Saturday, August 30, 2014

Standard Oil and its Hirelings of the Press

Standard Oil and its Hirelings of the Press

WERE it not for the newspaper press and periodicals of the Hearst's Magazine sort, interests like Mr. Archbold and Standard Oil long ago would have stolen everything to the public back fence. As matters stand, their villain pillage has hardly stopped short of it. Also, it wasn't the law, but the printing press which halted them. The press is the policeman of popular right. President Wilson, observing - and also fearing - the pernicious Criminal Privilege activities of certain subsidized newspapers, in the war over tariff schedules now being fought out in the Senate, was driven only the other day to issue his White House warning to mankind. Said Mr. Wilson:

Washington has seldom seen so numerous, so industrious, or so insidious a lobby. The newspapers are being filled with paid advertisements calculated lo mislead the judgment of public men not only, but also the public opinion of the country itself. There is every evidence that money without limit is being spent to sustain this lobby, and to create an appearance of a pressure of public opinion antagonistic lo some of the chief items of the Tariff bill.

If this be not enough, consider what has been accomplished by the publication of the Archbold letters. Mr. Hearst began reading them, and his newspapers and magazines began printing them, in October, 1908. In less than five years, by their sheer effect, such Archbold-Standard Oil "statesmen," as Mr. Foraker, Mr. Bailey, Mr. Lorimer, Mr. McLaurin, Mr. Grosvenor, and Mr. Sibley have been driven from their high political places. They no longer cumber and disgrace the House and Senate earth. They no longer figure in affairs of importance.

What papers and magazines yielded to Mr. Archbold's enrollment, and accepted his bounty, repaid that little intriguing Standard Oiler in more fashions than one. Be sure that Standard Oil has received a full return for what thousands Mr. Archbold paid such publications as the Pittsburgh Times, the Southern Farm Magazine, the Manufacturers' Record, and Gunton's Magazine.

While not appointed to hunt papers, but only congressmen, even Setter-dog Sibley became impressed by the Standard Oil propriety of getting a greasy hold on the press.

Says Setter-dog Sibley:

Joseph C. Sibley, Chairman.

Committee on Manufactures.

House of Representatives, U. S.

Washington, March 7th, 1905.

My dear Mr. A.

The illness of Mrs. Sibley has prevented my coming to N. Y. Senator B. was to have gone over with me. I think he will go anyway as he has business there. I had a conversation with an important "official" yesterday and he told me there was but one thing to do and that was to start a "back fire." Like myself, he is much alarmed and as an official of the reigning family his hand and tongue are tied.

He thinks the work should be done in the education of public sentiment between now and the meeting of Congress in Oct. It has I think been decided to convene Cong in Ex Session at that Time though The Speaker will try and have it go over until Nov. if he can't do better. I will know in a day or two how he succeeds; Long (Senator) and Curtis (Rep) are the strong men in the Kansas delegation. I have explained matters to them and I think their influence will count some when they go home. Campbell is a clever boy, has no strong points on place yet developed, he seeks notoriety, but is harmless in himself. This agitation in the language of another "started from the top," and will run its course, it is not a deep seated and profound conviction of wrong.

The one thing is to get delay until temperate action can be secured, we will recover from Lawsonitis if we get pure air for a while.

I think the pendulum will swing to the other side after a while but I don't want the devil to pay before it gets back. An efficient Literary Bureau is needed, not for a day, or a crisis, but a permanent and healthy control of Associated Press and kindred avenues. It will cost money but will be the cheapest in the end and can be made self-supporting. The next four years is more than any previous epoch to determine the future of this Country. No man values public opinion or fears it so much as Roosevelt. No man seeks popularity as much as he. Mild reproof or criticisms of his policies would nearly paralyze him. To-day he hears only the chorus of a rabble, and he thinks it is public sentiment. I don't know whether the Industrial Corporations and the Transportation Co's have enough at stake to justify a union of forces for concerted action. It seems to me necessary. I am in position where I see both sides of the game and still think our friends play politics once in four years while the other side play it all the time.

Sincerely yours,


(See pages 30, 31 for fac-similes of two pages of this letter.)

As you read recall the warning of President Wilson - other Sibleys of the House and Senate are writing other letters to "my dear Mr. A." of 26 Broadway, telling of the comings in and goings out of other "Senator B's" and relating their "conversation with an important official," and urging the Criminal Privilege propriety of "a back-fire."

Five years ago, at the startling time when Mr. Hearst began reading and printing the Archbold letters, the people's cry of indignation was everywhere raised. The cry was echoed by such honest ones among the editors - all unbought and unbribed of Mr. Archbold and Standard Oil - as Colonel Watterson. From stump, from pulpit, from press, from people, came condemnation of the slimy Mr. Archbold for his Standard Oil crimes. And yet, with all that good, honest condemnatory example before them, what single syllable of denunciation was heard to emanate from a Duke or a Morgan or a Vanderbilt or a Schwab or a Stillman or a Carnegie or a Havemeyer?

Steel, sugar, tobacco, coal, every trust on the black-flag list, had been and was buying Senators and House men, judges, and governors, as industriously as were Mr. Archbold and Standard Oil. The only difference between them and Mr. Archbold was that no one had come forward thus far with their letters. They had not been found out. Wherefore, equal in selfish interest as equal in their works, our thousand and one expositors of Special Privilege - the Vanderbilts, the Morgans, the Carnegies, the Stillmans, the Dukes, the Schwabs, and the Havemeyers—maintained a masterly, not to say a polite silence, while Mr. Hearst uncovered the Archbold corruptions.

While making his investments in other than oil fields, Mr. Rockefeller and his co-workers in the vineyard of Criminal Privilege, in no wise rejected the ink-and-paper field. Standard Oil years ago set flowing a growing, broadening, deepening stream of gold into the channels of the monthly, weekly, and daily press. Some publications it bought outright; others it only bribed.

There was a personage of the Tribe of Highbrows whose title was Professor, and whose name was Gunton. He posed as an authority on political economy, which exalted Criminal Privilege, and counseled the poor to creep back into their cages. The better to preach these doctrines, in New York at 41 Union Square, Mr. Gunton evolved and printed Gunton's Magazine. Both Editor Gunton and Gunton's Magazine pleased Mr. Archbold.

As witness the following:

Sept. 28, 1899.

My dear Professor:

I have your very kind favor of yesterday with various enclosures for all of which I beg you to accept many thanks. I am greatly interested and much amused over the incident which you relate regarding Governor Roosevelt. Think he is doing splendidly. The recent speech of Senator Foraker in Ohio is also very good. I have no doubt you noticed it.

