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WHY HEARST?

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

There must be many who wonder, as does Mr. Donham in his letter, "just what is wrong with Mr. Hearst, his news-reels, or his newspapers." In the eyes of many--all too many--the Hearst papers' greatest sin is their sensationalism. But the evil goes far deeper than mere lack of a sane perspective: and the realization that even intelligent men fail to appreciate the danger in Hearst's reporting, interpretation, and selection of news is arresting.

Of the few men in America who wield influence with the masses of the people, William Randolph Hearst is one of the most powerful. Because of this power, he must be judged in the light of his use of it. Mr. Donham is content that Hearst "is against communism, fascism, low tariffs, the League of Nations, the World Court, the NRA, and regimentation of economic life," and claims that in this respect his position is little different from that of papers such as the New York Herald-Tribune.

But Mr. Donham cannot see the elephant because of his tusks. He forgets that the American people were whipped into a frenzy against Spain in 1898 by William Randolph Hearst's bitter fight against the domination of Joseph Pulitzer. He forgets that this very sensationalism he concedes in nine cases out of ten, vitiates Hearst's correctness of attitude. He forgets that Hearst has for fifteen years filled the American people with a pack of lies about Russia and Japan. He forgets that Hearst is for a navy second to none--whatever that may be. He forgets that only last winter Hearst sent his reporters to interview professors on contemporary social problems, and by means of "selective quotation" attacked them on charges of being communistic.

Mr. Donham does not understand that though the basic differences between Hearst's and other papers may be small in number, they are immense in significance. For Mr. Hearst and others cannot seen to realize that the vital need of the modern world is tolerance towards all peoples and all creeds. For all his faith in democracy, Hearst will stop at nothing to suppress anything un-American. In one breath he excoriates the man who hints at foreign entanglements, and in another be conducts an anti-Japanese campaign that bids fair to end in war.

It is not because he stands for democracy, freedom, peace and prosperity that Hearst is a menace. Hearst has been found guilty, because, controlling a huge sector of American opinion, he has glorified American provincialism, encouraged American irresponsibility, and perverted the principles to which he pays lip service. Thanks to the policies Hearst has advocated so long and violently,--high tariffs, isolation, naval supremacy, and complete laissez-faire,--America stands today an orphan in the family of nations, drifting towards an open break with Japan, (having lost a potential friend in Russia), cursed with an antiquated economic system, and hamstrung by a political framework that makes increasingly necessary the substitution of fascism for progress.

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