For newspapers and for print journalists, the election of President John F. Kennedy signaled profound change. With a series of innovations, Kennedy taxed a press-president relationship that had been growing steadily more strained since World War II. In his felicity with television, his attempts to court individual reporters and newspapers, and his overall press policies, Kennedy and his administration contributed to a greater distrust between the press and government even as the new president enjoyed warm relationships with many individual reporters. Many journalists believed that the innovations of the Kennedy years had made them more skeptical of government and of government officials.
Chief among Kennedy's innovations was his decision to allow live television coverage of his presidential news conferences, which substantially changed these regular meetings of the press and the president, increasing television's influence while diminishing newspapers'. In addition, Kennedy stepped up so-called "news management" techniques before and during the foreign policy crises in Cuba in 1961 and 1962. Reporters thus found that their access to some information was becoming more limited even as they enjoyed easier access to routine information. Kennedy's well-known close personal relationships with some reporters both helped his relationship with some journalists and strained his contacts with others, causing resentment from those not favored with preferential treatment from the new, young president.
Kennedy's press policies added to press-government antagonisms that had been building throughout the administration of his predecessor, Dwight D. Eisenhower. Under Eisenhower, the increasing government secrecy that had characterized the Truman Administration had continued. Editors and publishers had been disappointed that Executive Order 10501--Eisenhower's 1953 directive revising President Truman's security classification system--had modified the government's classification system but had kept it in place. Journalists often complained that government secrecy had become more entrenched as the Cold War wore on. James Reston, Washington bureau chief of the New York Times, told a national television audience in 1959 that increasing government secrecy and news management were keeping important news from the American people. "I know a great many of my colleagues are very worried about this," he said. "They think there is a great conspiracy in Washington to suppress the news."(1)
Journalists indeed lined up to protest what they perceived as increasing government secrecy. So many journalists had complained of the withholding of information that Representative John E. Moss of California had begun hearings in 1955 to explore their complaints. "We are disturbed by the withholding of information in many areas of government--local, State, and Federal, legislative, executive, and judicial," J.R. Wiggins, executive editor of the Washington Post & Times Herald, told Moss' subcommittee at the opening session of the hearings, which stretched throughout the remainder of the decade. Wiggins and other editors agreed that while journalists were willing to withhold information for the protection of national security, they also worried that the government was increasingly withholding information on the pretense of safeguarding national security. He noted that during 1955 alone, the Army had refused to release a letter for fear it would be "misunderstood," that Defense Department officials had been instructed to release only "constructive" news, and that defense contractors were ordered to withhold any information of potential value to the enemy. The government's defense information policies, Wiggins said, amounted to "a scorched freedom policy."(2)
A few journalists also sounded warnings about Eisenhower's refusal to release some information to Congress under the doctrine of executive privilege. Clark R. Mollenhoff of the Washington bureau of the Cowles publications called the use of executive privilege "probably one of the greatest threats to freedom of information in our time." Since Eisenhower had first cited executive authority as justification to withhold information from Congress during the Army-McCarthy hearings, Mollenhoff told Moss' subcommittee in 1955, seventeen executive agencies had withheld documents by citing Eisenhower's precedent.(3) In his 1954 letter to Congress, Eisenhower had stated that he as president had the right to withhold executive information when "what was sought was confidential or its disclosure would be incompatible with the public interest or jeopardize the safety of the nation." This policy, Eisenhower asserted, was necessary to protect secrecy in policy-making discussions and for the separation of powers.(4)
As the 1960s began, after two terms of tangling with Eisenhower's administration over access to news, it appeared that a change in administration would improve press-government relations. Kennedy gave every indication that his press relations would be far different from his predecessor's. Both Kennedy and his opponent in the 1960 presidential election, Vice President Richard M. Nixon, had resolved to the news media to place a high priority on making information available to reporters. After his election as president, Kennedy had reiterated his commitment to open information policies. In a January 1961 letter to Turner Catledge, executive editor of the New York Times and the president of the American Society of Newspaper Editors, Kennedy wrote: "[W]ithin the rather narrow limits of national security the people of the United States are entitled to the fullest possible information about their government--and the president must see that they receive it."(5)
Kennedy not only promised a more open government, he also promised a warmer relationship with reporters. Beginning in the 1960 campaign, national press corps reporters had expected that they would enjoy greater personal rapport with the young, vital Kennedy than they had with the aloof, patrician Eisenhower. Indeed, Kennedy's myriad one-on-one relationships with reporters were totally at odds with anything veteran Washington reporters had ever witnessed. "Unlike his predecessor, who regarded reporters as visitors from another planet," observed New York Post correspondent Mary McGrory late in 1961, "Kennedy tends to think of them as fellow lodge members." Kennedy, as McGrory pointed out, "used to be a newspaperman himself and is proud of it."(6) Kennedy had worked briefly as a reporter for the International News Service after World War II, covering, among other things, the formation of the United Nations and the postwar elections in Great Britain.(7)
While Eisenhower had avoided reporters, Kennedy unabashedly befriended them. Elected by a razor-thin margin, the new president courted journalists because he viewed the press as an important manipulator of opinion in the policy-making process. "I think the press was important to him because he knew a lot of people," recalled Kennedy's national security adviser, McGeorge Bundy. "He knew how they worked, and he knew that what the press said would have an effect on what people thought. He thought of it more as `What are they saying about us? Is it helping or hurting?'"(8) Roger Hilsman, an assistant secretary of state in the Kennedy years, said administration officials believed that the press was the most important interpreter of policy issues. "[T]he fact that the press is there every day, day after day, with its interpretations makes it the principal competitor of all the others in interpreting events," Hilsman said.(9) Kennedy aide Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., said that Kennedy had genuine affection for his reporter friends, but he cultivated them for political as well as for personal reasons. "Kennedy liked newspapermen; they liked him; and he recognized that they provided him with a potent means of appealing to readers over the heads of publishers," Schlesinger recalled.(10)
Accordingly, Kennedy sought out the company of newspaper reporters, editors, and publishers, both to award snippets of news and to mix with them socially. This was a radical violation of protocol for Washington reporters, who had traditionally opposed one-on-one interviews because they gave unfair advantage to favored correspondents. Kennedy began to flout this tradition from the earliest days of his presidency. After his inaugural ball, the new president and the presidential party dropped in for a quick visit of the newspaper columnist Joseph Alsop. In subsequent days he stopped by to chat with Walter Lippmann at the columnist's home and to dine with reporter Rowland Evans, Jr., of the New York Herald Tribune. Some journalists, such as Charles Bartlett of the Chattanooga (Tenn.) Times, an old Kennedy friend, were even invited up to the president's weekend residence at Hyannis Port, Mass.(11) Once in office, Kennedy continued close friendships with Bartlett and with other journalists such as Benjamin Bradlee of Newsweek magazine. "It's hard," Kennedy once joked to visitors to his office in late 1961, "not to get invited to the White House these days."(12) Kennedy's friendly relations with journalists, especially columnists, were well known and much publicized throughout his administration.(13)
"In his dealings with the press," wrote the New York Times' Reston in late 1961, "President Kennedy has broken every rule in the book and got away with it." Particularly revolutionary, Reston concluded, was Kennedy's personal relationships with individual reporters and his willingness to meet with them one-on-one. "Exclusive interviews with any individual reporter . . . were regarded around here under President Eisenhower as imprudent if not downright subversive, but President Kennedy does as he pleases and is creating a whole new set of ground rules in the process." Reston pointed out that Kennedy's intimacy with reporters would not have been remarkable in the nineteenth century, but it was certainly new for the middle of the twentieth. "[Kennedy] has not only allowed columnists to see him privately," Reston wrote, "but has permitted them to publish his remarks. He has given television interviews on some networks and not on others. He has been the darling and collaborator of all budding biographers." The president's many innovations, in Reston's estimation, had proven extraordinarily successful at exploiting the news media. "[A]s a political instrument the new accessibility of the White House is undoubtedly effective," the columnist concluded.(14)
