The Press: Grid Lib?

Once a year Washington's Gridiron Club justifies its existence by roasting the pretensions and perquisites of politicians at a lampoon dinner. For the other 364 days, the group of columnists, bureau chiefs and other journalistic elders acts like any other hidebound institution. Among the most staunchly defended traditions: a membership limit of 50; women need not apply.

The male-only clause in the club's 89-year-old constitution has come under increasing attack. This year, for instance, a "counter-Gridiron" party was held that attracted many of the celebrities who had previously attended the orthodox bash. Now, with the solemnity of king penguins about...

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