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Brass Check by Upton Sinclai

Brass Check by Upton Sinclai

Author:Upton Sinclai [Sinclai, Upton]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Published: 0101-01-01T00:00:00+00:00


XXXVII THE DREGS OF THE CUP

I would call the reader’s attention to the fact that in this book I am dealing with our standard magazines and newspapers, the ones which are considered respectable, which all ladies and gentlemen accept as they accept the doctor’s pills and the clergyman’s sermons, the Bible and the multiplication table and Marian Harland’s cook-book. I have not made my case easy by dwelling on the cultural content of the “mail order” and “household” publications, of which there are scores with a circulation of a million or more; or of the agricultural papers of the country, whose total circulation amounts to tens of millions. How I could freeze your blood if I were to summarize the contents of the “Ladies’ World,” the “Gentlewoman,” the “Household Guest,” “Home Life,” the “Household,” “Comfort,” the “Home Friend,” “Mother’s Magazine,” “Everyday Life,” the “People’s Popular Monthly,” the “Clover Leaf” weeklies and the “Boyce” weeklies, the “Saturday Blade” and the “Chicago Ledger”! If I were to tell about the various “Family Story Papers,” which are left in area-ways for servants! Or the “fashion-papers," the “Butterick Trio,” with close to two millions, the “Woman’s World,” with two millions, and “Vogue,” the “Delineator,” the “Parisienne,” the “Ladies’ Pictorial,” “Needlecraft” with their half million or more. Or the “fast” papers, which cultivate a taste for perfumed smut—and which I will not advertise by naming! Or the papers of the sporting and racing and gambling worlds, down to the “Police Gazette,” with its “leg-shows” and illustrated murders!

Also the local papers, the small dailies, the weeklies and semi-monthlies and monthlies by the thousands and tens of thousands! If you wish to get a complete picture of American Journalism, you must take these into account; you must descend from the heights of metropolitan dignity into the filthiest swamps of provincial ignorance and venality. Hardly a week passes that someone does not send me a copy of some country paper which calls for the stringing-up of Socialists to lamp-posts, and denounces highly educated Bolshevik leaders in editorials with half a dozen grammatical errors to the column.

And if you go to the small town in Pennsylvania or Arkansas or Colorado, or wherever this paper is published, you find a country editor on the level of intelligence of the local horse-doctors of Englewood, New Jersey, and Tarrytown, New York, whose proceedings I have described in this book. Frequently you find this editor hanging on by his eye-teeth, with a mortgage at the local bank, carried because of favors he does to the local money-power. You find him getting a regular monthly income from the copper-interests or the coal-interests or the lumber-interests, whatever happens to be dominant in that locality. You find him heavily subsidized at election-time by the two political machines of these great interests. His paper is used to print the speeches of the candidates of these interests, and five or ten or fifty thousand copies of this particular issue are paid for by these interests and distributed at meetings.



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