It seems to me that N.C. , in his editorial `` Confrontation '' ( SR , Mar. 25 ) , has hit upon the real problem that bothers all of us in a complex world : how do we retain our personal relationship with those who suffer ? ?
This affects us all intimately , and can leave us hopeless in the face of widespread distress .
I know of no other solution than the one N.C. proposes -- to do what we can for each sufferer as he confronts us , hoping that this will spread beyond him to others at some time and some place .
Never have I seen this expressed so clearly and so sympathetically .
Thank you for the illustrated editorial `` Confrontation '' .
It is both great writing and profound religion .
N.C. has said something important so well that this preacher will many times be tempted to quote the whole piece .
I feel that N.C. hit the very core of our existence in the editorial `` Confrontation '' .
Personally , it meant a great deal ; ;
my only hope is that it will be shared by many , many others .
`` Confrontation '' should fortify us all , whether in Southeast Asia or the U.S. .
Congratulations to N.C. for successfully delving into the heart of the problems that face the Peace Corps .
I concur that it is necessary for Americans to have a confrontation of the situation existing in foreign lands .
It would be heartbreaking to see idealism , and hence effective leadership , thwarted by the poverty and hardship which young Americans will run into .
The editorial `` Confrontation '' was certainly direct in its appeal to those of us living here in America .
I personally gained strength from it .
Thanks for continuing to capture the attention and uncover so many areas of need in this amazing world .
N.C.'s editorial `` Confrontation '' is a stunning piece of writing .
I would hope that Sargent Shriver will encourage everyone entering the Peace Corps to read it .
The important people to humanity are not the Khrushchevs and the Castros but the Schweitzers and the Dooleys , and the others like them whose names we will never know .
Editor's note : Reprints of `` Confrontation '' will be included among the material to be distributed to members of the Peace Corps .
A Peace Corps official described the editorial as `` precisely the message we need to communicate to the men and women who will soon be Peace Corps volunteers '' .
Improper Bostonian ? ?
F. L. Lucas's article in SR's April 1 issue seemed to be a very fair and objective analysis of the New English Bible .
I certainly hope this will be the impression left in the minds of readers , rather than the comment by Cleveland Amory in his first of the month column .
It is blind , fundamentalist dogmatism to say , `` Messing around with the King James version seems to us a perilous sport at best '' .
Facts in focus
Lester Markel is on the right track in his article `` Interpretation Of Interpretation '' ( SR , Mar. 11 ) .
The current stereotype of straight news reporting was probably invaluable in protecting the press and its readers from pollution by that combination of doctored fact , fancy , and personal opinion called yellow journalism which flourished in this country more than a generation ago .
We don't need this type of protection any more .
The public is now armed with sophistication and numerous competing media .
Besides , there are no longer enough corruptible journalists about .
The accepted method of writing news has two major liabilities .
First , it does not communicate .
A reporter restricted to the competing propaganda statements of both sides in a major labor dispute , for instance , is unable to tell his readers half of what he knows about the causes of the dispute .
Second , it subjects the news to distortion by the unscrupulous .
The charges by the late junior Senator from Wisconsin not only destroyed innocent people but misled the nation .
Yet the press was powerless to put these charges in perspective in its news columns .
Despite several years of front-page stories , the average citizen was unable to get a complete picture of McCarthy until he saw on the television screen what the reporters had been seeing all along but had no effective way of communicating .
The Senator had boxed them in with their own restrictions .
It seems to me the time has come for the American press to start experimenting with ways of reporting the news that will do a better job of communicating and will be less subject to abuse by those who have learned how to manipulate the present stereotype to serve their own ends .
The objective should be to provide a method of getting into print a higher percentage than is now possible of the relevant information in the possession of reporters and editors .
Southern California blackout
I would like to see you devote some space in an early issue to the news blackout concerning President Kennedy's activities , so far as Southern California is concerned .
You have on more than one occasion praised the idea of a televised press conference and the chance it gives the people to form intelligent opinions .
To begin with , the all-powerful Los Angeles Times does not publish a transcript of these press conferences .
I am sure that they did when Eisenhower was President .
Next , because of the time differential , the conferences come on the networks during the middle of the day .
Up until now , the networks have grudgingly run half-hour tapes at 5 P.M. or sometimes 7 or 10:30 P.M. .
Even then , a few of the `` less interesting '' questions are edited out and glibly summarized by a commentator .
However , last night the tapes were not run at all during the evening hours and all we got on TV were a few snatches which Douglas Edwards and Huntley and Brinkley could squeeze into their programs .
This is no criticism of them , as they obviously cannot get a half-hour program into a fifteen-minute news summary .
The radio stations did run `` transcripts '' ( I thought ) during the evening hours .