Very truly yours,

Jno. D. Archbold.

Prof. George Gunton,

41 Union Square, City.

And this Letter a month later:

[Oct ??? ]

My dear Professor:

Responding to your favor, it gives me pleasure to enclose you herewith certificate of deposit to your favor for $5,000., as an additional contribution to that agreed upon to aid you in your most excellent work. I most earnestly hope that the way will open for the large scope as you anticipate.

Very truly yours,

Jno. D. Archbold.

Prof. George Gunton,

41 Union Square, City.

(See top of this page for fac-simile.)

Evidently the "dear Professor" had been writing his "dear Mr. A." of some literary flight he meditated, and the latter little gentleman was only too eager to finance it - with Standard Oil money, of course. How familiarly that "certificate of deposit in your favor" breaks upon the eye! Five thousand dollars!

Later Miss Tarbell, eminent as a magazine writer, took occasion to show that the appreciative Mr. Archbold, for fifteen years, had been paying into the personal palms of Mr. Gunton an annual $15,000; and - all in the name of Standard Oil - had backed his magazine and rostrum efforts to the tune of 8250,000 more.

After an annual $15,000 for fifteen years to Mr. Gunton, the following to Mr. Magee will sound flat, feeble, and cheap.

January 17th, 1899.

Hon. W. A. Magee,

Pittsburgh Times,

Pittsburgh, Pa.

Dear Sir:

As per understanding, herewith enclosed find Certificate of Deposit to your order for $1250, the receipt of which kindly acknowledge.

Truly yours,

Jno. D. Archbold.

(See page 26 for fac-similc.)

Twelve hundred and fifty dollars!

It was all it was worth, however.

And yet, there's this to be thought of. Mr. Magee, here addressed as connected with the Pittsburgh Times, belonged to the great House of Magee, the head of which ruled over Keystone politics at his particular Pittsburgh end of the alley. The Times might mean but little, taken merely as the Times. But what if, in this Archbold-Standard Oil connection, the name included that Magee boss-ship? How important the latter would be to Governor Stone, and Congressman Dalzell, and others of the Standard Oil herd who lived in the smoke-thrown Pittsburgh shadow? Possibly Mr. Archbold wrote other letters to Mr. Magee, and enclosed other and more satisfying certificates of deposit.

Down in Baltimore there's a magazine called the Manufacturers' Record. Connected with its management, twelve years ago, was Mr. Edmonds. Apparently, Mr. Edmonds and Mr. Archbold had met - and agreed - in a business way; for early in 1901 one finds Mr. Archbold writing this:

26 Broadway.

February 13th, 1901.

Mr. R. H. Edmonds,

Baltimore, Md.

Dear Mr. Edmonds:

I have your several very interesting favors. I return you Senator McLaurin's letter with the clippings.

The whole affair at Washington has been most interesting.

Have been sorry indeed to hear of the Senator's illness. Mr. Griscom undertook to have a talk with him on Monday through a mutual friend. Your own work in all this matter has been most admirable. Very truly yours,

Jno. D. Archbold.

The sick statesman alluded to was Senator Gorman. The "talk," which Mr. Griscom was to have had with him, would have borne upon the Shipping Bill, a measure concerning which Mr. Archbold never ceased to get excited. There's nothing in this magazine's possession to indicate just what was that "whole affair at Washington" which Mr. Archbold found "most interesting." But since a certain man was in the White House, and a certain boss was in the Republican saddle, it's a safe wager that "the whole affair" concerned Special Privilege in a favorable, rivet-fastening way.

Mr. Edmonds' work "has been most admirable"; later he is, no doubt, to receive good news as related to Mr. Grasty and the Southern Farm Magazine. For says Mr. Archbold:

26 Broadway.

December 18th, 1901.

Mr. Thomas P. Grasty,

C/o Buck & Pratt,

Room 1203, 27 William St., City.

Dear Mr. Grasty:

I have your favors of yesterday, and beg to return you herewith the telegram from Mr. Edmonds to you. We are willing to continue the subscription of $5,000 to the Southern Farm Magazine for another year, payments to be made the same way they have been made this year. We do not doubt but that the influence of your publication throughout the South is of a most helpful character. With good wishes, I am,

Very truly yours,

Jno. D. Archbold.

(See page 24 for fac-simile.)

For how many Southern Farm Magazines should that 5000-dollar subscription pay? Also, would it confer upon its editorial utterances a Standard Oil hue?

Mr. Archbold not alone takes annual care of the Southern Farm Magazine to the extent of a comfortable and comforting $5000, but he recalls that Mr. Edmonds has a hookup with the Manufacturers' Record. To remember is to act with Mr. Archbold, and he indites the following:

26 Broadway.

Oct. 10th, 1902.

Mr. R. H. Edmonds,

Baltimore, Md.

Dear Sir:

Responding to your favor of the 9th, it gives me pleasure to enclose you herewith certificate of deposit to your favor for $3,000, covering a year's subscription to the Manufacturers' Record. Truly yours,

Jno. D. Archbold.

Does any gentleman know if Mr. Archbold has kept up or discontinued his Standard Oil "subscription" to the Manufacturers' Record and the Southern Farm Magazine? What are those earnest papers just now saying of oil and wool and sugar and income tax?

The plot thickens; Mr. Grasty comes to New York, establishes himself at the Waldorf-Astoria and addresses Mr. Archbold. Also, the greatest little letter writer of any age makes next day's haste to answer. Says he:

26 Broadway.

December 11th, 1902.

Mr. Thomas P. Grasty,

Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, City.

My dear Mr. Grasty:

I have your favor of yesterday. It may be the first of the week before I can bring the matter up you so ably present, but I shall hope for favorable consideration of it at the hands of my friends here. There is no doubt whatever of the excellent work being done by your publications, and by yourself and Mr. Edmonds on all the lines, and I feel that it would be almost an act of presumption to make any suggestions with reference to your course. If anything at any time occurs to us, however, we will not hesitate to speak of it, in response to your kind suggestion. The Lindsay matter was certainly most admirably handled.

Very truly yours,

Jno. D. Archbold.

How exasperating to have but the fraction or merest fragment of so entertaining a correspondence! And the world might have had it all, had those with the facts in their keeping acted upon specific instructions to bring to the fore what all men should see and know.

