SWINTON, John. US editor on journalists: "We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes"

John Swinton (December 12, 1830- December 15, 1901) was a noted journalist, economist, and orator, the chief editorial writer at The New York Times (1860- 1870) and an editorial writer for The New York Sun (1875-1897) (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Swinton_%28journalist%29 ).

John Swinton on journalists as intellectual prostitutes in responding to a toast for “An Independent Press” at a banquet for editors (1901): “There is no such thing, at this stage of the world’s history in America, as an independent press. You know it and I know it. There is not one of you who dare write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinions out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job. If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my papers, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone. The business of the journalist is to destroy the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of Mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. You know it and I know it, and what folly is this toasting an independent press? We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes.” [1].

[1]. John Swinton quoted in John Swinton:. Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Swinton_%28journalist%29 .

[2]. John Swinton quoted in Upton Sinclair, “The Brass Cheque. A study of American journalism” (1928), p400:  http://books.google.de/books?id=pZXZRxCVAZwC&pg=Pt400#v=onepage&q&f=false .

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