The Press: Innocents Abroad

One morning last week, a group of Russian journalists checked out of Manhattan's Commodore Hotel and took off across town for the liner Queen Elizabeth and the start of their long voyage home. Behind them lay a 19-day guided tour of the U.S., past such assorted landmarks as Disneyland, Ben Blue's Santa Monica nightclub, a bank in Des Moines, more newspaper plants than they probably cared to inspect, and the President of the United States.

As such international junkets go, this one was distinguished more for pure rubbernecking than for the ritual clash of opposing ideologies. "Nobody tried to sell them a...

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