Mr. Grasty abandons the WaldorfAstoria for the Hotel York, and composes a long and earnest letter to Mr. A.:

Hotel York, Dec. 4, 1903.

Dear Mr. Archbold:

In the article, "Teachers Vs. Doers," in the Manufacturers' Record this week, there is a world of good common sense. Although Mr. Morgan is commended as the leader in rescuing transportation properties and thereby meeting the needs of the country . . . nevertheless I want to say to you that I believe that it would be a good thing if Mr. Morgan could be peacefully and quietly supplanted as the most conspicuous representative of financial power. . . . You can scarcely realize how much harm has been done by his "undoing," or by what people consider the exposure of his methods. But whatever we may call it, the effect of the discredit which has befallen him, has been to make the public believe - or at least to take seriously - sensational stories, concocted for demagogic effect, which prior to these disclosures were considered as unfounded and unworthy of credence. ... I honestly believe that the interests of such immeasurable magnitude as Mr. Morgan is supposed to dominate, ought to be under the control of wiser men men with sense enough to see and avoid such palpable pitfalls as surrounded the ship-building deal. A substitution of controlling power a change of generals seems to me the only way to escape the consequences of (and to head off) public distrust of our great organizations and to stop the supply of fresh ammunition to the "trust busters."

Now, among the latter I put Theodore Roosevelt and W. R. Hearst in the same category - and Hearst today has an organization of immense efficiency made up of first class, high-priced brains backed not by a barrel but by a hogshead, and is liable to be the Democratic nominee for the presidency. That Roosevelt will be the Republican nominee is a foregone conclusion. Now in times of depression the slogan, "Anything for a change," goes a long way. If a chance be even possible and in my opinion it is probable people who stand for the maintenance of American institutions and for the "greatest good to the greatest number," ought to be arranging to prevent the possibility of such a disaster as Hearst's election to the presidency. Mr. Gorman is the only man that can beat him, if I read correctly the signs of the times.

Yours truly, Thomas P. Grasty.

Mr. Grasty's views hold one's interest like a novel by Walter Scott. Also "palpable pitfall" is good. You see it was on the sharp heels of the ship-trust explosion, and the exposure of that memorable "watering" of some $10,000,000 of actual assets to nearly $40,000,000 in stocks and bonds. The cautious Mr. Archbold never answered this letter.

The Grasty feeler as to Mr. Gorman is as transparent as glass. It's drawing in toward a presidential nomination, and Mr. Gorman - who's been a never-failing candidate since the first Cleveland inauguration in 1885 - is Mr. Grasty's choice.

Mr. Grasty's next letter is, also, too long to print in full:

Telephone, 6243-38th.

Hotel York.

Thursday, Jan. 7, 1904.

Dear Mr. Archbold:

As you see I am back in New York. There are several matters for which I think one may "thank god and take courage " at the beginning of this year of grace. One is that the business men of this Country have apparently decided not to be "bull-dozed" by labor. Another matter for congratulation is that the U. S. Steel Corporation - an institution of incalculable significance & potential for evil or for good, - seem to be about to come under the control of men who do not make "mis-cues." Another is that the fear lest the Democrats may get together & nominate a strong, safe man, is likely to have a good effect on the President in bringing him to think more seriously & soberly & sanely than when he imagined he was going to have a "walk-over—" or rather a triumphal procession to a second term. . . . In this week's Record you will probably see a statement of the case from a very sensible editor down in Virginia. Whether you agree with it or not, I can but feel that it is not desirable from the standpoint of the interests you are identified with for any course or any policy calculated to stir up strife & embroil us in what might menace our commerce, to go uncriticized and unrebuked. "Hot-heads" are bad enough in private life: "hot-heads" at the helm of the ship of state must be put through a cooling process.

A final word about Gorman. It would be worth millions beyond computation to the business interests merely to have him nominated by the Democrats. He is the one possible candidate with whom an understanding can be reached. On this aspect of the case I want to tell you a few things that I can not quite say on paper. Yours truly,

Thomas P. Grasty.

One can see with the eye of fancy the dry grin on Mr. Archbold's face at this lofty lecturing by Mr. Grasty. Not but what Mr. Archbold will "thank God" as deeply as ever could Mr. Grasty, "that the business men of this country have apparently decided not to be bulldozed by labor."

Mr. Grasty's disclosures touching Mr. Gorman are interesting, especially those which Mr. Grasty "cannot quite say on paper." The confident Mr. Grasty, however, was barking at a knot. There was never the ghost of the shade of the shadow of a Gorman chance in 1904.

Six days elapse, and Mr. Grasty again writes Mr. Archbold:

Hotel York.

January 13th, 1904.

Dear Mr. Archbold:

I referred two months ago (in one of my letters to you) to W. R. Hearst's activities, and to the progress he was making. . . .

I send you herewith a clipping from today's N. Y. Times, showing a scheme that had never been suspected, i. e., to get the convention for the one city in which the Godless element is supreme.

I have heard that Mr. Morgan has said he'd rather have Hearst than Roosevelt. I want Mr. Gorman to feel that my friends are his friends. He has just asked me to come to see him. He is in some perplexity over a situation in Baltimore which 'tis thought I may be in a position to give some suggestions about. I do not mind saying to you that my relations with him are closely confidential by reason of a peculiar situation which I can't explain in a letter.

Whether he is nominated for the Presidency or not, he will as long as he lives, be the most powerful friend that any of us could have at Washington. His marvelous gift of heading off foolish moves, his ability to keep from being done what ought not to be done, make him a more useful friend than the fellow that "does things." As I was about to say, he ought to be the Democratic nominee, but if not, he will as long as he lives be a senator and a leader. He was never known to go back on a friend.

Yours truly, Thomas P. Grasty.

You will note that in all of these letters, Mr. Grasty never once speaks of Mr. Archbold's "reply." That isn't a Grasty impoliteness; Mr. Archbold has sent no reply. In vain does the fowler spread his net in the sight of any bird. Mr. Archbold knew that Mr. Gorman inspired, if he didn't quite dictate these letters, and was looking over Mr. Grasty's shoulder as they were taken down. To have written Mr. Grasty would have been to write Mr. Gorman, and Mr. Archbold wasn't ready to submit his own and Standard Oil's presidential preferences to the Maryland Machiavelli. Mr. Archbold is not without qualities which adorn the turkey gobbler, and the tail of his vanity is a broad and spreading tail. It will take a very much surer hand than Mr. Grasty's, however, to throw the cunning salt on it.