Bill Lawrence of the New York Times' Washington bureau was one of Kennedy's closest confidants in the press, and the two men's relationship illustrates the degree to which the new president befriended individual journalists. "I never knew any President as well as I knew Jack Kennedy, who was a close friend in and out of the White House," recalled Lawrence, who was Kennedy's frequent golfing partner and often a beneficiary of the president's leaks and trial balloons. "I found with Kennedy that a round of golf could be much more fruitful in news terms than many formal presidential news conferences. John Kennedy thoroughly enjoyed `leaking' a news story, and I was lucky enough to be the recipient of so many breaks on big stories."(15) Lawrence had grown close to Kennedy during the 1960 presidential campaign, when Kennedy had carefully cultivated the reporters traveling with him. "He was interested in their personal and professional fortunes, their romances, their day-to-day happenings," Lawrence recalled.(16) Lawrence had even consulted with Kennedy as the correspondent grew dissatisfied with the Times and considered taking a job with ABC television in 1961. "Go ahead and take it," Kennedy advised Lawrence. "That will show the bastards." The correspondent took the president's advice.(17)
Reporters not as favored as Lawrence took notice of the favored treatment accorded some journalists and resented this presidential favoritism. A few veteran journalists grumbled that many of their younger colleagues were getting far too close to their sources. "Kennedy worked hard to develop and maintain his ties with reporters and editors," remembered journalist Sarah McClendon, whose one-woman news service served dozens of smaller newspapers. Of Kennedy's relationship with the press, she recalled years afterward, "The public believed the press courted the Kennedys; it was actually the Kennedys who courted the press." The president created "media stars," McClendon said, by feeding exclusive stories to favored reporters. "His pets--Charlie Bartlett, David Wise, Joe Kraft, Rowland Evans, Tom Ross, Ben Bradlee--mined Kennedy as if he were the mother lode," McClendon wrote. "They cultivated his favors and friendship socially and professionally."(18)
Kennedy courted not just reporters but also their employers. He held a succession of private, off-the-record dinners with newspaper publishers to discuss administration policies. Nicknamed "Operation Publisher," the Kennedy practice was to invite groups of publishers from a single state or geographic area to two- to three-hour meetings with the president at the White House. Once inside, the publishers found a solicitous and inquiring president courting their support. "Everything is handled in such an informal manner you feel at ease," reported a Republican publisher after emerging from one of these meetings. "The President asked for our opinions on a number of matters. He told us that he liked to have as much background as possible before making a decision. The President speaks so frankly about things that you get a feeling that he trusts you and is taking you into his confidence."(19) Charles Schneider, editor of the Memphis (Tenn.) Press-Scimitar, had this assessment after meeting with the president: "He charmed the birds out of the trees."(20)
Another significant innovation in presidential-press relations was Kennedy's decision to permit live broadcasting of his presidential press conferences. The Eisenhower administration had allowed filming of the conferences but had also required White House approval of any film clips to be broadcast. Kennedy, who had proven his ability in front of the cameras during his televised debates with Nixon during the presidential campaign, proposed allowing live coverage of the conferences. The president wanted live coverage, his press secretary Pierre Salinger recalled, in order to bypass the traditional news media to appeal directly to the public for support. "This is the right thing," the president told Salinger during the discussions over the switch to live television. "We should be able to go around the newspapers if that becomes necessary."(21) Moreover, advances in electronic technology had made thelive broadcasting of presidential press conferences inevitable, Salinger told the 1961 convention of the American Society of Newspaper Editors. Salinger maintained that print journalists' complaints about the new practice were rooted in nostalgia for the small, intimate presidential press conferences of the 1930s and 1940s. "The point I make here is that I think the people who long for the good old days of FDR and the type of press conference he used to hold are unrealistic," Salinger said. "Now we are living in a different world today than FDR did."(22)
Still, most newspaper reporters were chagrined at the new practice. When Kennedy's aides unveiled the broadcasting plans before representatives of the White House Correspondents Association, the meeting was nearly overwhelmed by print-press antagonisms. "At one point," Salinger said, "I thought the meeting would be reduced to violence as the voices ran across the table."(23) Print reporters complained that the new practice interfered with the traditional close contact between newspaper reporters and the president. "By accommodating television," Robert J. Donovan of the New York Herald Tribune wrote in 1961, "Mr. Kennedy has robbed the presidential press conference of much of its best flavor. The intimacy between the President and the reporter has been diluted by distance." Donovan said he feared that live broadcasting of presidential press conferences would diminish the presidency, making it "commonplace."(24) Other newspaper reporters were equally unenthusiastic. New York Post Capitol correspondent William V. Shannon said live telecasting had killed all spontaneity in the press conference.(25) The New York Times' Reston pronounced live telecasting the "goofiest idea since the hula hoop."(26)
A few journalists, however, were enthusiastic about the innovation. "Televised Presidential press conferences would increase understanding of governmental problems and policies and that is all to the good," said Paul Veblen, executive editor of the Santa Barbara (Calif.) News Press.(27) Other editors said that live television was a worthy experiment in the presidential press conference, which was, after all, an evolving institution for which ground rules had been updated through the years. "The only way to see if it will work is to try it," said the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Raymond P. Brandt. "When [Franklin D.] Roosevelt ended written questions, there wasn't any trouble; when Eisenhower allowed direct quotation, there wasn't any trouble; when they admitted television cameras, there wasn't any trouble. The live conference is worth trying."(28)
Ben Bagdikian, a correspondent for the Providence (R.I.) Journal and Bulletin, complained in early 1961 that Kennedy's innovations had affected print reporters and newspapers in myriad ways. For one thing, the conference was now much more formal, given that it had been moved from the small but intimate Indian Treaty Room in the old State Department Building to an imposing 800-seat auditorium in the department's new, modern headquarters. Print reporters had lost the initiative in the press conferences because of Kennedy's practice of beginning the meeting with a 20-minute formal statement, which the president often used to make announcements that would dominate the headlines and the evening news. Television had also hurt reporters' public image, Bagdikian said, because television viewers had complained about the "rudeness" of reporters jockeying for the president's attention during the press conferences. More importantly, according to Bagdikian, live coverage had reduced print journalists' accounts of the press conference to irrelevance. Because many of their readers had already witnessed the news conference firsthand, print reporters were left only to interpret the event, not report it.(29) After live telecasting of news conferences began, so few newspapers saw the need to print verbatim transcripts of the news conferences that the Associated Press ended its longtime practice of transmitting transcripts to its member papers.(30)
"I think it is not only a mess as it is presently constituted," Chicago Daily News Washington bureau chief Peter Lisagor said in 1961, "but I think it is the nearest thing we have in this town to anarchy." Because of the televised press conference, he said, print reporters had been transformed at these events into mere props for the television cameras. More importantly, the press conference had lost much of its coherence because the mass of reporters in attendance asked questions on widely divergent topics. Lisagor also complained that reporters tended to be too deferential to Kennedy in the formal surroundings of the State Department auditorium. "[T]here must be a better way of handling and conducting the exercise as it is now constituted," Lisagor said.(31)
New York Herald Tribune television columnist John Crosby, echoing a common complaint among newspaper reporters, criticized the conferences because they gave the president so much control over his meetings with the media. By skillfully avoiding the crux of reporters' questions, Kennedy could appear to the public to have answered a question when in fact he had failed to provide any new information. Of the press conferences, Crosby said, "They remind me of a Chinese dinner. You eat and eat of a dozen different dishes--but an hour later you find yourself hungry."(32)
