John Swinton, Chief Editor of the NY Times, says in a Speech, “The Business of Journalists is to Destroy the Truth…We Are Tools… of Rich Men Behind the Scenes.”

There is no such thing, at this date 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 to 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 opinion 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 so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the street looking for another job. If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my’ paper, 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 tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. 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, former chief of staff, The New York Times, in a 1953 speech before the New York Press Club

In its January 1943 issue the bimonthly American Notes & Queries wrote “It is more than likely that John Swinton’s statement that “there is no such thing in America as an independent press….” was made at the “Journalists’ Gathering” in the rooms of the Twilight Club in the Mills Building, New York City, on April 12, 1883. The subject of Swinton’s talk was “Some Things an Editor Dare Not Discuss.” Swinton at the time was chief of the editorial staff of Charles A. Dana’s New York Sun.”

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