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6The Daily Tar HeelWednesday, February 16, 19
if e at the DT
90th year of editorial freedom
ANN PETERS, Managing Editor
Rachel Perry, University Editor
Lucy Hood, Gty Edit
JIM WRINN, Stotf am National Editor .
S.L.Price, Spans Editor
LAURA SeFERT, News Editor
GELAREH ASAYESH. Contributions Editor
Linda Robertson, Associate Editor
ELAINE McCLATCHEY, Projects Editor
TERESA CURRY, Features Editor
JEFFGROVE, Arts Editor
Jane Calloway, weekend Editor
AL STEELE, Photography Editor
vlh outsider's ! view bfwhat goes on here and why
By JANE SOMMERS
The Royall plan
The sales tax plan proposed by Durham Sen. Kenneth C. Royall im
mediately arouses suspicion. Because it is simple, the plan could never
work, critics charge.
But Royall's "Anti-Recession Public Works and Tax Equity Act,"
which is not quite as simple as it appears, can raise state government
revenues and phase out the sales tax on food. Without mirrors. It is a
practical measure that should be adopted after some fine-tuning.
The total effect of state taxes is much more regressive compared to
federal taxes. Royall's proposal would relieve some of that burden by
combining one regressive step with two progressive ones. His bill would
raise the 3-cent state sales tax to 4 cents (plus the 1 percent local tax col
lected in 99 of the 100 counties), almost double the sales tax on new
automobiles, airplanes and boats, and gradually eliminate the taxation
of food by 1986-87. ;
Royall has included a distribution plan for the gain in state revenue,
which would include new funds for public schools, community colleges,
universities, highways and water and sewer projects. Of the net revenue
increase, money would go to local governments to replace funds lost in
eliminating the local food tax; so those local governments would not be
trapped with no choice but to raise property taxes.
The bill would help the state make up revenue lost during recessionary
times. To wait for economic conditions to return to "normal" is a
strategy of procrastination. The state needs to acquire more revenue
now. c ,' . . ..
Not only does Royall's proposal finally increase the tax on automo
biles, currently limited to just $120, but it also decreases the discriniina
tory tax on food. Because of the regressive impact of that tax, it falls
most heavily on those least able to pay. North Carolina's poor resi
dents, who devote up to one-third of their income to food, now pay the
same sales tax rate as the affluent, who may only spend 15 percent of
their income on food. The overall effect of Royall's plan would be to
hold taxes down for the state's citizens who are least able to pay, in
crease taxes for the state's more affluent citizens and raise millions
more in revenue. u
Royall also displays some political insight. In a state trying to save the
tobacco industry and attract new industry, it is unrealistic to expect
legislators to approve a hike in the cigarette tax or corporate income tax.
Royall's plan gives the General Assembly a chance to enact equitable re
forms in the tax system. It attacks the withering revenue problem direct
ly by offering a solution that is simple, but not simplistic.
Right from wrong
Since John Hinckley1 wa!s acquitted last year of his 1981 assassination
attempt on President Ronald Reagan,- the insanity defense has been under
dttaek." Lasryear;nheKRegah'fadniinistration planned to propose a law
that would havetione away with ihe defense. That plan was an overreac
tion, and fortunately, did not come before Congress.
Six months later, the issue still has not been decided, although many
people, including the president, still feel that the insanity defense should
be. abolished. What is needed, however, is not an end to the defense but a
few specific modifications that would educe the number of persons who
can be defended by reason of insanity. :
As it is worded now, the insanity defense allows a person charged with
a crime to plead innocent if he could not judge his actions right or wrong
or if he could not control himself, even though he knew his actions were
illegal. Both the American Bar Association and the American Psychiatric
Association have agreed that a person only should be found innocent if
he could not judge whether his actions were legal.
That reasoning is sound. Insanity as a defense should be used only by
someone incapable of judging his own actions, not by someone who is
anti-social and can't stop himself from committing a crime.
