A History of the UCLA Daily Bruin, 1919-1955
The New Golden Age: Part 2
by George Garrigues
Printed edition © 1970, 1997
Internet Edition © 2000, 2001
All rights reserved, but you are welcome to download electronic copies, send e-copies to your friends or make printouts for yourself.
Go to the Front of the Book
Preface, Contents, List of Editors, Bibliography and Index
Go to the First Half of This Chapter
12A. The New Golden Age
Later that week, after a five-hour Student Council session, I was turned down by the Council, and I rushed blindly down the two flights of Kerckhoff Hall steps to my office, where I sat in the familiar chair surrounded by filing cabinets, layout sheets, memorabilia of my Bruin career, and sobbed quietly in the arms of my fiancée. A young cub reporter, red-haired Philip Berk from South Africa, looked on with wide eyes. glg
The next day, Bruin staffers tried to find out the reason for the turndown:
"I have found him very difficult to work with, particularly in his coverage of SEC meetings at the beginning of the semester," said Jean Nelson, Associated Women's Students president. "I felt that he lacked the ability to be objective." (DB, 12/12/52.) glg
Bob Baker, representative-at-large, said:
"One cannot be too careful when one is dealing with an agency such as The Bruin, which has such a profound influence on campus and in the community as a vehicle for public relations . . . the dangers to the University -- and hence to our diplomas -- is . . . important and significant." (DB, 12/12/52.)36The staff was angry and confused. They reaffirmed my nomination by a unanimous vote. It was a rapidly worsening minor crisis, and at the succeeding Student Council meeting it became a king-size one. glg
Council Nixes DB Choice
As Editor-Elect Resigns
Student Executive Council at 2 a.m. this morning voted a 9-1-3 approval of Joe Lewis as next semester's Daily Bruin managing editor.
But Lewis told SEC that he "won't accept the job until the DB staff meets today." . . .
ASUCLA President Marty Rosen told a full session of Student Executive Council to "grow up" after Rosen received the resignation of Spring Semester Editor-Designate Jack Weber . . .
"When the very honor of the University is at stake," Rosen said, "and you have failed, you have failed!"
"What do we do now?" asked Rosen. "The situation will go from bad to worse. Council has proceeded to go to pot. The ball is yours, ladies and gentlemen, do with it as you will . . ."
"I have but two words for you: 'Grow up!'" . . .
The spur to Rosen's remarks was a letter by Weber, present DB managing editor.
Weber walked into the Council meeting, handed a twopage single-spaced letter to Rosen, and left the room.
After the business on the floor was finished, Rosen read Weber's statement which began:
"Dear Marty. I hereby submit my resignation as next semester's Daily Bruin editor . . . "
After reading the first sentence, Rosen stopped and proceeded to give Council his interpretation of the matter . . . (DB, 12/18/52.)
It was support I had not expected. Round-faced Jack Weber was not particularly liberal in politics or clannish with the rest of the Bruin staff. He was talented but shy. Yet he resigned on my behalf and, a few days later, Joe Lewis turned down his appointment as well. When the staff returned from Christmas recess, they drafted a letter that was clearly a threat of a strike: glg
We the undersigned members of The Daily Bruin staff hereby register our disapproval of Student Executive Council's handling of appointments to The Daily Bruin editorial board for spring, 1953 . . . This does not constitute our final action in this matter." (SEC 1/7/53.)
Editor Dick Schenk, in an editorial, advised caution: "A DB walkout would be as coercive as a Council fiat." (DB, 1/7/53.) Still another resignation was added to the list, when Al Greenstein, who had been named city editor, handed his resignation to Weber with the comment, "I'm suffering from Councilitis." (DB, 1/9/53.) It looked like the Bruin was headed for a repeat of 1949 and 1951.
Martin McReynolds, who was doing the roundup story on the situation, came into my office where I was making the layout for the semester's final issue, the "30" edition. glg
"What are your plans, George?" he asked. glg
I looked up. "You can quote me, 'I remain the Bruin staff's candidate for spring term managing editor.'" glg
"Is that all?" He seemed uncertain.
The staff was terribly split. A walkout would have decimated the Bruin; the Golden Age would have been ended prematurely. It was a time to bind together the Bruin, and I took the occasion at the staff's "30" Banquet. glg
Behind me, spread across one wall of the Kerckhoff Hall cafeteria, was a huge American Flag at least twelve feet high and eighteen feet across. We used to say it was "protective coloration" in case any member of the Board of Regents walked in. I was making my farewell speech to the staff. It was a plea to put the past behind, to accept the appointment of Joe Lewis, who was "one of us, not brought in from the outside," to forget about resignations and to go ahead with printing a great newspaper. I ended my speech with the words, "Don't be afraid!" and sat down. There was a short silence and then the staff applauded; they all rose in their places and the sound of their applause still echoes across the years. glg
It isn't good to get a standing ovation when you're young; you have nothing to look forward to when you're old.
Go to the Next Chapter
13. Thirty-Five Years of Ads, Circulation, Cubs, Managers, Summers, Banquets and 'Society'
"We're beginning to lose the taint of 'little red schoolhouse' and recognizing subversive organizations would only cause a return of that opinion."