NO-WIN4 EXCORIATED Birch General Unfolds National Crusade “General, why are you running for governor of Texas?” a reporter asked, “I’m very happy to be with you all today,” the General replied, moving into a prepared text. “It’s a beautiful day in the state of Texas. I’ve decided to accede to demands to run for governor of Texas” as a Democrat. “The reason I am running and my platform are one and the same the need to defend the United States under God in the struggle for survival against international communism. With nine million others in this state I want Texas to lead the fight. “My friends and supporters are nationwide starting with the time I was in Germany.” He received 4,000 letters, telegrams, petitions, and resolutions and, since his troubles, 150 invitations to speak across the country. “I’m grateful and gratified that both houses of the Texas legislature passed a resolution in my support.” This was “a stand for patriotism and representative of the people of Texas. “America’s retreat from victory based on a no-win policy has put this nation in dire peril. The constitutional system of checks and balances has been undermined by federal encroachment of states’ rights and by executive and judiciary usurpation of the powers of the legislative branch. “There is no hope in sight for relief from the devious dealers of machine politics. The response of the American people . . to the inadequacies of the present leadership has begun to be heard in the so-called thunder to the American right.” He spoke slowly, almost wistfully, pausing after sentence phrases, stressing certain words. Reading from a notebook, he was much like a schoolmaster lecturing with much patience to a roomful of errant boys whom he seemed not quite to trust. Occasionally he looked about the conference room, to see if he were getting home. “America is stronger,” he said, “than the thunder on the left would have us believe. We can have victory. “Party participation is essential to our electoral process. I support one hundred percent the processes of constitutional government. “I enter the race where there is a race of national interest . . . I am confident of the loyal patriotism. of Texans. I am running on my own, making my own decisions, and hanging on no one’s coattails . . My confidence Is in the assurance that the greatest and happiest support I can receive will be the small patriotic contributions to my campaign. “The unusual independence of my position should rally the hope and faith of all young Americans in the traditional heritage of our great state to include their future. “Our desires and this state’s influence should be restored to effective participation in our national and international affairs. I feel that no state should be manipulated by patronizing or subsidizing influences from the federal administration. This is being done in state after stateand particularly here, and today in the state of Arkansas, where Sen. Fulbright and his memorandum became most useful to the federal administration in expressing its intents and purposes, which are reflected in censorship of the people of every state in the Union.” The cameras whirred and clicked. There was silence. The General was apparently ready for questions. Democratic Ticket? “General, why are you running as a Democrat, since the Republican Party is the conservative one in Texas?” Walker paused, faintly sucked in his cheeks in a characteristic movements, as if he were working on a lemon drop. His answers came out slowly; there were lengthy intervals between sentences. “The inference to your question,” he said, “is that the Republicans are the only conservatives. That would exclude the conservatives in the Democratic Party. The national issue is an issue that is important to us all and effects our survival, and I believe any and all parties have the same interest at heart in the most important issues facing this country today,” Why is he running for state office, rather than a national one? “There has been much hope and anxiety,” he said, “in the hope I’d run for office. Texas has great capacity in its leadership with respect to our future and the future of our country.” Is he getting any money from H. L. Hunt? “My financial support is coming from hundreds of small checks from all over the country, mostly in Texas. I’m in no way committed to Mr. Hunt. I consider him a very fine gentleman and an inspired American.” Will he back Democrats for other offices? “We shall see when the time comes.” Then ensued a most interesting exchange. “General, have you ever voted the Democratic ticket?” “I’m sorry to say,” replied the General, “that I can’t remember.” On several occasions, he said, his absentee ballot did not arrive at his county seat on time. “How did you vote in 1960?” “I can’t be sure I voted.” “1956?” “I didn’t vote in 1960, I’m sure,” “What about 1956?” “I don’t believe I voted in 1956. Remind me who was running against Eisenhower in 1956.” “It was Stevenson,” a reporter volunteered. “I assure you,” Walker said, “I didn’t vote for Stevenson.” A few seconds later: “I voted once for Eisenhower. I can’t tell you what year it was.” Then he said he voted for Nixon in 1960. “Did you ever vote for Truman ?” “I don’t believe I did.” “General, do you clearly remember ever voting the Democratic ticket?” “I can’t be sure. I suspect I voted for Roosevelt once.” Texas Program “General, what are your programs for Texas?” “Texas,” said Walker, “is one of the 50 states and one of the most important states in the Union and the national future is certainly a big concern in Texas.” It is a border state, he said. He had read in the El Paso papers that Ex-President Cardenas of Mexico “is receiving arms and equipment across the beaches in the same way Castro received his, and I think it would be well for all Texans to see this if we are expecting to see a Castro-Cardenas of Mexico, which would move the Iron Curtain to the border of Texas.” Asked the NBC man: “General, do you have additional information about this other than what the El Paso papers said?” The General thought for a moment. “No comment.” “General, what programs do you have for the betterment of Texas other than anti-communism?” “As soon as I know what the people of Texas want instead of beyond what they’ve been getting, I’ll be prepared to support such legislation as is deemed warranted.” Asked if he is a member of the Birch Society, he replied: “If I were not a member I’d consider very seriously joining it now in order to oppose the anti-anti-cornmunists.” Does this mean you are? someone persisted. “The question,” said the General, “is answered yes. “The great necessity in this ccuntry” in 1959 “was to expose who the enemy was, what he is doing, and how.” The Birch Society “completely supported the U.S. military in their efforts to expose the enemy and to indoctrinate their troops in combatting such an enemy that is operating in the fourth dimension.” The first three dimensions of warfare, the General explained, take place on land, sea, and air. “The public is exposed to warfare in the fourth dimension.” “General, would you consider a vote against you as a vote for communism?” “No comment.” Another