The Press: Old White House Mood

It was the fall of 1969 and the White House staff had a problem. During one 30-day period, President Nixon had bombarded his aides with 21 separate memos on unfavorable press coverage of his Administration. His demands that subordinates somehow quell offending journalists and generate more pleasing reportage and commentary set off a frantic scramble. In a memo to H.R. Haldeman, Jeb Stuart Magruder complained that "this continual daily attempt to get the media" was "very unfruitful and wasteful of our time." Magruder had a better plan.

Magruder's memo was one of nine White House papers divulged last week by Republican Senator...

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