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Nixon’s Press Secretary Assails ABC Program

Nov. 12, 1962 - Herbert G. Klein (second from right), press secretary to former Vice President Richard M. Nixon, said today that an ABC-TV program about Mr. Nixon shown Sunday night attempted to “distort the life of a great American.” The title of the half-hour program, which was narrated by Howard K. Smith, was “The Political Obituary of Richard M. Nixon.” Protests continued to pour into the network and its affiliates today over the appearance of Alger Hiss, a former State Department official whose conviction for perjury in denying any role in a 1938 spy ring stemmed, in part, from Mr. Nixon’s investigations as a U.S. Congressman in 1948. “The ABC program set a new low in undistinguished reporting,” said Mr. Klein. “It set out to kick Richard Nixon and accomplished its goal by avoiding the facts and substituting innuendo in its interpretation of his career.” Mr. Smith responded today that he thought the program was actually “a little over-balanced in favor of Nixon.” Mr. Nixon, Mr. Smith said, had been invited to appear on the program, but refused. In New York, telephone calls to the network’s affiliates were reported to have run into the thousands. Seventy to eighty percent of the calls were unfavorable.


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