The Press: A Wonderful Institution

Except when advertising for a cook. George Washington shunned contact with the press until he was ready to quit the presidency. Then he called in the editor of the Pennsylvania Packet and Daily Advertiser and asked him to run the text of the Farewell Address. Not until Woodrow Wilson did a President establish the formal, regular White House press conference. Last week, just 43 years after Wilson launched it. President Eisenhower gave the conference his blessing as "a wonderful institution.''

For all his idealism in founding the conference as a vehicle for "the precious freight of opinion," stiffly academic Wilson never grew...