The Examiner’s Justification
IT would be amusing if it were not, after a sort,
pitiful to see the Examiner’s daily and painful plea of justification
in its anarchical assaults on President McKinley. The Hearst papers
having been repudiated by the reputable press and people of the
United States, the Examiner hails with delight any comfort that
it can get from the most obscure press. So it daily prints its own
praises from the “Weekly Gizzard,” the “Lone Canyon Guzzle” and
“Dry Creek Hee Haw.” These sheets generally hark back to what Republican
papers said about Mr. Bryan when he was a candidate to justify Hearst’s
persistent insults of William McKinley after he was President and
the campaign was over. In 1896 and in 1900 the campaign cartoons
of the Republican and Democratic press were fair offsets. No one
objects to exhibiting them side by side as samples of party zeal
and American campaign enthusiasm, or even of partisan bad taste.
But Mr. Hearst cannot vicariously
plead what happened in a campaign as justification of what he did
after the campaign was over. Nor will such plea, though cunningly
made, deceive the people who have determined that his style of journalism
shall receive no further encouragement.
There is no offset in the practice
of the Republican press to the Examiner’s cartoons of the President
as a negro minstrel, as the weak tool of robbers, as a pupil of
Fagin, as the enemy and hater of the common people. Nor is there
any such offset to the Examiner’s indorsement of the assassination
of rulers and Presidents, and its almost daily suggestion that the
murder of President McKinley would beneficially change history.
Of course that paper relies on the
brevity of memory, but that its reliance is not very strong is shown
by its ceasing to print the line of insulting pictures which it
had prepared. If it were doing right in its own estimation and in
that of its defenders, “The Gizzard,” “Guzzle” and “Hee Haw” organs
of obscurity, why does it not continue the course out of which it
was kicked by the country’s indignation?
It attacked and insulted and suggested
the murder of President McKinley because of the policy of his administration.
Now that President Roosevelt is carrying out that exact policy to
the letter, why, if it were right before in cartooning Vice President
Roosevelt as a grinning effigy and utterer of nonsense, does it
not continue to do so? The Examiner is very illogically justifying
itself in doing what it dare not continue to do, and the intended
praise it gets from “The Gizzard,” “Guzzle” and “Hee Haw” is of
no value whatever as an indorsement of a course that it has been
compelled to abandon.
Naturally it expects to resume its
old ways at the old stand, when its scare is over, but at present
it has seen a ghost just as it blasphemed, and it will not dare
swear again for a long time.