Libel: Fact, Fiction, Doubt & Barry

1,189 PSYCHIATRISTS SAY GOLD WATER IS PSYCHOLOGICALLY UNFIT TO BE PRESIDENT! That determinedly flamboyant headline dressed the cover of Fact magazine one month before the presidential election of 1964. The entire issue was an examination of the "unconscious of a conservative," based largely on answers to a questionnaire sent to the 12,356 psychiatrists listed by the American Medical Association. Of the 2,417 who replied, 657 said Barry Goldwater was fit for the presidency, 571 declined to take a position, and 1,189 called him unfit—the latter in no uncertain terms. Some of their...

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