The Press: Trapped in the Steel Cocoons

Dawn was breaking over Williamsburg, Va., as four dozen largely unshaven, unfed and unrested journalists climbed into the Jimmy Carter press bus for the 374th time since the campaign's formal launching on Labor Day. Over the vehicle's public address system came the reassuring voice of Gerald Ford: "Hi! How are you? Nice to see you. Good morning. Hi! How are you? Nice to see you..."

Ford's repeated greetings, taped earlier at a factory gate by NBC Radio Newsman David Rush, brought tears of laughter to his weary listeners. As the campaign nears its close,...