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 (journalists) who dares to write your honest opinions, and if you did you know beforehand that it would never appear in print.
“I am paid $150 a week for keeping my honest opinion out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for things, and if any of you would be so foolish as to write honest opinions you would be out on the streets looking for another job. If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before 24 hours passed my job would be gone.
“The business of journalists 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 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, 1914, former Editor New York Times