The Press: Incestuous Invective

"I hold NBC to be guilty of violating my rights under the First Amendment. If this has to be resolved in the courts, that is O.K. with me."

That televised tirade would not have been remarkable coming from a public official demanding equal time. But it came from Len O'Connor, Chicago's most respected television commentator, and O'Connor used his regular evening-news spot on WMAQ—which happens to be owned by NBC—to castigate his employer of 34 years.

On the following two evenings a fortnight ago, O'Connor again startled his audience of 725,000 by pressing his attack. He said that the network had "compromised my...

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