Hearst and His Judges
WILLIAM R. HEARST has sought to turn aside something
at least of the public indignation against him by the plea that
those who charge him with responsibility in the crime of Czolgosz
are business rivals who are trying to benefit themselves by injuring
him. In his organ, the Examiner of this city, he directed that plea
on Sunday in a special measure against The Call, and will doubtless
repeat it in the hope that by iteration and reiteration a considerable
number of the people may be induced to believe it. It is therefore
incumbent upon The Call to take note of it.
Hearst could hardly have conceived
a more false but at the same time a more cunning plea. The public
cares little or nothing about controversies between rival newspapers,
and Hearst is aware that if he can so shift this issue as to make
it appear nothing more than a question between The Call and the
Examiner, he will be able to sneak out of the storm and escape the
punishment which public condemnation has prepared for him.
Let it then be noted that the charge
of Hearst’s responsibility for anarchy and for crime has not been
made solely by The Call. On the contrary, it was the spontaneous
outburst of public sentiment in all parts of the country. The intelligence
of the American people had noted the tendency of the teachings of
the Hearst journals and had long since condemned them. In that condemnation,
however, there was a contemptuous disbelief that the vicious teachings
by pen and picture could result in an actual attempt upon the life
of the President who was daily vilified and maligned. The crime
of Czolgosz startled the public by a disclosure that the Hearst
papers were not so harmless as public contempt had supposed them,
and at once there arose the cry of the public—“Down with the anarchists,
and down with the yellow journals.”
That cry came from all classes of
citizens. In many parts of the country Hearst was hanged in effigy
as an evidence of the popular rage against him, and while the masses
were expressing themselves in that or other equally forcible ways
eminent men were pronouncing the condemnation of Hearst in the most
emphatic manner and under the most solemn and impressive circumstances.
Among those whose charges Hearst has
to answer, and whom he cannot set aside by the shuffling lie that
they are business rivals, are: Grover Cleveland, Cardinal Gibbons,
Archbishop Riordan, Bishop Cranston of the Methodist Episcopal Church,
President Wheeler of the University of California, President Jordan
of Stanford, Vice President Cooper of Rutgers, Abram Hewitt of New
York, and almost every orator who spoke at memorial services held
at every important city in the Union on the day of the funeral of
the President. To these are to be added the host of other men who
acted as the representatives of public institutions and organized
bodies, such as the Chamber of Commerce in this city and the State
Board of Horticulture.
These men were not vague in their
condemnation. Some of them, indeed, did not name Hearst nor the
yellow journals which he supports out of his wealth, but they made
their meaning so clear and plain that no one could mistake it. Others
frankly spoke the loathed names and specified that they meant William
R. Hearst and his three papers, the New York Journal, the Chicago
American and the San Francisco Examiner.
Does Hearst deem it possible that
he can induce the American people, or even a respectable minority
of them, to believe that such men are his business rivals, or in
any way jealous of his “superiority”?
He has threatened to retaliate upon
those who condemn him. How will he retaliate? Will he burn in effigy
all who have burned him in effigy? Will he slander every man in
America who has refused to take one of his papers? Will he hold
up the eminent men who have spoken against him and daily vilify
them for the purpose of rousing against them some wretch of the
Should Hearst, learning discretion
from cowardice, hold fast to his scheme of misrepresenting the issue
to the public and insist that after all it is but a newspaper fight,
he will even then have his hands full when he undertakes the task
of retaliation. It is not in California only that he has been exposed
and the meaning of his vicious teachings made clear by the press.
He and his journals have been condemned in the East almost as universally
as in California. In the whole of this State he has had but one
or two apologists, and in proportion to the number of papers he
is about as badly off in the East.
It would require more space than we
can afford to publish the list of all Eastern newspapers that have
expressed the popular condemnation of the yellow journals. Taking
only the more important papers and those only that have emphasized
the criminal character of the Hearst publications by repeatedly
directing popular attention to it, we have this long array:
Newark Evening News.
Springfield (Mass.) Union.
Chicago Evening Journal.
New York Journal of Commerce.
Elizabeth Daily Journal.
Fitchburg (Mass.) Sentinel.
Detroit Free Press.
Milwaukee Evening Wisconsin.
Albany Evening Journal.
Wilmington Morning News.
Marquette (Mich.) Mining Journal.
The New Yorker.
Cincinnati Commercial Tribune.
New York Sun.
New Orleans Times-Democrat.
Wheeling (W. Va.) Intelligencer.
New Haven Leader.
Topeka Daily Capital.
Warwick (N. Y.) Advertiser.
Chatham (N. Y.) Republican.
Fargo (N. D.) Morning Call and Daily Argus
Kansas City Journal.
Augusta (Me.) Daily Kennebec Journal.
Elmira (N. Y.) Daily Advertiser.
Watertown Daily Times.
New York Press.
Colorado Springs Mail.
|| Baltimore World.
Hudson (N. Y.) Republican.
Gloversville (N. Y.) Leader-Intelligencer.
Concord (N. H.) Independent Statesman.
Newburg (N. Y.) Daily News.
St. Louis Globe-Democrat.
Passaic Daily News.
New York Commercial Advertiser.
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.
New Brunswick Press.
Jersey City News.
Portland (Me.) Daily News.
Richmond County Advance.
Dayton (Ohio) Daily Journal.
Memphis Commercial Appeal.
Western Christian Advocate.
New Haven Register.
Montreal Daily Star.
Utica Daily Press.
The Music Trades. (New York.)
From that list, including as it does
almost every eminent legitimate journal in the East, it will be
seen that in trying to sneak out of public wrath by setting up a
newspaper fight the yellow anarchist has hardly benefited himself.
There is no other man in America, or probably in the world, who
is regarded by the members of his own profession with so much of
abhorrence as is this man who has sought to degrade American journalism
to the slums and bring the profession of Franklin, Greeley, Bryant,
Prentice and Dana down to the level of Czolgosz.