The Press: Test of Confidence

Has a newspaper the right to fire a staffer when it learns that he has a Communist past? The New York Times thought so last fall when it sacked Jack Shafer, 44, a copyreader on the Times's Foreign Desk. The paper said that it lost confidence in Shafer after a subpoena from Senate investigators prompted him to admit party membership in 1940-41 and again in 1946-48, before he joined the Times. Quick to protest was the Newspaper Guild. Grounds for its protest : the dismissal was without "good and sufficient cause" and thus a...

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