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A Nation Of Know-nothings

January 27, 1991

Never mind what Jim Baker or George Bush don't do out of ignorance; let's ask what journalism can do.

As you note, "Secretary of State Baker . . . has closed his doors to almost all of the assistant secretaries," who are the real experts with real information. You should go on to confess that newspapers and broadcasters can always open these doors. If necessary, hire lawyers and file Freedom of Information suits. No doubt, going behind the facade to get "unofficial" information out of an organization can cause resentment, but that edgy/suspicious uncertainty is what all reporters should have known about from their first assignment to a police beat.

Margaret Tutwiler speaks for foreign policy but doesn't understand it; her boss, Jim Baker, does not listen to his own experts, and George Bush has launched an enormous military adventure as independently as ever did Louis XIV and is patently beyond his depth, competence and understanding.

All the preconditions are in place for the journalist to shock us out of know-nothingism.

DAVID ALAN MUNRO

Laguna Beach

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