That change would do much to ease the doubts of those who are con
cerned about guilty persons walking away from a crime after only a short
time under psychiatric care. Those persons truly needing treatment would
get it. Those who knew right from wrong at the time of the crime.would
be punished. Narrowing the use of the insanity defense appears to be the
most logical reform of a defense that has been overused. u
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
'Playboy- ad is not offensive
"I feel as if I have been writing under deadlines all my
life," the editor said. Deadlines are only one aspect of life
that a Daily Tar Heel editor has to get used to. Little or no
free time, late nights and unending responsibility are some
Working on the DTH is not like working for any other
student organization. The commitment is a constant one
and the results are tangible 19,000 newspapers every
day of the week.
What is it like working for the DTH1 Three weeks ago
Editor John Drescher asked me to do a story on the inner
workings of the DTH as seen from an outsider's point of
view. Having always been interested in but a little in
timidated by the constant activity in the DTH office, I
agreed. For two weeks I had the chance to observe who
puts out the DTH, and why they do it. It was a whole new
world for me; I gained genuine respect for the staff and
their product. The office is as much a second home as a
workroom for the editors and staff. Among the clutter of
desks, chairs and ancient typewriters, there is a constant
flow of people and conversation. More than once I heard
the amused comment, "This place is a zoo."
The communality of the office initiates communal con
versation over the tapping of the typewriters and the click
ing of the Associated Press wire machine. "Is Morrison
(dorm) spelled with one V or two?" asks a reporter, paus
ing from typing. "Is that art (photo) of Mr. Potatohead
ready yet?" "Not yet. Morrison has one 's.' Scott, that
was a good lead on your story," said Rachel Perry, the
University editor, to one of her reporters, Scott Bolejack.
The University desk is the busiest desk.
Only with everybody working together can each paper
come out. "We have 40 people to (each day's) team, and
if one person doesn't do his job, we really feel it and the
paper really shows it," said Al Steele, the photography
What kind of people make up this team? Individuals.
Every time they sign their name to an article they set
themselves apart from you and me, the readers. With each
story they open themselves to criticism, as well as praise.
They're active. Only those who have extra energy and
motivation would take on a DTH staff position. They're
also bright. Perry, under deadline pressure, edited three
stories in a matter of minutes, improving each one as she
did. She knows what is going on in the University better
than some administrators do.
Editorials draw the strongest public response of any
section of the paper. Two of the editors responsible for
writing editorials, Ken Mingjs and Linda Robertson
(Drescher also writes editorials), see them as the most im
portant part of their job. They each have to write about
three a week, and usually have only an afternoon to do
them in. "You never can put in as much time as you
would like," Robertson said. She saw editorials as "bring
ing issues to the fore, presenting ideas and providing
Although they take the job seriously, they don't over
estimate the influence of their editorials. During the recent
election endorsement interviews, Drescher wryly warned
the candidates that "the candidate who gets the endorse
ment usually loses." The DTH endorsed Jon Reckford.
He lost. ' v
The editorials receiving the -most response were the en
dorsement of Bill Cobey for Congress and the charge of
race discrimination in sorority rush. "Feedback is
g-r-r hsr ray," Ecbstssn ssid. The staff provides
its own feedback with their comment book in the front of
fice, which can be written in and read by all. These two
are typical examples.
"Clinton Weaver, Loved '1942 grad lives for music
poetry. Great profile Randy Walker" and "Ken and
Linda: Good edits (editorials). But Linda please stop
hogging all the space. Your friend, JD." The comment
book provides positive feedback which every writer needs
but doesn't always get from readers.
"One thing I have learned to deal with is constant
criticism. You need to be open to it because a lot of the
time they can be right," Drescher said. "The praise,
although less frequent, makes you feel that what you're
doing is worthwhile."
How do they decide what goes in the paper? Several
editors said they strove to put out a paper that was both
informative and interesting. Perry, the University editor,
said she was trying to have a livelier paper with more
unique, in-depth stories. But she found that some dry
news must go in. "As boring as CGC (Campus Governing
Council) meetings are, they have to be printed," she said.
