Dr. Weidenbaum has some harshnwords for corporate executives who paynlip service to the idea of free enterprisenbut regularly seek subsidies, tariffs andnother special privileges from Washington.nHe also suggests that trade associationsnset standards of ethical conductnfor member companies.nWith regard to communicating withnthe public, Dr. Weidenbaum sharesnMilton Friedman’s skepticism of thosencommercials that portray oil companiesnas being in operation for purely altruisticnreasons. “Business,” he writes,n”should take straightforward positionsnon public policy issues on the assumptionnthat is obvious to all: business is not ancharitable institution but an economicnenterprise. Proposals for public policynthat will enhance the ability of the privatenenterprise system to meet consumernThe Colonel & the TribnJoseph Gies: The Colonel of Chicago;nE. P. Button; New York.nby David Pietruszanv^olonel Robert McCormick, editornof the Chicago Tribune from 1914 untilnhis death in 1955, rivaled the archfiendnHearst as the bete noire of Americannliberals in the turbulent years that sawnthe nation shift from laissez faire tonthe modern welfare state. His oppositionnto the New Deal of Franklin Rooseveltnand to American intervention innthe Second World War caused him tonbe mocked as “one of the finest mindsnof the 14th century.” He was brandednas “fascist,” “demagogic” and “treasonous.”nDuring the war his arrest was discussednin official Washington. ThenTribune was burned in public bonfires.nThe Montreal Star advocated that Canadancut off his supply of newsprint. AnMr. Pietrusza is a free-lance criticnand a frequent contributor to thesenpages.nneeds should be supported. Examplesnrange from tax changes encouragingnsavings and investment to reform ofnonerous government regulations.”nDr. Weidenbaum’s avowed goal is an”streamlined” regulatory system, rathernthan some stateless libertarian ideal.nWhile doctrinaire libertarians will faultnhim for this, most observers of the contemporarynscene will agree with himnthat the latter is not a politically viablenalternative. Perhaps it will never be.nFew free market theoreticians—fromnAdam Smith to Hayek—would totallyndeny government a role in promotingnthe social and economic welfare of society.nThe great difficulty has alwaysnbeen to keep government from guttingnthe private sector in the process. Dr.nWeidenbaum offers fresh insight intonan old problem. DnChicago grand jury threatened his indictment.nHe was tabbed as obsessivelynanti-British, a die-hard Republican andnpersonally eccentric.nJoseph Gies, a self-proclaimed liberalnand a biographer of Roosevelt and Truman,nhas endeavored to dissect this noworthodoxnperception of the Chicagonpublisher. Able to view Colonel McCormick’snlengthy and varied career throughnthe calming vistas of time, Gies findsnit wildly at odds with the actual Mc­nCormick. While the Colonel had his petncauses—and unlike the common herdnhe was able to give vent to them in thenpages of an influential daily—his generalnthrust was no more unusual thannthat of any other publisher of his day.nHe supported the Republican Partyngenerally, opposed Prohibition, callednfor balanced budgets and turned greennwhen he saw what fellow Groton graduatenFranklin Roosevelt’s New Dealnreally meant. “Big-city daily newspapersnand rural weeklies in the East, Midwest,nSouth and far West almost uniformlynshared the same prejudices, varyingnnnonly in tone and not much in that,” saysnGies. “A single issue separated out RobertnR. McCormick and his Tribune:n’isolationism.'”nYet his pleas for neutrality seem tamenby today’s standards of acceptable dissent.nHe had urged a hands-off policynin the First World War, but served asnan artillery officer when America enterednthat conflict; Pershing, in fact,nhad offered him a generalship if henwould stay on after Armistice Day.nAfter Pearl Harbor he fully supportednthe war effort—but was not about tondesist from what he felt were constructivencriticisms of strategy or performance.nIVlcCormick was an odd candidate fornthe title of demagogue. The grandsonnof Tribune founder Joseph Medill onnone side and reaper inventor CyrusnMcCormick on the other, he enjoyednthe benefits of East Coast schools andnan upbringing in England, where hisnfather served as part of the diplomaticnmission to the Court of St. James. Hisnearly career, in fact, bears a slight resemblancento the young TheodorenRoosevelt, a silk-stockinged progressivenRepublican. And like Roosevelt he triednhis hand at local politics, serving as anChicago ward alderman and as Presidentnof the Chicago Sanitary District, wherenhis record was clearly reformist. Againnlike TR, he compiled an honorable recordnin wartime, seeing action in Pershing’snMexican Expeditionary Forcenand in World War I.nHis support of the GOP presidentsnduring the 20’s was actually tepid atnbest. At the completion of HerbertnHoover’s inaugural address he instantlyncabled the Tribune: “This man won’tndo.” Later the Trib editorialized thatnHoover “decided to make the RepublicannParty the party of Bryan, dry withnall the teeth of prohibition in it, pacifistnand internationalist and economicallynsatisfactory to the radicals who arenelected as Republicans and conductnthemselves as Bryanistic Democrats.”nYet this was nothing compared tonMarch April 1980n