Publisher's Notes


• MASTHEAD CHANGES: Since 1971, REASON has had a policy of periodically rotating editorial positions among its major editors. Lynn Kinsky, Manuel S. Klausner, Tibor R. Machan and Robert Poole, Jr., have each served a tour of duty as Editor-in-Chief in the past four years. As reflected on the masthead this month, REASON inaugurates a new listing of titles with this issue: Kinsky, Klausner and Poole have each been assigned the title Editor, while Machan retains his title of Senior Editor. Kinsky, a sociologist currently pursuing graduate work at University of California, Santa Barbara, had served as Editor-in-Chief since July 1974; Klausner, a trial attorney with a major Los Angeles corporate law firm, had held the position of Publisher & Editor since October 1973; Poole, a systems engineer and consultant, had been Executive Editor since July 1974; and Machan, Senior Editor since October 1973, is assistant professor of philosophy at State University of New York, Fredonia. No change of policy is signified by these new editorial assignments, and the editors will all continue to strive to put out a lively, informative and worthwhile magazine.

• MASTHEAD ADDITIONS: This month's issue contains the first report from REASON's new Mexican correspondent, Luis Pazos. The newest addition to REASON's world-wide network of foreign correspondents, Pazos is an attorney who teaches political economy at the Free School of Law in Mexico City, is on the faculty of the law school of the National University of Mexico, and is director of the Institute of Latin American Unity. He is the author of Unity—The Only Way (1971) and Unity (1972).

• LIBERTARIANISM VS. LIBERALISM: KNBC, the Los Angeles affiliate of NBC-TV, has shown a sophisticated awareness of contemporary political alignments which we hope will catch on elsewhere in the media. On December 14, KNBC's News Conference program featured Professor John Hospers, REASON contributing editor, alongside Harry Ashmore, senior fellow of the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions, in a discussion of liberal vs. libertarian perspectives on government and the economy. KNBC newscasters Robert Abernathy and Jess Marlow appeared to be generally sympathetic to libertarianism, which they recognized as distinct from conservatism and "appealing" in theory. Ashmore, who came across as a "knee-jerk" liberal, conceded that liberal and Marxist programs have failed wherever they have been tried, but he couldn't comprehend how the solution to the present economic crisis could possibly lie in the direction of reducing the scope of government control over the economy.

Congratulations to KNBC for improving on the standard format which ordinarily lines liberals up against conservatives. Perhaps with more such programs which give prominence to libertarian viewpoints, even die-hard liberals like Ashmore may yet perceive the value of relying on voluntary market approaches rather than coercion as the optimum means of dealing with complex social and economic problems in a society which values freedom.

• ROUGH GOING FOR POLITICIANS: We observed in this column last May that a new, tougher approach to political reporting was coming from normally reverent publications. Richard Reeves forecast the trend in a hard-hitting column in New York (March 11), entitled "No More Mr. Nice Guy." Reeves predicted the appearance of some tough anti-Teddy Kennedy pieces in normally pro-Kennedy publications (as documented in this month's Viewpoint by David Brudnoy). Now Reeves is at it again: In a rough critique of Gerald Ford entitled "Jerry Ford and His Flying Circus: A Presidential Diary," (New York, Nov. 25), Reeves suggests that journalists who refer to Ford in private as "dummy" or "Bozo" treat him with more deference in print. In a detailed piece containing many specific examples of Ford's appearances, Reeves indicated the difficulty of writing about a President who, Reeves claims, habitually says the wrong thing or has nothing to say and says it badly. Commenting on Reeves' article, Time (Dec. 2) observed that some journalists have been hard on Ford, but noted the existence of "an unspoken rule among many reporters and editors to write about Ford with a respect that they do not feel." As far as REASON is concerned, we believe in calling politicians as we see them, whatever his or her name—even if they now happen to be sitting in the White House—or recently have been there, or merely are hoping to take up residence there in the future.

• NIXON TAPES: Jurors in the coverup trial of Mr. Nixon's former aides have heard a number of interesting things on sections of White House tape which were previously deleted or edited in transcripts released publicly by Mr. Nixon last April 30. In one of the excerpts deleted from Mr. Nixon's transcript, he is heard to refer to himself (in a conversation with John Ehrlichman) as "The king of the mountain." And in another instance, an April 15, 1973 tape showed that Mr. Nixon said former presidential aide Charles W. Colson was "up to his ass" in the scandal. The White House transcript, without disclosing the fact of any editing, quoted Mr. Nixon as saying Colson was "up to his navel." Well, even if Mr. Nixon and his aides prefer not to admit it, we certainly believe that Colson was up to something.