But Kennedy's mastery of the televised press conference, beginning with the first live broadcast on January 25, 1961, made it clear that the innovation was a success, at least as far as the new president was concerned. "Live television has become the new arm of presidential communication with the public," wrote United Press International correspondent Merriman Smith the day after Kennedy's inaugural press conference. Kennedy had handled himself "coolly and confidently," Smith wrote, thereby putting to rest any fears that the president might embarrass himself or the country through a misstatement before the television cameras. "Thus opened a new era of White House communications," Smith concluded.(33) Both the Washington Post and the New York Times praised Kennedy's performance after his first televised meeting with reporters. Other newspapers across the country also lauded the innovation. "Mr. Kennedy's first Presidential Press conference last night," wrote an editorialist in the Baltimore Sun, "was a measured, confident performance, and an artful one."(34) Even Editor & Publisher was impressed. "The entire performance," the magazine's editors wrote, "could be called a crashing success for him from all angles--politically, diplomatically and dramatically."(35)
Television news executives also hailed the live news conferences. Sig Mickelson, president of CBS News, said in January 1961 that the broadcasts would constitute "a most significant advance in television's role as a reporting medium." Mickelson said he believed that Kennedy's innovation might prompt other public officials across the country to permit greater live broadcasting of other important public proceedings.(36)
The inauguration of live television at presidential press conferences would prove, by the mid-1960s, to be only one of several innovations in electronic journalism that would threaten newspapers. Live new conferences affected newspapers in two ways. First, they increased the influence of television in the news media's relationship to the presidency. Television gained credibility as a news medium by offering, for the first time, live coverage of a routine news-making event. Print journalists' reports now seemed irrelevant to the process of reporting the news conference when readers could now regularly witness the event themselves. While administration officials such as Salinger argued that news conferences increased reader interest in press conferences, most White House correspondents believed that live television caused readers to ignore their reports.(37) Second, Kennedy's mastery of the live conference was part of larger administration efforts to control the flow of news coming out of the administration. The broadcasts gave the president a way to bypass traditional news media and speak to the public directly. The live news conferences, taken together with the president's skillful handling of the press in other areas, increased the president's power to directly manipulate the news.
Print journalists believed administration officials were consistently trying to "manage the news," that is, to control the press by keeping tight reins on reporters and on the release of information. The debate about "news management" in the Kennedy administration was not new, of course; Washington reporters had expressed the same concerns during the Eisenhower administration.(38) But reporters believed that the Kennedy Administration was both more brazen and more skillful in its efforts to manage the news than previous administrations. "The Kennedy Administration may try to manage the news a bit more than some of its predecessors," wrote the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Richard Dudman in 1963. "The big difference here is that the Kennedy Administration admits it manages the news and tries to justify it."(39) Kennedy's emphasis on press relations and his administration's efforts to force all branches to speak with one voice vastly expanded journalists' concern about government control of news. "News management" moved to center stage not only in journalistic circles but in the public eye, emerging as a bona fide news story in the administration's handling of several foreign policy crises. The conflict between press and government was reaching new heights.
Ironically, even the cornerstone of Kennedy's press relations, his personal relationships with individual reporters, was widely considered part of this effort to manage the press. Kennedy used friendships with reporters both to launch trial balloons and to attempt to control what reporters wrote about his administration. The New York Post's William Shannon said in 1962 that Kennedy "devotes such a considerable portion of his attention to leaking news, planting rumors, and playing off one reporter against another, that it sometimes seems his dream job is not being Chief Executive of the nation but Managing Editor of a hypothetical newspaper."(40) Similarly, in 1963 veteran New York Times political columnist Arthur Krock wrote that Kennedy's close relationships with reporters were a form of indirect news management, a "social flattery of Washington reporters and columnists--many more than ever got this treatment in the past--by the President and his high level subordinates." Krock believed that Kennedy's handling of the press was "the most intensive indirect effort by any President of the United States to manage the news," an effort that had proven highly effective. "This is a public-relations project and the president is its most brilliant operator," Krock wrote.(41)
CBS correspondent Charles Collingwood, surveying Kennedy's press relations in a 1961 broadcast, said that the president was skillfully manipulating the press through exclusive interviews, which heretofore had been "rarer than the whooping crane." Relatively few correspondents complained about the practice because so many benefited, and the manipulative aspects of the interviews were being largely overlooked. "In fact, your Washington correspondent is not nearly so fierce a dog as he likes to make out. If he's given a few kind words and a bone now and then, he's apt to be quite content and won't steal the roast off the table," Collingwood observed. "The president seems to have discovered this simple technique and it's the secret of his newly heralded success with the Washington press corps."(42)
Kennedy also managed news with well-targeted criticisms of reporters' work. Krock and other correspondents charged that the president displayed a "bristling sensitiveness to critical analysis [that] has not been exceeded by that of any previous occupant of the White House."(43) One Washington correspondent argued that the president, a prodigious and speedy reader, "reads every damn thing written" about him, while "his skin is as thin as cigarette paper."(44) Kennedy and administration officials were quick to criticize correspondents when a published news article did not meet their satisfaction. United Press International's Merriman Smith was among those who were amazed at Kennedy's media sensitivity; both the president and his aides read newspapers closely. "How they can spot an obscure paragraph in a paper of 3,000 circulation 2,000 miles away is beyond me," Smith marveled. "They must have a thousand little gnomes reading the papers for them."(45) Presidential aide Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., recalled that Kennedy "retained an inexhaustible capacity to become vastly, if briefly, annoyed by hostile articles or by stories based on leaks." Kennedy once grew so incensed at New York Herald Tribune editorials that he ordered the White House's subscription to the newspaper canceled. After tempers cooled, the White House renewed the subscription.(46)
More significant to Kennedy's news management efforts were his administration's efforts to control the flow of news out of federal offices. Press complaints about these efforts began almost immediately after Kennedy was elected. Barely a month after Kennedy's inauguration, Editor & Publisher magazine complained of a "disturbing trend" in government information policies. The magazine's editors were upset because of several new actions and policies of the new administration: Secretary of State Dean Rusk had barred officials from releasing information about preliminary discussions of foreign problems. Congressional leaders were being discouraged from revealing to reporters the nature of their discussions with the president. And executive agency department heads were holding weekly meetings to coordinate their activities regarding the press. Moreover, the editors were upset that the administration had pressured the New York Herald Tribune to withhold publication of a news story so that the story could be released at the president's news conference.(47)
A turning point in press-government relations under Kennedy was the administration's handling of the press during the invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs in April 1961. Kennedy's news management in this and subsequent crises caused journalists to distrust his administration. Journalists were angered at having caught government officials in lies and resentful that Kennedy and his aides had placed some of the blame for the failed invasion at the feet of journalists. "The U.S. press is being made the scapegoat of the Cuban invasion debacle," complained Editor & Publisher just after the failed military effort. The press, the magazine's editors wrote, was being unfairly damned both for telling too much about invasion plans and for failing to tell the story soon enough and in adequate detail.(48)
The Kennedy administration not only tried to carefully manage the news of the Cuban invasion but also made numerous misstatements in the process of mounting a United States-backed invasion by Cuban exiles to overthrow Cuban President Fidel Castro. The administration denied any official knowledge of an imminent invasion, deliberately handed out incomplete and inaccurate information about military preparations, pressured newspapers to alter or withhold news stories about Cuba, and chastised newspapers afterward for being insufficiently uncooperative with the government in pursuing the country's Cold War goals.
