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ROBERT MacNEIL: Good evening. Tonight we report on the case of a Florida murderer whom the Pope is trying to save from execution. Greyhound Bus Lines management told its striking union workers, in effect, "Take our offer or lose your jobs." We examine both sides. We look at a Supreme Court case of major importance to women's opportunities in the professions and college sports. Jim?
JIM LEHRER: Otherwise today the news was mostly about the new -- a new agreement between Israel and the United States on military cooperation, a new report with hopeful numbers about the chances of surviving cancer, and word from the IRS about its new way to read our tax returns.
MacNEIL: In Tallahassee, Florida, tonight a convicted murderer whom the Pope tried to save is waiting to hear whether or when he will be executed. The man is 36-year-old Robert Sullivan, who was convicted of murder 10 years ago and has been on death row ever since. Sullivan was sentenced to death for killing the assistant manager of a Howard Johnson's restaurant in Homestead, Florida, following a robbery. Sullivan has insisted all along that he's innocent, and now claims to have four witnesses who say he was somewhere else at the time of the murder. One of the witnesses reportedly confided in a priest during confession, but church officials have denied this. Sullivan was due to die this morning. Yesterday, Archbishop Edward McCarthy of Miami appealed to Governor Bob Graham for mercy for Sullivan. Governor Graham, at a news conference today, said he could find no reason for clemency in the case.
Gov. ROBERT GRAHAM, Florida: The time has come for finality in this and many other cases which have been pending for years and years in court. We're hoping the court will give prompt attention to this issue.
MacNEIL: The Governor was also asked about an appeal from Pope John Paul II conveyed by the archbishop of Miami.
Gov. GRAHAM: I have great respect for the Holy Father and for Archbishop McCarthy, who relayed the message. I told the archbishop that I received it with appreciation and with great feeling. I told the archbishop at that point, and continuing to this morning, I have not received any information on which I could justify a commutation of sentence.
MacNEIL: Soon afterwards a Cabinet meeting was interrupted by protestors staging a mock execution.
ACTOR: I have to execute you. Yes, yes.
ACTOR [with masked head]: No! No! No!
ACTOR: Right.
MacNEIL: But the protestors were expelled and nothing had changed. Last night the chief judge of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta issued a temporary stay of execution so that all 12 judges of the court could be polled, and tonight they refused to continue the stay. Sullivan's lawyers said they would attempt to take the case to the Supreme Court. Earlier today Archbishop McCarthy held a news conference saying that Sullivan's case represented a prime example of what is wrong with capital punishment in Florida. He said Florida had more people on death row than any other state and that poor and minority prisoners more often ended up there. Jim? Greyhound Ultimatum
LEHRER: The Greyhound Corporation came back today with the ultimate ultimatum to its striking employees: "With you or without you, we're going to run our bus company." Greyhound officials in Phoenix said the rejection yesterday of its latest and final contract offer gave them no alternative but to proceed with plans to resume full operations, and Greyhound chairman John Teets said there remains little hope for a negotiated settlement with the union and its 12,700 drivers and other workers.
JOHN TEETS, chairman, Greyhound: Because this is the best we can do. This is our wage package for us to compete. If we set it for anything less, long term Greyhound lines cannot exist in the competitive market. So you reach a position that this is the way we must operate. That contract, though, is available to them at the time they want to come back to work and sign it. Do we want a contract with ATU? Yes. We made a fair offer. Are we trying to break the ATU? No. We're not. We're saying this is a package, it was a good package, and it was voted down. The union is misleading our employees, telling them that their jobs are secure. They are not. And those jobs will not be there at some distant future date when the union suddenly realizes that the competitive situation is real and critical and deserves addressing today.
LEHRER: To further explain the company's position -- where, when and why it goes from here -- is Frank Nageotte, chairman and chief executive officer of Greyhound Lines, the Greyhound Corporation's division which actually operates the bus company. Mr. Nageotte is a 35-year-veteran of Greyhound, and he joins us tonight from public station KAET in Tempe, Arizona. Mr. Nageotte, is this a take-it-or-leave-it situation for the strikers now? They either accept this offer or their jobs are gone with Greyhound?
FRANK NAGEOTTE: Well, in essence I guess it's true that that is the situation that many of them would find themselves in, Jim. What we're saying is that we must move ahead and operate this bus line, and as we move ahead and as we fill more jobs with new employees, there are going to be fewer jobs available for the old employees to come back to. We owe an obligation to the new people that we've hired as well. We have been trying to move ahead on the very deliberate basis thinking that our employees would realize the situation that we find ourselves in, and would come back, which we still would prefer, as Mr. Teets said in his press conference today.
LEHRER: But these new employees that have been hired are permanent employees? They're not temporary to keep the line running until the strike is settled, is that cirrect?
Mr. NAGEOTTE: That's exactly right.
LEHRER: How many have been hired thus far?
Mr. NAGEOTTE: Well, I'd rather not give exact figures, but I can tell you that we in total have about 3,000 employees working at the present time, and I would think that at least half of those, or close to half of them, would be new hires.
LEHRER: Now, the plans to resume service. What is the timetable for that? I mean, are you shooting to eventually get back to where you were before there was a strike?
Mr. NAGEOTTE: Certainly, Jim, when you embark on a program such as we have in this instance, your ultimate goal is to get the bus line running, preferably with your old employees, but in whatever fashion, with new hires if you must go that way. But we've got to get the bus line when we can up to the same level it was at before we went on strike.
LEHRER: How long do you think that'll take, Mr. Nageotte?
Mr. NAGEOTTE: That'll depend a great deal, Jim on the number of old employees who come back, but we're going to move ahead assertively, but we won't move ahead faster than we can get people trained so that they provide the kind of service that Greyhound is proud of.
LEHRER: Well, let's assume the down side for a moment. Let's assume that the strike is not settled, and let's assume that not too many of the strikers do return to work and you basically have to go with newly-hireds. How long would it take for the Greyhound company to be fully operational again the way it was before the strike, in all 48 states, etc.?
