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Source: Union Boot and Shoe Worker
Source type: journal
Document type: editorial
Document title: “Another Boycott”
Author(s): anonymous
Date of publication: November 1901
Volume number: 2
Issue number: 11
Pagination: 5-6

“Another Boycott.” Union Boot and Shoe Worker Nov. 1901 v2n11: pp. 5-6.
full text
McKinley assassination (public response: criticism); New York Journal; yellow journalism; the press (criticism); Boot and Shoe Recorder; The Sun [New York, NY]; cartoons.
Named persons
William McKinley; J. E. Tilt.


Another Boycott

     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 charged with.
     “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 copy.
     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 [5][6] 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.
     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 part.
     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 by them.
     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 is jealousy.
     We are opposed to this boycott.



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