The Press: 35 Days' Ignorance

When the news of the sinking of the aircraft tender Langley was released, there was hardly a newsman in Washington who had not known about it for weeks. They had kept the secret loyally—not a word had leaked into print. But there was every reason to question whether their silence had made any sense.

The news of the U.S. raids on Wake and Marcus Islands (TIME, April 6) had been withheld for about four weeks—setting a precedent for the 35-day delay in the case of the Langley. But in the island raid there were plausible grounds for delay—to conceal from the...