The Press: Into the Trap

Journalists must be ever mindful of the mousetrap. They must make sure that personal preferences do not lead them into unquestioning acceptance or rejection of a candidate's political views. Last week, mousetrapped by George McGovern, whom he admires, New York Times Columnist Tom Wicker performed a manful act. He chastised McGovern and apologized for allowing himself—and his readers—to be misled.

The issue was McGovern's complicated and controversial proposals for changing the welfare system and redistributing income. In preparation for his June 4 column, Wicker spoke to McGovern aides and received from them a seven-page explanation of the program's arithmetic. The resulting article...

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