Press Secretaries: I'll Check It Out

Traditionally, a President makes himself accessible to a few reporters whose influence, usefulness, or even friendship gains them favored status. Jack Kennedy nightcapped his Inaugural at the home of Columnist Joseph Alsop; Lyndon Johnson in the early days regularly called in James Reston of the New York Times for private chats and personally leaked stories to Drew Pearson. Richard Nixon has changed all that. He follows a methodical formula for the impartial treatment of members of the Washington press corps: he is equally remote from all of them. He grants no private interviews, and, until two weeks ago, had...

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