Tuesday, December 03, 2002
Larry King interviewed Don Hewitt last night and asked him about Augusta. Hewitt is the 80-year-old producer of CBS's 60 Minutes, and the topic du jour was whether Hewitt would be forced to retire. But they talked about many things, and King asked Hewitt whether CBS, which broadcasts the Master's, should take a position on Martha Burk's campaign to force the club to admit women. Hewitt: That's the New York Times' crusade, not mine. And right he is. Today's Times has yet another story on it, focusing on a former CBS chief, Thomas Wyman, who resigned in protest over the policy. Wyman:
"There are obviously some redneck, old-boy types down there, but there are a lot of very thoughtful rational people in the membership, and they feel as strongly as I do."
Maybe this really is a North-South divide, as USA Today op-ed writer Steve Eubanks wrote recently.
Wyman acknowledges the criticism that all-female colleges discriminate every bit as much as Augusta does--but he doesn't address the issue. His defense: "That's different."
[Hootie]Johnson has compared the club to private women's colleges or the Girl Scouts of America.
Wyman said: "But given the particular nature of the event Augusta National hosts, which is a worldwide treasure, we have a larger responsibility. Excluding a woman from the membership is not right.