‘Still a going piece of journalistic debauchery’

“Old man Pulitzer set the goal in dirty journalistic ‘ethics’ in the USA. His Post Dispatch in St. Louis and the New York World were examples in blackmail and dirty publicity that gave old man Hearst his guidepost. Bill went old Joe one better and became the all time low in blackmail and character assignation [sic] journalist approach. People seemed to like it.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is still a going piece of journalistic debauchery. So is the Kansas City Star, the Detroit News, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and a number of other terrible sheets. And all these sheets, at one time were reputable newspapers!

The only thing that will save the Republic is the air and tellivision [sic] provided we do not let these same liars and blackmailers control that means of public communication too. They are doing what they can to obtain complete control.” — “Top Secret” note in longhand by Harry S Truman, dated Jan. 18, 1952. From the National Archives