Sl'S24 CONGRESSIONAl. RECORD- SENATE November ft1, 1969
VICE PRESIDENT AGNEW AND THE
Mr. MANSFIELD. Mr. President. the
diaUngui3hed Vice President of the
United States, SPIItO AGNEW, deliverecl a
speech in Des Moines, Iowa., a week ago,
and In Montgomery, Ala., last evening.
On the first occasion, he lashed out
against an Individual, Mr. Averell Harriman,
and a portion of the fourth estate;
namely, the TV segment.
La.lt evening It was the turn of the
press, with specific new&papers designated.
a neWl! magazine designated, and
a radio and TV station designated.
The Vice President has the rtaht to express
his views just as we have the right
to express our views in and out of this
I do not !eel as keenly M the Vice
President does about the various elements
which comprlse the fourth estate
because I believe that they, as much as
he, have a right to express their opinion
on the editorial page and the riaht to
report the news in the news aectlon of
the pubHcatlons concerned.
I would hope that none of us would become
so concerned that we felt we could
not stand the heat once we reached the
In politics, we bave to antlcl'pate a certain
amount of heat. We have to expect
a certain amount of criticism. It is my
belief that there are newspapers and
magazines, TV and radio programs.
which could be found on the opposite side
of those already mentioned.
Mr. President, newspapers, news magazines,
radio and television stations have,
on the whole, I believe. done a very competent
and fair job in Informing the
American people of the issues of the day.
Iru;o!ar as the editorial1>ages a.re concerned,
it is my understanding tha-i that
1.8 where editors and others of like caliber
are supposed to set forth their own perS<
mal opiniOO-', and that Is so recognized.
I like to recall, also, that there ts in the
Bill of Rights the first amendment to the
ConsUtutlon, to the effect that not only
shall there be freedom of religion &nd
freedom to assemble peaceably, but also
that there shall be free speech and a free
I can say th:lt in all my years of public
office I have never been quoted incorrectly.
I have been misinterpreted, according
to my lights, at times; and I
think perhaps the reason for that is I
did not speak or write as plainly as I
But I do want to say tha t I hope we do
not make a mountain out of this molehill
which seems to be developina, and
that we recognize that the Vice President
has the right to make the statements he
does, I hope we recognize as well that
the press, .the TV, the radio, and the
maraztnes do operate under the protection
of the first amendment, as does every
inc11vldual Senator and every individual
citizen, and, o:t course, I would include
the Vice President within the confine$
of Ute fint amendment as well.
Thus, rather than create a situation
which would tend to dlv,ide us more I
wlsh Ulat the voices would be lower~ct.
that we would seek to bting all out· ),)COple
toae\her, and that we would face up to
our common problems not on the baslS
of political feelings, not on the baals of
personal d1slike for what has been done
but on the basis of understanding that ~
democracy is a risky business which
could well be one of .Its strength.s. Indeed,
a democracy comprises all kinds of
opinion.s and if we are going to survive
with the type of institutions with which
we have been accustomed, we should
recognize that the times are here to bring
us all together, and to remember that
above our personal feelings, or feelings
of any party, ,it ls the welfare and the
security of the Republic which must at
all times come first and foremost.
Accordingly, I would conclude, Mr.
President, by expressing the hope apin
that we would all ~ollow the advice of
the President in his inauiural address,
to lower our voices, get together, and tl'y
to work for the common good of this
great Republic. The first amen
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