Friday, April 11, 2014

"Intellectual Prostitutes..."

"There is no such thing, at this date of the world's history, in America as an independent press. You know it and I know it. There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinions, and if you did you know beforehand that it would never appear in print.

I am paid $150 a week for keeping my honest opinion out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for things, and if any of you would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job. If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before 24 hours, my occupation would be gone.
The business of the journalists is to destroy the truth; to lie outright; to pervert; to vilify; to fawn at the feet of Mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. You know it and I know it and what folly is this toasting an independent press. We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are jumping-jacks - they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes!"
- John Swinton, 1914, former Editor, "New York Times"
"Mr. Swinton, (1828 - 1921), made the statement in 1914 in his speech at the New York Press Club during his retirement party from the "New York Times." Swinton had been managing editor of the New York Sun until he started his own journal - John Swinton's Paper in 1883. It became one of the most influential and interesting journals in the country. It played a significant role in the upheaval of the American working class in the mid 1880's. Swinton was active in the free-state movement in Kansas and later worked for the "New York Times." - Wikipedia

It appears that very little has changed since 1914...
- CP

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