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Austin I’d like to offer Houston’s hillbilly station KIKK the Yahoo of the Year award. The station first came to my attention in 1967 during the disturbance at Texas Southern University, a predominantly black institution in Houston. Students were agitating to close Wheeler Street to traffic because it bisects the campus. On the five o’clock news broadcast, KIKK news director Richard Dobbon suggested that the city ought to bring in steamrollers and “blacktop Wheeler Street.” Dobbon is still vending the same brand of redneck dimigoguery. In a syndicated column recently, Nicholas Von Hoffman of the Washington Post cited Dobbon as a disgustingly typical example of this nation’s radio news purveyors. I’m hopeful that Von Hoffman is overstating the case against radio newsmen, but, anyway, here are a few of the remarks Von Hoffman quotes Dobbon as saying at a recent broadcasters conference in Atlanta: “We have four men who are running a big rape ring around the University of Houston. They abducted six different girls on six different occasions. Finally, they were all caught by a sheriff’s deputy. And this is where we make comment, but it’s not an editorial; it’s just our own opinion. Whenever I say in a newscast, ‘informed sources report,’ translated that means, ‘If you ask me. . . .’ So here were these rapists and the district attorney was going to demand for this one youth who was 16 years of age, the electric chair. I said, ‘You know, ladies and gentlemen, I have always been for the abolition in Texas of the electric chair what we need is the electric couch. “Everyone agrees. Who agrees? The person who can’t speak. And here’s where we come to the vice president. He was right, because he spoke for the people who cannot speak. And herein lies my personal success and our radio station’s news success. This new thing about the silent American, that’s not new. I’ve been doing silent American news for years, for a guy in a bar we say something that Joe cannot speak.” According to Von Hoffman, when treating such matters as the income surtax, Dobbon routinely depicts members of Congress as liars who are unfit for public office, “because there’s this guy in the bar saying, ‘Damn right. That money’s coming out of my pocket.’ And we’ve got him, because we at KIKK know our audience. We know exactly who they are and they associate with me because I and the other newsmen there, we speak for them, we say what they want to hear and it sells. That’s why we have 11 newscasts sold at a premium rate for which I get a straight $5 per newscast talent fee.” Hooray for free enterprise. The secret of KIKK’s commercial success seems to be its appeal to its listeners’ worst instincts. Still, radio stations are trusted with the public airwaves on the basis of public interest, convenience, and necessity, rather than on what appeals to the slob on the next barstool. I doubt that KIKK lives up to licensing criteria. When its license comes up for renewal in August of 1971, the Federal Communications Commission should deny it for polluting the airwaves. Erwin and Daley Frank Erwin is becoming the Richard Daley of campus administrators. The University Of Texas’ new position on campus disruption is comparable to Daley’s penchant for shooting looters and arsonists on sight. The UT Board of Regents has prohibited the administration from negotiating with demonstrators during a disruption., If students block a hallway, interrupt a Observations Austin Why has no one in Texas or Louisiana raised the question of protecting the Texas beaches and offshore waters from leaking underwater oil wells? In Los Angeles the American Civil Liberties Union has stepped into the Santa Barbara mess, charging that residents of that area were being deprived of a constitutional right to live in a pleasant environment. In the salient paragraphs the ACLU alleges: “The personal and property rights of the plaintiffs are protected by the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution against government action. “The personal right is the right to live in, and enjoy, an environment free from improvident destruction or pollution. The property right is the right to the ownership, use, and enjoyment of property, free from improvident invasion or impairment. “The personal rights or property rights of the plaintiffs have been abridged by meeting, or threaten force or violence, the administration has little choice but to call in the troops. This startlingly inflexible ruling is bound to exacerbate tensions on an already frustrated campus. The regents’ decision is said to be a reaction to UT-Austin President Norman Hackerman’s refusal to call in police during a demonstration after the trees on Waller Creek were chopped down. Students dragged tree limbs and foliage up to the front entrance of the Main Building, blocking passage there for a short time. Instead of summoning police to mace a path through the demonstrators, Hackerman talked with representatives of the dissidents and they agreed to make way for people who needed to get in and out of the building. Students proceeded to orate for awhile, then they dispersed, and the trees were taken away. No police, no violence, no arrests. And the Waller Creek incident came to an end. Had there been a confrontation at the Main Building, radicals would have had the ammunition to keep the campus in turmoil for weeks to come. Surely the administration realizes that it needs most desperately to stay in communication with dissidents during demonstrations. The problem seems to be that the regents think they can quell campus unrest by flashing a billy club. What they actually are doing is escalating the conflict. To prohibit negotiations in times of crisis is the ultimate in stupidity. K.N. oil contamination of the beaches, seashore, and ocean waters, including oil intrusion upon and into some of the plaintiffs’ homes.” It is contended in this suit that the government authorizing offshore oil drilling without adequate investigation and public hearings violates others’ constitutional rights. Is Virginia Durr of January 2, 1970 13 Reflections Yahoo of the Year A Question VIM11″ MARTIN ELFANT Sun Life of Canada 1001 Century Building Houston, Texas CA 4-0686 r tai .4