After these, there is very little room left for the more
entertaining feature articles. It gives the desk editors a
sense of personal satisfaction to get one of their reporters'
best stories in the next day's paper.
What articles will go in the next day's DTH is decided
at the daily budget meeting. At 3:30 p.m., the editors meet
and list the articles they have and the length of each one.
Drescher and Ann Peters, the managing editor who puts
the paper together on paper and remains calm through
out, have to make the difficult decision of what stories are
going to run where; the tension of meeting the printing
deadline, although nine hours away, already can be felt.
Each desk editor tells the editor and the managing
editor what stories they have that are ready to run in the
next day's paper. For example, part of Perry's list in
cluded stories on a CGC meeting, sewer breakage, exam
schedule change, and a lighter story on an old man who
plays his tape recorder all over campus. After all the
stories have been listed, Drescher and Peters decide which,
are the most newsworthy and how many will fit in the
The pace picks up speed from there on. The editors
hurry back to the office. The next two ours are rushed as
they edit their reporters' stories. Deadline is 6 p.m. for
articles going inside and 8 p.m. for articles going on the
Each article is first read by the desk editor who assigned
it. It then gdes to the copy editors, who read each story
and are supposed to look up every word that may be mis
spelled. The copy then goes back to the typesetting room,
where a professional staff hired by the DTH types the
copy into "newspaper" print. The copy editors then edit
the article for the third time.
All the typeset pieces of paper come together in the
layout room; Articles, pictures, headlines and ads are
pasted onto the full-length graphed paste-up sheets. These
pages are proof read for the fourth and final time and
placed in a long, rectangular, wood carrying case. One of
the typesetting staff members drives the pasted-up pages
to the printers in Mebane.' By 8 a.m. the next day, the
DTH is being distributed on campus and in Chapel Hill.
Ideally, that is how it should work. Things don't always
work that smoothly, however. The first night of campus
elections caught the DTH at its most feverish pitch, run
ning two hours behind schedule.
The time: 12:03 a.m. There are about 10 or 12 people in
the. office. Reporters are running in and out, calling, inter
viewing. "Frank, you only got 8 percent of the votes.
Ewiimil Mr(43 CaLSil lilrutSOtwit frOV
DTHChartes W. Ledford
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Associate Editor Linda Robertson
How do you feel about that?" Deadline writing is rushed
and tense. Cursing, Scott Bolejack, working on an elec
tions story, frantically types his story. "Here," he whips
his story out of the typewriter and into Perry's waiting
She reads it, shortens a paragraph, strikes out a line and
passes it to Laura Seifert, the news editor. Seifert reads
over it carefully, looks up "run-off and two other words
and takes it to the back room to be typeset. The time:
-That night the backshop is more tense than the main of
fice. The typesetters usually get off work about 12:30.
They know it's going to be much later tonight. Only
Drescher, Peters, Seifert, Karen Koutsky (an assistant
managing editor) and the typesetting crew remain.
The story is 20 lines longer than it should be but the
paper already is filled. Israel's Sharon is cut for UNC's
The time: 2:13 a.m. Ann Peters is lining up the last
headline, as reporter. Charlie Ellmaker rushes in. "Guess
what? Re-elections are going to have to be held for three
offices." The three remaining editors groan. The lead
headline and story aren't up to date. It's too late to
change. Ann pastes up the last deadline, dated, onto the
The six sheets of copy are carefully laid into the box, 12
hours after the process started at the budget meeting.
The three weary editors leave the office, where a re
porter is doing his homework, and cross the quiet campus
in the morning cold. Drescher, his voice cracking from a
cold, talks with Peters about what he wants in the next
day's paper. The time: 2:55 a.m.
Why do they devote 40 hours a week to the DTH1 Why
do they choose to miss so many nights out and spend their
weekends catching up on reading?
