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&Azle= 2600 E. 7th St. Austin, Texas 477-4701 vegetarian food FREE GIFT AUSTIN. TEXAS 1714 S. Congress 442-7836 Data Processing Typesetting Printing Mailing Advertising gimmick? Yes. But, the truth is you get something free when you come to Futura. Our friendly account representatives are trained to help you through the toughest print job and they’re backed by years of experienced, professional service to the Austin area. At no extra cost to you, they will help you with your next project. Call 442-7836 for a prompt quotation. Em loyee Owned and Managed COMMUNICATIONS, INC. what it was. To the old News, anti-war protesters were “scum” who were bent on cursing and defiling the flag; the word “liberal” was seldom used without the modifier “hysterical;” and the paper would stand by its man, whether it be Nixon, Reagan, or Bill Clements, despite whatever humiliations might descredit them in the eyes of normal people. Those who remember such days can not help but be occasionally flabbergasted at a few of the reasonable things that have recently been said on those venerable pages. During the troublesome legislative session this summer, for example, the Morning News abandoned the Republican governor and failed to hold the line against a tax increase. Long about July, while the governor was still pledging to die before signing a tax bill, the News said, “If Gov. Bill Clements . . . will accept the necessary and sign a larger tax bill, Texas can get on about its business.” One had to look twice at the paper in hand when one read the words “A tax bill clearly is needed.” In previous months the Morning News had: pointed out, with apparent concern, that only a fraction of poor children have access to publically funded child care; criticized both Bernhard Goetz and Oliver North; called the Reagan administration’s handling of the Iran/contra affair “government at its worst;” and referred to the “English Only” proposal as “insulting and unneeded.” And here’s the kicker: last month, when Republican Party chair George Strake was, in typical Republican fashion, barnstorming the state to point the finger at Democratic state legislators who voted to raise taxes, the Morning News said, “Apparently, Strake is unaware his own Republican governor agreed to the tax hike, encouraged Republican lawmakers to vote for the tax bill, then signed it into law.” The editorialists cast aspersions on whether Strake would have known where to cut enough from the budget to avoid a tax increase and cautioned that Strake should “take great care not to lead his party into a wilderness of negativism, rather than forward with the rest of the state.” The editorial would not have been out of place on the Times Herald’s page. \(Indeed, one editorial writer from Jon Senderling’s day at the Times Herald, Bob Moos, now writes editorials for the Senderling thinks the strong and well-acclaimed editorial stances of the Times Herald had its effect on the competition. “I like to think one of the reasons the Morning News moved to the center is because of what we were doing,” he said. After years of having the paper look out of step because of “neanderthal” views, Senderling surmised, Morning News president and editor Burl Osborne “got tired of being embarrassed by it.” Rena Pederson is quick to point out that the page is still taking conservative stands on military and government issues and on traditional values. “What we try to moderate is our approach,” she said. She is aiming for a “more pragmatic” and “less theoretical” page. One sign of the paper’s continuing incestuous ties to the Dallas estasblishment came to light in its handling of the SMU football scandal. It was Burl Osborne and Morning News editorial writer Scott Bennett who sat down with the governor last March seeking confirmation of information that the governor had been involved in the payoffs to athletes. Rather than going ahead with the story after their talk with the governor, the Morning News held back, allowing the governor to break the news himself the next day at a press conference. There is as well no shortage of rightwing opinion that still fills up the editorial and op-ed pages of the Morning News: a partial list of columnists includes Murchison, Jim Wright, William F. Buckley, William Safire, Georgie Anne Geyer, and Jeanne Kirk patrick. But, the vitriol, the spit, the spleen . . . one is not finding as much of it in the Dallas and Fort Worth papers these days. This may reflect a commendable spirit on the part of all concerned to rise above acrimony and help build a Better World. But for anyone daft enough to sit down with several months worth of newspaper editorials, something else unmistakeable emerges there is no denying it. This Age of Reason carries with it a deadly earnestness and potent side effect: it hits you like a late afternoon snooze. Oh, for the days when the businessmen were tormented by the notion that liberals had gained a toehold in their Dallas! And for the days when the newspaper of reaction knew how to expose the soft pink underbellies of Democrats and liberals, and cared enough to smite communism among us and to smite it with blazing ignorance and intolerance, and style. Those weren’t the days when you would read it and weep. You would read it and roar. 16 OCTOBER 9, 1987