CBS News correspondent John Hart presents this review of the United States Supreme Court's decision over the weekend regarding the right of The New York Times and Washington Post to publish excerpts of the "Pentagon Papers," a 47-volume top-secret study commissioned in 1967 by then-Defense Secretary Robert McNamara about the United States' involvement in Vietnam. Following Hart's summation of the Pentagon Papers' case history, correspondents Daniel Schorr and Bob Schieffer -- aided by court room illustrations by Howard Brodie -- review the justices' decisions; they reconstruct the courtroom sessions by reading excerpts of the newspapers' and government's arguments and justices' questions. Next, correspondent David Kohane talks to Harvard Law School professor Paul Freund about the effects of the case's outcome on First Amendment rights; correspondent Marvin Kalb discusses the Supreme Court's decision with former Secretary of State Dean Rusk; correspondent Dan Rather reports on President Richard M. Nixon's decision to order a case against the New York Times and the Washington Post, the effects of his decision on classification policies, and Secretary of State William Rogers' dictum that the press should discipline themselves; Hart remarks on the government's treatment of Rand Publishing, which held much of the government's classified documents; Hart outlines discussions in Congress regarding the Commerce Committee's desire to hold CBS News in contempt for certain broadcasts; Schorr talks to the New York Times senior columnist James Reston about the Supreme Court case outcome; Schorr discusses the Supreme Court's decision with Washington Post chief editorial writer Philip Geyelin; Bill Plant interviews Detroit News editor Martin Hayden about his paper's pro-prior-restraint position; and Charles Collingwood reports from Paris on public and governmental reactions to the Supreme Court's decision abroad. Hart then reviews other legal and political questions raised by the Pentagon Papers case, including President Dwight D. Eisenhower's 1953 Executive Order 10501, which established parameters for classifying documents, and House Subcommittee hearings on freedom of information. The segment on the Subcommittee hearings includes footage of Pentagon classification expert William Florence's testimony; correspondent Hal Walker's interview with Committee Chairman Rep. William Moorhead (D-PA); footage of Rep. John Moss (D-CA) speaking at the hearings; commentary from former Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg; and discussion of Rep. Paul McCloskey's (R-CA) role in the case. The program concludes with George Herman's discussion of the case as a measure of Chief Justice Warren Burger's Court and Hart's remarks regarding the long-term effects of the Court's decision. Includes commercials.


  • DATE: February 2, 1971 Tuesday 7:30 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 0:58:30
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: T79:0247
  • GENRE: News
  • SUBJECT HEADING: Freedom of speech (see also: Liberty of speech)
  • SERIES RUN: CBS - TV, 1971
  • COMMERCIALS: TV - Commercials - Bayer aspirin^TV - Commercials - Phillips antacid tablets^TV - Commercials - Canada Dry Ginger Ale^TV - Commercials - Protein 21 Shampoo^TV - Commercials - Tide detergent^TV - Commercials - Gleem II toothpaste^TV - Commercials - Wonder bread^TV - Promos - "The Interns"^TV - Promos - "CBS News Special Report"^TV - PSA - US Department of Health, Education and Welfare


    • Ernest Leiser … Executive Producer
    • Bernard Birnbaum … Producer
    • Hal Haley … Producer
    • Sylvia Westerman … Producer
    • Joel Banow … Director
    • Robert Camfiord … Director, In Washington, D.C.
    • Ray Gandolf … Writer
    • Gary Paul Gates … Writer
    • Charles Collingwood … Reporter
    • John Hart … Reporter
    • George Herman … Reporter
    • Marvin Kalb … Reporter
    • Kohane, David (audio i.d. only) … Reporter
    • Bill Plant … Reporter
    • Dan Rather … Reporter
    • Bob Schieffer … Reporter
    • Daniel Schorr … Reporter
    • Hal Walker … Reporter
    • Arlene Francis … Talent, For Phillips antacids
    • Robyn Marks … Talent, For Protein 21 shampoo
    • Howard Brodie
    • Warren E. Burger
    • Dwight D. Eisenhower
    • William Florence
    • Paul Freund
    • Philip Geyelin
    • Arthur J. Goldberg
    • Martin Hayden
    • Paul McCloskey
    • Robert McNamara
    • William Moorhead
    • John Moss
    • Richard M. Nixon
    • James Reston
    • William Rogers
    • Dean Rusk