Sunday, March 04, 2007

Before You Watch The Evening News


One night, probably in 1880, John Swinton, then the preeminent New York journalist, was the guest of honour at a banquet given him by the leaders of his craft. Someone who knew neither the press nor Swinton offered a toast to the independent press. Swinton outraged his colleagues by replying:

"There is no such thing, at this date in 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 weekly for keeping my honest opinion out of the paper i am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things, and any of you that would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job. If I allowed my opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty four hours, my occupation would be gone. The business of journalists is to destroy the truth; to lie out-right; to fawn at the feet of other men, 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 the vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes."


John Swinton, the former Managing Editor for the New York Times, was called by his peers "The Dean of his Profession". Click here for more. For more research into the background of this controversial quote click here.

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3 Comments:

Blogger TrueLogic said...

Very interesting... Though most know this fact today.

I herby pay Tribute by giving Honor and thanks over 100 years later, for the Honest and Outspoken Truthful opinion of John Swinton.

There are a few Go Getter Truth seekers in the Media today. But... They are usually the un assimilated rookies, who haven't been Silenced yet.

3:03 AM  
Blogger Nameless said...

Swinton was a Marxist who hated capitalism and the press' role in a free market.

9:40 AM  
Blogger TrueLogic said...

This is the first I've heard of Him.

10:40 AM  

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