators confronted a series of young men gone In almost fath- erly they led them through confessions of misjudgment and failure of conscience. They probed in kindly fashion for the motives which could lead such hand- some young models of public servants to compromise their consciences in handling ques- tionable political projects and fat bags of dubious political money. One after the early witnesses were sent forth from their ordeals with smiling thanks from the senators for contributing ttieir self immo- lation to the purported search for better ways to govern the country. Sometime during the hot days under the glare of the television lights and the never- blinking scrutiny of the ca- changes began to take both in members of the committee and in the public re- action to the hearings. Who shall say just when the erosion of manners and the abuse of witnesses began to take its One possibility is that it coincided with realiza- tion that President Nixon had tapes of all the conversations so glibly reported by the wit- John and that the President had no intention of turning over those tapes to be picked apart by senators and their staffs for evidence that he should be impeached. Frustration changes the character of its victims. Thus almost imperceptibly at first but with growing the TV image of kindly old with his homely quota- tions from the evolved into witness baiting and flag- rant playing with rollng eye and gesture to the audi- in the hearing chamber. In the audience was ever ready' to reward his imitation of a stage Southerner with laughter and applause. even when produced with vaudeville over- tones of affected accent and simplicity of is McCarthy- ism. browbeating and gal- lery playing can be counter- productive. Senator Ervin has not been alone in this. Repubil- can Sen. Lowell Weicker from whose self eousness stands out like a bad taste has lowered the standards of acceptability on these characteristics several notches. The result in some cases of which I can vouch is quite the reverse of that intended by the most rabid inquisitors. Reason- able people have found them- selves reversing the roles in the prepared program and not witnesses but their as prime villains. This phenomenon became most apparant to this viewer and others near him when John a man whose previous public image had repelled ap- was given the senator- ial version of the back-of-the- station-house rubber hose treat- especially by Weicker. John Ehriichman's cool pre- cision and exquisite patience under fire seemed to bait the committee into excesses of rhe- torical flamboyant exageration and outright demogoguery. Ebrli c h m a whatever his shortcomings as a warm human came off far the better of the exchanges. It was said at the outset of the Senate hearings that. no matter what sordidness they might dredge they proved the intrinsic strength of the American system. The Water- gate hearings in this observer's opinion which is founded on coverage of other inquisitions from Sacco Vanzetti through McCarthy have floundered through vaudeville and McCar- thy like tactics into a full scale legislative executive confrontation. Granting that there was all too evident abuse of the White 'House powers by some of those whom President Nixon chose to serve the destruction of the presidency as if it were no more than a hiE of red ants seems too radical a suggestion to contemplate. Yet a legisla- tive hearing turned into a subject to few of the normal courtroom restraints could if abuses continue and are compounded result in that awful end to a sordid chap- ter in American history. Enterprise BALL POINT Medium Point Reg. 49c each CRAYONS 24 assorted. Reg. 52e box box 36' BOYS' T SHIRTS Short Sleeves. Sizes 4-6x. Reg. Special 1 .00 BOYS' CANVAS OXFORDS Sizes 1-6. Black or White. Reg. Special............... CHILD'S PANTS 1 Sizes 2-6x. Reg. pr. Special .00 OXFORDS Sizes 11-3. Navy or White. Reg. Special 1 .33 LADIES' LONG SLEEVE PULLOVERS Reg. Up To WATCHES Special 3 .00 MATH SET 5 Pee. Vinyl Bag Special 66 BOYS' CARTOON PANTS Size. 10-18 4VOG Reg. to 6.88 SPECIAL Save on Clearance Models of ELECTRIC DRYERS 2 Only Coronados I O Jl Regular Clearing At O4 95 1 CO 95 1 Only WestlnghouM Regular Clearing At 1 Only Westinghouse Regular Clearing At CELLO TAPE 26' GIRLS' PANTS W x Reg. 35c each Special each JEANS Sizes 7-14. leg. Special BOYS T-SHIRTS Short sleeves. Sizes 8-16. Reg. Special Sizes 7-14. Reg. Special Girls' Sleeveless Vests S-M-L. Reg. Special TEENS7 PURSES and W Assorted sizes and shapes. 2 Reg. 49c Special PANTY HOSE Open Thurs. and Fri. EXERCISE BOOKS Narrow and wide rule. Reg. 75c pkg. of 4 Special MA SCRAP BOOK 38 pages. Reg. 27c Special 18 0 RING BINDER vinyl cover. Reg. 89c Special REFILLS Narrow and wide rule. Reg. pkg Special 78 CRUSADER BALL POINT PEN o i for I ta. Special Centre Village Mall FAMILY SHOPPING CENTRE Lethbridge ;