Resumes aren't the reason. There are easier ways to pad
a resume than spending eight hours a day putting out a
newspaper, and getting little praise for it.
It isn't money either. Drescher, the highest paid editor,
was earning 55 cents per hour. That was before the editors
voted to forfeit their salaries directly toward the DTH
budget, so they could have bigger papers.
" There are three reasons why these students choose to
put so much time and effort into the DTH.
First, they're doing what they're good at. "You get a
tremendous sense of accomplishment from working on
the paper, mostly because you seejour results every day,"
Drescher said. "It's a real opportunity to improve your
writing," said Robertson, the associate editor. "When
somebody comes up and says, 'I liked your picture,' that's
the greatest feeling in the world," Steele said. He had just
caught Jordan's winning dunk against UVa. on film. "I
see my job as pleasing the students," he added.
Secondly, they get to take part in interviews and events
not open to them otherwise. Steele gets courtside seats at
basketball games. Drescher went to a congressional recep
tion in Washington, D.C., for a former DTH editor and
. meets such notables as evangelist Billy Graham and New
York Tunes columnist Tom Wicker. Every interview con
ducted puts staff members in touch with out-of-the-ordinary
people. One editor summed it up by saying,
"You increase your range of knowledge in general."
The last and most fundamental drawing force of the
DTH office is the camaraderie felt by the people working
there. Pride in their paper, along with a little humor,
keeps them motivated.
Differences of opinion with and criticism of The Daily
Tar Heel always will, and should, continue. At the same
time, these criticisms should be made keeping in mind the
hours, energy and commitment devoted to The Daily Tar
Jane Sommers is a sophomore international studies ma
jor from Washington, D.C.
To the editor:
It boggles my mind how some people
will react to a simple ad in a college
newspaper. The Playboy ad was neither
disgusting to me, nor offensive, and I am
sure your advertising staff welcomed the
additional revenue. I did an impromptu,
survey of my friends, and no one was of
fended by the ad. I'll agree with Sarah
Lee's comment (DTH, Feb. 10) that the
"pornography" industry does gross more
than $5 billion annually. I might even
agree that pornography serves as a boy's
first introduction to sex (although I believe
with research, one could find this observa
tion to be patently untrue).
However, to say that Playboy is a
magazine that shows women "... bound,
chained, gagged, assaulted and raped," is
absolutely ridiculous. Playboy shows
women in a very positive light not only
showing their bodies, but also their minds.
The magazine features interviews arid arti
cles by some of the nation's most renown
ed scientists, writers and politicians. The
women that appear in the nude in Playboy
are, on the whole, very intelligent, caring
and of course, beautiful. I should know. I
have met several of them at different pro
motions. They are no different from you
and me, and most are using their ejeposure
in Playboy as a means to an end. (,
There also are very few magazines
"... available in every drug store and
supermarket" that feature women being
molested or attacked in any way. Those
types of "pornographic" magazines usual
ly are available only in sex shops and
"X-rated" movie theaters. Federal and
local legislation has made these magazines
unavailable to a mass saturation distribu
tion such as a supermarket. The magazines
are priced between $7 and $30 and are
hardly worth the effort to buy. (I've never
bought one and never will.) To lump these
magazines into the same category as Play
boy (even if one does make the distinction
that Playboy is "soft-porn") is a biased
opinion, and unfair.
If a woman is sure of herself, indepen
dent, and wants to pose for Playboy
(either in the nude or in clothes, as many
of the models did in the last Playboy ' col
lege pictorial), I say more power to her.
No one, including Sarah Lee, has the right
to restrict anyone else's rights.
Each year, when Playboy publishes its
college issue, it chronicles the ridiculous at
tempts of organizations to stop its ads.
