In the current issue of the Nation Jo Swerling rehearses the story of the rise of that sad phenomenon of modern degeneracy, the tabloid newspaper. His account bristles with satiric humor, but under it all runs a tragic under-current, --the bitter contempt and resentment of old-time newspaperman toward this present day state of depravity into which his profession has fallen.
But others beside the unhappy journalist yearning for the golden era of the New York Sun in its prime have cause to take alarm at the sturdy growth of this bastard offspring of the more decent journals. The mushroom development to a circulation of 100,000 in less than a year Bernarr MacFadden's "Evening Graphic", trenchantly dubbed the "Porno Graphic", is food for unpleasant thought. It gives some color of justification to Dr. John Roach Straton's arraignment of modern civilization. If in some respects one discerns signs of healthy progress in American life, surely here is a mark of decadence. The thesis which George Jean Nathan presented not long ago in one of his more thoughtful moments may possibly be correct. Although American taste in the self-styled aristocracy of brains has never been at a higher level, his theory is, taste among the masses steadily exhibits the opposite tendency. One has only to glance over the periodicals on the nearest magazine stand, to appreciate the very considerable truth of this statement. Such a glance certainly could not leave the observers with any very favorable impression of the mental and moral attainments of the patrons of the stand.
Mr. Swerling's article suggests the possibility of the establishment in Boston by Mr. MacFadden of a counterpart of his Gotham publication. No one would hesitate, assuredly, to advise him to undertake this project at once. There are many hundreds, yes, thousands, of potential purchasers of a Boston "Graphic" in the Hub and its environs. Its success would be immediate.