New York Times' columnist Reston listed two of the government's lies during the crisis. After the troop landings began, American officials told reporters in Miami that this was an "invasion" of 5,000 men, an exaggeration intended to impress Cubans and prompt them to rise up in support of the invaders. Then, once the landing force encountered stiff resistance, Washington officials changed their story, saying that this was not invasion at all, but merely a landing of several hundred men to deliver supplies to anti-Castro guerrillas. In fact, about 1,000 troops landed in Cuba, and government officials had twice lied to reporters. "Both times," Reston wrote, "the press was debased for the government's purpose." Moreover, the Castro government and its Soviet advisers knew that the American government's statements were untrue. As a result, Reston said, "the American people were the only ones to be fooled."(49)
Moreover, Kennedy's credibility with reporters suffered because he and his subordinates had repeatedly denied American involvement in a possible Cuban invasion. Four days before the invasion, Kennedy was unequivocal about the matter in his regular news conference. "There will not be under any conditions an intervention in Cuba by the U.S. armed forces," Kennedy said. "The basic issue in Cuba is not one between the United States and Cuba. It is between the Cubans themselves. And I intend to see that we adhere to this principle."(50) The day the invasion began, Secretary of State Rusk had told reporters, "The American people are entitled to know whether we are intervening in Cuba or intend to do so in the future. The answer to that question is no. What happens in Cuba is for the Cuban people themselves to decide."(51)
Kennedy Administration officials had, before the invasion, actively sought to prevent news outlets from writing about Cuba. Word of the Cuban invasion had spread in the news media, particularly in smaller publications, but the story was slow to catch on among larger newspapers and magazines. Before the invasion, recalled Schlesinger, the editor of The New Republic had sent the White House a detailed account of the Central Intelligence Agency's plans to train Cuban exiles for the military operation, asking if the publication of the article would injure national security. At the president's request, the magazine had declined to print the article.(52) The Miami Herald had also refrained from publishing information about the invasion beforehand at the administration's request, even though the armed uprising by the Cuban rebels was well known among the large Cuban population in Miami. "Everyone in Miami knew about it," the Herald's George Beebe told the Associated Press Managing Editors in 1961. "I had a five-part series in my desk for two months, but I didn't want to be the first S.O.B. to release the story." The large Cuban population of Miami was well aware of the invasion plans, and reporters had heard about it from multiple sources, Beebe said. The Herald had tried but failed to confirm the story with the C.I.A., the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the State Department.(53)
The New York Times published an account of the invasion plans on April 7, 1961, but watered down the account for fear of compromising national security. The Times had written about the invasion preparations only once before, on January 10, 1961. The April 6 news story was in fact somewhat vague, omitting any direct mention of the C.I.A. even though it was clear from the news story that the invasion force was being trained by Americans. Within the Times, editors had argued about whether to publish the article. Reston, concerned that the Times' piece might endanger national security, believed the newspaper should not describe the timing of the invasion. Publisher Orvil Dryfoos and managing editor Turner Catledge were worried about the article's implications for national security, but Catledge wanted the story published. The final version omitted any mention of the invasion as "imminent," as reporter Tad Szulc had originally described it, and discarded plans for a four-column headline in favor of a less prominent one-column heading. The story ran on Page 1. Some Times editors, such as managing editor Clifton Daniel and assistant managing editor Theodore Bernstein, had opposed any changes in Szulc's article because, as Daniel recalled in 1966, "never before had the front-page play in the New York Times been changed for reasons of policy."(54)
The Kennedy Administration responded to this criticism by citing the need to protect national security and by criticizing newspaper performance. The president's aides, and even Kennedy himself, offered two pointed but contradictory criticisms of the press' performance. On the one hand, Kennedy told reporters and publishers privately that the Times should have printed everything it had known about the invasion. "Maybe if you had printed more about the operation," Kennedy told Catledge a month after the invasion, "you would have saved us from a colossal mistake."(55) According to Daniel, Kennedy repeated essentially the same remark to Dryfoos in 1962.(56) On the other hand, Kennedy blamed the press for contributing to the Cuban fiasco and called for greater voluntary censorship. In a much-publicized speech before a meeting of the American Newspaper Publishers Association's Bureau of Advertising on April 27, 1961, Kennedy said the nation was experiencing "a time of peace and peril which knows no precedent in history," a dangerous situation which he said provided clear justification for increased press restraint. "I am asking the members of the newspaper profession and the industry in this country to reexamine their own responsibilities, to consider the degree and the nature of the present danger, and to heed the duty of self-restraint which that danger imposes upon us all," Kennedy told the publishers. "Every newspaper now asks itself, with respect to every story: `Is it news?' All I suggest is that you add the question: `Is it in the interest of national security?'"(57)
Journalists and publishers interpreted the president's remarks as a call for a meeting to discuss voluntary censorship. A meeting was held on May 9, 1961, but it accomplished little. For eighty minutes Kennedy conferred with officials from the American Newspaper Publishers Association, the American Society of Newspaper Editors, the Associated Press, and United Press International. The president told the group that while the administration intended to continue free access to news, the press itself should show greater restraint. As evidence of press irresponsibility, he cited several news articles printed by the Times that he said had hurt national security; one was the Times' article about Cuban invaders being trained in Guatemala, and the other detailed American tracking of Soviet missiles in Turkey. Catledge, who attended the meeting, told the president that the Times had gotten the runaround or half-truths in trying to confirm each of the two stories with the government. The Times would have withheld the articles, Catledge said, if someone in the government had told the truth to Reston or to another high Times official in confidence.(58) The media representatives told the president that any kind of censorship--voluntary or not--was unnecessary in peacetime and in any case would not work without adequate machinery to enforce it. ASNE President Felix R. McKnight of the Dallas (Tex.) Times-Herald told Kennedy that "only the declaration of a national emergency by the President of the United States would make imperative the imposition of news censorship."(59)
Reporters and publishers were aghast at having caught the administration in lies and half-truths. For journalists, it was one thing to withhold information in wartime or in a national emergency, but it was quite another for the government to lie to reporters outright in peacetime. The Freedom of Information Committee of the Associated Press Managing Press Editors Association concluded in 1961 that editors had been jolted by the events in Cuba. "The injustice of inferentially blaming the press for blunders that even tight wartime censorship could not have concealed brought indignant reaction," the committee members said. The "bungling preparations to topple Castro [were] obvious to any south Florida observer."(60) The New York Times editorialized on May 10, 1961, that the danger posed by untruthful government officials "has raised a domestic question that is likely to come up again and again" until it is solved. "The cause may be something that is happening in Laos, in Central Africa or in Latin America," the Times wrote, "but the question remains the same: is a democratic government in an open society such as ours ever justified in deceiving its own people?" When public officials in a democracy lie to the people, the Times wrote, the people lose confidence.(61)
