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Newspaper Page Text
TO USE THEIR INFLUENCE FOR THE PUBLIC GOOD, WHICH MEANS
THE WELFARE OF THE READERS WHO MAKE UP THE NEWSPAPER
CIRCULATION, AND THE FOUNDATION OF ALL NEWSPAPER VALUE.
I am glad Bent has raised this issue. It was high time some advertiser
frankly said what most advertisers have thought for many years.
The chief value of the raising of the issue now is that it is done in a
manner which will make the readers of newspapers do some thinking. It
may make them see that NEWSPAPERS SHOULD BE THEIR SERVANTS
AND NOT THEIR MASTERS.
It may make them see that the newspaper publisher who bribes them
with premiums to take His paper for a stated term is buying them in order to
sell them to his advertisers-at a profit, like so much merchandise.
It may make them see that the newspaper publisher owes his business
existence to the READERS and not to the advertisers.
It may make them demand that their newspapers protect the interest
of its readers, even against those of its advertisers.
It may teach them that readers have an instantaneous referendum on
a newspaper, and that by united action readers can kill any newspaper that
AND THE POSITION TAKEN BY GEO. P. BENT MAY MAKE THE
PEOPLE SEE THAT THEY MUST PROTECT NEWSPAPERS WHICH ARE
FAITHFUL TO THEIR INTERESTS.
I don't mean to say that the Tribune has been faithful to its readers,
for, in my judgment it hasn't been. I think it has betrayed them again and
But it has also rendered some great public service. It rendered a great
public service when, in conjunction with the New York World, it exposed
the Invisible Government and started the Mulhall investigation of the Na
tional Association of Manufacturers' lobby at the national capital.
And I believe it was this public service that aroused the ire of Bent and
others in the Invisible Government.
It isn't so much what the Tribune has already done as what the In
visible Government fears it may do in the future, if it continues on a genuine
progressive policy, that has aroused this antagonism of Big Business.
BUT HONEST NEWSPAPERS, AND CROOKED NEWSPAPERS THAT
WANT TO BE HONEST, WILL HAVE TO MEET THE ISSUE NOW THAT
IT IS PUBLICLY RAISED. IT IS BUT PART OF THE-WAR BETWEEN
PLUTOCRACY AND DEMOCRACY.
IT MEANS A DECLARATION OF WAR BY THE INVISIBLE GOVERN
MENT OF BIG BUSINESS ON HONEST NEWSPAPERS THAT REPRE
SENT THE PEOPLE, WHICH IS THE SAME THING AS A DECLARATION
OF WAR AGAINST THE COMMON PEOPLE OF THIS REPUBLIC.
Newspapers will be beaten into submission and abject slavery unless
the people understand the fight as well as the interests that have declared
war on democracy and a free press understand it.
How quick the reactionary organs of Big Business are to grasp the
situation .is shown in .a long editorial in this morning's Inter-Ocean, in which
the publisher frankly acknowledges and proudly proclaims his services to
the Invisible Government, and calls upon his master to come across with
advertising for their newspaper servant.
I am glad the issue has been'raised. It is easily met. Let the merchants
of the Invisible Government choke the Inter-Ocean to suffocation with
their ads. Very few people will read them, and the advertising won't pay.