Mr. NAGEOTTE: Jim, again, it's going to sound like I'm being evasive. I can't give you a specific answer. I'll tell you this, though. We know we can do it before the busy summer season next year. I would hope much before that because the quicker we can get it up to full speed, the sooner we can make it a profitable venture again, and that is the charge which our shareholders lay on us is to use their investments in a way that will give them a proper return.
LEHRER: And there is no doubt that you can do that, Mr. Nageotte, is that right? In your mind?
Mr. NAGEOTTE: No doubt at all.
LEHRER: That you can do it without the striking employees?
Mr. NAGEOTTE: That's correct.Given the proper amount of time and the period of time necessary to do the kind of training which we would like to have our people have, we can eventually get the bus line running. As I said -- I keep repeating -- we prefer to do it with our old employees, with an ATU contract, which the one we offered them would still make them the highest paid, by far, in the industry.
LEHRER: ATU, of course, is the Amalgamated Transit Union, which is the union that represents your workers.
Mr. NAGEOTTE: That's correct.
LEHRER: Are you as pessimistic -- you say you want to do it with the striking workers. Mr. Teets said the same thing, but Mr. Teets also said that he was not optimistic that this thing was going to be settled. Do you share that pessimism?
Mr. NAGEOTTE: I'd have to say yes, Jim, and the pessimism in my case at least has been growing. I maybe was naive, but I felt that the lion's share of our employees would recognize the situation we find ourselves in. After all, we've been addressing it with the union representatives since a year and a half ago. We approached them in the summer of 1982 and brought in outside auditors, showed them the situation as it existed. At that time the union, the same union, had just negotiated a freeze of the then-existing contract with our principal competitor, Trailways. We asked if we could get the same kind of a freeze because Trailways, on the strength of that freeze, had drastically reduced fares. The union absolutely refused.We had no leverage or could do nothing until our contract ran out this fall, but we constantly kept telling the union representatives the position we would have to take. All we're saying is we want to run the bus line profitably. I make no apology for that. In fact, I would make an apology for any other position I might take.
LEHRER: Thank you. Robin?
MacNEIL: Tomorrow the Greyhound union council, comprising presidents of 31 local unions, will be meeting in Washington with the federal mediation service. One of the council members is Domenic Sirighano, president of Local 1202 in New York, and a former Greyhound driver. Mr. Sirignano, what's the union response to this take-it-or-leave-it position?
DOMENIC SIRIGNANO: Well, the union at this particular time, based on the concessions requested by management in their latest offer in both wages and fringe benefits, is much too high for the rank and file to give back at this particular time.
MacNEIL: So, in other words, this doesn't change your view -- the stand the company has taken today doesn't change your view from the vote which your rank and file members took over the last week and came out overwhelmingly yesterday against this contract?
Mr. SIRIGNANO: That's correct.
MacNEIL: What do you say when Mr. Nageotte says that if you accepted this contract you would still be the highest-paid workers in the bus line industry?
Mr. SIRIGNANO: Well, I would answer Mr. Nageotte in this vein. We have been negotiating labor agreements, I believe, since 1941. We became an organized council or we became a council in 1968. Greyhound Lines, Inc. merged companies; they were former Eastern Greyhound Lines, Southern Greyhound Lines, Central Greyhound Lines, Western Greyhound Lines. They, by merging their companies into one, we then merged into one, which gave us bargaining strength. We negotiated these issues one at a time into our labor agreement, and now along comes Mr. Teets and he would like to take it away from us in one fell swoop.
MacNEIL: And you're not going to let him do it?
Mr. SIRIGNANO: No. We are flexible, but we are not going to be that flexible.
MacNEIL: Does it undermine your confidence at all to hear Mr. Teets say, as we just heard, the union is misleading employees, telling them their jobs are secure. They are not. Does that worry you at all?
Mr. SIRIGNANO: No, it does not worry me because Mr. Nageotte and Mr. Teets both know that we have pending before the National Labor Relations Board a charge, which we are awaiting the National Labor Relations Board to make a decision on. Mr. Nageotte and Mr. Teets both know that as union leaders, that when we sit at the table, that if and when a contract is finally negotiated between the parties that seniority will be one of the prime issues that will be laid on the table.
MacNEIL: But what if the company, as it's now saying it will do, and you just heard Mr. Nageotte say regretfully they can do it, just continues to go ahead and hire new people and continues to expand its operations and run a line without you?
Mr. SIRIGNANO: I would have to answer Mr. Nageotte's statement with a question. If Greyhound Lines, Incorporated was doing what they set out to do in phase one of their operations, then why are they hiring buses from other bus companies to put on the road right now? It only proves to me at this particular point that Greyhound Lines, Inc. has not hired qualified drivers under the DOT provisos or under the very --
MacNEIL: Department of Transportation.
Mr. SIRIGNANO: -- or under the very policy or criteria that Greyhound Lines, Inc. uses when they are hiring new employees, and they haven't done it up to this time.
MacNEIL: Will this tough stand by the company not weaken the resolve of your rank and file?
Mr. SIRIGNANO: I would go in just the opposite direction, Robert. I feel that not only will the rank and file of the Amalgamated Transit Union be firm, but organized labor, I believe, is also watching the progress of these negotiations because it is now becoming a battle of not a labor agreement between Greyhound Lines, Inc. and its rank and file members, but a fight against organized labor because it appears that Mr. Teets is trying to break our union, and I do not believe him when he ways that he has tried to negotiate a contract with the Amalgamated Transit Union.
MacNEIL: Thank you. Jim?
LEHRER: Mr. Nageotte, let's take that point first. Both sides have said from the beginning -- they've said it on this program -- you, in fact, everybody has said, "The other side doesn't want to negotiate." Well, now, from the company's point of view, where do negotiations stand on that right now?
