The press of politics

Some things, like taxes and the investigation of Edwin Meese, go on forever. News media people may not all be sadists, but they are certainly faddists. Reporters and news analysts all took down Mr. Meese by decree as if he were a hemline in women's fashions. News judgment usually follows fashionable and trendy lines. If it suddenly seems unpopular to like Meese, mice, moose, or minks, no one wants to be caught thinking the other way.

Just for kicks, instead of a blanket condemnation of Mr. and Mrs. Meese for getting a $15,000 loan from a friend, why not consider another viewpoint? To have such friends, eager to lend them large sums of money without interest, the Meeses must be extremely honest and lovable people.

Thinking about some of the people we know who work on newspapers, we can't recall any who have friends willing to hand over that much money. They might come forth with a few bucks for a cup of coffee and a Reuben sandwich for lunch, but that's about it.

So a horrible thought might be forming in the journalistic world. Mr. Meese is more likable than the people who write about him.

Remember the headlines about some cuff links given to Ed Meese which he didn't turn in? Presumably this is a bad thing, but it should be weighed against other facts. According to our latest unofficial poll, no newspaper person ever had any cuff links and only 47 percent knew what they were. Might this not indicate a prejudicial attitude? Think what would have happened if he had been given a gold watch chain with a fob!

However, accusations do pile up. Democrats point out that almost everyone who lent Meese money ended up with a government job. This seems to be a prevalent condition even in Democratic politics. As a result, suggestions are forthcoming that President Reagan throw out friend Meese to save time and money.

To which President Reagan replies: ''I've never been one that wanted to throw the baby out of the sleigh to the wolves in order to lighten the load.'' A quaint analogy. Revealing not only his concept of newspeople but his image of Russian history.

So, the baby Meese might stay in the sleigh after all.

In fact, the baby might throw out Ronald Reagan.

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