When the people's face puts on a frown, Mr. Rockefeller, Mr. Carnegie, and Mr. Archbold do not, to be sure, slash the tail off a dog. For, in pious circles, even more than any simple robbery, it might shake one's position. Avoiding, therefore, that dog curtailment, they institute a hookworm inquiry, or build a library, or give a million to a college, or arrange to pay perpetually the gas bill of St. Paul's. And in this they are wise. Any of these, as tempting aside the popular tongue, would serve much better than the vulgar de-tailment of some dog.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

What was the original definition of objective journalism? Where did it originate from?

Back in 1990, Richard Streckfuss, an Associate Professor of Journalism at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln wrote a paper titled "Objectivity in Journalism", in which he makes finding the answer to this question remarkably easy. Before the phrase "Objective Journalism" was born, science and news gathering were fused together in thought by Walter Lippmann, the Father of Modern Journalism. Realistically speaking, this one single thing is what earns Lippmann that title. Lippmann's ideal of the objective journalist can be found here, in his book titled "Liberty and the News", on page 82:
With this increase of prestige must go a professional training in journalism in which the ideal of objective testimony is cardinal. The cynicism of the trade needs to be abandoned, for the true patterns of the journalistic apprentice are not the slick persons who scoop the news, but the patient and fearless men of science who have labored to see what the world really is. It does not matter that the news is not susceptible of mathematical statement. In fact, just because news is complex and slippery, good reporting requires the exercise of the highest of the scientific virtues. They are the habits of ascribing no more credibility to a statement than it warrants, a nice sense of the probabilities, and a keen understanding of the quantitative importance of particular facts.

From there, an entire industry is born. Prior to Walter Lippmann, newspapers were either wildly sensationalist or they bore the name of a political party. Generally, the name of the political party in their title reflected the paper's partisan view. Such papers do still exist today, one such paper can be found Florida's Capital - the Tallahassee Democrat - but they are far and few inbetween compared to what they once were.

Lippmann's paragraph-long explanation is easily summed up in the book "The Elements of Journalism", on page 74:

in other words, the method is objective, not the journalist.

Of course, all of this is undermined by the dark side of modern journalism: its foundation of using strategically placed words to manipulate the readers.(Lippmann writes at length about how to manipulate the reading audience, here)

In addition to showing us where the ideal for so-called "objective journalism" comes from - the spirit of objective journalism; professor Streckfuss also puts on display where objectivity really gets fused together with journalism. In 1924, Nelson Antrim Crawford wrote a book titled "The Ethics of Journalism", in which he wrote the following:

"Aside from integrity, intelligence and objective-mindedness are the qualities most needed."

That's how these things get started. Note that Crawford did not come up with this idea all on his own by just plucking it out of thin air. A page search of Crawford's book reveals references to Walter Lippmann 20+ times.

Walter Lippmann really is the Father of Modern Journalism.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Socialism infecting the clergy


THREE hundred of the clergy of this country are declared to be allied with the Socialist movement by open profession, while many more are secretly in sympathy with the cause, but hesitate for prudential reasons to make an open avowal. Only a few years ago, it is stated, Socialist principles seemed to be confined to a small number of Unitarian preachers, "who, being radical in theology, readily became radical in sociology likewise." But now, we read in a statement issued by the Christian Socialist Fellowship, "not only do the Unitarians smell of the malady, but Episcopalians by the score, and numerous Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Disciples, Lutherans, Congregationalists, Universalists, and even Roman Catholics have become infected with the Socialist microbe and stricken with the disease." An active propaganda is contemplated by the ministers who have recently formed in New York what is to be known as the Ministers' Socialist Conference, which will hold closed sessions in order to avoid misrepresentation by the press. At a meeting held on April 29 a declaration of principles was adopted, and, as given to the press by the secretary, Rev. John D. Long, pastor of the Park Side Presbyterian Church, Brooklyn, embodies the following purposes:

"The United States Government according to the Constitution is a government of, by, and for the people. We go a step further and say that the people should also own the means of production and distribution. We realize that this can not be brought about suddenly, but everything is tending that way. The post-office system, the water supply, the public-school system, and several other things now run by the Government are applied Socialism. We believe that a republic is one step from a monarchy to Socialism, and by evolution helped by education Socialism is bound to come. It may, we believe, take a generation to establish Socialism in place of the present forms of government, as the people will gradually have to overcome long-cherished prejudices before they are prepared for the new order of things.

"Meantime the evolution is going on. We believe that the trustification of lines of business is collective ownership for the benefit of the corporations and will be followed by collective ownership for the benefit of the people. The Ministers' Socialist Conference does not concern itself with election campaigns or the nomination of Socialist candidates, but takes up Socialism in the broad sense as the coming order of things, which it can help to hasten by educating the people to the realization that Socialism is the highest form of social and industrial development. Socialism will not come in the form of a sudden revolution, but will come naturally and logically. We believe in living up to our obligations as citizens under the present form of govemment until Socialism takes its place."

A convention will be held in New York from June 1 to June 3, so it is announced, to make the organization a national one. Dr. Long, in speaking on an earlier occasion to a representative of The Sun, said of the motives behind this movement :

"The clergymen who have affiliated with the new organization have come to the conclusion that Christianity will not work under a competitive commercial system and that the inauguration of Socialism is necessary for civilized human beings. We regard Socialism as the economic expression of the Christian life and believe that it is now the duty of the Church to step in and advocate Christian Socialism in the United States. H. H. Rogers in a recent magazine article said that business is war; and if business is war and if, as another man said, war is hell, then business and the competitive system must also be hell. Several of the trustees of the largest corporations are also behind the new movement, but their relations to us are of the most confidential nature and they have enjoined me from mentioning their names."

From statements made by Dr. Long we gather the following historical account of the larger organization, whose membership includes laymen as well as ministers. Considerable attention has recently been attracted to the meetings of the New York branch of this body which have occurred on Sunday evenings at the Church of the Ascension. The publicity gained by these Socialistic discussions finally proved distasteful to the vestry, and last week it was voted to eliminate this subject from future church meetings. Dr. Long thus presents the facts :

"The formation of the National Christian Socialist Fellowship dates from a conference held in Louisville, Ky., two years ago. One year since, a much larger conference was held in Chicago, and this year, May 28 to 31, a national conference is to be held in New York City.

"The movement at its beginning established a paper called The Christian Socialist, which is published in Chicago by a couple of preachers, Rev. E. E. Carr and Rev. J. O. Bentall. . . . . . .