Mr. NAGEOTTE: Well, Jim, the fact that you and I think Domenic and other people I've seen on your program have referred to the fact that they've had a couple of offers of the company out there to look at certainly negates the statement on the part of some union representatives that we haven't done any bargaining. We've made offers. Even if they don't like the offers, they are offers. I don't know of anybody who has seen one yet from the union, since I believe we've been doing as much or more in the way of negotiating than anybody else has.
LEHRER: Mr. Sirignano, why has the union not come back with a counteroffer of its own?
Mr. SIRIGNANO: In all due respect to Frank, I would like to say that we did attempt to negotiate, but the company took the firm posture "take our offer or leave it." I respectfully answer Frank in this vein. We did offer to freeze our present labor agreement for one year. The company said no. We offered to extend the labor agreement that expired on October the 31st. The company said no. We offered to take the disputed issues before an impartial arbitrator. Management said no. The only thing that management put on the table is they said, "Tell you what. We will go ahead and extend the present labor agreement only until your membership has voted on our offer." So I challenge Mr. Nageotte when he says that they are the only ones that negotiated. We really never sat down at the bargaining table to negotiate a labor agreement because management said, "We must have, one, our concept of parity in order to compete with the other bus lines," and when they came down with this last offer they didn't move that far away from parity.
LEHRER: Mr. Nageotte, that's so, is it not? Has that not been the company position from the beginning, that there must be these wage and benefit concessions or there'll never be a deal?
Mr. NAGEOTTE: Absolutely that's the case, Jim. In fact, as I understood what Domenic was just saying, that the union very graciously offered to extend the contract. That's like saying I'm going into the hospital with cancer, and the doctor tells me, "Well, we're not going to operate on you. You won't get any sicker." I don't think that's a solution. We are already losing money.
LEHRER: All right, let's look ahead, Mr. Nageotte. Mr. Sirignano says he questions seriously whether Greyhound has in fact been able to hire qualified drivers. You heard what he said. What's your answer to that?
Mr. NAGEOTTE: Well, it's absolutely ridiculous. I think Domenic knows it. We have gone out and hired only, in the first go-round, applicants who could demonstrate experience as intercity bus drivers. And I think, Jim, you ought to remember that every year in our existence we hire several hundred new drivers. They're the same kind of human beings that we're hiring today. I don't know what's so sacrosanct about someone who's already worked for us. We know how to train a person to be a good driver. We've trained Domenic and his confreres.
LEHRER: Mr. Sirignano, he's right, isn't he?
Mr. SIRIGNANO: Mr. Nageotte, when I came to work for Greyhound, it took me between 11 and 14 weeks to be trained as a professional Greyhound driver, and you now are attempting to railroad a course into three weeks. I also could, at this particular time, give you the name of an operator that you hired that was stopped by the police in an incident that occurred between here and Philadelphia who was operation on a suspended license. So I do believe that Greyhound in this particular case to an extent has lowered its standards or at least its investigatory interviews in the hiring practices.
LEHRER: And you deny that, Mr. Nageotte, correct?
Mr. NAGEOTTE: Jim, it would be a stupid business decision as well as a dishonest act on our part to put unsafe people, and I'd like to refer to one thing Domenic mentioned there. That incident that he's talking about with that driver, I would suggest before he gets on another program that he check it out with the state officials in Pennsylvania and find out what really happened, because we checked it out immediately and found out that it was a mixup in procedures.
LEHRER: Gentlemen, let me ask you both. You both referred to each other by first names here tonight, Frank and Domenic. You've obviously, both of you been with Greyhound a long time. This must be a terribly unpleasant experience for both of you. Personally, Mr. Nageotte, what's your feeling on a situation like this tonight?
Mr. NAGEOTTE: Jim, you're right. It is a traumatic experience for me. The reason I know Domenic so well, I spent nine years of my career in New York City. I remember when Domenic was a new young driver, I remember when he was transferred to Pittsburgh, and I even interceded on his behalf to get him moved back to New York. This is true of a lot of the other people that are in Domenic's situation. I've been with the company 36 years; obviously I know a lot of them personally, and I don't enjoy being in the position I'm in. What I hope they'll realize is I've never lied to them, and I'm trying, really, to save 16,000 jobs.
LEHRER: Mr. Sirignano, what are your personal feelings about all this?
Mr. SIRIGNANO: Well, Frank knows how I feel. We've both spent a long time with Greyhound Lines, Inc. All employees and members of our union, we were family up until this occurred.But it seems hard for me to concede that after Greyhound Lines had gone out and been a proponent to deregulation, and we were not for deregulation, that Greyhound took the position that it did, wanting to get into the marketplace of competition, free entry and free exit. I would have to take the position at this time that they assumed, or must have assumed, that if they could not compete in that marketplace, and they were the proponent of it, that they would then come to the back of the laborer and recoup their losses from us.
LEHRER: I'm sorry -- Mr. Sirignano, Mr. Nageotte, thank you both very much. Robin?
Mr. NAGEOTTE: Thank you, Jim.
Mr. SIRIGNANO: Thank you, Robert.
MacNEIL: The six astronauts aboard the space shuttle Columbia spent their first full day in orbit on 25 of the 72 experiments that are the purpose of this trip. Working in their large space laboratory in two shifts, the astronaut-scientists performed a variety of experiments, including the effects of weightlessness on the body. The mission's chief scientist, Dr. Richard Chappell, said their work already showed that the Spacelab was a good platform for scientific work.
[voice-over] In one series of tests the astronauts were harnessed to measuring instruments to record what happened to their bodies in various postures, and how they responded to mild electric shocks given to stimulate movements of their muscles. The purpose is to find out what causes motion sickness, which is a common complaint among space fliers. Scientists on the ground said the results so far from just the experiments carried out today gave reason to expect valuable results from the shuttle mission.
