TO lower our voices would be a simple thing," Richard Nixon proclaimed last January after taking the oath of office as President. Before the October antiwar Moratorium, he insisted that "under no circumstances" would he be affected by it. Yet now he has, in effect, abandoned his above-the-battle position. Nixon took the field against his critics in his Nov. 3 plea to "the silent majority" for backing of his Viet Nam policy, and last week he ordered Vice President Spiro.Agnew into the fray to mount an extraordinary—and sometimes alarming—assault on network television's handling...

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