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Joseph Pulitzer and the New York World

Addressing the class structure in America wherein immigrants failed to acquire sophistication and polish, Pulitzer’s editors were told to concentrate on stories about sex, violence, crime, tragedy, and farce.

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Joseph Pulitzer was a sensationalist who helped perfect the screaming headline, tabloid mentality that exists to this day. Joseph Pulitzer and the New York World, by George Juergens was published by the Princeton University Press, in 1966.  Here are vital notes and excerpts from the book:

“The goal of sensational journalism is to catch the interest, even to titillate, the vast body of men and women who for one reason or another are unconcerned with the happenings in government, business, or the arts.”

Sensationalism isn’t Pretty

Sensational newspapers expanded the meaning of the human interest story to report what had previously been regarded as private — the gossip and scandal about individuals — and discovered a rich source of news in crime and everyday tragedy. They began to pay as much attention to personalities as to local or national events.

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While Joseph Pulitzer did not originate sensationalism, he played a crucial role in the history of American journalism simply by living at a time when social and economic changes enabled sensationalism to flourish.

Pulitzer used frivolous pictures, poetry, short stories, and the like, to make the newspaper a medium to entertain as well as inform. Pulitzer borrowed ideas of sensationalism that were not his own and brought them up to date to fit a modern America of cities and factories.

Circulation is King

When Pulitzer set up shop in New York, he wanted to achieve the greatest circulation in America’s history. He needed a large circulation in order to have a podium from which his liberal principles could be heard. To obtain it, he had to win the confidence, as well as excite the interest, of the masses of people.

Pulitzer took delight in alliteration. “Fact, Fuss, Fun and Philosophy for the Fair Sex”; “Mangled by Mongrels”; and “Terrible Time in Troy”; were typical of blazing headlines that crossed the front of his papers.

To attract more attention and strike the reader’s eye, Pulitzer sometimes resorted to the dubious practice of pumping minor items out of proportion. A typical technique was to ask a question in the headline, usually one the paper could not answer.

In one instance, two brothers argued in a boarding house, and one shot the other while the grief-stricken mother clasped the dead son’s body to her breast. Rather than use such obvious headlines as “Youth Kills Brother” or “A Tale of Cain and Abel,” Pulitzer seized the reader’s attention with “Blood on Mother’s Lips.”

While patricians might decry such journalism as tasteless, Pulitzer pointed to a steadily rising circulation to prove its effectiveness.

Creating the News

Pulitzer reputedly had a “nose for news,” recognizing the appropriate stories when they appeared, and, when they did not appear, creating them. Such a knack meant making fine judgments about stories that had no place in a mass circulation journal, and not least important, knowing how to present and embellish the right stories so that their potential was not lost on the reader.

The large number of immigrants in New York who had trouble reading English came to rely on Hearst’s paper, The World, for headlines. Accommodating the uncertain literacy of it’s readers, the paper had abundant pictures and bold headlines splashed across each page. Reporters were urged to use simple language and uncomplicated sentence structure.

Addressing the class structure in America wherein immigrants failed to acquire sophistication and polish, the editors concentrated on stories about sex, violence, crime, tragedy, and farce.

The World also resurrected buried items, venturing far from New York City to find desired material. Pulitzer often played up material ignored by other papers to make his front page startling and eye-catching. Pulitzer played up one incident, a squabble between two cab drivers, for three days running, with headlines such as “Will There be a Duel?” The argument long over, the public was kept on the hook, ostensibly so that Pulitzer could sell newspapers.

Constant Conjuring

When the newspaper ran short of news items for sensational treatment, it filled the void by conjuring up equivalent feature material, usually for the Sunday editions. A sampling of features included:

* Recent examples of human sacrifice among fanatical religious sects in the U.S.

* A long report on weapons used to commit murder, including a nail, a coffin lid, a red-hot horseshoe, an umbrella, a match box, a window brush, and a tea kettle.

* A description of two cutthroats from Vienna, Austria, who specialized in courting lonely women and then murdering them.

* A thrilling narrative of cannibalism at sea, in which shipwrecked soldiers cut the jugular vein of the weakest member, their cabin boy, and lived off his flesh.

Publicizing Gore

The ability to discover offbeat ways of publicizing gore was particularly important during the 1880s, when Pulitzer’s paper grew in size.  After deciding what stories should go into the paper, the challenge became presenting them in an effective way. The top-flight journalist who had lost his capacity for shock needed to be wary.

“Pulitzer discovered that when the public became interested in a murder, its curiosity and appetite for detail were almost insatiable. Hence, provocative, gruesome, coy, but never dull, headlines embellished paper after paper.”

 

Personally,  I find it remarkable and horrific that the Pulitzer Prize, an award representing the highest aspirations and achievements in journalism, is named for Mr. Joseph Pulitzer.  What a world.

