When the USS Maine mysteriously exploded and sank in Havana Harbor, Cuba, on February 15, 1898, Hearst had his picture. Despite any evidence of foul play and ignoring the ship’s known problems, reports incriminating Spain began circulating with pictures heightening the public’s outrage. People demanded America intervene, including Theodore Roosevelt, who left his position as Assistant Secretary of the Navy to lead his now famous ‘Rough Riders’ calvary regiment. (see ) One of the most well-known ‘yellow journalism’ cartoons depicts the two publishers taking credit for furnishing the Spanish-American War.
As their circulation grew, so did the influence of Pulitzer and Hearst on American journalism. In 1892, Pulitzer tried to set up the first school of journalism, yet it did not start until after Pulitzer’s death on October 29, 1911. His $2 million endowment established both the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, opening in 1912, as well as the Pulitzer Prize in Journalism, with the first prize awarded in 1917.
Despite Joseph Pulitzer’s established involvement in yellow journalism, the Pulitzer Prize became a coveted honor, one that was awarded to those who showed exceptionalism in journalism. Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein won the Pulitzer for their investigative journalism in the Watergate Scandal. However, today the prize has gone full circle as it is now awarded to the best yellow journalism stories that make the most influence on the people.
Hearst entered politics, serving two terms as a representative from New York. However, trying to manage his papers, perform his duties in Congress, and run a gubernatorial campaign caused voters to loose confidence. He lost his next elections, forever ending his political career.
By the 1920s, Hearst’s empire was soaring. The Hearst Corporation owned 20 daily and 11 Sunday papers, six magazines, including Good Housekeeping, Harper’s Bazaar, and Cosmopolitan, other news outlets, and a newsreel and a film company. He began building an enormous castle in 1919, which he used as his private residence until his death, where he entertained the most prominent players in Hollywood, sports, and politics. During the Roaring Twenties, Hearst had 25% of the country's newspaper readership. Yet just like with his political career, Hearst spread himself so thin that when the stock market crashed leading to the Great Depression, his empire crashed with it.
Hearst lost several of his publications in the 1930s and the company was forced to sell off items such as antiques and art to pay its debts. He grew bitter and harsh, which reflected in his editorials. Having grown so wealthy and removed from his working-class readership, he even turned against Democrat President Franklin D. Roosevelt, whom his customers loved. Possibly his worst blunder was interviewing Adolph Hitler during a 1934 visit to Berlin, which only validated the dictator’s leadership as he grew in power.
Using Hearst as his inspiration, Orson Welles wrote and directed the 1941 Academy Award winning movie Citizen Kane. Considered one of the greatest films of all time, Hearst tried desperately to get production stopped and prevent its release. Yet despite his close ties with Hollywood, he did not succeed. Hearst died a decade later on August 14, 1951. The 88-year-old left a sizable fortune to his five sons, who all entered the media business just like their father. William Randolph Hearst Jr. even won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting for a Hearst newspaper.
While America has dealt with yellow journalism since even before Hearst and Pulitzer made it popular, the practice became rampant during Progressive Democrat President Barack Obama’s Administration when his Chief of Staff, Rahm Emmanuel, stated: "You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it's an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” (see ) With that, everything the left and the MSM, who is still in the pocket to the Democratic Party, thought beneficial became a crisis. They are not two separate entities, with one monitoring the other. They are one powerful force with the watchdog helping the wolf destroy the sheep.
Liberty, this is our news today. MSM stories contain half-truths, twisted facts, quote "unnamed sources close to the situation,” strategically cropped pictures, endless use of the victim card, racism, and flat out lies, all which are given a pass. This is why today we call the MSM “Fake News,” as it not only manipulates people with its sensational lies, it simultaneously attacks the opposition, accusing them of practicing the exact “yellow journalism” tactics they are doing. (see ) However, they need to do this because they know when people discover the truth, they will reject those lying to them.
