Intellectual Prostitutes
Posted on May 26th, 2014

The attached is most true. if one was to read newspapers such as the Sri Lanka Daily News, the Australian
and the Adelaide Advertiser – an independent, balanced and fair press, I certainly do not think so!!!!

John Swinton, the former Chief of Staff at the NEW YORK TIMES was asked to give a toast before the prestigious New York Press Club in 1953.  Below is his candid confession [it’s worth noting that Swinton was called “The Dean of His Profession” by other newsmen, who admired him greatly].

“There is no such thing as an independent press – at this date of the world’s history. You know it and I know it. There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinions out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job.

“If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would
be gone. The business of the journalist is to destroy the truth; to lie outright; to pervert; to vilify; to fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell the country for his daily bread. You know it and I know it and what folly is this toasting an independent press. We are the tools and vassals of the rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes.”

2 Responses to “Intellectual Prostitutes”

  1. jayasiri Says:

    Thank goodnesss Mr. John Swinton has spoken the TRUTH in his parting words. How useful for a person of that calibre to epress his opinion, which we all know BUT try to hide. Excellent……….J

  2. Marco Says:

    On the subject of “Intellectual Prostitutes” may I congratulate Malinda Seneviratne on winning the Gratiaen Prize for creative writing on his collection of poems “Edges”.
    I may not agree with his principles and politics but he writes extremely well and enjoy reading his articles and poems.
    Many Congrats Malinda.

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