[on camera] Several of the experiments ran into a problem -- the failure of the unit that sends the data collected by instruments outside the Spacelab to computers inside. Scientists were looking for ways to get around the difficulty.
We'll be back in a moment.
[Video postcard -- Lee Vining Creek, California]
MacNEIL: President Reagan, who has been reported for some time to be considering closer ties with Israel, today announced concrete measures to create them. After two days of talks with Israel's new prime minister, Yitzhak Shamir, Mr. Reagan said the two countries would establish a joint military committee, and he would ask Congress to improve the terms of U.S. military aid. In a statement outside the White House, Mr. Reagan outlined the purposes of the military committee.
Pres. RONALD REAGAN: This group will give priority attention to the threat to our mutual interests posed by increased Soviet involvement in the Middle East. A main focus of our meetings was the agony of Lebanon and the threats there to our common interests. We examined together Soviet activities in the Middle East and found a common concern with the Soviet presence and arms buildup in Syria. We reaffirmed our commonly held goals of a sovereign, independent Lebanon free of all foreign forces and of security for Israel's northern border.
YITZHAK SHAMIR, Israeli prime minister: Syria constitutes today a major threat to the peace in our area by occupying more than 60% of Lebanon and by its massive concentration of Soviet arms and personnel on Syrian territory. Israel is ready to renew the peace process and discuss the final status of Judea and Samaria following the autonomy period in the framework of the sole agreed basis for negotiations, namely, the Camp David accords. We will proceed on the road to peace with increased vigor. I return to Jerusalem strengthened in my conviction that with the aid of the United States of America and fortified by the friendship of its people and government, a strong Israel can indeed achieve peace.
LEHRER: On the ground in Lebanon there was more killing today. This time it was six civilians who died in the shelling of a Christian area of East Beirut. Another 30 were wounded. Druse militiamen who did the firing said it was in retaliation for attacks on their positions by the Lebanese army. Also in Beirut, shells and rockets fell near the U.S. Marine base at the airport, and in a Beirut suburb where the presidential palace and the defense ministry are located, but no casualties were reported. There was also a mass kidnapping this morning. Sixty Christian employees of the Lebanese airline, Mideast Airlines, were taken off two buses at gunpoint by Shiite Moslem militia.They were released unharmed two hours later. And on the Yasir Arafat watch in Tripoli, there is nothing new to report. Arafat told reporters today he was still awaiting the arrival of a negotiating team to work out the final arrangements for his and his troops' departure from Tripoli. The ceasefire between his forces and the Syrian-backed PLO rebels continued to hold.
And in Geneva, Switzerland, another continuing event: the U.S. and Russian strategic arms negotiators -- Victor Karpov of the Soviet Union and Edward Rowney of the U.S. -- met for more than three hours. It was the first time the two sides have talked about intercontinental missiles since the Soviets walked out of the medium-range Euromissile taiks last week. Chris Wayne of the BBC reports.
CHRIS WAYNE, BBC [voice-over]: Ambassador Karpov arrived on the dot at 11 o'clock forcing his way through milling journalists. Many had been expecting a repeat of last week's walkout, but as the minutes ticked by, it became clear the Russians were staying at the negotiating table in the penthouse. For American diplomats the decision to stay came as a relief. Unlike the talks on European weapons, START has made real progress. Both sides have agreed on nuclear warheads as the unit of account, and the Americans and Russians have moved closer to agreeing limits on aircraft and cruise missiles, as well as intercontinental weapons. But the most important reason for keeping START going is because if the Russians agree on renewed European talks, they'll probably need to be combined with these negotiations. Today's meeting ended after three and a quarter hours. The two sides will meet again on Thursday. Next week, talks will go into recess for two months, resuming in February.
LEHRER: And in Washington today the word was no entry for two Central American politicians, one from the left, the other from the right. The administration denied the visa request of Sandinista Tomas Borge, Nicaragua's minister of the interior. At the same time, the U.S. turned down visa approval for El Salvador's Roberto D'Aubuisson, president of the Constituent Assembly, and a prominent right-wing politician. A State Department spokesman said the visits are contrary to the U.S. public interest. Robin? Title IX Fight
MacNEIL: Back in this country, the Supreme Court today took up the issue of how far the government can go in fighting sex bias in schools and on college campuses. The case pits a small Pennsylvania college against the Reagan administration and the women's movement. At issue is how to interpret Title IX of the 1972 Education Act, which prohibits any educational program or activity receiving federal funds from discriminating on the basis of sex. In the decade since it became law, Title IX has had a dramatic impact on professional schools and college sports. By 1981 the enrollment of women in dental schools has increased 1,011%; veterinary schools, 120%; law schools, 337%; and medical schools, 296%. Spending on women's athletic programs increased from an average of 2% of a large university's athletic budget in 1971 to 16% in 1979. Judy Woodruff has more on the particular case that brought this Title IX challenge to the Supreme Court today. Judy?
JUDY WOODRUFF: Robin, the Grove City case began its journey to the Supreme Court in 1978, when Grove City College, a school in Pennsylvania affiliated with the United Presbyterian Church, refused to sign a statement pledging it to comply with Title IX. The Carter administration responded by threatening to cut off federal aid to Grove City students, and the college took it to court. This past summer the Reagan administration offered Grove City a compromise. It reversed the position of past administrations which had ruled that if any part of a school gets federal aid, then the whole school must comply with Title IX. The Reagan administration argued instead that only the Grove City student aid office need comply, since it was the only part receiving aid. Well, here to explain the Grove City College position is its president, Dr. Charles MacKenzie.Dr. MacKenzie, why is Grove City so opposed to Title IX?
CHARLES MacKENZIE: Actually, we're really not opposed to Title IX, Judy. In principle, we're very supportive of the intention of Title IX, but we are very much opposed to signing a compliance form which in essence would give the federal government jurisdiction over a private college that accepts not one penny of direct federal funding.
WOODRUFF: But your students receive federal money in the form of student loans.
