Filling Up the Empty Hours

A blackout frustrates the press

Question: What do 3,614 journalists do in a picturesque Swiss city when a couple of bigwig visitors declare a news blackout? Answer: They pester government spokesmen about whether Ronald Reagan was secretly recording his talks with Mikhail Gorbachev (no) and how Nancy Reagan coped with the cold (long underwear). In this summit of images, the quintessential picture of the press may have been the pack that gathered around the President as he walked into a reception held by the Swiss government. "Have you agreed on anything?" they shouted. "Can't say," Reagan replied puckishly, throwing up his hands in mock despair.


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