Nation: The Press Conference

In Washington, the hardest thing for anyone to keep is a secret. Yet even though he discussed Viet Nam with scores of important Americans, both in and out of Government, President Johnson managed to keep his decisions secret until the very last.

His press conference was scheduled for 12:30. At that time, some 200 newsmen were awaiting his presence in the East Room of the White House. Already set up was what the journalists have dubbed the "people eater"—a television camera, set almost eye-to-nose in front of the President, with teleprompting devices attached. Above the President's head was an umbrellalike aluminum reflector...

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