Publication information
view printer-friendly version
Source: Fresno Morning Republican
Source type: newspaper
Document type: editorial
Document title: “Yello Wjournals” [sic]
Author(s): anonymous
City of publication: Fresno, California
Date of publication: 11 September 1901
Volume number: 21
Issue number: 90
Pagination: 4

“Yello Wjournals” [sic]. Fresno Morning Republican 11 Sept. 1901 v21n90: p. 4.
full text
yellow journalism; Hearst newspapers; McKinley assassination (public response); yellow journalism (impact on Czolgosz).
Named persons
Leon Czolgosz; William Randolph Hearst; William McKinley.


Yello Wjournals [sic]

     The yellow journals, and specifically the three yellowest, the ones conducted by W. R. Hearst, are coming in fo[r] a great deal of sound rating these days. If the censure came only from the other newspapers it might be attributed to business rivalry. Some of it, notably the brutal attack of the Call, which violated the decencies of the occasion by dragging in a lot of coarse invective on the Examiner in the very midst of its first editorial on the attack on the President, is obviously inspired by business jealousy and personal spleen. But the simultaneous and spontaneous outburst of condemnation from clergymen, university presidents, public men, and hundreds of newspapers which have no possible motive of business rivalry could not have taken place if it did not represent a genuine and general popular conviction.
     It is, perhaps, unfortunate that the particular occasion of this outburst was the attack on President McKinley. The sort of anarchy the Examiner has preached is not the sort that infected Czolgosz’ [sic] fevered brain, and, especially, the specific things the Examiner has said against William McKinley had nothing to do with the crime, which was directed against the President because he was “a ruler” and not from any notion that he was a bad ruler. But the justification of the condemnation is so absolute that it is well to have it come out, on any occasion.
     Morally, nothing could be more contemptible than the conduct of these papers. They will lie, unblushingly, on any question where a lie suits their convenience. They pursue a consistent policy of distorting news and perventing [sic] public affairs, with the deliberate purpose of stirring up discontent over imaginary evils. The [sic] have not had the decency even to confine themselves to the truth in regard to the President’s illness. Any one possessed of the slightest inkling of the conditions of newsgathering in such a situation knows that the Examiner’s report of the first day in Buffalo was a deliberate and conscious fabrication. Subsequent events have shown its falsity, and there is no possibility that it could have been even an honest mistake. The writer has watched the process by which the hired fakirs of the New York Journal manufacture news in regard to public affairs in Washington, and he blushes to recognize them as colleagues in a responsible profession. Every newspaper man knows that these methods are not accidental, but are parts of a fixed and deliberate policy.
     It ought to be enough that these journals cultivate prevarication as an art and bad taste as a virtue. It ought to be too much that they insult the intelligence of their readers by shouting for one policy today and the contrary policy tomorrow, trusting to the loudness of the second shout to drown the echoes of the first. But against these things, any one who does like them can protect himself by not reading them. The public importance of the question comes when these papers abuse the power of publicity to array class against class, to indorse [sic] violence and denounce the preservation of law and order, to lie about public men and measures until the people are hopelessly confused, and are justified in believing that all government is bad and all motives are vile. To the dissemination of these influences, Hearst has devoted his millions and his energies. No worse prostitution of great opportunities has ever been known. If the present outburst of popular indignation shall succeed in frightening these newspapers into a semblance of decency, which self-respect ought to have taught them, something at least will have been gained.



top of page