An artist's sketch of the CBS-Westmoreland trial in Friday's editions was done by Aggie Kenny, not the Associated Press.
With jury selection almost complete for the trial of retired Army General William C. Westmoreland's $120 million libel suit against CBS Inc., the source of fascination to veteran trial experts on opening day today was not so much who had made the panel but who had been bumped.
New York Times reporter Albin Krebs was out in the first round. He recently wrote his paper's obituary for Ellsworth Bunker, U.S. ambassador to South Vietnam during most of the war, and was one of the few potential jurors who had heard of such people as former CIA director Richard M. Helms and former secretary of defense Robert S. McNamara.
A member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars whose son fought in Vietnam also was denied, or perhaps spared, the expected three-month courtroom battle over Westmoreland's charge that CBS libeled him two years ago with a documentary called "The Uncounted Enemy: A Vietnam Deception."
An IBM engineer who said he had been turned down as a volunteer for Vietnam combat was likewise rejected for jury duty.
Both sides apparently vetoed a man who spoke with uncommon firmness and who said that while his primary reading matter is The New York Times, he also reads the conservative National Review.
"He was too firm, probably too certain about his opinions about things," said Arthur Patterson, president of a jury analysis firm in Pennsylvania hired by Cable News Network to analyze the process.
Patterson said the jury of six men and six women chosen today would be a "good one, fair. They've taken out all the obvious biases." Six alternates are expected to be empaneled Tuesday.
The jury will be asked to decide whether CBS showed "reckless disregard for the truth" when it aired the documentary charging that Westmoreland led a "conspiracy" to alter and suppress enemy troop figures in reports to the press, public, Congress and his superiors, including President Johnson.
They will pass judgment on testimony from some of the top administrators and military men in the Johnson administration.
The jury is well-educated and well-read. There are at least seven college graduates -- two with master's degrees -- and at least two others with two years of college.
Asked where they got their news, the panelists were almost divided equally -- some preferring television, others newspapers and more than a few taking information from both. But even for this group, the period on which the case will hinge -- the months before the January 1968 Tet offensive -- has become all but forgotten history.
When U.S. District Court Judge Pierre N. Leval asked 18 potential jurors if they had heard of many Vietnam-era luminaries, most had not. The best known was former secretary of state Dean Rusk, who drew five affirmative responses.
All but one potential juror, however, had seen CBS commentator Mike Wallace, a defendant.