Former NEW YORK TIMES Chief of Staff, JOHN SWINTON: “WE ARE INTELLECTUAL PROSTITUTES.”
Every once in a while, journalists demonstrate that they can tell the truth–if even such an occurrence happens behind closed doors.
“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 weekly 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.” —
—John Swinton, the former Chief of Staff for the New York Times, New York Press Club in 1880. (h/t:M)
As stated: occasionally, behind closed doors, journalists do tell the truth
The rest of the time, by one of their own’s admission: they are guns for hire, writing for their pay and their paymasters, whatever the traffic will bear.
Regardless of how many barrels of ink they spill squawking about “defending the citizens’ freedoms” and other such nonsense.
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