No-Win Situation

Shortly after Ronald Reagan cleared up the confusion about his skin cancer last week, several reporters laced into White House Spokesman Larry Speakes for being less than candid the week before, when he declined to say whether a biopsy had been performed. "You pulled an iron curtain down on the truth," said U.P.I. Correspondent Helen Thomas at a tense briefing. "Exactly right," replied Speakes. "But I did not lie. And I told the truth."

The incident illustrates the sometimes impossible task Speakes faces in balancing the questions of a properly inquisitive press against the wishes of the First Family. Though Speakes...

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