Source: Evening Mail
Source type: newspaper
Document type: editorial
Document title: “Throwing Stones from Glass Houses”
City of publication: Stockton, California
Date of publication: 20 September 1901
Volume number: 44
Issue number: 36
|“Throwing Stones from Glass Houses.” Evening Mail 20 Sept. 1901 v44n36: p. 4.
|Hearst newspapers (role in the assassination); cartoons; McKinley assassination (news coverage: criticism); the press (criticism); San Francisco, CA (newspapers); San Francisco Call; Fresno Republican.
|William Jennings Bryan; Grover Cleveland; Henry T. Gage; William Randolph Hearst; William McKinley; James D. Phelan; Theodore Roosevelt.
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 authority.
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 of silver.