Dr. MacKENZIE: Some of our students receive PEL grants. That's the issue in the case. The federal district court had removed the guaranteed student loans from the case altogeter, saying they were exempt. But the PEL grants, the government alleges, are a source of funds going to the college campus, and therefore should subject the college to government jurisdiction. With that we strongly disagree.
WOODRUFF: Why does government regulation disturb you so much? What do you have to worry about?
Dr. MacKENZIE: For over 100 years, Judy, Grove City College just north of Pennsylvania [sic] has been fiercely independent. It's offered quality education at very low cost without a penny of federal money. The college historically has been reluctant to entangle itself with the federal government believing that if it did, that the college, first of all, would have to increase dramatically its low tuition in order to jump through all the hoops that the government would require. Secondly, we also feel very strongly that if the government attained jurisdiction over Grove City College that the Judeo-Christian value orientation, which is at the foundation of the school, would have to be secularized. And, thirdly, we are convinced that government regulation and control would diminish the high quality that has been established at Grove City.
WOODRUFF: But all the government is asking is that you sign a piece of paper that says that you are offering the same programs to women students that you are to men students. Now, why is that such a problem?
Dr. MacKENZIE: And yet we state that, Judy. We state it publicly. We state our opposition to discrimination, our strong opposition to discrimination, in our catalog, in our literature. We're publicly on record as being committed to a non-discriminatory policy. But if we sign that compliance form which crossed my desk in 1977, what we would be doing is agreeing to abide by existing government regulations and this was a phrase in the compliance form, "and all future amendments and interpretations thereof." From our point of view it was turning over the future of a private college to the federal government.
WOODRUFF: But you are getting federal money indirectly from these students who attend your school, is that right?
Dr. MacKENZIE: Only as indirectly as the dear little old lady who may be receiving Social Security. If she puts some of her Social Security money on the offering tray of her church, she's a pipeline of federal money to the church, but is the church therefore to be regulated? That, from our perspective, is reductio ad absurdam.
WOODRUFF: But still, indirectly, you are getting federal dollars.I mean, we're only talking about one part of the Education Act.
Dr. MacKENZIE: And yet, when those funds that our students -- 200, maybe, out of 220 -- out of 2,200 students -- when those students accept the federal money, from our point of view it stops with them because they can carry that to any school they choose, and we don't ask our youngsters, when they pay their bills at the college, where they got their funds.They're paying it to the college as free American citizens.
WOODRUFF: All right, thank you, Dr. MacKenzie. Jim?
LEHRER: There are three positions on this issue: President MacKenzie's, which we just heard, which says the law should not apply to his college; the administration's, which says it should have only a narrow application; and that of those who believe it should apply to everything Grove City College does. The administration would not send a representative tonight because the issue is still in litigation, but a holder of the third position is here. She is Margaret Kohn, an attorney for the National Women's Law Center here in Washington. Her group filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the Grove City case. And you believe Title IX definitely applies to Grove City, correct?
MARGARET KOHN: Yes, we do.
LEHRER: What do you say to President MacKenzie's fears about what would happen to his college if he signed that piece of paper?
Ms. KOHN: I don't think the signing of the assurance form would really intrude on the operation of the college. The government needs to have a mechanism by which it can assure that all recipients of aid know their obligations not to discriminate. And all that they're asking the college to do is to sign a one-page form that acknowledges their responsibilities under the act and promises to comply with it and the regulations issued under Title IX. It doesn't in any way regulate curriculum. It doesn't regulate the courses offered. It doesn't regulate the size of the school. It merely promises to comply with the civil rights statute.
LEHRER: So you don't believe Dr. MacKenzie's fears are justified, that once he signs it the federal government will be there in many other areas?
Ms. KOHN: No, I don't.
LEHRER: What about the position -- what is your position on whether or not Grove City College does in fact discriminate against women in its programs now?
Ms. KOHN: There hasn't been an allegation that Grove City College discriminates. The violation here is the college's refusal to sign the assurance form.
LEHRER: Well, if the college doesn't discriminate, then what's the problem from your perspective?
Ms. KOHN: The problem is that the institution is receiving substantial federal funds in the form of grants that its students use to pay tuition and other fees at the college. And as long --
LEHRER: And you consider that substantial federal money, as distinguished from Mr. MacKenzie's position?
Ms. KOHN: Yes. Any federal money. The government has a responsibility to see to it that the institution is not operating in a discriminatory manner, and one of the first steps in its enforcement effort is generally to ask all of the recipients, and there are thousands of them in the country, to make the promise that they will complywith the law.
LEHRER: But he says his college isn't the recipient, it's the individual student, that that's between the student and the federal government; it doesn't involve the college. You disagree.
Ms. KOHN: Yes. Both the government and the civil rights groups take the position that the college is a recipient. It doesn't matter that the money goes initially to the student. The college benefits from those funds. All of the court decisions on this issue have consistently held that the college or school is the recipient of this assistance when it goes through a student.
LEHRER: What do you say to Mr. MacKenzie's point that it's no different than a person putting money in a collection plate on Sunday and then the federal government saying -- a federal pension check, say, or a Social Security, I think, was your example. Then the federal government says, "Oh, we're going to regulate your church."
Ms. KOHN: Well, there are two differences. One is that these are federal programs which are designated for education. The student receives these monies only as long as he or she agrees to use them for educational purposes. So they're designated specifically for this purpose, and unlike a Social Security payment, which is based on contributions during your working life, and then comes with no strings attached. This program has very definite strings attached. And one of those strings is the obligation to comply with the statute.
LEHRER: Finally, let me ask you this. Is this a big deal? Is this a major case, the Grove City thing? Would it have tremendous implications, from your perspective, if Grove City and Mr. MacKenzie were to prevail?
