SPJ Press Notes 1/25 (Geimann)
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 96 13:52:02 -0800
From: Peter Langston <psl>
Subject: SPJ Press Notes 1/25 (Geimann)
Excerpted-from: SPJ Press Notes 1/25/96
From: Steve Geimann <SGeimann@AOL.COM>
POLLSTERS DEFEND NIXON-ERA POLLS
Pollsters George Gallup Jr. and Louis Harris defended their polling and
contacts with Richard Nixon's White House during the 1970s and denied
suggestions made in Political Science Quarterly that they allowed polling
data to be altered by the Administration.
"The Nixon administration pursued Harris and the Gallup Organization in
order to manipulate poll results and public opinion," two researchers who
found many of the documents conclude in an article published this week in
Political Science Quarterly.
Harris confirmed in an interview with The Associated Press that he once
killed a column lead after Nixon aide Charles Colson complained.
Records indicate a Gallup survey taken immediately after a Nixon speech
on Vietnam used at least one question from the White House.
In interviews with The Associated Press, Gallup and Harris strenuously
denied their data were ever tampered with. They also defended their
regular contacts with Nixon aides and with presidents before and since.
Researchers Lawrence Jacobs of the University of Minnesota and
Robert Shapiro of Columbia University contend such an "open door"
policy presents "an enormous advantage for presidents."
'MURPHY BROWN' MIMICS CBS TOBACCO FLAP
CBS has scheduled an episode of "Murphy Brown" Feb. 12 that
parallels the controversial decision by the network to scrap a "60 Minutes"
interview with a former tobacco industry executive rather than risk an
In the episode, a former reporter on the fictional "FYI" broadcast, now
a tobacco industry lobbyist, agrees to "expose the secrets" of the industry,
but the fictional network forbids Murphy (Candice Bergen) from
broadcasting the interview, "fearing a mega-lawsuit."
Network spokesmen said in the episode, veteran anchor Jim Dial,
played by Charles Kimbrough, "must give Murphy a pep talk to keep her
from quitting, without admitting to her the impact the network's decision
has had on him."
CBS lawyers in November spiked an interview with Jeffrey Wigand,
former vice president at Brown & Williamson, fearing a lawsuit stemming
from a restraining order B&W obtained to prevent Wigand from talking
about his work.
© 1996 Peter Langston