Saturday, July 09, 2005

Media Frenzy over Bombings

The death toll stands at "over 50," and the wounded at 700 in the worse attack on London's civilians since WWII. The Media is in a frenzy, covering a hurricane in Florida. Of course, the entire Western World is sickened by the stories of-- Michael Jackson. Did you see Tom Cruise?

Oh, those bombing in London? Well, did you read that the Muslims in Britain are living in fear of a backlash by thousands of Right-wing racists? The horror. The horror.

"Mr Hurtz. He dead."

William Randolph Hearst

The year was 1897 and tensions were high in the United States due to the growing conflict between our close neighbor Cuba and Spain. William Randolph Hearst, already an established newspaper owner in San Francisco was engaged in a fierce battle for readers between his newly acquired paper the New York Journal and Joseph Pulitzer's highly successful New York World. Hearst knew
that a war, particularly a war with the involvement of the United States would increase his newspaper distribution dramatically.

Hearst championed the Cuban rebels and welcomed a U.S. declaration of war. He launched a scathing series of attacks in his daily editorials aimed at the Spanish government for its hostile actions and towards the United States government for not doing anything about it.

He called for war at a time when the country was just healing from the wounds of theCivil War and was itching for an excuse to flex some military muscle. He spent untold sums of money to send reporters and corespondents to Cuba to capture the stories of Cuban insurrection.

When his artist correspondent, Frederick Remington, arrived in Cuba to cover the anticipated Spanish-American war, and finding there were no visible signs of war, he cabled Hearst for permission to come home. Hearst reportedly cabled back: ''You provide the
pictures, and I'll provide the war.''

The strategy worked. The Journal sold more than a million copies during the height of the crisis. It also foretold what was to come in Hearst's newspapers:that a publisher and the President had an equal right to act for the nation.

"You provide the pictures, and I'll provide the excuses."

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