Source: San Francisco Call
Source type: newspaper
Document type: editorial
Document title: “Hearst and American People”
City of publication: San Francisco, California
Date of publication: 1 October 1901
Volume number: 90
Issue number: 123
|“Hearst and American People.” San Francisco Call 1 Oct. 1901 v90n123: p. 6.|
|Hearst newspapers; William Randolph Hearst.|
|William Randolph Hearst; Judas; William McKinley; Patrick W. Riordan; George Francis Whittemore.|
Hearst and American People
HEARST’S celebrated defense, appearing simultaneously in his
three newspapers, differing only in the personalities it indulges and grandiloquently
addressed “to the American people,” has been on the market long enough to enable
judgment of its effect.
After it appeared in New York, the American people stopped their subscriptions and refused to receive his paper from the carriers when it was offered free. They excluded it from their houses and places of business. Then Hearst had his paper wrapped like a parcel of merchandise and delivered by special messengers. This plan failed. One of the American people in New York investigated the subject, and in a public communication said: “They have prepared thousands of copies done up in this manner to leave at every house, store and office. Nearly every American District Telegraph messenger office in the city has one or more thousands so prepared, with orders to distribute. This looks as if the yellow was on its last legs.”
Ladies sent to other papers like letters to warn mothers against this sinister plan to sneak Hearst’s paper into families of the American people. Clubs, composed of the American people, excluded it from their rooms and entered an order suspending for a month any member who brought it within their rooms or read it there. In the street cars ladies refused to occupy seats alongside of men who were reading Hearst’s papers, giving their reasons to be heard by all the passengers. In some cases the readers threw the sheet out of the window and apologized. In all cases they threw it, and were cheered by the crowd of passengers.
In his proclamation to the American people Hearst asked the question, who hate the Examiner, in Chicago the American, and in New York the Journal, and answered it: “Those whom it has fought, and those who have been hurt in the newspaper business by a success which is at once a rebuke to incapacity and in infuriating provocation to envy and jealousy.”
Judged by their denunciations of Hearst and his papers, he has “fought” a majority of the clergy of the United States and the presidents of colleges and universities. He has fought Archbishop Riordan of this city, bishops and clergy of the Episcopal and Methodist churches, the pastors of all the churches governed by the presbytery, and all the churches that have congregational government, for they have joined in expressing the hatred that good men feel for him and his style of journalism. Then he has fought the G. A. R., for its sentiments were expressed in a national memorial which said of him “he is a Judas with the addition of disguise and modern enterprise. His seeds of murder, hate and anarchy, fructify into crimes like the assassination of President McKinley.” He has fought the thousands of club organizations and commercial bodies which have outlawed his papers and the hundreds of thousands of men and women who join the Rev. George Francis Whittemore in saying: “Who for gain tempts men to crime, let his name be anathema.”
In his proclamation “to the American people” Hearst announces that in the future, as in the past, his papers will “be human and animated and entertaining” indulging “the light word and funny picture”; and protests that is all he has done, and all that makes people stop his paper, outlaw and exclude it, refuse information to his unfortunate reporters, and even order from their doorsteps district messenger boys who try to deliver it wrapped up like linen from the laundry.
He is right. His idea of being human and entertaining, and the light and funny picture, is in issue. It was to be human and entertaining that he used these light words: “McKinley’s is a dull brain. It is a milk and water brain.”—“McKinley and his Wall-street Cabinet are ready to surrender every particle of national honor and dignity.”—“The people must decide between conservative remedies now, and desperate remedies later.”—“The world’s achievements and great changes have all come from discontent, and you should be, in as many ways as possible, a breeder of discontent among the human beings around you.”—“The time of dissolution is at hand. Twenty corporations own the President and virtually exercise the functions of government.”—“So what we hear that this republic is in danger now, just remember what a short time intervened between the King (of France), alive and drinking, and the King dead, and the peasants all eating.”—“McKinley plays the coward and shivers white-faced. He makes an international cur of his country; he is an abject, weak, futile, incompetent poltroon. He is, therefore, the most despised and hated creature in the hemisphere.”
These “light words,” and “human and entertaining” sentiments, were illustrated by Mr. Hearst’s idea of funny pictures, representing the President idiotically applauding the starving and murder of the common people, or as a negro minstrel, singing coon songs. Really, Mr. Hearst is too human and entertaining in his way and too funny after his idea for the American people. They believe him to be a blackguard, an envenomed pervert and degenerate, and his papers unfit to enter a decent family, club or place of business. That seems to be the only difference at present existing between Hearst and the American people.