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



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Life

Joe Biden, Man of the People

In my sister’s world, Joe Biden has served with distinction during his 48 years in Washington

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As Joe Biden’s administration continues to crumble and his grasp on realty seems ever more distant, it’s a revelation to know that some people think he’s doing a fine job as leader of the U.S. and, by extension, the free world.

Consider my sister. She has a Ph.D. in psychology and is a counselor with offices in New York and New Haven. She can discuss at length literature, sociology, human relations, movies, and so on. As is typical with those on the Left, her political blind spots are beyond glaring.

Sagacious and Sparkling

In my sister’s world, Joe Biden has served with distinction during his 48 years in Washington. He never took money for pay-to-play schemes from China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Romania, or Ukraine and certainly did not take bribes over at the last two decades. According to my sister, the thoroughly corrupt Biden family has never profited by even one dime – not Hunter, not James – as a result of Joe’s position as vice president and, before that as a senator.

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Keep in mind, many of the alleged 81,000,000 or so ‘voters’ for Biden are like my sister. Inextricably ensconced in the liberal media bubble, they are steadfast in ‘what they know.’ They could easily visit alternative news sites for greater perspective, but they never do, thus creating a self-imposed information iron curtain.

In my sister’s world, Joe Biden never cheated in college, and didn’t plagiarize. He didn’t support the 1994 crime bill which essentially made black males walking targets. In her world, Joe Biden never uttered a racial comment that was less than desirable, and certainly never said things such as:

“I tell you if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black,” (May, 2020); “Poor kids are just as bright and talented as white kids,” (August, 2019); “We’ve got to recognize that the kid wearing a hoodie may very well be the next poet laureate and not a gangbanger,” (June, 2019); “They’re gonna put y’all back in chains.” (August, 2012); Obama is “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean,” (February, 2007); and so many other such statements.

Not in Partnership With Obama

In my sister’s world Joe Biden had no part in Obama’s countless scandals or Obama’s self-professed ignorance of them. The Obama/Biden administration claimed to have no knowledge of the ‘Fast and Furious’ scandal; Black Panther voter intimidation; Veterans Administration scandals; NSA spying on German, French, and Japanese heads of state; and NSA spying on reporters and U.S. citizens.

In my sister’s world, Joe Biden was innocent and unaware of the IRS ploy to destroy tens of thousands of emails sought by the House Oversight Committee; the 21.5 million social security numbers hacked from OPM; and the EPA and other agencies paying poor performers not to work, for years, as their cases winded through respective federal bureaucracies.

In my sister’s world, however, anything that Donald Trump did, even somewhat on par with that of Joe Biden, is a crime, punishable by life in prison, if not death.  Meanwhile, she is completely oblivious to Trump’s accomplishment, like, say, the lowest unemployment in 35 years, the lowest minority unemployment in history, the lowest minority youth unemployment in history, the lowest female unemployment in 75 years, an across-the-broad increase in wages, tax cuts for middle class, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, and other trade deals.

Also the Abraham Accords, other Middle East peace agreements, increased military strength, no wars, the U.S Space Force, a restored VA, reduced danger of conflict with North Korea, China tariffs, 400 miles of new and restored border wall, a secure border, decreased illegal immigration, no domestic terror attacks, prison reform, the ‘Right To Try’, lowering the cost of insulin, low gas prices, energy independence, growing the U.S. economy, and bringing back manufacturing, to cite a tiny fraction of his accomplishments.

The Hair Sniffer-in-Chief

Biden’s major missteps in the Middle East and de facto approval of FBI and DOJ corruption sails right over her head. She has no clue about how Biden enabled China to wreak havoc on U.S. power and influence worldwide. In my sister’s world, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are as pure as the driven snow. They are ideologically correct, or close enough, and that’s all that really counts.

In my sister’s world, Joe Biden does not invade the space of girls or women, does not go around sniffing their hair, and does not touch them inappropriately, and he did not take showers with his 5-year old daughter. He is merely a sweet, old ‘Uncle Joe’ kind of guy.

Tara Reade doesn’t exist in my sister’s world and Joe Biden never tried to rape her. Reade is a liar and a glory seeker. While Biden himself said, “believe the woman,” my sister, every time, succumbs to the New York Times, Washington Post, and Atlantic Monthly view of realty. After all, they retain only trusted reporters who dig for the facts, and objectively present them. The Times amazingly found “no pattern of abuse” related to Biden and the women he has abused.

Likewise, to my sister, Rachel Maddow and all the rest of the MSNBC staff, and Wolf Blitzer, Anderson Cooper, Jake Tapper, and the entire CNN staff are dedicated professionals who seek the truth no matter where the chips fall.

Lucid and Focused

In my sister’s world, Joe Biden is lucid and coherent. His exceedingly few, highly scripted press conferences are the model of competence and credibility. To my sister, Biden makes sense every time he speaks. He is no presidential puppet controlled by handlers. He is his own man.

