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Continuing Posture of Denial Puts Rose in Dubious Company

August 26, 1989

A press conference in Cincinnati on Aug. 24, 1989, resurrected haunting memories of a similar press conference on Aug. 9, 1974.

The central figures were fierce competitors and proud national heroes who had an arrogant belief that they were above the law.

Each took his case to the court of public opinion, was scrutinized in daily trials in the media, and left an agonizing nation twisting in the wind when pathetic denials of wrongdoing became hopelessly unbelievable.

Each was the architect of his own destiny, creating evidence for a special prosecutor who sealed his fate: in one case tapes, in the other betting slips, checks and fingerprints.

And, finally, each asserted his innocence to the bitter end, resulting in an inevitable, humiliating banishment from the one thing in life he truly loved.

Prediction: Until Peter Edward Rose candidly admits his problem, a gambling addiction, and takes steps to deal with it, he won't earn public acceptance. Richard Nixon still hasn't.

TOM LALLAS, Los Angeles

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