Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The National Media

John Swinton, former Chief of Staff of The New York Times hit the nail on the head in 1953 at a function at the New York Press Club when he stated: "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 opinion, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid weekly to keep my honest opinion out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similiar salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job. If I allowed my honest opinion in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four 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 his country 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 for 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.