becomes forced and unreal when it hasnto symbolize an abstraction called “bluecollarnblood.” Elkin has presumably felt anneed to illustrate some aspect of “class” innsociety, as if he could touch on somentruth about the way the world works.nThe composite George Mills is a fescinat-n’](iii)i;f>c Mills i”<| 11(1 k-ss tliiin l-‘jiilkiu’rijii.’ning character, but he reveals little aboutnthe wealth of nations.nX he remarkable thing about GeorgenMills is that parts of it do possess powernand reality: sections on the original.nThe Word & the ImagenJames Phelan: Scandals, Scamps,nand Scoundrels; Random House;nNew York.nSidney Zion: Read All About It!;nSummit Books; New York.nJerry M, Rosenberg: Inside The WallnStreetjoumal; Macmillan; New York.nAv Westin: Newswatch; Simon &nSchuster; New York.nby Edward J. LynchnWhile celebrating the 50th anniversarynoiNewsweek, Geoi^e Will acknowledgednthe close relationship betweennjournalism and our democratic form ofngovernment, asserting: “This nation’snpremise is that history is made… bynindividuals’ choices. However, sincen1933 the choices have been becomingncomplicated iaster than journalism hasnbeen becoming capable of clarifyingncomplexities. Because history here isnthe history of the minds of free persons,nthe quality of the history we shall makenDr. Lynch is a frequent contributor tonChronicles.nmedieval George (known as GreatestnGrandfather) and on the 19th-centurynversion are funny tales told vibrantlynand whose morals are subtle and restrained.nMoreover, trenchant observationsnemerge with a frequency thatnmakes it depressing that the unity of then—The .Vt’M’ RcftHbUcnnovel is impaired by the imposition ofnliberal dogma. Compared to the slightnachievements of White and Updike,nElkin’s novel towers, but such is the culturalncrisis that the imaginations of artistsnare stunted and diverted into triviality. Dnin the next fifty years depends to an unprecedented,nand perhaps dismayingnextent, on the quality of journalism.”nThese four volumes provide little evidencenof clarity in either thought or language,nwhile nurturing the dismay ofnanyone who would entrust the fumre ofnthe republic to the denizens of the fourthnestate.nAll thitiking, hence all communication,nrests on metaphysical assumptions thatnordinarily remain unexamined. Fewnpeople could engage in productive activitynif their basic beliefe required reviewnevery morning. These tomes providenexcellent examples of the so-calledn”thought processes,” the mental habitsnthat have supplanted thinking, and innthese instances shape the nation’s news.nMore than just selections of good writing,nthese authors provide some insightninto how stories are selected, enablingnreaders to comprehend some of the factorsnthat shape the definition of news.nNone of the books includes any criticalncommentary on the habits of the journalisticnworld; the authors themselvesnare self-satisfied members of this uncotnmonlynsmug community. Each isnconvinced that his comer on the truth isnnneverything that could be gained by deadline;nhe thereby absolves himself of thenresponsibility for developing a seriousnunderstanding of the relationship betweennthe stories written and the worldnthat they both reflect and shape. So readersnmust ferret out an answer to thenquestion: “How do journalists decidenwhat is worthy of public consideration?”nJames Phelan offers the least objectionablenanswer advanced by these authors.nPhelan makes no pretense of havingna serious view of the world. In hisnyouth he worked as a caddy and was appallednthat one of the country-clubnbankers could put on a smooth appearanceneven as marshals hauled him off forntax fraud. Incensed at the deception andnenvious of the banker’s money, Phelannset out to uncover similar misrepresentationsnwherever he could find them.nThroughout his pursuits, however, Phelan’snjuvenile animating impulse retainednits monetary dimension. Each of hisnmajor stories includes an account ofnwhich editors were willing to cough upnwhat fees and provide the most supportnfor his investigation and writing. HermannRidder comes off very favorably in Phelan’snledger: he was frequendy willing tonfinance Phelan’s recurrent probings intonthe power and money of Howard Hughes.nThe Hughes articles had the double benefitnof nurturing Phelan’s envy of thosenwho have more money than he doesnwhile sustaining the financial reservoirnthat enabled him to devote some of hisntime to other subjects.nSidney Zion magnifies Phelan’s envynof those who have money; he omits anyntrace of the candor and humility evidentnin Phelan’s writing. Sid Zion flaunts hisnarrogant ego outrageously by meatis of anvocabulary whose tendentiousness isnexceeded only by its vulgarity. He missesnthe irony in his wangling from two editorsnexpense money to “cover” an event thatnhe wanted to attend anyway, using thenmoney to indulge in the bars near thenevent, then writing a story assessing thenethics of those he only tangentiallynobserved. Phelan’s sense of his own limi-n^imm^9nJune 1983n