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Old 11-14-2005, 09:46 PM
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Default Go John Go (Swinton)


"There is no such thing in America as an independent press, unless it is in the country towns. You know it and I know it. There is not one of you who dare to write his honest opinions, and if you did you know beforehand they would never appear in print. I am paid $150 a week for keeping my honest opinions out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for doing similar things. If I should permit honest opinions to be printed in one issue of my paper, like Othello, before twenty-four hours, my occupation would be gone.

The business of the New York journalist is to destroy the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of Mammon, and to sell his race and his country for his daily bread. You know this and I know it, and what folly is this to be 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, New York Times editor, speech to journalists at the Twilight Club in New York City, 1883-04-12

(source: George Seldes, "The Great Quotations", Lyle Stuart, New York, 1960. P. 671.)

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