The enemies of the New York Journal
are attempting to make that paper a scape goat [sic] for the murder
of President McKinley. Many of these enemies are rival and competing
papers. The cry is taken up by the large body of eternal copiers
among the editors on the news and trade press.
There is a “hue and cry” against the
“Journal;” in labor parlance a “boycott” has been established, though
these very active and most vindictive “boycotters” would disown
the term. They would not call a spade “a spade” on their lives.
Not even in regard to the offence which the New York Journal is
“Down with yellow journalism” cry
the boycotters[.] What is yellow journalism? The average dictionary
doesn’t know. All the editors who are doing the “hue and cry,” act
as if they knew, but do they? They would furnish about as many definitions
as there are editors. Not that the editors are such original fellows,
but no one has yet become an authority on the subject for them to
The term, yellow journalism, is supposed
to have been first applied to the New York Herald on account of
the color of part of its pictorial department and afterwards to
the New York  World on account
of its pictures of the “Yellow Kid.” If all there is to yellow journalism
is the possession of a comic pictorial section a great many journals,
which are in the ranks of the boycotters, are included in the definition.
But the term has evidently got by usage to mean something else.
What? The loud trumpeting of one’s own virtues? Such a charge would
be laughable coming from the ranks of the boycotters. The only reason
they may not surpass the “Journal” in this same line is from lack
of ability. Surely ability is not blamable. If motives are equal
and lack of modesty in self-congratulation blamable, surely a very
large portion of the news and trade press must be condemned as yellow
journalism. If tooting one’s own horn rather loudly is yellow journalism,
has not the Boot and Shoe Recorder, the self-styled “World’s Greatest
Trade Journal,” been a little yellow at times? We are not throwing
a stone at the Recorder on account of it but merely pointing out
that perhaps the Recorder is wrong in throwing a stone at the Journal,
considering its own policy and also pointing out that if we are
wrong in our conception of the Recorder’s position, and it is the
most modest of journals, that even then, in justice it must scatter
broadsides right and left into the ranks of the press for its brazen
Self-laudation cannot be the distinguishing
feature of what the boycotters term by “yellow journalism,” as they
also practice it and would not be likely to condemn themselves.
What is it then?
The New York Journal does not differ
materially from the majority of newspapers, except in two respects:
It has said no stronger things against the late administration than
the New York Nation or the New York Evening Post and many other
very respectable journals. Its news columns are not much to our
liking, but neither are the news columns of three-quaaters [sic]
of the newspapers printed. The Journal does just what the press
does generally—publishes matter which will cause the paper to be
demanded by the public. In this respect it is no better and no worse
than other papers. In short, in only the two following respects
does it differ materially from the general run of newspapers.
It differs from the others firstly,
in that it favors the cause of labor. If this is the distinguishing
feature of yellow journalism, we must give that variety our hearty
approval. We hope and confidently expect there will be more of it.
The news columns of the Journal often do the cause of labor more
harm than good, but they are meant to be friendly reports. The extensive
advertising of certain labor exploiting schemes, like the J. E.
Tilt, Endicott experiment, as plans of philanthropists to uplift
the workingman is, in all probability, merely an error on the Journal’s
But the editorials in the Journal
are splendid, as a rule. They are a great credit to the newspaper
press, which has neither head nor heart enough to be proud of its
best work. The cause of humanity is being advanced by these editorials;
it is being retarded by the New York Sun, a paper which treated
Mr. McKinley far more harshly than the Journal.
Liberty, prosperity and the peaceful
solutions of social problems will follow such editorial work as
the Journal is doing. Class hatred is the fruit of the Sun’s policy.
The trouble with the boycotters is, they are color blind; it is
the Sun that is yellow.
The other respect in which the Journal
differs from the general run of journals is in the degree of success
it has achieved.
Many of its rivals could forgive its
so-called “yellowness,” but they cannot forgive it its success.
The Boot and Shoe Recorder is also a successful paper, and may have
enemies itself on that account.
The Recorder kindly warns us against
approving the New York Journal. We are grateful for the warning
but shall not heed it. We know our friends and propose to stand
If the objection to the Journal is
due to the sort of political cartoons it publishes, the boycotters
are in favor of one law for themselves and another for their opponents.
It appears that they are opposed to free speech and a free press
for others. No fault was found with the caluminous [sic]
cartoons of Harper’s weekly [sic] nor with the cartoon lies about
walking delegates in the so-called funny papers, but when the funny
men gives [sic] the other side a slap, a terrible crime is committed,
and the cry of yellow journalism is heard.
Any competent judge of human nature
will concede that if any kind of cartoons could rouse a bitter and
revengeful feeling in the breasts of the working people it is the
sort in which they are portrayed as idiots, and the officers of
their organizations as blatherskites and rogues.
It was always a fact that some people
cannot stand their own medicine; that there are people who like
a fight but want their opponent handcuffed or gagged, and the use
of all kinds of weapons for themselves.
We do not think the boycotters are
consistent; in fact, it looks very much as if their principal motive
We are opposed to this boycott.