"The object of the Christian Socialist Fellowship is declared to be 'To permeate churches, denominations, and other religious institutions with the social message of Jesus; to show that Socialism is the economic expression of the Christian life; to end the class struggle by establishing industrial democracy, and to hasten the reign of justice and brotherhood upon earth.'

"It is asserted that the movement is not political, yet it is admitted that it is through political action that its principles are to become operative, and it is not denied that those most active in pushing the propaganda are also active members of the Socialist party."

Friday, August 8, 2014

The American Yellow Press, by Sydney Brooks


By Sydney Brooks

The late Mr. Joseph Pulitzer was unquestionably one of the most remarkable personalities of latter-day America. Indomitable by nature, of quick, unshackled perceptions, passionate to learn and to experiment, and with a strong vein of idealism running through his lust for power and success and domination, he was fortunate in the fate that landed him, forty-seven years ago, in Boston when America was on the very point of plunging into the most amazing era of material development and exploitation that the world has yet witnessed. The penniless son of a Jewish father and a Catholic mother, young Pulitzer shifted from one occupation to another before he finally found his life-work in journalism. He was a soldier, a steamboat stoker on the Mississippi, a teamster, and, some say, a hackman and a waiter by turns before he became a reporter of a St. Louis newspaper. Once in journalism his daring and imagination and his avidity to master every detail of his profession quickly carried him to the front. He bought a St . Louis evening paper and converted it into the Post-Despatch, working it up into one of the most influential journals and most valuable newspaper properties in the Middle West.

In 1883 he purchased from Jay Gould the New York World, and almost to the day of his death, in spite of long absences and the appalling affliction of blindness, he remained its director and inspiration. Under his dashing guidance the World became the most fearless, the most independent, the most powerful, and also the most sensational journal in the United States. On the occasion of his sixtieth birthday Mr. Pulitzer sent a message to his staff in which he embodied his conception of a great newspaper: "An institution which should always fight for progress and reform; never tolerate injustice or corruption; always fight demagogues of all parties; never belong to any party; always oppose privileged classes and public plunder; never lack sympathy with the poor; always remain devoted to the public welfare; never be satisfied with merely printing news; always be drastically independent; never be afraid to attack wrong whether by predatory plutocracy or predatory poverty." And in a codicil to his will, published on November 15th, he reiterated his journalistic ideals in the form of a last request and admonition to his sons: "I particularly enjoin on my sons and descendants the duty of preserving, perfecting, and perpetuating the World newspaper, to the maintenance and publishing of which I have sacrificed my health and strength, in the same spirit in which I have striven to create and conduct it as a public institution from motives higher than mere gain, it having been my desire that it should be at all times conducted in a spirit of independence and with a view to inculcating high standards and public spirit among the people and their official representatives; and it is my earnest wish that the said newspaper shall hereafter be conducted on the same principles."

These are high professions of faith, and the World in many ways has not fallen below them. Time and again Mr. Pulitzer risked popularity and gain and offended many powerful interests rather than compromise where he thought compromise to be wrong. Often reckless, prejudiced, and unfair in his onslaughts, he nevertheless rendered many public services, withstood the clamor of the hour at more than one fateful crisis, and preserved inviolate and incorruptible his ideal of independence. He was a man of real public spirit and of genuine political instinct, and the large sums he devoted to establishing a school of journalism in Columbia College bore witness to a pride in his profession to which no member of it can be indifferent. In his own distinctive phosphorescent way he meant to be, and was, a force for righteousness.

It is probable, however, that when the memory of his individuality has faded, Mr. Pulitzer will be chiefly remembered as the Father of the Yellow Press, or, at any rate, as the man who. if he did not originate yellow journalism, so greatly extended it as to make it appear his own invention, and who, if he left some of its least creditable excesses to others, was for long its best-known and most pyrotechnical practitioner. In that capacity his practice did not always square with his principles. There is no more vigorous or higher-minded journal in the United States than Collier's Weekly. In paying tribute to Mr. Pulitzer's memory and in emphasizing the vastness of the opportunity open to his sons and successors, that admirable organ recently remarked: "Upon them is the burden of showing originality and strength, like their father, but of applying those qualities to a changing era. The forward spirit that he showed in attacking social feudalism, they will find themselves called upon to apply to the pressing task of helping to take graft and falsehood out of journalism itself. He never cared to do his share toward removing the loan shark and the patent-medicine poisoner by forbidding them the use of his own columns.

The news also needs to be treated with more responsibility. We will give an instance from a recent day. A young stenographer, passing from a street car to her home a block away after nightfall, felt a man's fingers clinch about her neck, and when she reached her hands towards the fingers she found that they were very large. Twenty minutes later the girl's mother found her on the sidewalk, weeping hysterically, and able to remember only that she had been strangled. Next day in the Evening World it was stated on the authority of an examining physician that the girl's skull was fractured, her jaw broken, her breasts, face and arms terribly bitten, 'as a mad dog might have torn the victim of an infuriated attack,' and her body covered with bruises from blows struck by a club of which the girl cried out deliriously; lusty bloodhounds led a horde of officers In uniform and a score of detectives across the countryside. Actually there were no bloodhounds, no pursuing policemen in uniform, no bites, no fractured skull, no broken jaw, no body bruises, and no club. As Joseph Pulitzer served his generation in his own direction, so his sons, we are sure, will serve a later generation in the light of present morals."

This willingness to sport with the facts and to insist on extracting "a thrill" from every incident is one of the distinctive characteristics of the Yellow Press. The World has been by no means immune from it. I remember reading in its columns a long interview with Mr. Pierpont Morgan of a most sensational character, and admirably contrived to embitter the working man against the capitalists. Mr. Morgan's inaccessibility to journalists is notorious, and the statements he was alleged to have made were of a kind to stamp the whole interview as a concoction from beginning to end. In a subsequent issue, when the damage had been done, the World acknowledged that It had been "imposed upon." At the same time, and side by side with its retraction, it published a series of comments on the alleged interview from a number of newspapers - a proceeding that might well have been taken as the text for a lecture in Mr. Pulitzer's School of Journalism.