For press critics, the problem had not been that the press had failed to cooperate with the government, but that the press had failed to adequately investigate an important news story vital to the interests of United States citizens. "As far as the public is concerned," complained CBS correspondent Collingwood in an April 1961 broadcast, "last week's explosion in Cuba took place in a sort of vacuum of information and for this vacuum the press as the principal purveyor of information in this country must bear a large share of the responsibility." As Collingwood pointed out, U.S. involvement in preparations for the invasion had been made public as early as the winter of 1960. An academic journal had described invasion preparations in October 1960, and this account was discussed in the Nation of November 1960. On December 22, 1960, the Los Angeles Mirror had published an account of the Guatemalan training base from which the invasion was to be launched, and a much-shortened form of the Mirror's account ran on the Associated Press national wire. Yet most newspapers had given the invasion plans little notice until the New York Times ran its first article on the rebels' Guatemalan base on January 10, 1961, and even then few had explored the U.S. government's role in the invasion. Thanks to the nation's press, Collingwood reported, "we were left in the dark about Cuba."(62)
Publishers and journalists emerged from the Bay of Pigs fiasco angered that they had been lied to yet criticized both for reporting too much and for reporting too little. The experience served to increase distrust between the press and the government. The incident was, therefore, as New York Times managing editor Daniel put it, significant not only to the history of Latin America but "also important in the history of relations between the American press and the United States government." To Daniel, the incident underscored the principle that journalists have the duty to constantly question national leaders, who alone are responsible for national security. Journalists should continue questioning leaders and their policies except in wartime or during a threat of war. "Information is essential to people who propose to govern themselves," Daniel concluded in 1966. "It is the responsibility of serious journalists to supply that information--whether in this country or in the countries from which our foreign colleagues come."(63) Reston espoused a similar principle in recalling, after his retirement, the lessons of these years. "My own experience was that governments usually got the voluntary cooperation of the media when secrecy was essential to national security," he wrote. "It was when governments were addicted to secrecy and used it to cover up their mistakes and protect their political and personal interests that representative government and a free press came into conflict."(64)
The Cuban missile crisis of 1962 added to the growing distrust between government and reporters. Over a period of several weeks in the crisis, the Kennedy administration imposed tight controls over information provided to the news media. Officials sought to have the government "speak with one voice" to the Soviet Union following the disclosure that the Russians had installed offensive nuclear missiles in Cuba. Until the Russians removed the missiles at Kennedy's demand, tight controls were placed over exactly what reporters could report and where they could go in covering the crisis. Reporters were angered both by the government's efforts to control the news and by officials' explanations immediately afterward that the government had been justified in doing so.
Newspaper groups contended that the government's "news management" activities during the Cuban missile crisis had undermined American democracy. Gene Robb, publisher of the Albany (N.Y.) Times-Union and vice president of the American Newspaper Publishers Association, told a Congressional committee examining the government's news policies in 1963 that, during the crisis, the press had caught government officials lying on numerous occasions. "We have, as a result, we believe," Robb told the House committee, "a really serious crisis in the credibility of Government pronouncements. A government can successfully lie no more than once to its people. Thereafter, everything it says and does becomes suspect."(65) Robb said that while reporters and publishers had long understood that any government administration would always attempt to put the best face on government programs, the Kennedy administration's "news management" policies had violated a basic tenet of democracy--that a government should always tell the truth to its citizenry. "[N]ews management," Robb said, "as interpreted by some of the Government people who use the phrase, has come to mean--rightfully or not--the manipulation, maybe the distortion, possibly the twisting and, quite often, the withholding of the facts in the news."(66)
In a report to newspapers compiled in late 1962, the ASNE and the ANPA compiled a laundry list of the government's "news management" activities during the crisis. "During the Cuban crisis, the major press complaint was not that news was being censored or suppressed for security reasons, but that there was deliberate deception and manipulation of news," said the report, compiled by John H. Colburn of the Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch. Colburn cited the following incidents as evidence of government deception: The Defense Department had reported on October 19, 1962, that it had no information indicating the presence of offensive weapons in Cuba, yet Defense Secretary Robert McNamara later acknowledged that he had received intelligence reports confirming such weapons as early as October 15. American officials had claimed during the crisis to have imposed a strict naval blockade of Cuba, when in fact only a selective blockade was enforced. And President Kennedy had canceled a political tour to return to Washington, claiming he had a "cold," when actually he was returning to the capital to deal with the Cuban crisis.(67) "By carefully timing and wording announcements about blockade activities," Richard Fryklund of the Washington Star wrote, "the administration attempted to control the image of the action shown to the world, and the information reaching the Russians and the Cubans."(68) Reporters could hardly judge the truth of the administration's pronouncements, since they had been prohibited from traveling on the quarantine ships to the Caribbean.(69)
If reporters were upset at news controls during the missile crisis, they were enraged that controls continued as the crisis wound down. Most upsetting to them were the controls imposed in the Defense and State Departments in late October 1962. Both Arthur Sylvester, the Defense Department spokesman, and Robert Manning, the State Department spokesman, each had issued directives requiring more restrictive oversight of reporters. "The substance of each interview and telephone conversation with a media representative will be reported to the appropriate public information office before the close of business that day," the Defense Department memorandum ordered. "A report need not be made if a representative of the public information office is present at the interview."(70) Reporters believed that the policy, issued at the direction of the White House, would interfere with reporters doing their jobs. Reporters would thus get only the "official line" from Defense and State without learning details of any specific policy disputes. Reporters viewed the rule as a "Gestapo tactic," said Washington correspondent Clark R. Mollenhoff of the Cowles publications. "The Cuban crisis," he said, "has resulted in one of our most dramatic examples of the high-level handout."(71)