newsman, pointing out that loan shark legislation had just failed in the Texas legislature, asked what his stand was on that. “If it hasn’t been passed,” said the General, “the people are against it.” Regents End Free Election of U.T. Editor its next meeting. Unlike the response that could have been expected from some of the fiery Texan editors of the past, the regents’ action drew tempered opposition from Texan editor Hoyt Purvis, who said that although he knew some students and ex-students thought he should resign in protest, he intends to stay on and try to salvage what he can of student control. Jim Hyatt, who was appointed by the 3-2 faculty majority executive committee of the TSP, wrote of the change in editorial control as being “part of a program for strengthening journalism at the university.” Editorially he wrote, “We do not at present believe that an appointed editor is the end of the world for the Daily Texan.” To the Observer, Hyatt remarked: “I suppose Ronnie or Willie would have walked out, but I think we should try to live with it a while.” Later he said he was afraid his co-operative attitude might be construed by some people as being an effort to become the first appointed editor. Opposite Poles Said editor Purvis: “In the last seven or eight years, the Texan has been at opposite poles from the regents and it seems we have been drawing farther away. “I was elected as a moderate. I didn’t go into office to antagonize the regents, but particularly on the matter of integration I found their attitude hard to comprehend in view of existing realities. . . I think the regents have paid no attention to student opinion and I think this is damaging to the university. They didn’t give the students any attention on the change of editor selection. “I have given up being bitter with the regents. It’s got so I accept that their thinking will be just the opposite of mine. And now I’m beginning to think the same of Texas newspaper editors. I am very bitter about the role the editors and publishers played in this.” He pointed out that the new method of picking an editor was just one part of a much larger program for changing the journalism school, but it was the only point the regents acted on, throwing the rest back to the administration “for study.” Referring again to the newspaper editors and publishers who advised the shift unanimously, according to Chancellor Ransom Purvis said, “One of the sad aspects of this is the student publications board could have overcome a lot of this, if these newspapermen had been educated to what was going on here.” Enlarging on the theme of ignorance, Purvis added, “I think that they” \(the editors and pubthat I have been replying to in the Texan this year, such as the damned distorted, untruthful, unfounded attacks by Mrs. Anita Brewer and Tommy Thompson and pertaining to matters that they really knew nothing about.” Thompson, editor of the AmaHilo Globe-Times, on Dec. 13 attacked the Texan in his column “Turnstile” for what he called playing down a story about John Connally’s running for governor and playing up a story about Don Yarborough’s considering the same race, although in fact as the Texan editor replied, the Connally story carried a three-column head of 48-point type and the Yarborough story carried only a twocolumn head of 36-point type, both on the front page. Thompson continued with the prophetic urging: “This kind of brash distortion is an invitation to the board of regents to move in on the student publication and change the editor’s job from elective to appointive.” The Amarillo editor gave as his reasons: “Traditionally the Texan has been run by the students. I know of no other school paper run by the students for the students. No other school paper I know in Texas has had such freedomor maybe I should say such license. I used to favor the arrangement, but in recent years the undergraduates have gone hog wild on political partisanship, not only editorially but in the handling of news.” The other attacker mentioned by Purvis, Mrs. Brewer of the Austin American Statesman, on Nov. 5 pointed to the Texan as being the source of inaccuracies about dormitory segregation ,that inspired the sit-ins by Negro students. Shaped in such a way as to make clear it was trying to straighten out “the rumors,” the story was featured on page one of the American-Statesman and was accompanied by a picture of Mrs. Brewer, whom the cutlines identified as “one of the state’s most competent writers in the field” of education who was capable of presenting the straight picture of events at the University because she had spent “many hours of painstaking research and careful analysis” of the problem. Only eight days earlier, on Sept. 27, however, in a story under her by-line in the Austin Statesman, Mrs. Brewer had listed the same dorm regulations which on Nov. 5 she blamed the Texan for circulating. When Purvis pointed this out in an editorial, Charles E. Green, editor of the AmericanStatesman, turned over his column “The 9th Column” to Mrs. Brewer, who talked of Purvis’ “irresponsibility” in reporting “some of the women’s dormitory integration stories,” and observing that “irresponsibility is the first cry of a baby.” Editor Green is listed in the UT faculty directory as a “visiting lecturer.” Purvis commented: “The relationship of the Texan to other newspapers has always seemed strange to me. Many of them rely on the Texan, whether attributing stories to it or not. But on the other hand they seem anxious to turn on the Texan when things get hot.” More ‘Professional’ Journalism chairman Reddick stressed, as did Ransom in his news release on the traditionbreaking change, that one of the main purposes was to insure a more “professional” staff. Olian, a graduate student in journalism and three times news editor of the Daily Texan, commented: “I see the ‘ basic role of a college paper as more than a laboratory experiment to train professional journalists. . . . In the first place, I’m not sure it will do that.” He said that under the old way of selecting an editor, “it wasn’t a wide-open popularity contest, as some people think. Candidates had to have taken a certain number of journalism courses and maintain certain scholastic standards before they could run.” Reddick also had told the Observer “about one out of every three years” the contest for the editorship split the journalism student body into such angry opposition camps, that when the ballots were counted many on the losing side left the Texan staff. “And we’re short on manpower as it is,” said Reddick, predicting that with the editor appointed the student staff would hold its temper and work together. Olian agreed that pre-election opposition sometimes becomes pretty heated, but as for postelection defection, “That isn’t so.” Olian sees a real danger in the appointment of the editor by the student publication board because, while at present three of the five students on the board. are journalism majors, “some other year they might be from business or engineering or architecture schools. We could have five students without any knowledge of journalism at all.”
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