To put the American Yellow Press in its proper light, one must remember that journalism, while a giant, is a very young one. In its present form it is the product of a quick succession of astounding inventions. The railway, the cable, the telegraph, the telephone, the rotary press, the linotype, the manufacture of paper from woodpulp, and color-printing - these are the discoveries of yesterday that have made the journal of to-day possible. We are still too near to the phenomenon to be able to assess its significance, or to determine its relations to the general scheme of things. Journalism still awaits its philosopher; awaits, I mean, someone who will work out the action and reaction of this new and tremendous power of organized, ubiquitous publicity upon human life. It has already, to all appearances, taken its place among the permanent social forces: we see it visibly affecting pretty nearly all we do and say and think, competing with the churches, superseding parliaments, elbowing out literature, rivalling the schools and universities, furnishing the world with a new set of nerves; yet nobody that I am aware of has yet attempted to trace out its consequences, to define its nature, functions, and principles, or to establish its place and prerogatives by the side of those other forces, religion, law, art, commerce, and so on, that, unlike journalism, infused the ancient as well as the modern world.

Journalism is young, and the problems propounded by the necessity of adjusting it to society and the State have so far been hardly formulated. Its youth must be its excuse for whatever flaws and excesses it has developed. The Yellow Press, as I view the matter, is a disorder of infancy and not of decrepitude; it is a sort of journalistic scarlet fever, and will be cured in time. And there are many reasons why it should have fastened upon America with particular virulence. Journalism there has run through three main phases. There was, first, the phase in which a paper was able to support itself by its circulation alone, in which advertisements were a minor consideration, and in which the editor, by his personality, his opinions, and his power of stating them, was the principal factor. But the day of the supremacy of the leading article perished soon after the Civil War. and there set in the era - it is just beginning with us - when the important thing was not opinion but news, and when the advertisers became the chief source of newspaper profits Speaking broadly, the centre of the power of the Press in the United States has shifted from the editorial to the news columns. Its influence is not on that account less operative, but it is, I should judge, less tangible and personal and more diffused, dependent, that is to say, less on editorial comment than on the skill shown in collecting the news of the day and in presenting it in a form that will express particular views and policies.

The ordinary American journal of to-day serves up the events of the preceding twenty-four hours from its own point of view, colored by its own prepossessions and affiliations, and the most effective propagandism for or against a given measure or man is thus carried on continuously, by a multitude of little strokes, in the news columns, and particularly in the headlines attached to them. Now the Americans have always taken a liberal, if not a licentious, view of the kind of news that ought to be printed. In a somewhat raw, remote, free and easy community, impressed with the idea of social equality, absorbed in the work of laying the material foundations of a vast civilization, eminently sociable and inquisitive but with comparatively few social traditions and almost no settled code of manners, it was natural enough that the line between private and public affairs should be loosely drawn. Moreover, the Americans have never enjoyed anything like the severity of our own libel laws. The greater the truth the greater the libel is not a maxim of American law. On the contrary, a statement, if published without malice, is held to be justifiable so long ns it can be shown to be true. Attempts have been made in some States to elevate a published retraction into a sufficient defence in a suit for libel, and to invest a reporter's "copy" with the halo of "privileged communication." Then, again, there is nothing in America that at all corresponds to our law of contempt of court . An American paper is entitled to anticipate the probable findings of a judge and jury, to take sides in any case that happens to interest it, to comment on and to garble the evidence from day to day, to work up sympathy for or against the prosecutor or defendant, and to proclaim its conviction of the guilt or innocence of the prisoner from the first moment of his arrest and without waiting for the tiresome formality of the verdict. Hardly an issue, indeed, appears of even the most reputable organs in the United States, such as the New York Sun, The Times, and the Evening Post, that would not land its publisher and editor in prison if the English law of contempt of court obtained in America.

Conditions such as these favored from the first the species of journalism which the world has agreed to designate as yellow. When James Gordon Bennett, for instance, started the New York Herald, he specifically, as he himself said in his salutatory, "renounced all so-called principles." He set out to find the news and to print it first; the more private and personal it was the better. He was more than once horsewhipped in the streets of New York. But that did little good. Bennett's reply was to bring out a flaming "extra" with a full account of the incident written in his own pungent English. The more he was horsewhipped the more papers he sold. 'From the success of the New York Herald may be dated that false conception of what news is, of the methods that may be employed in getting it, and of its importance to a newspaper that has since permeated nearly all American journalism. Mr. Pulitzer and Mr. Hearst have in reality done little more than to devote inexhaustible ingenuity, wealth, and enterprise to working the soil which Mr. Bennett long ago was the first to break. But their form of cultivation has been so intensive as to constitute by itself the third of the three phases through which American journalism has thus far passed.

The Yellow Press existed long before it was christened. It was not, indeed, until 1895, when Mr. Hearst came to New York intent on beating Mr. Pulitzer on his own ground and by his own weapons, that the type of journalism which emerged from their resounding conflict was labelled "yellow." As a mere uninitiated Englishman, resident at that time in New York, it seemed to me a contest of madmen for the primacy of a sewer. Sprawling headlines, the hunting down of criminals by imaginative reporters, the frenzied demand for their reprieve when caught and condemned, interviews that were "fakes" from the first word to the last, the melodramatization of the follies of the Four Hundred, columns of gossip and scandal that could only have emanated from stewards in the fashionable clubs or maids and butlers in private houses, sympathetic reports from feminine pens of murder, divorce, and breach of promise cases with a sob in every line, every incident of the day tortured to yield the pure juice of emotionalism beloved of the servants' hall - such was the week-day fare provided by the Yellow Press in those ebullient days. On Sundays it was much worse. It is on Sunday that the American papers, yellow and otherwise, put forth their finest efforts and produce their most flamboyant effects. The Sunday edition of a New York daily is a miscellany of from sixty to eighty pages that in mere wood-pulp represents a respectable plantation and that would carpet a fair-sized room. Of all its innumerable features the most distinctively yellow is the comic supplement printed in colors.

Nothing better calculated to kill the American reputation for humor has ever been conceived. It is a medley of knock-about facetiousness, through which week after week march a number of types and characters - Happy Hooligan, Frowsy Freddy, Weary Willie, Tired Tim, and so on - whose adventures and sayings make up a world that resembles nothing so much as a libellous vision of the cheapest music hall seen in a nightmare by a madman. And among the other attractions of these Sunday editions you will usually find a page or two given up to the doings and photographs of those preposterous actors and actresses who are so woefully smaller than the art they practise; and another page, fully illustrated, to society news and scandal; and a third page, and, with luck, a fourth, to the latest crime. The Yellow Press has consistently specialized in crime. I recall a famous issue of one paper that described and illustrated a hundred different ways of killing a man; and, indeed, a wouldbe criminal could hardly hope for a better school in which to master the theory of his profession. Pictures of men in masks in the act of blowing open a safe, of an embezzling cashier stepping on to the train for Mexico, of a drunken man assaulting his wife with a bootjack, of a youth drowning a girl he has betrayed, reproductions of the faces of murderers, of the rooms in which and the weapons with which their crimes were committed, precise and detailed descriptions of the latest swindling trick or embezzlement device or confidence game - even, in one case, I remember, a column and a half of exact information on the construction of an infernal machine and the best way of packing it so as to avoid detection in the post office - these are the aids with which the Yellow Press strews the path of the budding burglar, thief, and criminal.

