Monday, 17 March 2008

Journal Lisp

Scottish-born journalist John Swinton (1829-1901) had the courage to blow the whistle on the corrupt establishment forces at a banquet given in his honour by colleagues in New York in 1880.

When someone present proposed a toast to an independent press, Swinton responded:

"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 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."

(Source: Labor's Untold Story, by Richard O. Boyer and Herbert M. Morais, published by United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers of America, NY, 1955/1979.)

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bravo Mike, nothing has changed ... the Truth will hurt only those journos with a guilty conscience. The only reason ex Mayor Byrne got any votes at all was because of the slyly biased writing seen in the Cairns Post, and the huge media advertising .

Of course what else can we expect from Rupert Murdochs propaganda machine which promotes hidden agendas

Anonymous said...

Our modern corporatised media machine has lost all objectivity in reportage of news. Their war mongering coverage of the Iraq war in which they didn't question the false and outrageous claim "weapons of mass destruction"; nor did they analyse and question the claims that "Saddam was the mastermind behind Sept 11" are just two examples of a media machine which now parrots the status quo.
Disgust at the corporatised media has seen a growing number of people around the world turn to the internet and alternative news sites. May they continue to grow!

You're a journo too. . . said...

Great idea, Mr. Moore. Quote some "scholar" to justify YOUR bias.

Anonymous said...

So being biased AGAINST Kevin Byrne, like this website, is OK?

Your real concern is not that the media is biased, just that it is biased not in your direction.

There is a name for that: hypocrisy.

jesus barrabas said...

how was Port Douglas FM Radio openly admitting they would do all they could to get Julia Leu and Val Schier elected!! The joy of private media ownership - no objectivity and no shame!

Anonymous said...

Sly bias toward KB? Try blatant overt bias for him. Not a single negative story about him in the whole year prior to the election.
The guys at the Post must like that salty taste.

Anonymous said...

Gavin(Gobbin)King must be heart broken. But at least his knees won't be as red raw as much now that Kev has gone.

Anonymous said...

How can you even compare a "bias" towards a local politician with the outrageous, criminal lies given out as a pretext for invading, occupying and destroying Iraq????
How can you even weigh up Byrne's disappointment at not being elected again, with the horror of a destroyed country, the over one million Iraqi dead, the four thousand US GIs dead and the rapidly shifting world power balance?
Your thinking is so narrow minded you probably look through a key-hole with both eyes and have plenty of room to spare.

ian said...

to last anon, one can easily compare such things, just by typing the words! Are u a retard? These gutless anon's that attack other posters are the lowest of the low. Ps. U watch too much TV there are other countries in the world beside Iraq going thru shit, but u are not informed of them. And two wrongs don't make a right I always thought, in that u r saying it is okay for a small radio station to be blatantly biased because of an OS war. I have two mates who have been to Iraq and sorry to burst your bubble but while life there is bad it is not nearly as bad as western media would have us beleive, they paint it far worse than it is because of the lobbying for more war funds. And if u respond say your name.