The Press: The Great Slap Flap

The Village Voice called it "one of the most terrifying news stories about President Nixon to date." As aptly as any, that hyperbole summed up the hypertense relations that now exist between a suspicious press and a defensive President. Some White House reporters thought that there was too little substance in the "terrifying" story —Nixon's "slapping" of a citizen at McCoy Air Force Base near Orlando, Fla. —to merit any attention at all. Yet publication of accounts by some papers, plus an angry White House counterblast that forced still more coverage, blew the incident into one of the strangest press stories...

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