Journalists were angered not only at the Pentagon's news controls but also at Sylvester's admission, on October 30, 1962, that the government had indeed managed the news during the crisis. Sylvester said the government had spoken during the crisis with "one voice" so as to clearly state its position to the Soviets. News, he said, "was part of the weaponry that a President has in the application of military force and related forces to the solution of political problems, or to the application of international political pressure." He also said, "In the kind of world we live in, the generation of news by actions taken by the Government becomes one weapon in a strained situation. The results, in my opinion, justify the methods we used."(72) Sylvester later said the government had, in his words, a right "to lie to save itself" when facing the threat of nuclear war.(73) Sylvester's frankness prompted an immediate response from Lee Hills, executive editor of Knight Newspapers and ASNE president, who protested that the American press "must not be used as an implement to mislead the public."(74)
The nation's newspapers were equally vehement. "There is no doubt," wrote the editors of the New York Times, "that `management' or `control' of the news is censorship described by a sweeter term. There is no doubt that it restricts the people's right to know."(75) The Baltimore Sun editorialized that the administration's news management had undermined the traditional separation of government censorship from propaganda operations. Sylvester's statement, the Sun wrote, "suggests the policy and the performance of Adolph Hitler's propaganda chief, Paul Joseph Goebbels, who prescribed what Germans should be allowed to read and think."(76) The Washington Star said that the administration's news policies would cause all government officials to be regarded with suspicion. "What they say from now on, as arbitrarily established sources of public information, may be the truth," the Star's editors wrote. "But that truth will be accepted with a grain of salt."(77) Representatives of the National Editorial Association (the organization of weeklies and small dailies), the ANPA, and ASNE met December 13, 1962, and issued a joint statement condemning the Kennedy administration's policies. The statement expressed concern that news management would suppress information "as a means to some desired end" and thus exceed legitimate censorship of military information. "Security of the nation," the statement said, "can be maintained only by the full reporting of all the truth that is not harmful to the national military interest."(78)
Sylvester was initially unrepentant for his remarks, however, and insisted that they had been taken out of context. Kennedy instructed his aide Theodore C. Sorensen to draft a letter for Sylvester to sign explaining both the president's and Sylvester's abhorrence of censorship and toning down his remarks; Sylvester refused to sign it because he did not want to appease his critics. But in March 1963, he appeared before the House Subcommittee on Government Information and qualified his earlier statement concerning the government's right to deceive the public. He said that the government had the right only "to lie to save itself when it's going up into a nuclear war" in moments of imminent attack. "The government does not have the right to lie to the American people," he told the committee.(79) Sorensen recalled that the president had found Sylvester's remarks both "unclear and unwise," but Sorensen himself believed the press' response to Sylvester's statements was out of proportion to their importance. Press reaction, Sorensen said, had failed to take into account the context of Sylvester's remarks, that is, that the government had "the right to lie to our enemies in statements also heard by our citizens."(80)
Kennedy and his aides maintained that the government had not lied, but instead had withheld news from the public so as to keep the information from the country's enemies. "We did not lie to the American people," Salinger told the Women's National Press Club in March 1963. "We did not deprive the American people of any information except that which, for the highest national security, had to be withheld from our adversaries." Kennedy was justified, Salinger said, in withholding information about the Cuban crisis until the quarantine of Cuba was announced October 22, 1962. "This policy was an absolute necessity for the success of the president's quarantine plan--and I believe played an integral part of his success," Salinger said. The press secretary said that some newspapers, not the government, were managing the news by printing news articles critical of the Kennedy administration.(81)
Kennedy himself had defended the administration's news policies immediately after the Cuban crisis ended. In his press conference of November 20, 1962, the president offered no apologies for keeping details of the Cuban crisis in "the highest levels of government" and for controlling information that was released to the public and to the Russians. He said that if news about the Soviet buildup had leaked out before the United States government was sure of its response, disaster could have resulted. "During the week, then, from Monday till Sunday, when we received Mr. Khrushchev's first message about the withdrawal, we attempted to have the government speak with one voice," Kennedy told reporters. "There were obvious restraints on newspapermen." Of the Sylvester and Manning directives, Kennedy said their purpose was to prevent highly sensitive information from leaking to the press. He said he didn't believe that the directives had inhibited the flow of news out of the Pentagon and that he would revoke the orders if that were proven the case.(82) The State Department's directive was withdrawn a week later.(83)
The increasing distrust between reporters and government officials in the Kennedy years expanded a rift that had been gradually widening since World War II. "Sylvester's candor touched off a furor in journalistic circles," recalled United Press International correspondent Helen Thomas. "The debate was the forerunner of `the credibility gap' that caused the downfall of two of Kennedy's successors."(84) Whether Kennedy's actions in Cuba were justified or not, the press was growing increasingly inclined to distrust government pronouncements during national crises. The distrust grew despite Kennedy's warm personal relationships with many correspondents and despite the national peril posed by the Cuban missile crisis. It would continue to grow through the mid-1960s during the administration of Kennedy's successor, a man far less skillful in dealing with the press and facing international crises of his own.
1. Transcript of "The Press and the People," reprinted in Washington and the Press (New York: Fund for the Republic, 1959), 5.
2. Availability of Information From Federal Departments and Agencies, Hearings Before a Subcommittee of the Committee of Government Operations, House of Representatives, Eighty-fourth Congress, First Session, 7 November 1955 (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1956), 7-9. See Chapter 4 of this dissertation for a detailed analysis of journalists' increasing concern over government secrecy after World War II. For other accounts of journalists' mounting concern through the 1950s, see J.R. Wiggins, "Enormous Area of Secrecy: Public Servants Build Complex Fences Around Sources of Information To Which People Need Access," American Editor, October 1959, 16-27; J.R. Wiggins, "Sense to Secrecy," ibid., July 1960, 49-63; and Douglass Cater, The Fourth Branch of Government (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1959), 112-169.
3. Availability of Information From Federal Departments and Agencies, 32.
4. Eisenhower letter to Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson, 17 May 1954, reprinted in "Texts of Eisenhower Letter and Brownell Memorandum on Testimony in Senate Inquiry," New York Times, 18 May 1954, 24. For a discussion of the letter and its significance, see Clark R. Mollenhoff, Washington Cover-up (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday & Company, 1962), 210-211. A Library of Congress study in 1974 traced executive privilege to the earliest days of the Republic but described Eisenhower's 1954 letter as a turning point in its use by the executive branch. Eisenhower's letter, the study found, "became the basis for an extension of the claim of `executive privilege' far down the administrative line from the President." ("The Present Limits of `Executive Privilege,'" a study by the Government and General Research Division of the Library of Congress, Congressional Record, House, 28 March 1973, 10079-10083.) For a lengthy discussion of the origin of executive privilege, see George Kennedy, "Advocates of Openness: The Freedom of Information Movement," Ph.D. dissertation, University of Missouri, 1978, 196-234.
