and power aspects. The U.S.S.R. andnChina confront each other directly; nonhapless Eastern Europe is caught betweennthem. Also, China is still farnweaker than either the Soviet Union ornthe West, and is hardly capable of pursuingnopenly aggressive policies exceptnagainst a few of its immediate neighborsnin Southeast Asia. (It is curious, incidentally,nthat China’s aid, includingntroops, to the Burmese communistnrebels stirred far less interest than itsnopen attack on its totalitarian neighbornin Indochina.) But the maneuvers, calculationsnand miscalculations of 1939nshould provide food for thought for ournleaders if we are to avoid even morenhorrible catastrophes in the future.n(AJL)nKennedynIf Edward Kennedy is nominated andnelected, American history could verynpossibly enter a phase of decline. Fornthe first time, America will have a presidentnwho is an insult to what Americanonce stood for and what made it great.nThere have been mediocre men innthe gallery of American presidents,nthere have also been those who did notndeserve the office. However, each ofnthem made it to the highest office onnsome merit, be it for such secondaryncharacteristics as doggedness or manipulativencunning. Both of Edward Kennedy’snbrothers—one who achieved thenprize, the other who did not, thoughnhe came very close to it—must bencredited with personal qualities thatnjustified their presence in the highestnreaches of American politics. EdwardnKennedy arrived there solely on thencoattails of his family’s prominence.nDuring his entire public career he hasnnever demonstrated a capability for liftingnhimself above the Kennedy politicalndevice—which means getting electednthrough a combination of money, familynpower and massive public relations activity.nThere’s no single public deednor opinion of importance with whichnhe can be credited.nExcept for the resounding scandalsnand transgressions of his private life.nBut the obvious proof of Edward Kennedy’snmoral and mental limitationsncuriously has worked for his politicalnbenefit. It has turned him into a medianartifact whom the communication industry,nby nature morally color blindnand contemptuous toward civic virtuousness,nhas accepted as a source ofnmass entertainment, easily marketablenand saleable. Edward Kennedy has thusnemerged as a revered object of politicalnsentimentality, the mainstay of Americannjournalism’s financial success. Hisnmendacious and half-hearted expiationsnfor sleazy and not-so-sleazy trespassesn.TournalismnWho Makes News?nJNicholas von Hoffman, a columnistnwith a particular talent for combiningna good deal of cleverness with anbit of dullness and a lot of arrogance,naptly wrote, not long ago, that “stormsnin the South Atlantic are not of ABCnmaking” and that “the network … isnmerely reporting the news, not causingnit or staging it.” Nevertheless, he discoversndishonesty when the media conductntheir own public opinion polls onnelections, candidates and political eventsnand then peddle the results as news.nHe finds such practices unethical, ornperhaps even worse—obnoxious.nColumnist von Hoffman fails to makena subtler linguistic distinction betweennmaking, causing, staging and creatingnthe news. The last seems to us the mostnperverting aspect of the media’s perversenpowers. They certainly do notncommand hurricanes, but they unmistakablyncan create giant waves ofnlicentiousness, fashionable dementia,nmurderousness, senseless crime, pornography-relatednraping sprees, terrorismnfor publicity’s sake, etc. It’s veryneasy to prove how this mechanism ofnsocially disseminated trends operates innnnhave suddenly become proof of his forcenof character: his cynical careerism, nepotisticnin origin, has become, in thenpages of national magazines, a testimonynto his moral renaissance and spiritualnstrength. He now presides over a politicalncorporation founded on familynwealth, studded with clients and acolytes,nwhich, so far, has been powerfulnenough to cover up what happened atnChappaquiddick and paralyze any possibleninvestigation. If America choosesnhim as president, this nation’s claim tongreatness will be discarded not by fatenor human mistakes, but by the vulgarnabandonment of any criteria whichnmake nations worthy of succeeding, nnour reality. We have written about itnmany times. We can mail detailed chartsnon request. Mr. von Hoffman, if interested,ncan obtain one for free. DnOpen and TriumphantnProcommunismnXhe people in and around the Progressivenmagazine, from Wisconsin,nhave declared their “victory” over thenU.S. government in a case which isncelebrated to some and infamous tonothers, concerning what some call censorshipnand others call civic and moralnresponsibility. Their jubilation is madenpossible by the Progressive’s collectivenframe of mind: the people who writenand edit it are openly procommunist,nand do not consider the U.S. governmentntheirs, even if they use the possessivenpronoun for camouflage, as isnproven in a line by Mr. Howard Morland,ntheir principal spokesman in thisninstance:n”… the blame for the arms race liesnwith our own government, not withnm^m^^m^m^K^ 41nNovember/December 1979n