How Accurate Is America's News?
(Continued from Page 29)
it is his job to evaluate and to define
the issues exactly as they may emerge
from this conflicting copy which comes
to him through the wire services and
Lewis: You sav you've written a l<-i
oi copy for editorial desks, did you ever
write any copy out of a congressional
hearing? Did you ever cover anything
in \\ ashington?
Combs: No, I have covered a greal
deal in Washington, 1ml for my own
news commentary, which 1 do nol pretend is objective anv more than yours is
objective or correct.
BURT: I think we'd better make a point
here about ths difference between commentators and objective reporters. Mr. Lewis is
obviously a conservative commentator and
he looks at things from a conservative point
°f view, and Mr. Combs looks at things from
Q liberal point of view.
Hi i ki \.\ : Which is all right, bul this
points to whal we need. We need an
intellectual Pure Foods and Drugs Vcl
s" thai Mr. Lewis will classify himseli
"»> the conservative side and Mr. Combs
"ii the libera] side. Bul what is bad i>
uie pretentiousness ol the Sew York
*imes. for example, on the basis of
*hich you <l<> expecl thai you're getting
[he full objective Btory; on the other
band, vou are not. This is as bad in
tellectually as a can of horsemeal which
P^tends to be hamburger.
I.kw is: This I agree v\ ith completely,
and I think it's the crux of the whole
BURT: Let's take an example again to
;'°rify matters. There's TIME magazine which
,s accused by conservatives of often or too
°'ten following the liberal line. Presuminee
"Ot the conservatives are correct, is this duc-
*° the writers on TIME magazine, or is it
""* to the publisher's policy?
Combs: I elem't follow Time closel)
'""ii'.'li in be eilele to express em informed opinion aboul it. I luki' it, Imw-
'}'■''■ ili.it the editor or the publisher, in
'''i- eeis,. that dangerous radical, Mi
Bl e Mil : Here we go again!
Combs: has chosen men for edi-
"'i.il responsibility in whom he has
''""fill.-in ,■ and that he Ids them run
However, as an example ol precisel)
["is -en of thing the strange dearth
'" the press after General MacArthur
'"'t'li' ,i speech which "its replete with
"j'teine \,« Dealisms in many respects,
'hey selected some penis from il. bul
"' I'liss eiliniisi uniformly ignored the
*ain burden nf his speech, which
l;'nkU I couldn't agree uith.
Nov this uets slanted reporting nf the
"°rsl sent because they wouldn't come
'!." ami say, us MacArthur said, then he
. l<"t l believe there u.i- an) chance that
"K-ia »..iil.I attack it-. He thought thai
assumption was wrong. Ih' believed in
immediate dismantlement uf our milium establishment, lie didn't want le>
uetii until mi' got em inspection control
in Nitssia. I didn't see einv of these
things in the isolationist pies.-.
BURT: Going back to the issue again, do
you think TIME magazine slants its reporting,
as many conservatives say. to the liberal
lit cm.i:i : Oh. il lines constantly eiml
eill the' lime.
BURT: Who would be responsible—the publisher or the writers on the magazine?
Buckley: It's nol so much conspiratorial as ii is s| taneous. ll isn't a
matter nf Henry Line hauling somebod)
in eiml Baying, "I k. unless vnu peddle
ni\ particular line you're going to gel
fired." It's jusl an understanding lhal
emerges eiml that permeates the whole
editorial offices nf the' Ve«' York Times
ami "I Time magazine.
It's also lhe fail that |.\ ami large
i you can almost Let nn il I lhal if you
fro onl into lhe slreel and stop lite
nearest passerby, he will he ei liberal.
This is lhe result "f our educational
monolith working lull steam for the last
twenty in thirtj Mans.
So in tin- eeise nl Time magazine I
elem'i ihink people run around wondering what Mr. I.ilea' thinks about this
issue or that. I think they know instinctively his attitudes, his responses,
his reflexes -they know lhal he doesn't
like' Mel ail'llu eillll tiles, klims he llis.
likes McCarthy bo much thai ils safe in
distort aboul him.
Hodces: I think the) are basicallj
proprietorships, ami a new shop gets
into a pattern ami is buill up in that
pattern—1 don'l care whether it's lo the
right or I,'ft. I think we're talking like
children when we gel excited eiwr the
righl or lhe led. It'- basic in the news
Hi cm i:-, : Mid I say lhal Ihis is pure
hogwash. I seiv that you or I can write
a I..ink toda) pointing mil. sav. some nl
the consistent misstatements lhal an' being made aboul a given controversy anil
send il righl lo the editorial writer of
the' Sew York Times, eiml we won't see
any correction nf this distortion for the
next thirty or forty issue's. |'his happened in lhe case of McCarthy, for
Lewis: I can'l talk eil.mil Time because 1 don'l even knots who the presenl
editor ..I Time magazine is. I can talk
aboul Time ■<* opposed In Newsweek
as opposeel lo / ,S. Sews X II odd
Combs: Thai's splendidl) objective.
I.tw is: Ami as far as I am concerned,
there isn t any comparison as tee tin'
fairness eiml objecth il\ ol then
Sews & " orltl Reporl
Combs: 'i ou eh.n't actuall) mean you
regard / ,S. Sews & World Report ;i~
an objective magazine, do mmi ?
Lew is: I de.. I consider il far more
objective them either of the other two.
BURT: What should be done to assure
more accurate news reporting?
Combs: I have a suggestion to make
which probably is not entirely feasible
hnl which would help. I would suggest
tlieet ihe reporter seek In confine himseli
In the hare- skeleton of lhe fails and
lhat if there he interpretive material to
insert that il he done in brackets marked
"Editorial Insert." I would also suggest
that we gel some papers upholding the
lilee-reil side- | here Buckley eiml Lewis
chuckle | anil let them at leasl in this
ouniiy give us ei double organ eif
opinion. We fought with our hare hands
againsl ever) newspaper ami against
every entrenchment of wealth on the
radio, television, eiml every place else.
Buckley: I can see vour scars; the)
are symbolized l>v your boutonniere!
The answer In more accurate news
reporting is. I think, lhe same ets the
answer le. see many problems we face.
wVve got 1" wail until such lime as lhe
public becomes indignant. The American people have become apathetic, supine, he.reel with the result thai outrage can he committed by the press or
hy lhe radio or by the intellectuals. The)
jusl don'l eaii'.
Ask v>ur newsstand about back issues
i.l tints Forum News.
What they're saying . . .
Z \r A? f,
about FACTS FORUM
nsider Facts Forum Sews imli-
lilir.ir. an.l. therefo
pensable . .......
would yen please have a sub rription senl
to ij- from tin- tin,.- <in .. .?
Thank you for your interest i.i presenting farts, pro ami con, tu the public in a
clear and effective manner.
Milton }). Proctor, Pre*.
Westbrook Junioi I ollege. Portland, Maine
It i- a pleasure tu mail my subscription
for b'ai'ts Forum Vew/s. You have done much
tu keep tin- American people informed nn
lln- \ital issues uf the day....
Edward (.. " ren
Rt. 2, Cascade, Mont.
We have received our first two issues of
Facts Forum Vews and find them to l»
timely ami interesting. We have placed thfc
periodical in our reading room, ami 1 am sure
students ami facultj will find it of us.'
in their studies.
Raj Rowland, Librarian
Vnnstrong College <>f Savannah
Savannah, <■ i.
MOW'S. April, in:,.;