Senator Dick Durbin: “It’s Time to Say Who’s a Real Reporter”


Sharon Secor's picture

Oh yeah, Durbin? I think you just made my 'Must Write About This Arrogant Bastard' list.

Samarami's picture

Asked to give a toast before the prestigious New York Press Club in 1880, John Swinton, the former Chief of Staff at the New York Times, made this candid confession [it's worth noting that Swinton was called "The Dean of His Profession" by other newsmen, who admired him greatly]:

    " There is no such thing, at this date of the world's history, 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 opinions 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 journalist is to destroy the truth; to lie outright; to pervert; to
    vilify; to fawn at the feet of Mammon, and to sell the 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 of the 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. "

Posted by Sam