But perhaps its greatest offence is its policy of perverting the truth in the interest of a mere tawdry sensationalism, of encouraging the American people to look for a thrill in every paragraph of news, of feeding them on a diet of scrappy balderdash. This habit of digging away for what is emotionally picturesque and "popular" has infected almost the whole of the American daily Press. Only a few months ago a professor of moral philosophy at Harvard was bewailing how egregiously he had been victimized by this policy. He was delivering an address at a girls' college in Boston on the higher education of women, and in the course of it he mentioned the case of a girl-student who had become so absorbed in her work as to lose all interest in social diversions. Her parents and friends pressed her to slacken off for a year or so and devote more time to balls and luncheons and so on. She came to him, the professor, for advice, tind he counselled her to do as she was urged. "Flirt," he said, "flirt hard and show that a college girl is equal to whatever is required of her." The professor, as I said, in the course of his address, which took about an hour to deliver, recalled this incident. He did not dwell on it; he made no other reference to it whatever; he said nothing at all about the place that flirtation should hold in a properly organized curriculum.

That same evening a Boston paper came out with a report of his "Address on Flirtation." The next day he was asked for but declined an interview on the subject. The interview, however, appeared, a column of imaginative literature, generously adorned with headlines and quotation marks, setting forth in the gayest of colors his "advocacy of flirtation." The professor, not being an ardent newspaper reader, did not realize what had happened until there suddenly began to rain upon him a succession of solemn or derisive editorials, letters from distressed parents, abusive post cards, and leaflets from societies for the prevention of vice with the significant passages marked. The bubble grew and grew; "symposia" were held by scores of papers on whether girls should flirt; the topic raged over the continent; and it soon became a settled conviction in the minds of some ninety million people, who at once proceeded to denounce his hoary depravity, that the professor of moral philosophy at Harvard was advocating a general looseness in the relations of the sexes. And that is the sort of buffoonery to which any man who opens his mouth in public in the United States is inevitably exposed.

But not all of the enormities of the Yellow Press were of their own commission. They fostered an appetite for sensationalism, and all sorts of news-bureaus and Press agencies came into existence to gratify it. More than once the yellow journals found themselves hoist with their own petard and tricked into publishing incidents that had never the slightest basis in fact. It is on record, for example, that the editor of one of these news agencies conceived one day a wonderfully plausible story of an attempted suicide in a fashionable doctor's office, the would-be suicide being rescued only by the timely intervention of the doctor. The thing never happened, but it might have happened, and he sat down and wrote a realistic account of it. This account he handed to a girl on his reporters' staff, telling her to take it to some prominent doctor and convince him of the numberless advantages, the prodigious advertisement, that would accrue to him if only he would endorse the tale. The first doctor she approached said he could stand a good deal in the way of exaggeration, but that he was not yet educated up to the point of swearing to the truth of a story that was an absolute lie.

The second, a physician known all over New York, bundled her out of the house in double-quick time. At the third attempt she was successful. She found a doctor, and a well-known one, too, who was delighted with the idea, and gladly closed with her proposal. They went over his consulting room together; the cord with which the patient had tried to strangle herself during the momentary absence of the doctor, the lounge to which she was removed, the restoratives applied, were all agreed upon. The story was then sent out to the newspaper offices; the doctor, being appealed to by the reporters, confirmed it in every detail: and it appeared in the next morning's papers, three-quarters of a column of soul-moving narrative, with the doctor's photograph and a sketch of his consulting room, and this final paragraph: "Owing to the urgent pleadings of the lady, Dr. ----- refuses to give the name and address of his patient, but says she belongs to one of the wealthiest and most exclusive social circles in the city." On the whole it would not be easy to conceive a deeper abyss of infamy.

It sometimes happened that the ingenuity of the sensation-mongers was wasted. When Mr. Henry Miller, for instance, was about to make his first appearance in New York as a star in a new play he received the following letter from the editor of one of these news bureaus: "Dear Sir, - You are probably aware that nowadays it is sensation and not talent that wins. As you are to make your first stellar appearance in New York, it is almost necessary that you do something to attract attention, and I have a scheme to propose. On Sunday night your house will be entered by burglars. They will turn the place upside down, and upon discovery pistol-shots will be fired. They will escape, leaving blood-stains upon the floor. You will get the credit of fighting single-handed twa desperate robbers. The New York Herald and the other morning dallies will get the story and the whole town will be talking about you. I will furnish the burglars and take all chances, and will only charge you $100 dollars for the scheme." Mr. Miller declined the offer, but it is amazing to discover whither the passion for advertisement in that land of advertisement will lead people.

I remember seeing in a New York paper a long article describing a house of Pompeian design, built of glass bricks and glass columns of all colors, that was to be erected at Newport for a Western millionaire by a well-known firm of city architects, whose name and address were given and who supplied the paper with interior and exterior plans of the projected buildings. It turned out that no such freak was ever contemplated, and that the architects, for such advertisement as it would give them, and the reporter, hungering for a sensation, had concocted the tale between them. To the same genesis, I should say, may be ascribed a paragraph about a chiropodist who announced that he had replaced a missing toe with one of solid gold. The weapon which the Yellow Press had forged was, in short, turned against them. There were cases in which conspiracies were formed between reporters and unscrupulous outsiders to procure the insertion of paragraphs and articles on which a libel action could be based against the papers publishing them. There were cases, too, in which the reporters who were detailed on some special mission - say, to interview the jurymen after a famous murder trial - would get together, ignore the refusal of the jurymen to be interviewed, and write out, each in his own style, what they ought to have said. There is really something more than jest in the old remark that Shakespeare would never have suited a New York newspaper; he had not sufficient imagination.

