The meaning of Democracy’s Freedoms and the Nature of the Western Media Beast – Part 4/5

PBS ran a special on Milestones in the History of Media and Politics. From this PBS special, I learned that “In 1690, the first newspaper published in America was printed by Richard Pierce and edited by Benjamin Harris. Since it was published without consent of the government, it was immediately suppressed, its publisher arrested and all copies destroyed.”

PBS said that in 1798, the Sedition Act made it a crime to print “any false, scandalous and malicious writing…against the government of the United States.”

“Introduced by President John Adams as the US was on the brink of war with France and rabble-rousing from French immigrants was feared, the Sedition Act made it illegal to criticize the government, under penalty of a $2,000 fine and 2 years in jail. The Act directly contradicted the First Amendment, which had already been ratified in 1791. Everyone from writers, editors, printers, and “even drunks who were overheard condemning (President) Adams” were prosecuted.”

“In 1841,” PBS said, “Horace Greeley launched THE NEW YORK TRIBUNE, which…was strongly antislavery, and as a reform-minded journal of ideas, reported on women’s rights, socialist experiments, temperance, and other reforms. Greeley explained, “I founded the New York Tribune as a journal removed alike from servile partisanship on the one hand and from gagged and mincing neutrality on the other.”

In the 1880’s, Joseph Pulitzer, a key figure in developing the big-business model of the newspaper, and William Randolph Hearst, seeing the press as both political agency and business, competed for mass circulation. The sensational reporting they turned to became known as “yellow journalism.”

Starting in the “1890s,” PBS said, “many independent newspapers were swallowed up into powerful “chains.”

“During and after WWI, the government suppressed radical newspapers and German language papers, but in 1925, in Gitlow v. United States, the Supreme Court upheld a conviction of radical pamphleteers…”

Continued on July 13, 2012 in The meaning of Democracy’s Freedoms and the Nature of the Western Media Beast – Part 5 or return to Part 3


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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3 Responses to The meaning of Democracy’s Freedoms and the Nature of the Western Media Beast – Part 4/5

  1. william wallace says:

    One seen the same with the movie industry / it had the ability in very clear form of allowing free debate /as the ability to critisize
    govt // which allowed true freedom true democracy / a platform
    for the all people from all walks of life from the rich to the poor.

    In seeing the power of the movie world / seeing it was a means
    where they were challenged / a USA govt of the day put media
    propaganda to a new heightened level. The most brutal attack
    was made on the movie industry where t’was accused of being
    a tool of communists in an plot to destroy democracy freedom
    to bring down the govt of the USA / writers actors actresses as directors producers all put in the dock as criminals as enemies
    of the nation tratiors of such evil intent they should be hanged.

    The end result the govt of the day had the final say as to what
    the movie industry produced /resulting in the movie industry in
    but producing propaganda material as suit the govt of the day.

    Production of movies becoming a farce in reality were nought
    but an introduction of tobacco & its highly addictive chemicals
    to a unsuspecting public // where tobacco was promoted as a
    great aid to ones life // it brought peace // it brought courage
    the dying soldier had a cigarette stuck in his mouth / this but
    portrayed as a act of kindness // where reality the advertizing
    of tobacco was an totally appalling /deceitful act of behavour.

    The political parties profit in $millions in that donated by the
    profits of tobacco / the people’s gain but death as suffering
    from tobacco / death in millions / suffering beyond measure
    death in numbers more than war /bullet or bomb in bringing.

    Such the history of humanity / greed blinds / political greed
    not only blinds it gives power to an few / to abuse the many.

    Thus the story repeats iself // rather than protect the rights
    of the people / govt becomes corrupted // blinded by greed
    no longer such servants of the people but be their masters.

    Such present time humanity at the creast of a wave in that
    of political corruption / the situation being dire // the media
    propaganda spins out 24/7 in ever leading to more conflict
    more destruction / more suffering more injustice /more lies.

    There realy need more time concentration as given to that
    which unites rather than that which divides there needs be
    more time where the focus on cure rather than punishment.

    We are on a planet / the only planet that can sustain life
    life is the gift granted of all gifts that via ones brain open
    heart all can know the creator / can experience creation
    we are one family /turning upon each other but stupidity.

    One need allow development of brain / understaning the
    purpose of creation /knowing how precious the gift of life.

  2. merlin says:

    The 1800s those that were arrested were fined 2K and sentenced to 2 yrs prison? Wow intense for those days considering 2K was probably equal to 100K + in today’s equivalent? 2 yrs in prison…I’m assuming prisons back then were definitely not the Hilton.

    • Compare that fine in 1800 with this one I recently read about: There is a law on the books that does not allow an individual to donate his semen for free to couples that may have trouble conceiving a child or to gay couples that want a child. He has to have approval from the government to do this. It doesn’t matter how many medical tests this person had to make sure he was offering healthy semen and desirable DNA.

      The fine is (if I recall correctly) about $100,000 or ten years in jail.

      No wonder the US has more people in prison than any other country on earth—even China, which has about half as many in prison with more than four times the population.

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