The detractors and agitators get a lot of
publicity, and the women who actually
pose must fed very agitated by " the
"hoopla." As I said, a few of Sarah Lee's
points are valid and important, but maybe
she was just looking for one thing -
AWS attacks unfounded
. To the editor:
When I read Friday's article "Playboy
ad degrades women" (DTH, Feb. 11) I
was more than a little angry. The
generalizations made me mad, but it is the
implications' by Susan Roe and Neva
Bridges that all women feel as they do that
drove me to write this letter.
First of all, by simple definition of the
word "exploitation," statements made by
Lynne Harris are nonsense. To exploit
means "to use unfairly for one's own ad
vantage" (The Miriam Webster. Dic
tionary). It is exploitation to force children'
to perform for pornographic movies. It is
exploitation when words or pictures are
printed out of context without the know
ing consent of the speaker or model. It is
not exploitation when a woman chooses to
pose nude for pictures when the intent that
those pictures appear in a publication such
as Playboy. It is something some women
choose- to do; who are these AWS mem
bers to tell them that they cannot or should
not? That is unless, of course, people such
as Roe and Bridges consider women too
child-like or irresponsible to take care of
themselves and uphold their own values.
I really have to question the allegation
that "pornography teaches violence, ag
gressive and obj edification of women." Is
this to say that before the printed word,
violence toward women did not exist? And
today, if these AWS members were suc
cessful in their attempts at censorship and
had all pornography banned, would vio
lence toward women cease? Are these
AWS members self-appointed gods who
alone can make value judgments between
what is and is not pornography, what is or
is not "in poor taste"?
I find it deplorable that this organiza
tion of the feminine righteous think they
have the right to censor what others can or
carmot do because they are afraid the ac
tions of others will reflect badly on them.
Perhaps a lesson in self-confidence and in
dividuality is what these women need. I do
not know. But I do know that when the
First Amendment became law, it secured
the rights of freedom of speech and of the
press, and the attacks by the AWS on
John Drescher for exercising those rights
are unfounded attacks on the rights given
to us all by that very amendment.
Sexism a problem
To the editor:
On behalf of AWS, I would like to
thank you for your column "Women in
advertising" (DTH, Feb. 14). It is the first
thoughtful presentation of the DTHs
stand on this controversial issue. We are
just as concerned with the problem of cen
sorship and First Amendment rights as the
DTH. However, we find that the fact that
sexism in advertising is so prevalent is an
inadequate explanation for the refusal of
the media to deal with the issue.
It may be true that the DTH has printed
other questionable ads, but as I said in a
discussion with a DTH staff member, the
campaign against this form of sexism has
to have a secure foothold. Were we to ran
domly object to such representations of
women, we would be called "feminist
fanatics," and the issue would be lost. The
blatant portrayal of female obj edification
exhibited in the Playboy ad thrust itself
upon the campus community and forced
us to take a stand.
We feel that it is a cop-out on the part
of John Drescher to place the burden of
change entirely on the consumer. Was
there any attempt to discuss the ad layout
with Playboy representatives? Perhaps
change would be facilitated if enough
publications like the Duke Chronicle ex
pressed their concern. Although they
reversed their decision to run the ad, their
business manager, Tod Jones, informed
me that they are again reconsidering in
light of their policy against ads disparaging
As to the report that you cite concerning
the connection to violence against women,
may I refer you and any others interested
II A Y !':'( fV
PHOTO DE P T;
never seen a cow
m a. 1-pieGt pefore!
to a book by Laura Lederer titled Take
Back the Night. You may change your
mind after reading it.
Finally, we urge students to reflect on
the representation of women in advertis
ing. The next time you see an offensive ad
please take the time to voice your opinion.
Write to the company, or simply to your
local newspaper. Let others know that sex
ism in any form is insupportable.
AWS Vice chairperson
The Daily Tar Heel welcomes letters
' to the editor and contributions of col
. umns for the editorial page.
Such contributions should be typed,
triple-spaced, on a 60-space line, and
are subject to editing.
Column writers should include their
majors and hometowns; each letter
should include the writer's name, ad
.dress and telephone number.