But the Yellow Press is not all evil and inanity. It has its virtues and its usefulness. The calculation which was the base of Mr. Hearst's invasion of New York was this. He added up the figures of the circulation of all the New York papers and compared them with the census returns of population. He found that there was a large number of people in New York who apparently never read, or at any rate never bought, a paper at all. These were the people he set out to cater for, and it is undoubtedly one of the merits of the Yellow Press that it has forced people to read who never read before. That, it may be said, is not rendering much of a service to the community if the type of reading provided was such as I have described. Well, I think that is arguable. In the first place, not all the columns of the Yellow Press, even in its yellowest days, were filled with the frivolities and slush I have touched on; and in the second place, Mr. W. Irwin, who has contributed this year a brilliant series of articles to Collier's Weekly on American Journalism, notes the very interesting fact that Mr. Hearst's papers, which one may take as fairly representative of the Yellow Press, appear to change their clientele once every seven or eight years.

From this Mr. Irwin comfortably infers that in general the more a man reads the better he reads. Once implant a taste for reading and the odds are that it will unconsciously improve itself, and will in time come to discard the tenth-rate in favor of the ninth-rate. Those who begin with Mr. Hearst's organs gradually find them out, grow disgusted, and desire something better. Sounder standards are thus in process of evolution all the time, and even the Yellow Press is affected by them and finds it to its interest to conform to them. Then, too, the Yellow Press attempts so much and covers such a wide field of life that some of its enterprises, by the mere law of averages, are bound to be beneficent. The New York American, for instance, in its news as well as its editorial columns has always paid special attention to matters of public health and domestic hygiene and the rearing of children and the care of the sick. In its own peculiar way, I should say it has sincerely tried to civilize its readers and make them think. Its columns have been the means of remedying hundreds of little injustices to the poor. A reader of the American or of the Evening Journal who is oppressed by his landlord or by the police, finds in his favorite paper a ready champion of his wrongs. The American is constantly risking the patronage of its advertisers by fighting drink and cigarettes. It is prolific of semi-philanthropic activities.

At the time of the Galveston flood and the San Francisco earthquake Mr. Hearst sent three full trains of provisions, clothing, medicines, doctors, and nurses across the Continent. The American conducts an admirable fresh-air fund; it takes a hundred children from the tenements every day throughout the summer for a day's outing at the seaside; it offers each year a two-weeks' vacation to the entire family having the largest number of children in the New York public schools; it distributes free ice in summer and free soup in winter and cartloads of toys at Christmas time; it is a newspaper, an adult kindergarten, and a charitable institution rolled into one. In the last Sunday edition that I happened to see, along with the comic supplement and plenty of inane gossip, I found an admirable article by d'Annunzio on the Italian expedition to Tripoli, and a very well-written and well-illustrated page given up to a popular digest of one of Reclus' works on anthropology. The Yellow Press gets most of what is bad in life into its columns but it does not exclude what is better. There is usually something to be found in it that is really instructive, and presented in a simple and stimulating fashion. It displays, of course, no sense of proportion whatever in arranging its news and in deciding between what is of real and permanent interest and what is merely and vulgarly ephemeral; the Christmas edition of a typical Yellow journal might easily print on one page Milton's Ode on the Nativity and on the next several columns of sketches and letterpress commenting on and illustrating the various styles of walking to be seen on Fifth Avenue among the members of the Four Hundred; but it is not irredeemably degrading.

But, besides all this, the Yellow Press in Mr. Pulitzer's and Mr. Hearst's hands has rendered some real public services. While most of the American daily papers in the big cities are believed to be under the influence of the "money power" and controlled by "the interests," the Yellow journals have never failed to flay the rich perverter of public funds and properties, the rich gambler in fraudulent consolidations, and the far-reaching oppressiveness of that alliance between organized wealth and debased politics which dominates America. They daily explain to the masses how they are being robbed by the Trusts, juggled with by the politicians, and betrayed by their elected officers. They unearth the iniquities of a great corporation with the same microscopic diligence that they squander on following up the clues in a murder mystery or on collecting or inventing the details of a society scandal.

Their motives may be dubious and their methods wholly brazen, but it is undeniable that the public has benefited by many of their achievements. The American criminal, whether he is of the kind that steals a public franchise or corrupts a legislature, or of the equally common but more frequently caught and convicted kind that rifles a safe or kidnaps a child, fears the Yellow Press far more than he fears the police or the public. Both Mr. Hearst and the late Mr. Pulitzer have not only saved millions of dollars to the public, but have fought a stimulating fight for democracy against plutocracy and privilege. The Yellow Press, in short, has proved a fearless and efficient instrument for the exposure of public wrong-doing. The political power which Mr. Hearst has built up on the basis of his Continental chain of journals represents something more than cheek and a check-book, pantomime and pandemonium. What gives him his ultimate influence is that he has used the resources of an unlimited publicity to make himself and his propaganda the rallying centre for disaffection and unrest.

With more point and passion and pertinacity than any other agency, his papers have stood for the people against the plutocracy, and for trade unions against capital, have assailed the "money power" and its control over the instruments of Government, have let daylight into the realities of American conditions, and have given pointed and constant expression to that weariness with the regular parties which is now pretty nearly a national sentiment. Daily expounded by Mr. Arthur Brisbane in the columns of the New York Evening Journal in a sharp, staccato, almost monosyllabic style of unsurpassable crispness, lucidity, and plausibility, set off with a coruscation of all known typographical devices, the Hearst creed and the Hearst programme have powerfully affected the imagination of the American, or at any rate the New York, masses. There is no stranger or more instructive experience than to get on a subway train in New York during the hours of the evening homeward rush and watch the laborer in his overalls, the tired shop girl, and the pallid clerk reading and re-reading Mr. Brisbane's "leader" for the day. He has, I suppose, a wider audience than any writer or preacher has had before.

Always fresh and pyrotechnical, master of the telling phrase and the captivating argument, and veiling the dexterous half-truth behind a drapery of buoyant and "popular" philosophy and sentiment, Mr. Brisbane has every qualification that an insinuating preacher of discontent should have. He, at any rate, has made the masses think - no man more so; the leading article in his hands has lost all its stodginess and restrictions, and become a vital and all-embracing instrument. That is something which would have to be borne in mind if one were to attempt the interesting but very serious task of estimating the influence of the Yellow Press on the American mind and character, and of determining how far it is responsible for, and how far the outcome of, the volatility and empiricism, the hysterical restlessness and superficiality, and the incapacity for deep and sustained thinking that have been noted in the American people. It seems hardly possible that even America should not pay something for its Yellow Press. I believe, however, that it is called upon to pay less and less as the years go on, and that the worst and most reckless days of yellow journalism are over.

Sydney Brooks.

The Fortnightly Review.