Birmingham Student Paper Assails Fifth Estate


Fifth Estate # 33, July 1-15, 1967

Editors note: The Fifth Estate continued to win readers and supporters throughout the Detroit Metropolitan area.

The following review of the paper recently appeared in the school newspaper of Covington Jr. High School in Birmingham.

Covington student Claudia Marcun II forwarded the story to us.

Dennis Nelson

Recently, a so-called “underground” newspaper, the Fifth Estate, has appeared at Covington. Since no one, not even the administration at Covington, can suppress sales to students (it is sure to be sold outside school if necessary), it should be discussed.

As a city newspaper, the Fifth Estate leaves much to be desired. A newspaper’s function is to inform the public of current events and news stories in the city. Obviously, the newspaper is written for a special interest group, but if someone from another city were to read the “newspaper,” and assume it presented a clear view of events in Detroit, he would be left with the impression that all the city has to offer is love-ins, vietniks, hippies, marijuana-smokers, anti-Vietnam War rallies, and meetings of the Young Socialist Alliance. The Fifth Estate presents a leftist view of Detroit and should be regarded as such, but not as an objective newspaper.

The editorial page is composed of the whole newspaper. Instead of reporting objective facts, they add a leftist slant to each “news story.” Rather than giving facts of both sides, they give their own slanted view of society and draw their own slanted conclusions.

Presenting an open forum to leftists and hippies, the most non-productive and worthless elements of society, this so-called newspaper glorifies the radical left’s viewpoint under the guise of love and brotherhood.

I do not say the paper should be abolished or that the leftist viewpoint should be suppressed, but it is necessary to expose these activities for what they are. The Fifth Estate, like many of its counterparts of the Underground Press, is basically a forum of the New Left and should be read as such (if read at all).