The MSM uses yellow journalism to further their agendas on immigration, gun control, race relations, Republican President Donald Trump, LGBTQ+, and every other progressive cause. In addition, stories and events are carefully chosen as to which ones will help their cause and which ones will hurt it. The former are overtly pushed and the latter are unquestionably ignored. While I could write a novel of examples of Fake News over the past decade, I’ll highlight just a recent few instances of today’s yellow journalism.
On August 9, the anniversary of the shooting of Michael Brown, Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris both tweeted that he was murdered by a white cop. Even though Obama’s own Justice Department debunked the false story of “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot,” the MSM still push and promote it, letting Democrat candidates freely respread the blatant lie without concern of being called out for it. (see )
The first weekend of August, two separate mass shootings occurred in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas. Before any facts were researched and discovered, the MSM and Democrat Presidential candidates immediately took to microphones and Social Media to blame Trump. When it was learned that the Dayton shooter was an Elizabeth Warren supporter, the media quietly pushed that story to the back burner to focus on the El Paso shooter, who left a manifesto. Entitled “The Inconvenient Truth,” it read just like Al Gore’s movie with the same title. Ignoring his ramblings of reducing the number of people using up all the resources, the MSM focused on just one line, taken completely out of context, so as to paint him as a Trump white supremacist. Surprisingly, Huffington Post reported his environmentalism, yet actually managed to twist it as a now right-wing cause. This outright deceit is done to manipulate their readership. Interestingly, media sources declined posting the manifesto, stating it would give the shooter too much notoriety. More likely, they didn’t want the truth of his leftist ideology, and their dishonesty, revealed.
The left is desperately trying to tie all gun violence to white supremacists, supposedly inspired by Trump. Any facts disputing this narrative are actively ignored or attacked. For example, a week before these tragedies, a man entered a festival in California and started shooting before nearby police quickly took him down. Once the media discovered he was an Iranian Muslim, the story went away. Days after these tragedies, a man walked the streets in California robbing people, killing 4 and injuring others with a knife. The media was virtually silent because a gun was not used and despite the victims all being Hispanic, so was the suspect.
On any given weekend, an average of 50 people are shot in Chicago. The MSM says nothing, calling anyone who does a racist. It’s not about saving lives. It’s not about keeping guns out of the hands of unstable people. It’s not about stopping violence. It’s not about solving problems. This is Fake News being used to get all our guns so the government can put their boot on the neck of the American people. (see )
In today’s world, the internet is putting papers out of business as people find their news online, lots of times for free. Therefore, to get clicks, publishers on both sides of the aisle often write over-the-top headlines. But yellow journalism is deeper than headlines. On Social Media especially, pictures are widely used along with or instead of articles since they catch people’s attention quickly while a short statement guides you to the conclusion they want you to have. (see )
When the immigration debate heated up again earlier this year, pictures circulating of kids in cages at detention facilities harshly condemned Trump for their treatment. However, the pictures were taken during the Obama Administration. Regardless, people still believe Trump built the cages and treats illegal immigrants like animals.
Around the same time, a picture of a little boy behind bars surfaced as people again became outraged. The uncropped picture revealed it was taken at a protest while others showed the boy running around outside the makeshift cage. The pictures can be seen .
Then, Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) released pictures taken a year ago during a visit she made to a detention facility. Distressed, she cried at the facility’s fence as she watched the poor children inside. Except other angles of the event revealed she was looking at an empty parking lot. The backlash got so bad the photographer demanded people take down the damaging photos.
Liberty, Hearst and Pulitzer used yellow journalism to start a war. Many fear today’s MSM are using Fake News to do the same. However this time they seem to be pitting Americans against Americans. The hope is there will be so much infighting that the socialists will be able to convince enough people they will deliver a new utopia and win power. Progressives are just socialists willing to get to their goal in steps, progressing slowly. Many believe the term ‘yellow journalism’ started because of the cartoon. Maybe its because the journalists are themselves, yellow. Cowards who hide behind sensationalism to manipulate people instead of telling the truth and letting the chips fall where they may! You must always search and fight for the truth, Liberty. It is the only thing that will set you free!
That’s my 2 cents.
