The Press: The Horrible Herb Show

The White House telephone operator was frantic. "Some guy on TV in Philadelphia," she said, had just told angry consumers to phone complaints directly to the President, and the switchboard was jammed. The guy was Herbert S. Denenberg, 46, lawyer, author (seven books), former college professor, hell-raising former Pennsylvania insurance commissioner (TIME, July 10, 1972), and currently one of the funniest, roughest consumer-affairs reporters ever to read fine print on a label.

Since he began his evening-news spots on Philadelphia's WCAU-TV 16 months ago (after losing a 1974 bid for the Democratic U.S. Senate...

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