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White House Press Barrier

October 13, 1986

At the Times Mirror panel concerning the press and the President, White House spokesman Larry Speakes justified the policy of placing an almost absolute barrier between the working press and the President by stating that news conference have "outgrown their usefulness." This is a lame but expected excuse to prevent the media from having the opportunity to see Ronald Reagan "use his mind," as ABC correspondent Sam Donaldson so aptly put it.

However, more shocking is the statement by Speakes that it is standard practice for corporations (business corporations presumably) to control what information goes to the public. Hence the Administration does the same.

Does this Administration really believe that the U.S. government is a corporation, and a private one at that? Such nonsense. By this logic U.S. citizens are stockholders in the corporation and thus have the right to question these inept corporate officials who have run up an enormous national debt, created a tremendous unbalance in foreign trade and a discredited foreign policy.

Perhaps it is time to demand accountability from the corporation president, or is he chairman of the board?

STANLEY J. PINCETL

San Diego

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