August 14, 2019
At our founding, the press was understood to be the Fourth Estate, or Fourth Branch, in our government. Given specific protections under the 1st Amendment, our Founders expected the press to be the people’s watchdog over the other three powers: the Executive, the Legislative, and the Judicial Branches. However, the group we are supposed to rely on for our news, the Main Stream Media (MSM), have become completely untrustworthy. Yet they are just following the sensationalism of Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst in the late 1800’s.
Pulitzer, born April 10, 1847, in Hungry, signed up for the Union Army as a draftee substitute and emigrated to America in 1864 to fight in the Civil War. After the war, he moved to St. Louis. He worked odd jobs until starting a journalism career in 1868, quickly becoming involved in ownership of newspapers. In the early 1870’s, Pulitzer supported the Liberal Republican Party, yet following the party’s dissolution, he became a lifelong Democrat.
In 1878, he acquired the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and married Democrat Confederate President Jefferson Davis’ niece, Kate Davis. The couple moved to New York City in 1883, due to Pulitzer’s ill health. He purchased a morning paper called the New York World, which he quickly turned into a strong, leading Democrat publication.
Pulitzer felt passionately about strong investigative reporting. His customers enjoyed the features exposing political corruption, fraud, abuses of power, and sincere reporting for the benefit of the common man. However, he needed more in his paper to expand its readership. Therefore, Pulitzer hired a cartoonist, whose work skyrocketed his paper’s circulation to the largest in the country.
As Pulitzer built his empire, his tactics caught the eye of a rising journalist and heir to millions of dollars. Born in San Francisco, on April 29, 1863, William Randolph Hearst was greatly influenced by the New York World during his days at Harvard College. Hearst’s father, George, had obtained the San Francisco Examiner, and Hearst started running it in 1887. That same year, Pulitzer created the Evening World in New York, doubling his journalistic voice. Hearst poured money into the failing Examiner, buying better equipment and writers, such as Mark Twain and Jack London. It became a great success.
Wanting to overtake the newspaper world, Hearst moved to New York and purchased the formerly Pulitzer-owned New York Morning Journal in 1895. Like his mentor, Hearst began an evening publication, the Evening Journal, a year later. Also like his mentor, Hearst used his papers to further his Democrat viewpoints.
Hearst quickly turned his mentor into his rival, undercutting his competitor by dropping the price of his paper to one cent. Pulitzer, despite having relinquished editorial control in 1890 due to poor eyesight and health, remained in control of his newspapers. He responded in kind to Hearst, knowing Hearst could cover costs with his family money. Hearst then enticed several World employees to join his paper, including Richard F. Outcault, a cartoonist known for a series entitled ‘The Yellow Kid.” Pulitzer replaced him with George G. Luks, who continued to draw the comic for World. As the two cartoonists, as well as others, published comics about the rival publishers. Using figures in yellow outfits, sensationalized and dramatic headlines, pictures, and reporting, the whole process became known as ‘yellow journalism’. By 1897, Hearst had overtaken Pulitzer as top publisher.
As wars bring readers eager to hear the latest news, the two began their own agendas in 1897 of stirring strife against Cuba and Spain, pushing peoples' opinions to support war. Looking for anything newsworthy to promote, Hearst sent Frederic Remington, a popular illustrator, to Cuba to find a story. After a time, Remington grew bored, cabling Hearst with the message, “Everything quiet. There is no trouble here. There will be no war. Wish to return.” Hearst responded, “Please remain. You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war.”
When the USS Maine mysteriously exploded and sank in Havana Harbor, Cuba, on February 15, 1898, Hearst had his picture. Despite any evidence of foul play and ignoring the ship’s known problems, reports incriminating Spain began circulating with pictures heightening the public’s outrage. People demanded America intervene, including Theodore Roosevelt, who left his position as Assistant Secretary of the Navy to lead his now famous ‘Rough Riders’ cavalry regiment. (see ) One of the most well-known ‘yellow journalism’ cartoons depicts the two publishers taking credit for furnishing the Spanish-American War.
YELLOW JOURNALISM: THE BIRTH OF FAKE NEWS