Newswatch Thomas Griffith: Taking His Case to the Network Torquemadas

There's something very disquieting about the way the Richard V. Allen affair has been handled—by him, by the White House, by the press. As Allen spent a much publicized week, dangling in the wind and calling attention to himself, the public could never be certain what it was being asked to decide, and why it should be the one left to decide.

Much of the blame for this barbarous practice—of making controversial public figures clear themselves with public opinion before being restored to favor—goes back to Dwight Eisenhower. Nixon's was the first such trial by television, which...

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