5. John F. Kennedy to Turner Catledge, 3 January 1961, photocopy in files of Freedom of Information Center, University of Missouri at Columbia. Hereafter cited as FOI Center files.
6. Mary McGrory, "Kennedy and the Press," Publisher's Auxiliary, 23 December 1961, 2.
7. James E. Pollard, The Presidents and the Press: Truman to Johnson (Washington, D.C.: Public Affairs Press, 1964), 96.
8. Quoted in Montague Kern, Patricia W. Levering and Ralph B. Levering, The Kennedy Crises: The Press, the Presidency, and Foreign Policy (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1983), 5.
9. Roger Hilsman, The Politics of Policy Making in Defense and Foreign Affairs (New York: Harper and Row, 1971), 114.
10. Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., A Thousand Days: John F. Kennedy in the White House (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1965), 716.
11. James Reston, "How to Break the Rules Without Getting Caught," New York Times, 29 November 1961, 40.
12. Quoted in ibid.
13. Kennedy's cozy relations with reporters were sometimes the object of ridicule. A 1962 Jules Feiffer cartoon, for example, depicted two columnists, "Scotty" and "Joe," swapping stories about their meals with Kennedy during presidential drop-in visits to their homes. (Jules Feiffer cartoon, New Republic, 30 July 1962, 27.)
14. Reston, "How to Break the Rules," 40. Exclusive interviews had had the same status under Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman. For example, in 1950 Truman had given an exclusive interview to New York Times columnist Arthur Krock and had been roundly criticized by the Washington press corps as a result. Truman, at a tense news conference, declared that he as president was "his own free agent" and certainly did not answer to newspaper reporters. "He will see whom he pleases, when he pleases, and say what he pleases to anybody," Truman told reporters, referring to himself. "And he is not censored by you or anyone else." Still, exclusive interviews remained rare after this episode. ("The President's News Conference of February 16, 1950," Harry S. Truman, Public Papers of the Presidents, 1950 [Washington: United States Government Printing Office, 1965], 159-163.)
15. Bill Lawrence, Six Presidents, Too Many Wars (New York: Saturday Review Press, 1972), 4, 6.
16. Ibid., 239.
17. Ibid., 257-259.
18. Sarah McClendon, My Eight Presidents (New York: Wyden Books, 1978), 50.
19. Quoted in William L. Rivers, The Opinionmakers (Boston: Beacon Press, 1965), 164; Esther Featherer, "Kennedy and the Press," Freedom of Information Center Publication No. 120, April 1964, in FOI Center files. For additional details of Kennedy's frequent dinner invitations to newspaper publishers, see Worth Bingham and Ward S. Just, "The President and the Press," Reporter, 12 April 1962, 18-23.
20. Quoted in Kern et al, The Kennedy Crises, 5.
21. Quoted in Pierre Salinger, With Kennedy (New York: Doubleday, 1966), 56. An excellent scholarly account of the inauguration of Kennedy's live press conferences is Harry Sharp, Jr., "Live From Washington: The Telecasting of President Kennedy's News Conferences," Journal of Broadcasting 13 (Winter 1968-69): 23-32.
22. ASNE Proceedings, 1961, 32.
24. Quoted in "J.F.K. and the Conference," Time, 24 March 1961, 44.
25. Quoted in ibid.
26. Quoted in Jo Ranson, "Pressmen Growl at JFK's Plan," Radio-TV Daily, 17 January 1961, 1.
27. Quoted in "`Live' Press Conferences Stir Pro and Con Views," Editor & Publisher, 7 January 1961, 9.
28. Quoted in ibid., 10.
29. Quoted in ASNE Proceedings, 1961, 23-25. Many print journalists complained that the televised press conferences had made reporters look silly as they competed for the president's attention and mugged for the cameras. Jack Manning of the Detroit Free Press found the correspondents' conduct disgusting: "They keep popping up and down like jackrabbits, waving their hands for Presidential attention and glaring pompously at one another if they are denied the floor. . . . And every time one of the bores received the Presidential nod he made certain he was in focus for the TV camera before spouting." (Jack Manning, Detroit Free Press, 8 February 1962, clipping in FOI Center files.) ABC commentator Edward P. Morgan said that the White House had received scores of letters complaining about rude and undignified reporters. (Broadcast transcript of 13 March 1961, reprinted in Edward P. Morgan, Clearing the Air [Washington: Robert B. Luce, 1963], 86.)
30. Ibid., 22. Associated Press executive editor Alan J. Gould said in 1961 that transcripts were dropped from the wires because they "just didn't attract the usage that would have justified tying up the trunk wires" to carry them.
31. ASNE Proceedings, 1961, 28.
32. John Crosby, "The Press Conference Make Skimpy Repasts," Washington Post, 1 May 1961, 14B. Crosby's Herald Tribune column was syndicated nationally.
33. Merriman Smith, "Newsmen Miss Repartee in TV Press Conference," Columbia Missourian, 26 January 1961, 2.
34. "Debut," Washington Post, 27 January 1961, 12A; "Press Conference on Live TV," New York Times, 27 January 1961, 22. The Baltimore Sun editorial is quoted in "Opinion of the Week: President Evaluated," New York Times, 29 January 1961, E11, which is a roundup of nationwide press reaction to Kennedy's first conference.
35. "TV Press Conference," Editor & Publisher, 28 January 1961, 6.
36. Jo Ranson, "Pressmen Growl at JFK's Plan," Radio-TV Daily, 17 January 1961, 1.
37. ASNE Proceedings, 1961, 4. Researcher Harry Sharp interviewed forty-five White House correspondents in early 1963 and found that only a few believed live television had increased readership. (Sharp, "Live From Washington," 30, 32.)
38. In fact, as Kennedy administration officials were quick to point out, the term "news management" first gained currency after New York Times columnist James Reston complained before Moss' Congressional committee in 1955 about secrecy in the Eisenhower administration. Reston said that the federal government had a "growing tendency to manage the news," manifested in both military agencies and domestic departments. (Availability of Information From Federal Departments and Agencies, 25; See also Allen Drury, "U.S. Suppression of News Charged," New York Times, 8 November 1955, 25.)
39. Richard Dudman, "P.I.O.: Natural Enemy," Nieman Reports, March 1963, 5. Dudman's brief article is part of a Nieman Reports symposium called "The News Management Issue," 3-15.
40. William Shannon, "The Censors," New York Post, 4 November 1962.
41. Arthur Krock, "Mr. Kennedy's Management of the News," Fortune, March 1963, 82, 199, 202.
42. Transcript of "CBS Views the Press" broadcast of 3 December 1961, reprinted in Charles Collingwood, "Presidential Pressmanship," Nieman Reports, January 1962, 8-9.
