The Press: High Price of Virtue

In Publisher Robert Harrison's hassle with California's attorney general last fall, his sister magazines Whisper and Confidential were fined $10,000 for conspiring to publish obscenity, and he agreed to tidy up his flamboyant formula of smut-and-smear. Off the boudoir-bordello beat, Harrison started in February to put out a chastened Confidential, which explored such safe subjects as the Negro vote and electrocardiographs.

Newsstand sales of Confidential, once pegged at 3,600,000, went from bed to worse, were down to around 1,000,000 this week when Harrison announced he was chucking the whole business. The price? "Just say that it was enough," sighed Harrison, who is...

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