Ms. KOHN: Yes, indeed it would. If the college prevails, and even if the government prevails in its position, we will have a situation in which universities and schools and colleges will be receiving federal monies for financial aid for their students, and the only part of the institution that will be covered -- if any of it is covered -- is the financial aid program. And Under that circumstance the school would be free to discriminate in access to math courses, science, to housing, to counseling. They could discriminate in any other aspect of the school but for their financial aid program.
LEHRER: Thank you. Judy?
WOODRUFF: Dr. MacKenzie, what about Ms. Kohn's argument that this is going to set a really dangerous precedent, that it is going to apply to other schools and other programs?
Dr. MacKENZIE: We don't believe so at all. Grove City is definitely committed to a non-discriminatory policy. We would be very distressed if we thought that signing -- our failure to sign that affidavit was going to undermine the non-discriminatory efforts within this country. Non-discrimination is, however, the law of the land. If someone makes an allegation against Grove City College or any institution in American society that there is discrimination going on, then the government has the responsibility to move in and to conduct investigations, and if the investigations prove discrimination, then to call that institution before the courts. So that the mechanisms are in place. This one affidavit actually is not going to be that effective. But I also would like to add, if I may, Judy, that Ms. Kohn is not correct when she states that this form is simply a form stating we don't discriminate. I'm willing to write a letter to the Department of Education or to anybody else stating that we do not discriminate. The form is a jurisdictional thing which imposes regulations upon a private college, and that's what we oppose.
WOODRUFF: All right, what about that, Ms. Kohn?
Ms. KOHN: I think the receipt of federal funding imposes the obligation to comply both with the statute and the regulations, and that the signing of the assurance is the first step in establishing that the institution acknowledges their responsibilities under the act. The government has an obligation to see to it that the programs it funds are not discriminatory. And it has a very large job to do in securing compliance, and one of its mechanisms is to ask that the institutions acknowledge and make the simple promise that they will comply with the law.
WOODRUFF: Well, what about that, Dr. MacKenzie? I mean, it's --
Dr. MacKENZIE: We've stated it endlessly. We've written it in communications, in letters. We publish it in our literature that we do not discriminate and do not -- and will not discriminate. So it goes far beyond that. It still is a jurisdictional matter, plus our grave concern, Judy, is that if in our fight against discrimination of all sorts, if in our struggle against discrimination very precious, something that's heart of the American heritage, and it could in a very real sense change the character not only of higher education but of American society. That's all we're seeking to do is to get a balance between the effort to eliminate discrimination but also to preserve the freedoms that are so important in this country. And academic freedom is one of the greatest.
WOODRUFF: Wait a minute. Do you want to respond to that, Ms. Kohn?
Ms. KOHN: Yes. I have yet to hear an issue as to what kind of academic freedom is being limited at the college by this requirement. The college is not being obligated to teach any particular subject or topic, and all the assurance is is to say that you must treat men and women equally on campus.
WOODRUFF: Can you name a specific area in which you would be restricted?
Dr. MacKENZIE: The signs are out there on the horizon that the government is moving in this direction. For instance, I have received from government officials notification which I assume every college president received, that we are not to make any degree programs, any major changes in academic programming unless we first get concurrence from the state -- the 1202 commission that's mandated by federal law or federal regulation.
WOODRUFF: But that hasn't happened yet, right?
Dr. MacKENZIE: There have been some schools that have been challenged when they have made -- we ignore it at Grove City College. We make our curriculum changes on the basis of what we feel our students need. But some schools have been challenged, and I understand that at least one in Pennsylvania has been taken to court because it went ahead with an academic program that did not have state approval.
WOODRUFF: What happens if you lose this case?
Dr. MacKENZIE: If we lose this case -- Grove City is a strong school and has supporters across the nation.What we probably will have to do is to refuse admission to students who might be coming to us with PEL grants. In turn, our commitment is to protect the students. We would try to raise sums of private money to replace that government money.
WOODRUFF: Just quickly, Ms. Kohn, would that be fair, do you think, to those students if that has to happen?
Ms. KOHN: I think that the federal government should ensure that students are not attending institutions that discriminate. Those students would still be eligible for the funds if they sought to use them in another institution. And President MacKenzie here suggests that he will be looking for the funds to substitute for the federal monies. Assuming he finds them, the students would be in no worse condition, and we think that they're better off if they're guaranteed of going to an institution where there is going to be equality.
WOODRUFF: All right. Thank you, Ms. Kohn and Dr. MacKenzie, for being with us. Robin?
MacNEIL: On Wall Street the stock market hit a new record high. The Dow Jones average of 30 industrial stocks went up 17.38 points and closed at 1287.20.Analysts said the market was cheered by indications that interest rates would not go up from present levels.
And we'll be back in a moment.
[Video postcard -- Cold Spring Harbor, New York]
MacNELL: The commission set up by President Reagan to investigate organized crime held its first public hearings today. It is headed by New York judge Irving Kaufman, and is billed as the most extensive look at organized crime since the Kefauver hearings nearly 30 years ago. Today, Attorney General William French Smith and FBI director William Webster testified on the size of the problem the commission faces.
WILLIAM FRENCH SMITH, Attorney General: Organized crime is a subject that affects all of us every day, but generally is hidden from public view. It causes our taxes to go up, it adds to the cost of what we buy and, worst of all, it threatens our personal safety and that of our families, indeed, of our very freedom. Organized crime is an insidious cancer on our society, and it clearly is a principal law enforcement responsibility of the federal government to attack organized crime with the very best weapons that we can fashion.
WILLIAM WEBSTER, director, FBI: As diverse and numerous as organized crime groups are, I do not view our struggle against them as a hopeless situation. I believe we're making measureable inroads against organized crime, and I'm quite proud of our performance.
