Weekend

Weekend Words: Press

“Numerous politicians have seized absolute power and muzzled the press. Never in history has the press seized absolute power and muzzled the politicians.”

Abraham Bosse, “A Printer’s Workshop” (c.1642), etching, 261 x 362 mm, Museum het Rembrandthuis, Amsterdam (image via Web Gallery of Art)

This week Donald Trump ramped up his war on the news media with tweet-barrages against MSNBC and CNN, and on Thursday he became the first American president to attack the American press on foreign soil.

In modern America, anyone who attempts to write satirically about the events of the day finds it difficult to concoct a situation so bizarre that it may not actually come to pass while the article is still on the presses.

—Calvin Trillin

Freedom of the press is limited to those who own one.

—A.J. Liebling

The price of freedom of religion, or of speech, or of the press, is that we must put up with a good deal of rubbish.

—Robert Jackson

Since the printing press came into being, poetry has ceased to be the delight of the whole community of man; it has become the amusement and delight of the few.

—John Masefield

A free press can of course be good or bad, but, most certainly, without freedom it will never be anything but bad.

—Albert Camus, Resistance, Rebellion and Death (1960)

The American press exists for one purpose only, and that is to convince Americans that they are living in the greatest and most envied country in the history of the world. The press tells the American people how awful every other country is and how wonderful the United States is and how evil communism is and how happy they should be to have freedom to buy seven different sorts of detergent.

—Gore Vidal

Numerous politicians have seized absolute power and muzzled the press. Never in history has the press seized absolute power and muzzled the politicians.

—David Brinkley

Can somebody tell me what kind of a world we live in, where a man dressed up as a bat gets all of my press? This town needs an enema!

—Jack Nicholson as The Joker in Batman (1989)

The press and the pulpit have in every age and every nation been on the side of the exploiting class and the ruling class.

—Eugene V. Debs

The hand that rules the press, the radio, the screen and the far-spread magazine, rules the country.

—Learned Hand

In the old days men had the rack. Now they have the Press.

—Oscar Wilde, An Ideal Husband​

It is the press, above all, which wages a positively fanatical and slanderous struggle, tearing down everything which can be regarded as a support of national independence, cultural elevation, and the economic independence of the nation.

—Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf

Whenever the press quits abusing me I know I’m in the wrong pew. I don’t mind it because when they throw bricks at me — I’m a pretty good shot myself and I usually throw ’em back at ’em.

—Harry S Truman, speech in a dinner in his honor, Washington, DC (February 22, 1958)

If the fires of freedom and civil liberties burn low in other lands, they must be made brighter in our own. If in other lands the press and books and literature of all kinds are censored, we must redouble our efforts here to keep them free. If in other lands the eternal truths of the past are threatened by intolerance we must provide a safe place for their perpetuation.

—Franklin D. Roosevelt

To the press alone, chequered as it is with abuses, the world is indebted for all the triumphs which have been gained by reason and humanity over error and oppression.

—James Madison

If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be. The functionaries of every government have propensities to command at will the liberty and property of their constituents. There is no safe deposit for these but with the people themselves; nor can they be safe with them without information. Where the press is free, and every man able to read, all is safe.

—Thomas Jefferson

The Press, Watson, is a most valuable institution, if you only know how to use it.

—Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventure of the Six Napoleons/The Adventure of the Crooked Man

Despite the constant negative press covfefe

—Donald Trump, Twitter (May 30, 2017)

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