Reporting: Search Beyond Sadism

The Republican National Convention, decided Russell Baker of the New York Times, had been "planned weeks in advance by six bores and a sadist." How else would you explain, asked Baker, such yawn-inducing acts as the "presentation of the orangewood gavel to the chairman of the Republican National Committee by O. D. Huff Jr., chairman of the Florida Citrus Commission," or Tony Martin singing a "few hit tunes of the Alf Landon era?"

Understandably, some of the 1,500 reporters started looking elsewhere for stories. Most enterprising were those from the Miami Herald,...

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