MacNEIL: Rita Lovelle, the official who was fired from the Environmental Protection Agency, insisted today that she told the truth when she testified to congressional committees about the agency last February. In five hours of testimony at her trial on charges of perjury, Ms. Lovelle declared she had not lied when she denied using EPA funds to help Republican political candidates. Prosecution witnesses have said she spoke in their presence about helping Republicans. Jim? Cancer Survival Rates Up
LEHRER: There is encouraging news to report tonight on cancer, the most dreaded of all diseases. The National Cancer Institute says survival rates of cancer patients is up to 50%, meaning half of all people who suffer from cancer survive for at least five years. And, says NCI head, Dr. Vincent DeVita, 85% of those are still alive after 10 years. It's all part of a new report which tracks cancer survival statistics for the last several years, and Charlayne Hunter-Gault has more on it. Charlayne?
CHARLAYNE HUNTER-GAULT: Dr. DeVita called the latest cancer survival statistics a landmark achievement. Those dramatic improvements occurred over a 20-year period. From 1960 to 1963, the overall five-year survival rate was 38%. In 1970 to 1973 it was up to 42%, and between 1973 and 1980 it rose to 48%. Dr. DeVita even said that he believes that the survival rate is over 50%, based on more recent findings. But the report also revealed a wide gap between the survival rate for whites and blacks. Between 1973 and 1980, the five-year survival rate for whites was 49%; for blacks, 37%. The most discouraging news is that smoking bywomen has nearly doubled their death rate from lung cancer. In 1970 the rate was over 10 deaths for every 100,000 women; by 1980 it had jumped to over 20. Lung cancer is expected to surpass breast cancer as the leading cause of cancer death in women next year. For more details on the report, Dr. DeVita is with us. Dr. DeVita, why is this such a landmark achievement?
VINCENT DeVITA: Well, I think it's the first time we can say that you have a better-than-even chance of surviving on the average if you get a cancer. So the 50% figure is a very important figure.
HUNTER-GAULT: And you are optimistic that it's even higher perhaps?
Dr. DeVITA: Oh, I think so. The data we reported to the National Cancer Advisory Board was 1980 data. It takes us a couple of years to analyze these data. At the rate that it's increasing, and the fact that that's a very conservative estimate, we think that it's already over 50%.
HUNTER-GAULT: What explains this overall improvement?
Dr. DeVITA: In most cases we can attribute it to advances in cancer treatment. If you look at some of the disease-specific relative survival rates, like in ovarian cancer, we can attribute the decline in national mortality to improvement in survival to cancer treatment. And in men, in testicular cancer, there is a rather dramatic improvement in the treatment of the disease with drugs.
HUNTER-GAULT: Are there more doctors involved in doing cancer work as well?
Dr. DeVITA: We have about 3,000 of the medical oncologists now treating cancer patients. In 1970 we really had only about a few hundred. We have 1,900 radiation therapists. In 1970 we only had a few hundred.So we have many more doctors now.
HUNTER-GAULT: So the treatment and the number of doctors go hand in hand. What about other things like eating habits?
Dr. DeVITA: Well, that hasn't affected the survival for most of the cancers, although there's one cancer, cancer of the stomach, where the incidence and the mortality his dropped quite dramatically, and we think that was due to a change in eating habits in the 1930s.
HUNTER-GAULT: I want to go back to the stomach one in just a minute, but let me ask you before that, do you consider the five-year survival, when you reach five years, do you consider that person cured? I mean, is it the equivalent of a cure?
Dr. DeVITA: It depends on the cancer. For the people who survive five years, 85% of those people will survive 20 years. So we think the relative survival rate on the average is a good indicator that people will survive their cancer. For some cancers, surviving two years is indicative of a cure, and for breast cancer, where the relapse rate tends to occur later, the five-year figure is not a good figure. So it varies a bit.
HUNTER-GAULT: Right. Now, just on the breast cancer, that survival rate was 75%. How significant is that?
Dr. DeVITA: Well, it's very significant. Many more people -- more women with breast cancer are cured by current-day treatment than are not, and in part that's due to early diagnosis. We have mammography, which has made a significant impact on diagnosing breast cancer patients earlier.
HUNTER-GAULT: That's an X-ray --
Dr. DeVITA: That's an X-ray technique to X-ray the breast. The other important advance has been the use of chemotherapy, drugs in the post-operative period in breast cancer, and I think the third very important advance is that all this is achievable now without sacrificing the breasts. So that we have actually less mutilating surgery combined with improved survival.So it's a rather dramatic change in the outcome for breast cancer.
HUNTER-GAULT: So you expect that, I would imagine from what you've just said, to continue to improve?
Dr. DeVITA: Oh, yes indeed. I don't even think we're seeing the full impact of the newer treatments yet in the data that we reported.
HUNTER-GAULT: What about prostate cancer? That has, according to your study, a survival rate of 67%. What accounts for that?
Dr. DeVITA: Well, that's -- we have been able to treat prostate cancer in its localized forms with surgery and with radiotherapy for some time, and we now have some newer hormonetype treatments that are impacting on the management of more advanced prostate cancer.
HUNTER-GAULT: All right, now, lung cancer. That was one of the lowest ones. I think it was about 12%.
Dr. DeVITA: That is correct.
HUNTER-GAULT: Why is that one so difficult?
Dr. DeVITA: It's a very difficult cancer to treat in most cases, although patients who are caught in the very early stages have a 30% overall survival. I think we catch a lot of lung cancer patients at a later stage.
HUNTER-GAULT: Why is it so difficult to treat? Just that you don't detect it until later?
Dr. DeVITA: It spreads outside of the confines of the chest earlier so that it would require drug treatment to treat it more effectively in most cases than for the commonest kind of lung cancer. We don't have the most effective drugs at this point in time.
HUNTER-GAULT: Does that have a name, the commonest one, or --
Dr. DeVITA: Well, it's called squamous. It's all cancer of the lung. There's another kind called small-cell cancer of the lung that is yielding to drug treatment and radiation treatment.
HUNTER-GAULT: You mentioned stomach cancer a minute ago, a rate of about 14% survival. How much progress are you making in that area?