Indeed, Biden knew that he was the man America wanted. Biden didn’t campaign heavily because he didn’t want to spread Covid-19 to his hundreds of followers. Also, because he had the election locked up, why bother to challenge President Trump, who consistently drew crowds of 30,000 or more?

In my sister’s world, Biden would never cause inflation or supply chain shortages. His weakness did not encourage Putin to invade Ukraine. Biden would never prompt a major crisis on our southern border. He wouldn’t think of tearing down the wall and allowing all manner of immigrants to flood into our land, sinking us financially, medically, economically, morally, and spiritually.

And, well, Joe’s just a good guy, a true American, and you need to realize that.

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Life

Liberals: Living without a Clue

Free to click on any news site to gain perspectives missing from the Libstream media, that they patronize each day, they never do

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Liberals represent the mainstream media’s targets and are fed a constant diet of leftist propaganda. Most of them are clueless about U.S. or world affairs (most recently, WHO, China, Ukraine, and Iran), and it has been this way not just for this past year, or for several years, but for decades.

The brunt of liberals have no idea about Biden’s outrageous blunders in the Middle East, or his abhorrent refusal to speak up about FBI and DOJ corruption. Most have no idea how Biden enabled China to inexorably diminish U.S. power and influence while enhancing their own. Too many have zero understanding of how Biden’s dalliance with Iran threatens the world.

Ignorant in the Extreme

It is said that ignorance is bliss, but I don’t think so. Liberals have no clue as to the Biden crime family’s vast and blatant offenses against America. Most have less than scattershot knowledge of how Joe Biden personally enriched himself by literally selling out the American worker. Many have no knowledge of Hunter Biden’s continuing nefarious activities with Ukraine, Russia, and elsewhere. That Hunter Biden’s incriminating laptop is real, with U.S. security breaches galore, is unknown to the liberal masses.

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Many liberals have no idea that Joe Biden’s picks for various cabinet posts and other top positions were precarious at best, and that the credentials of the people he nominated were highly questionable, even among Democrat congressional representatives and senators.

Only when you visit alternative news site on the internet, those not dominated by “progressive Leftists,” do you see that Joe Biden, or more specifically, his handlers, are making a highly regrettable mess domestically and internationally.

One shudders to think what will happen to our country and to the world if he and his utterly incompetent vice president remain in office for another terrifying 31 months.

“Woke” and Brainwashed

A poll of Democrats in 2021 proved to be illuminating. When asked what their number one concern was, unquestionably it was “Trump voters.” Thus, despite all the vital events occurring here and abroad, the Leftist media machine has so utterly brainwashed their readership that these poor souls believe that somehow someway, Trump voters are the biggest problem confronting the country, followed by white nationalism, and systemic racism.

The poll signifies how utterly brainwashed Democrats are, but we already understand that this group has been brainwashed for eons. It is not entirely surprising that Trump voters, continually demonized over months and even years, are seen as the nation’s number one concern.

In mid-2022, for such an intellectual and informational chasm to exist is a curious development for sociologists to study for years to come. How, in a world with the greatest information delivery machine that humankind has ever known – the Internet – can half of the populace be so utterly ignorant? The answer, seemingly, is that an “Information Iron Curtain” has descended upon them.

Clueless and Cloistered

While they are free to click on any news sites and gain perspectives that cannot otherwise be gleaned from the sites they patronize each day, they never do. The irony is that they are seconds away from gaining some semblance of objectivity.

Those on the right have no choice but to be exposed to the news and views of the Left all day long, every day, week in and week out, because the mainstream media dominates discourse in our society. We know what liberals are being told, and we know what conservatives are being told.

Dominated by Facebook, Google, and Twitter online, and major newspapers in print, Liberals have little to no idea about conservatives, what they read and think, because the news and opinions to which liberals are exposed about conservatives arrive through the stringent and sordid filter of the mainstream media and information machine. And make no mistake, the mainstream media has no intention, ever, of offering a balanced perspective.

Righteous, and Wrong

Too many on the left listen to only the first couple seconds of a broadcast, read only the headlines or the captions in a news article, surf the same old websites, shallow full bore whatever they see on Google or Facebook, and converse only with one another. They blissfully, arrogantly proceed throughout their day confident in the knowledge that they know exactly what’s going on. As such, they “know” that Trump voters and their views are evil and need to be purged.

Author George Orwell called it accurately in his classic book, 1984, when he described how newspeak – propagandist verbiage characterized by circumlocution, euphemism, and the inversion of customary meanings – dominated public discourse.

For now, newspeak dominates only among the people who won’t look any further. The rest of us? We will continue to read multiple sources, ferret out what’s actually happening, separate the wheat from the chaff, ignore stories that rely on anonymous sources and alleged spokespersons, and strive to learn what is true.

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