However , by comparing the TV snatches , two different radio station re-runs , and the censored Los Angeles Times version , I found that the radio stations had edited out questions ( ABC removed the one regarding Laos ) or even a paragraph out of the middle of the President's answer .
I am interested to know he is getting mail from all over the country about the `` abuse '' he is being subjected to .
We out here don't see enough of the conference to know he is being abused .
I don't know if this is the situation in other parts of the country ; ;
apparently it is not .
It also happened with the Inauguration , which was not re-run at all during the evening hours , and I wrote to the TV editor of the Times .
He did mention in his column the fact that he had received many letters about this and he himself did not understand the networks and the independent local stations' not doing this -- but nothing happened .
Can you bring the networks' attention to this ? ?
For a college of propaganda
I was interested in James Webb Young's Madison Avenue column in which he raised the question : `` Do We Need a College of Propaganda '' ? ?
( SR , Feb. 11 ) .
In my estimation , we definitely do ; ;
and the sad part of it is that we had one , which was rounding into excellent shape , and we let it disintegrate and die .
During the war , we set up schools for the teaching of psychological warfare , which included the teaching of propaganda , both black and white and the various shades of grey in between .
We had a couple of schools in this country , the principal one being on the Marshall Field estate out in Lloyd's Neck .
There were also a couple in Canada , and several in England .
The English schools preceded ours , and by the time we got into it they had learned a lot about the techniques of propaganda and its teaching .
Four of us here in the United States attended , first as students , then as instructors , almost every one of these schools , in England , Canada , and the United States .
We set up the Lloyd's Neck school , worked out its curriculum , and taught there .
Toward the end of the war , we really felt that we had learned something about propaganda and how to teach it .
When the end did come , and the schools were disbanded and abandoned , we felt and hoped that the machinery of psychological warfare would not be allowed to rust .
We hoped that its practitioners and teachers might be put on some sort of reserve list and called back for refresher courses each year or so .
Alas , no such thing happened .
There apparently is no school of propaganda or psychological warfare .
A study at the Pentagon and at the service academies revealed that nothing was being done there .
And not one of the four men who attended all the schools has ever been called on to apply any of his knowledge in any way .
Congratulations on the article `` Do We Need A College Of Propaganda '' ? ?
This is one of the most constructive suggestions made in this critical field in years , and I certainly hope it sparks some action .
Let the media clean house , too
many of us in public relations were flattered that Richard L. Tobin chose to devote his editorial in the March 11 Communications Supplement to the merger of the Public Relations Society of America and the American Public Relations Association .
I was surprised and sorry to find in your issue of March 4 a long and detailed attack upon a book that had not yet been published .
Whether in his forthcoming book C. P. Snow commits the errors of judgment and of fact with which your heavily autobiographical critic charged him is important .
One should be able to get hold of the book at once .
But the attack was made from an advance copy .
If this practice should take root and spread , the man who submits a manuscript to a publisher will find himself reviewed before he is accepted and publication will become a sort of post-mortem formality .
Editor's note : Sir Robert Watson-Watt wrote , on page 50 of SR Research for 4 March 1961 : :
`` I have read an advance copy of the Snow book which is to be titled , ' Science And Government .
Until the work actually appears I am not privileged to analyze it publicly in detail .
But I have compared its text with already published commentaries on the 1960 series of Godkin lectures at Harvard , from which the book was derived , and I can with confidence challenge the gist of C. P. Snow's incautious tale '' .
Watson-Watt's remarks in SR did not then , constitute a review of the book but a rebuttal to the Godkin Lectures .
Representatives of Harvard University Press , which is publishing the book this month of April , recognize and freely acknowledge that they invited such reaction by allowing Life magazine to print an excerpt from the book in advance of the book's publication date .
The text of the book leaves a somewhat milder impression than the prepublication excerpt .
Sir Robert Watson-Watt's `` rebuttal '' of Sir Charles Snow's Godkin Lectures is marred throughout by too forceful a desire to defend Lindemann and apparently himself from Sir Charles' supposed falsehoods while stating those `` falsehoods '' in an unclear incoherent argument .
The article presents the reader with an absurdity at its beginning .
It calls the conclusion admitted valid by `` historians and military strategists alike '' a `` perverted conclusion .
Nonsense '' .
It submits an enthusiastic , impressionistic conception of Lindemann contributing another aspect of the man , but on no more authoritative basis than Sir Charles' account .
We are left to choose between the two Lindemanns .
The only fact that holds any weight in the article is the result of the tea party .
But we are to believe that Lindemann actively supported radar outside the Tizard Committee , and dissembling , discounted it inside ? ?
If so , I would lean to Sir Charles' conception of the man .
I think it was a grave error to print the article at this time .
To the unfortunate people unable to attend the Godkin lectures it casts an unjustifiable aura of falsehood over the book which may dissuade some people from reading it .