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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (March 1, 1974)
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It's somewhat disconcerting that political
agencies make the press the whipping boy
when things go awry or credibility ebbs. This
was the case at Wednesday night's ASUN
Senate meeting, when John Vistadt, a newly
appointed senator, irresponsibly tossed
political jibes at the Daily Nebraskan.
One of the ' gripes bandied about
Wednesday was that the Nebraskan only
reported "sensational topics" Involving the
senate. On the contrary, it's debatable
whether ASUN in past months has
accomplished or initiated anything that might
generate any sort of sensation.
The Nebraskan traditionally has saved
space for senate meetings, even in the case of
absent quorums or when nothing newsworthy
occurs. Some individuals, in fact, have
criticized the , Nebraskan for granting the
senate too much space.
Other criticisms directed at the Nebraskan
Wednesday either were superficial, naive or
untrue. Among them:
-"All publicity concerning ASUN is
published after the fact"
Anyone who reads the Nebraskan regularly
will agree that this is incorrect For one thing,
Nebraskan has been reporting on the March
13 senate elections for about a week. Other
stories this semester have pertained to the
Associated Student Ko-op, Legislative Liaison
Committee and the legal aid to students
"The Nebraskan never reports how a
senator votes on a particular issue."
This is the senate's fault. The way the
voting system is set up, students merely raise
their hands or indicate their yeas and nays
verbally, in the past year, a roll call vote was
taken only once.
Suggesting that the Nebraskan is biased
apparently is part of the game. It's true that
the Nebraskan has not been editorially kind
to senate stagnation in the recent past but
such editorial page opinion is the prerogative
of the individual editor in chief.
Concerning the past year's coverage of
ASUN and its adjuncts, the Nebraskan
editorial staff believes it has been fair as well
as more than generous in allocating space.
It also stands behind the Nebraskan ASUN
reporter, who-has a strong journalism
background, has worked for professional
newspapers and along with the rest of the"
reporters was cautioned at the beginning of
the semester against slanting the news. As
everyone, she does have opinions concerning
the senate, but her stories have been
impartial. The Nebraskan staff does not
believe any senate coverage has been slanted.
The Nebraskan always has welcomed
criticism. But hopefully the next time ASUN
senator attacks the Nebraskan, he or she will
have something besides a personal vendetta in
hand to back up the complaint.
the system, Dad'
Mac Trucker came home with a pleased grin on his face, a glint
in his eye and a nasty gash over his nose.
"Boy, what a day! What a day!" he said happily as he hung up
his leather jacket and opened a beer. "We had a park-in on the
turnpike that tied up traffic six hours. There's us, standing
around yelling, 'Hell, no, won't go!' And when the cops try to
break us up, I personally got me two windshields, four tires and a
nightstick on the noggin."
"That's nice, dear," said Mrs. Trucker. "I'll put dinner on."
Trucker's son, Irvin, who was home from State University on
semester break, frowned. "Frankly, Dad," he said, "I don't see
what you hope to accomplish with all these sit-ins and trashing."
"We'rd fighting injustice, kid," said Trucker. "And let me" tell
you, 70 cents a gallon for diesel is a real injustice. What do you
expect I should do?"
"Weil, Dad, if you feel so strongly, I'd suggest you write a
letter to your congressman."
"You out of your skull, kid?" inquired Trucker,
"No, Dad, as we say in college these days, you've got to work
through established channels to change rules you don't like. It's
thi. only way to preserve our system of law and order. The
alternative is anarchy."
"Look, kid, for months we been demanding a roll back on
diesel price from every dingbat in Washington, meaning the
President cn up. And all we get'i the run-around."
"You've got to admit, Dad, that the President has more
information on the overall situation than you do. And I'm sure
he's doing his very best to get us out of this mess we're in."
"At least wc got his attention, kid."
"But don't you see, Dad? By inconveniencing innocent
motorists, by turning to trashing and violence, you're hurting
your own cause. And this wild eyed, radical trucker's strike! The
freight industry isn't responsible. Yet you'd destroy the very
institution you're a part of."
"Weil, maybe not you, Dad. Dut are you sure about the leaders
of your movement? Eesides, you're bound to get arrested. How
wiil that look on your record? What if you want a job in business
or government some day?"
"What's it to you anyway, kid?"
"Well, I've got my pride, Dad. And it's going to be hard to
hold my head up if my friends at college find out my father is
one of those violence prone activists, going around staging sit-ins,
trashing and fighting with police. Think of me, Dad. Think of my
reputation in the college community."
"I've thought about you for three seconds," said Trucker.
"Pack up and move out!"
Mrs. Trucker returned a few minutes later with dinner.
"Where's Irvin?" she asked.
" tossed him out of the house," said Trucker grouchily.
"Imagine that snotty nosed punk criticizing all the things i
"Well, I'm sure he'll come to understand us, dear," said Mrs.
Trucker philosophically, "when he grows up and has children of
his own some risy,"
ofyrfjht Cbronfdo) Publishing Co. 1974)
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"I'd like to sea my lawyer. . ."
Citizens of Lincoln, rejoice in your good
fortune! Most politicians manage to survive
campaigns and terms in office without ever
letting the public know by and for whom
their particular government is conducted.
But our mayor, Sam Schwartzkopf, by
vetoing a bill providing for even minimal
funding of the Open Door Health Center on
the grounds it Is a consumer advocate
agency, has made the real source and
concern of his government abundantly clear.
It is not for the citizenry as a whole. We
are all, after a!!, consumers. It is not for the
small segments of the business and
professional community who fsr-and
perhaps have reason to fear-any program
that makes them more open, accessible,
accountable and responsible to the general
Who or what agency better than the civic
government should back a consumer
advocacy agency? Is it our government
serving our interests and needs-the interests
and needs of all the people and not least
those of the most needy and inarticulats-or
is it in fact, as Mayor Sam obviously feels,
the government of and for the few who fear
the people? Let's remember this veto when
and if this mayor, who cultivates the
common man imago, runs again for office.
Larry Doe rr
If ASUN Senate can get regular publicity
by merely passing a resolution asking to have
its agenda printed in the Daily Nebraskan,
maybe the rest of our worthy campus
organizations ought to do the same.
That probably wouldn't got us the PR wa
want, however. Nope, we'd be better off
going the old route of turning in requests for
"Short Stuff" and thinking through the
important things we want to say before
writing up press releases.
I L. I.
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through what it has to say and then turn in
press releases when it wants to got the new?
Of course, if it did that, we might never
hear from the ASUN Senate egain.
friday, march 1, 1974
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