Throwing Stones from Glass Houses
Many newspapers and
public speakers have blamed certain caricaturists for the death
of William McKinley. The Call and the Bulletin of San Francisco
are particularly venomous in their attacks upon W. R. Hearst because
there have appeared in his papers several series of cartoons and
numerous editorials intended to create an unfavorable opinion of
our late President.
Before condemning Mr. Hearst to the
electric chair as an accessory to the Buffalo tragedy, it should
be remembered that his criticisms and cartoons of McKinley have
been mild in comparison with those that he has printed about Roosevelt.
It is unthinkable that anyone would have been inspired by the caricatures
in the Examiner, Journal and American to kill the President, when
in the same series of pictures the Vice-President was more conspicuously
held up to ridicule.
Some of Mr. Hearst’s most rabid critics
need to remember the maxim, “Physician, heal thyself.” Least of
all should the Call presume to assail any man for attacking those
In common with the other San Francisco
papers it is practicing the spirit of Anarchy by defying the laws
prohibiting the publication of lottery advertisements. How can it
dare to pose as a teacher of respect for authority, when it habitually
tramples upon a law made in the interest of public morals?
Furthermore the Call itself has lampooned
the representatives of authority as scurrilously as Hearst’s papers
have ever done. The ink on its abusive cartoons of Governor Gage
and Mayor Phelan was hardly dry before it began to whine for greater
respect for those who hold the reins of government.
Other San Francisco papers are little,
if any, better. No limit is placed upon the abuse which must be
endured by public men who do not act in accordance with the desires
of the rich owners of these newspapers. Governor Gage has been accused
by innuendo of stealing sheep, and the caricatures of Mayor Phelan
have been enough to have incited a dozen Anarchists to assassinate
him if Anarchists were incited by such means.
It is needless to remind the public
of cartoons of W. J. Bryan which have appeared in the Republican
papers. Rarely has the character of any public man been more maligned
than has his. To be sure, he was not the representative of authority,
but does anyone suppose that the fierceness of his critics would
have been in the least mollified if he had been chosen President?
In fact, there are very few, if any,
of the papers that are discoursing on the duty of showing respect
for those in authority which ought not to have engaged in a season
of humiliation, confession and penance before delivering their sermons.
The Visalia Times has discovered that even the Fresno Republican,
which is as staidly virtuous as the limitations of weak humanity
will permit, once denounced President Cleveland as a “goldbug Joshua”
who was engaged in a “patricidal attempt to stop the sun of prosperity
in its course.” Incredible as it may seem to those who know of the
devotion of the Republican now to the cause of so-called “sound
money,” this incendiary denunciation of the nation’s Chief Magistrate
was caused by the fact that he did not believe in the free coinage