The Press: Retreat from Reason

Few newspapers in the Deep South have handled the hot desegregation story with the courage of South Carolina's Florence Morning News (circ. 14,219). Its outspoken editorials repeatedly appealed for moderation and good will in solving the South's toughest problem. But last week—by its editor's decision after two years of threats and pressure—the subject of desegregation was banned from the News editorial page.

Editor John Howard O'Dowd, 29, a home-grown Florentine and a graduate of The Citadel, set the News's moderate tone right after the Supreme Court decision. He set down his doubt that the court's intention could be thwarted, warned that "this...