Dr. DeVITA: Well, we haven't made much progress in the treatment of stomach cancer, but the national mortality from stomach cancer has dropped dramatically over the last 30 years. That's because fewer people are getting stomach cancer, and we think that came about from a natural change in the diet that the American people began to eat, starting around the 1930s.
HUNTER-GAULT: Eating what as opposed to what?
Dr. DeVITA: Well, the most important thing that happened, I think, was widespread -- widely available refrigeration, and that made the curing of meats and the smoking of meats, which contain some materials in them that may cause stomach cancer, and the availability of Vitamin C contained in foods widely available the year round. And we can attribute, I think, the decrease in incidents due to that. In fact, in Japan, where stomach cancer has been the leading cause of death from cancer in recent years, they have just begun to see a decrease in their incidence in mortality, probably for the same reason.
HUNTER-GAULT: What about this wide gap that exists between whites and blacks?I know the black rate improved a little bit, but it's still wide compared to the white. What accounts for that, in your view?
Dr. DeVITA: Well, first of all, there are a couple of reasons. The data base that we use to measure these figures in blacks has not been as good, so there's a little bit of what we call "noise" in the data. We can't be as sure of the accuracy in blacks, although we think it's an accurate reflection of what's going on.
HUNTER-GAULT: Why is that?
Dr. DeVITA: Well, we did not have a complete registry for the black population. We've just added the state of New Jersey, so that we now have a 12% sample of the country and 12% sample of the black population as well. But I think it's real. I think the differences are real and Dr. LaSalle Leffall, a member of our board --
HUNTER-GAULT: From Howard University?
Dr. DeVITA: Professor of surgery from Howard, at the board meeting commented that he thought that the major reason was that the black population in the rural populations are not receiving the same kind of medical care perhaps, the state of the art treatment, that we might get in some of the bigger cities around major medical centers.
HUNTER-GAULT: Well, generally overall though, the rates do seem to be improving, as you indicated. Do you share the opinion of some scientises that we will be able to wipe out cancer by the year 2000?
Dr. DeVITA: Well, I don't think we'll wipe it out, although I must say it's a dangerous time to predict -- and I mean dangerous in a good sense.Things are moving so rapidly in the basic sciences that we learn something new every day.
HUNTER-GAULT: Is it going to be in the form of a big breakthrough or is it going to be little incremental steps?
Dr. DeVITA: Well, I think the big breakthrough that we've had in the last couple of years has been the discovery of the oncogenes, the switches that probably make the cells go awry, and the practical application of that information may make a big dent. However, I do think by the year 2000 we may get down to something like 50% of our current cancer mortality as a reasonable target.
HUNTER-GAULT: All right, Dr. DeVita, I'm sorry we're out of time. I'm sure we'll be back to this later. Thank you. Robin?
MacNEIL: Now our nightly recap of the day's top stories.
A Florida murderer awaiting execution has the Pope and U.S. bishops trying to save him, but the U.S. circuit court of appeals in Atlanta has vacated the stay of execution granted him yesterday.
Greyhound management tells the striking union workers, "Take our offer or lose your jobs."
The U.S. and Israel agree on means to increase military and political cooperation.
The Supreme Court hears arguments in a case important to women's access to professional schools and college sports.
The government reports little progress against organized crime, but a lot of progress on cancer.
LEHRER: Finally tonight, some news from the Internal Revenue Service, which we present neutrally and cleanly, free of all smirks, smiles and stale jokes about your friendly tax collector. IRS Commissioner Roscoe Egger this morning announced a new technical innovation. Many 1983 tax returns will be read and checked first by machines instead of people. The machines are optical scanners similar to those used now at many grocery store checkout counters. It will speed up the process which leads to those who cheat and/or err, and to sending refund checks to those who don't.
ROSCOE EGGER, Jr., commissioner, Internal Revenue Service: The 1040EZ form, which was new last year, was a best-seller. Out of a universe of about 20 million taxpayers that were eligible to use the EZ, we had something over 15 million of them filed. Last year, when we were processing the 1040EZs in our normal fashion, a transcriber could process about 113 of these tax forms in an hour.Using the optical scanning techniques, we confidently expect this year, that is the next filing season, to be able to process about 750 an hour.
LEHRER [voice-over]: The commissioner was asked for recommendations also for assuring your tax return will be audited this year.
Comm. EGGER: Tax shelter, tax shelter, tax shelter, tax shelter.
LEHRER: So if you're lucky enough to be poor enough to not need a tax shelter, well, then never mind. Good night, Robin.
MacNEIL: Good night, Jim. That's our NewsHour tonight. We'll be back with another tomorrow night. I'm Robert MacNeil. Good night.
The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour
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Episode Description
This episode's headline: Greyhound Ultimatum; Title IX Fight; Cancer Survival Rates Up. The guests include In Washington: CHARLES MacKENZIE, Grove City College; MARGARET KOHN, National Women's Law Center; Dr. VINCENT DeVITA, National Concer Institute; In Tempe, Arizona: FRANK NAGEOTTE, Greyhound Lines; In New York: DOMENIC SIRIGNANO, Union Local President. Byline: In New York: ROBERT MacNEIL, Executive Editor; In Washington: JIM LEHRER, Associate Editor; Reports from NewsHour Correspondents: CHRIS WAYNE (BBC), in Geneva; JUDY WOODRUFF, in Washington; CHARLAYNE HUNTER-GAULT, in New York; LESTER M. CRYSTAL, Executive Producer
7PM; discussion of Greyhound's ultimatum to employees on strike; report on government intervention (revoking Pell Grants) in cases of gender bias in colleges; improvements in survival rate of cancers
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Chicago: “The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour,” 1983-11-29, NewsHour Productions, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed March 31, 2023,
MLA: “The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour.” 1983-11-29. NewsHour Productions, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. March 31, 2023. <>.
APA: The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour. Boston, MA: NewsHour Productions, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from