Source: Milwaukee Sentinel
Source type: newspaper
Document type: editorial
Document title: “Whose the Guilt?”
City of publication: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Date of publication: 14 September 1901
Volume number: none
Issue number: 23689
|“Whose the Guilt?” Milwaukee Sentinel 14 Sept. 1901 n23689: p. 6.|
|yellow journalism; yellow journalism (role in the assassination).|
|Otto von Bismarck; Marcus Junius Brutus; Cain; Oliver Cromwell; Leon Czolgosz; Emma Goldman; William McKinley.|
Whose the Guilt?
As if to heap insult upon injury
the yellow journals which a fortnight ago were denouncing President McKinley
as a tyrant, as the servile and compliant arch-tool of a corrupt and infamous
plutocracy, are to-day filling the air with their canting and hollow lamentations.
The American people can now fully grasp the meaning and application of that
stinging term of Bismarck’s, the “reptile press.”
For three years past the reptile journals of the United States have been engaged, in effect, in depicting the nation’s chief magistrate—the kindly, genial man whom even the virago Goldman now styles a credit to mankind—as a despot whose killing, as was said of Cromwell, would be “no murder.” In type and in cartoon he has been pilloried and held up to the vengeance of every half-crazed victim of the jargon of anarchism who might aspire to the part of Brutus. President McKinley has been called the oppressor of the poor, the imperial renegade of the republic at whose bidding a hireling soldiery were crushing out the budding hopes of freedom in foreign lands. Above all, and more fatally than all, he has been depicted as the venal tool of capitalistic monsters which are grinding down the working classes into penury and servitude. He lies to-day the victim not alone of anarchism, but of the slanderous tongue and of the libelous pen. The responsibility for Czolgosz’s crime is a dual one: anarchism supplied the doctrine; yellow journalism pointed out the victim.
Will the American people, now that the curse of Cain is on the yellow newspaper, continue to support it? So long as there is a demand for it it will be produced, and be spread broadcast over the land, breathing a pestilence that may one day prove fatal to the republic. To what foul doctrines it lends its aid, to what foul deeds it points the way, we now see with dreadful, but, it may be hoped, salutary distinctness. Let the public conscience be thoroughly awakened on this subject, and the doom of yellow journalism will be sealed.