Vietnamese at a Conference on Refugees?
Readers must have pondered what
Vietnam would be doing at a United
Nations conference to consider the
plight of "boat people" inasmuch as
Vietnam is the primary scene of the savagery.
Yet, the official "hope" among
planners of the parley to be held
in Geneva in late July is said to
be that Vietnam will be represented —
even as thousands on thousands, most
ethnic Chinese, continue being shoved
out to sea, many relieved of their savings, if any, by the Vietnamese.
Perhaps some pressure can, be applied on the Hanoi government. But
from where? Moscow? Hardly.
It is one of those times when the
machinery of the United Nations
seems running all too slowly and ineffectively.
As usual, and admittedly with special reasons, the U.S. is heavily
involved in receiving refugees and
pledging an early doubling of the
roughly 7,000 that have been welcomed here monthly, an estimated
total to date of 215,000.
As against this figure, some of the
totals of other countries look like token participation.
But criticism certainly should be
restrained as to Malaysia, Thailand
and already-packed Hong Kong.
They've been bearing the brunt all along.
Is the fairness doctrine for radio and
TV actually unfair? It would seem it
can be from an editorial in Broadcasting magazine, Bible of the industry, commenting on widely published
newspaper advertising by Kaiser Aluminum.
The background: Kaiser Aluminum
bought full-page newspaper ads to
complain that the three TV networks
had refused commercials through
which Kaiser sought to call public
attention to the energy crisis and
defend free enterprise against government over-regulation.
But, said Broadcasting magazine,
Kaiser's newspaper ads implied that
television stations should have accepted them under the fairness doctrine
when, in fact, it's the doctrine that
inhibits such acceptance. How Come?
Said Broadcasting: "The broadcaster who carries such messages must be
prepared to prove that they are balanced by the station with other messages containing conflicting views."
Complying may sound harmless, but it can lead to big problems.
So, it's not necessarily broadcasting that's to blame for the exclusion of
certain corporate statements or others. The FCC devised the fairness
doctrine and Congress made it law.
Taxed Worse than Serfs
The polls aren't particularly encouraging for Congressman Phil Crane's
hopes of landing the Republican presidential nomination, but if there were
a prize for pertinent remarks in campaign speeches he'd rate high.
"In the Middle Ages," Crane tells the voters, "a serf was required to
turn over about 30 per cent of his production to the lord of the manor.
Americans are now taxed almost 50 per cent of their incomes by all levels of government. We'd have to reduce government spending to reach a position equal to that of a medieval serf."
And here's a contemporary note, courtesy not of Phil Crane but of U.S.
News and World Report. In a feature on "How the Economy Will Slow"
through 1979-BO, the magazine (July 2)
For total U.S. spending—no real growth;
For spending by people — tighter pocket books;
For spending by business — near a standstill;
But for spending by government still going strong.
Miller is former chairman of the board of directors ot Gannett Co,, Inc.
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