I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinion out of the paper.
Date: Fri, 18 Aug 95 17:16:57 -0700
From: Peter Langston <psl>
Subject: I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinion out of the paper.
Forwarded-by: firstname.lastname@example.org (Keith Bostic)
Forwarded-by: email@example.com (Quote of the day)
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 his honest opinion, and if you did, you know
beforehand it would never appear in print. I am paid weekly for keeping
my honest opinion out of the paper. Others of you are paid similar
salaries for similar things. and any of you who would be so foolish as to
write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job.
If I allow my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before
24 hours, my occupation would be gone. The business of the journalist 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 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 all the property
of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes.
-- John Swinden, 1953, then head of the New York Times, when asked
to toast an independent press in a gathering at the National
Press Club (at a time when the public was not allowed to attend).
© 1995 Peter Langston