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Newspaper Page Text
themselves to whatever they want, and without regard to whether what
they want belongs to the people or not.
We are supposed to have representative government in Chicago. Our
government is supposed to be democratic of, by and for the people. That's
the theory. In fact, "however, it isn't so. It's a lie.
The council that gave the Field store permission to grab what its
owners wanted, over, on and under the street, didn't represent the people
of Chicago. It represented the owners of the store. The result is that the
Field store "owns" all that it grabbed, by having possession and exclusive
use of it.
Representative government is one of our delusions. If we really had
it in Chicago we wouldn't have the loop. F'or with representative govern
ment Chicago would have been developed physically for the benefit of ALL
of the people of Chicago instead of for the benefit of the few who. own
property in the loop.
Our entire street railway system was designed to bring people into the
loop and take them out again.
Even now the Pennsylvania railroad is planning to shut off most of
"the West Side with elevated freight tracks, which will help prevent business
from expanding west from the loop. And all the loop interests are helping
the Pennsylvania railroad get what it wants.
The people have rights, theoretically. But what do their rights amount
to when they can't get their hands on them?
But, you say, the newspapers represent the people. I say they don't.
They represent the advertisers; and most of the advertisers are in the loop.
Th owners of the Field store have more pull with the newspapers than all
of the newspaper subscribers in town put together.
If the Field store wants to block a street, it can go ahead and do it, with
entire confidence that none of the newspapers is going to kick up a fuss in
behalf of the public.
Probably there are but two advertising newspapers in town that could
oppose something the big store might want, and get away with it. Both
the Tribune and the News are strong enough to tell any big advertiser to go
jump in the lake, but I imagine neither of them wants to have a fight with
any big advertiser; and while they could do it, they won't.
Public opinion is strong enough to do anything the people want done,
but it gets no chance to express itself. The newspapers control public
opinion by publishing, suppressing or coloring facts on which opinion is
Public opinion once was largely moulded by newspaper editorials;
Now the news columns are more effective. The Tribune has recently il
lustrated this point by making news, or so handling what did happen, to
create public sentiment against State's Attorney Hoyne.
Just before that the Hearst papers did the same thing to stir up public
sentiment against Judge Cooper.
And still more recently nearly all of the papers have been hunting for
news that would arouse public sentiment against the Hearst papers.
Newspaper readers are influenced by headlines. They accept the judg
ment of the headline writer on the relative importance of news stories. In
one edition the story that is splashed all over the first page with big head
lines looks like a big story. In the next edition that samer story may be on
an inside page with modest headlines, and appear comparatively insigni
ficant. And some--other-story- is splashed on the first page with the big