A Press-Bashing Hero

Polls show that most Americans don't like the way the media is covering the Persian Gulf War, a fact the Republican National Committee is attempting to exploit. Identical letters to the editor have recently appeared in dozens of newspapers around the country. The letters urge support for the troops in the gulf and denounce the media for giving "so much attention to the small number of anti-war protestors." The campaign was orchestrated by the RNC, which sent out 500,000 appeals asking recipients to sign the preprinted letters and mail them in accompanying preaddressed envelopes to their local papers.

"It's not press-bashing," said an RNC spokesman. But the appeal was signed by none other than Wyoming Sen. Alan Simpson, whose recent claim that CNN Baghdad correspondent Peter Arnett was an Iraqi "sympathizer" made Simpson a hero among press-bashers.