Mark DeWolfe Howe '28, professor of Law, has turned down an invitation to appear on a WGBH-TV program covering Gov. George C. Wallace's speech here next Monday.
Howe's rejection, one of six by Boston-area professors, has left WGBH without anyone to rebut Wallace. Robert L. Larsen, the station's program manager, said yesterday that if the station did not succeed in lining up an opposition speaker this morning, the program would "very likely" be canceled.
Howe said last night that he refused the invitation, because Wallace will be making a speech, not debating. "I don't see why I should comment on a speech by him up here any more than one he makes in the state of Alabama," Howe added. "If I were going to comment, I'd have to listen to him, and I don't want to spend my evening listening to him."
If the program is run, it will cover Wallace's speech live from Sanders Theater and then switch to WGBH studios for a rebuttal by a professor or panel of professors from area schools. Larsen, who has been trying since Friday to get even one rebuttal speaker, said that if he received no acceptances this morning it would be a "pretty fair indication" that it was too late to find a competent speaker in opposition to Wallace. In that event, the program would be dropped, he said, adding "We wouldn't think of putting Gov. Wallace on alone."
Larsen indicated he would contact another six professors this morning--two of them from Harvard--but declined to give names.
Gov. Wallace, who had refused to debate any Harvard faculty member on the grounds that none was "of the same national stature" as himself, reportedly had no objections to the proposed television format.