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 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 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 who 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 twenty-four 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 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.” (Source: Labor’s Untold Story, by Richard O. Boyer and Herbert M. Morais

In the words of former British Defence Secretary Dennis Healey,
“World events do not occur by accident. They are made to happen, whether it is to do with national issues or commerce; and most of them are staged and managed by those who hold the purse strings.”

On 19/05/2008, at 7:36 AM, Jason S. Miller wrote:
Let’s face facts: academics on the whole are a cowardly bunch of self-serving narcissists, spineless sycophants who eschew controversy and pathetically ingratiate themselves with administrators and bureaucrats. First, they are normalized into silence and conformity in order to win their bid for tenure, a highly political process that dispatches iconoclasts, non-conformists, and proponents of radical or controversial ideas. After enduring 5 years of submissiveness and self-repression, newly tenured professors theoretically have the right to speak their minds freely, but by then they often are thoroughly conditioned and co-opted, and there are always further rewards and punishments dangled in front of them, meted out according to the speech-acts they choose. These superfluous gasbags and oxygen thieves could possibly redeem themselves if they began each day by studying the spine-shivering words of Dr. Martin Luther King (who didn’t fear losing his life, let alone a job): “Cowardice asks the question: Is it safe? Expediency asks the question: Is it politic? Vanity asks the question: Is it popular? But conscience asks the question: Is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it simply because it is right.”


Next Post

UNCENSORED DOCTOR: Antipsychotics given for dementia pose risks-study

Wed May 28 , 2008
(Embargoed for release at 4 p.m. EDT/ 2000 GMT, May 26) CHICAGO, May 26 (Reuters) – Elderly dementia patients prescribed antipsychotic drugs are at three times the risk of a serious health problem or dying within a month of treatment, compared to those not given the drugs, Canadian researchers said […]

You May Like