43. Krock, "Mr. Kennedy's Management of the News," 82.
44. Quoted in Pollard, Presidents and the Press, 103. See also Douglas M. Bloomfield, "The Presidential Press Secretary," M.A. thesis, Ohio State University, 1963. Salinger once told reporters that Kennedy read seven newspapers a day and that little in the daily press escaped the president's attention. ("Bloopers Made By White House," New York Times, 28 January 1961, 8.)
45. Quoted in Rivers, The Opinionmakers, 160.
46. Schlesinger, A Thousand Days, 718. See also M.L. Stein, When Presidents Meet the Press (New York: Julian Messner, 1969), 149. Kennedy was angry because he believed the Herald Tribune, which supported the Republicans editorially, had played down allegations of impropriety on the part of Eisenhower Administration officials while overplaying any allegations involving his own administration.
47. "Disturbing Trend," Editor & Publisher, 4 February 1961, 6. The news story was the release by the Soviet Union of two American pilots whose reconnaissance plane had been shot down the previous year. The White House had asked the Herald Tribune to withhold the story of the pilots' release until the two were turned over to American authorities. Kennedy then announced their release at his first televised news conference January 25, 1961. Administration officials said they had made the request to ensure the pilots' safety, not to manage the news. (Salinger, With Kennedy, 140-141; "Kennedy Asks `Responsible' Solution on Sensitive News," Editor & Publisher, 28 January 1961, 9.)
48. "News of Cuban Invasion," Editor & Publisher, 29 April 1961, 6. A comprehensive but extremely critical contemporaneous account of press coverage leading up to the Cuban invasion is Victor Bernstein and Jesse Gordon, "The Press and the Bay of Pigs," Columbia University Forum, Fall 1967, reprinted in eds. Peter Spackman and Lee Ambrose, The Columbia University Forum Anthology (New York: Atheneum, 1968), 320-336.
49. James Reston, "False `News' From Officials in Cuban Crisis," Kansas City Times, 10 May 1961, clipping in FOI Center files.
50. "The President's News Conference of April 12, 1961," John F. Kennedy, The Public Papers of the Presidents, 1961 (Washington: United States Government Printing Office, 1962), 259.
51. "Text of Secretary Rusk's News Conference, Including Observations on Cuba," New York Times, 18 April 1961, 18.
52. Schlesinger, A Thousand Days, 261.
53. APME Red Book, 1961, 140.
54. Turner Catledge, My Life and the Times (New York: Harper & Row, 1971), 259-265; James Reston, Deadline: A Memoir (New York: Random House, 1991), 324-327; Tad Szulc, "Anti-Castro Units Trained to Fight at Florida Bases," New York Times, 7 April 1963, 1; Clifton Daniel, "National Security and the Bay of Pigs Invasion," in Killing the Messenger, ed. Tom Goldstein (New York: Columbia University Press, 1989), 107-118. Daniel's account is a reprint of a June 1966 speech in which he responded to recent criticisms of press performance in the Kennedy years.
55. Catledge, My Life and the Times, 264.
56. Daniel, "National Security and the Bay of Pigs," 115.
57. "Address `The President and the Press' Before the American Newspaper Publishers Association, New York City," 27 April 1961, John F. Kennedy, Public Papers of the Presidents, 1961 (Washington: United States Government Printing Office, 1962), 337.
58. "Notes on Conversation with Felix McKnight," memorandum in FOI Center files, 12 May 1961. The memo, drafted by Herbert Brucker of the Hartford Courant, is a summary of McKnight's recollections of the White House meeting as told to Brucker three days afterward.
59. Felix R. McKnight, "President McKnight Reports to the ASNE Membership on White House Conference," ASNE Bulletin, 1 June 1961, 1; "Censorship Plan Avoided in Talk With President," Editor & Publisher, 13 May 1961, 11, 80.
60. APME Red Book, 1961, 156.
61. "The Right Not To Be Lied To," New York Times, 10 May 1961, 44.
62. Transcript of Charles Collingwood, "WCBS-TV Views the Press," 23 April 1961, in Turner Catledge papers; "Are We Training Cuban Guerrillas?" Nation, 19 November 1960, 378-379; Paul P. Kennedy, "U.S. Helps Train an Anti-Castro Force At Secret Guatemalan Air-Ground Base," New York Times, 10 January 1961, 1. The Nation editorial had marveled at press inattention to the planned invasion. "The American press--even media with accredited correspondents on the scene--has apparently remained unaware of the public commotion the subject has aroused in Guatemala," the editors wrote.
63. Daniel, "National Security and the Bay of Pigs Invasion," 112, 118.
64. Reston, Deadline, 473-474.
65. Government Information Plans and Policies, Hearings Before a Subcommittee of the Committee of Government Operations, House of Representatives, Eighty-eighth Congress, First Session (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1963), 6-7.
66. Ibid., 7.
67. "Summary of News Management and Control by Federal Government," report prepared for ASNE and ANPA by John H. Colburn, Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch, quoted in ibid., 9-16.
68. Quoted in ibid., 12.
69. "Classic Conflict: The President and the Press," Time, 14 December 1962, 45.
70. Quoted in ibid.
71. Clark R. Mollenhoff, "Managing the News," Nieman Reports, December 1962, 3-6.
72. "`Managed News'--A New `Weapon' in U.S. Arsenal," U.S. News & World Report, 12 November 1962, 48.
73. Quoted in "Classic Conflict: the President and the Press," Time, 14 December 1962, 45. Sylvester later charged that his "right to lie" remark, though widely printed in the news media, was not accurately quoted. A radio station reporter had tape-recorded his remarks, however. A transcript of Sylvester's controversial speech is reprinted in the Congressional Record, 24 January 1963, 899-903.
74. Quoted in "`Managed News,'" 48.
75. "Managing the News," New York Times, 31 October 1962, 36.
76. "New Censor Rules Recall Goebbels," Baltimore Sun, 2 November 1962, quoted in Aviation Week and Space Technology, 12 November 1962, 145.
77. "World We Live In," Washington Star, 12 November 1962, quoted in "Editorial Comment on News `Weaponry,'" Aviation Week and Space Technology, 12 November 1962, 156.
78. "Where the National Interest Lies," joint statement of ASNE, ANPA, and NEA, ASNE Bulletin, 1 January 1963, 5.
79. Quoted in "Government Must be Honest in News, Sylvester Agrees," Editor & Publisher, 30 March 1963, 15; Government Information Plans and Policies, 146-147.
80. Theodore C. Sorensen, Kennedy (New York: Harper & Row, 1965), 321.
81. "Salinger Attacks `News Managers,'" Editor & Publisher, 30 March 1963, 133.
82. "The President's News Conference of November 20, 1962," John F. Kennedy, The Public Papers of the Presidents, 1962 (Washington: United States Government Printing Office, 1963), 834, 836-837.
83. Government Information Plans and Policies, 16.
84. Helen Thomas, Dateline: White House (New York: Macmillan, 1975), 31.