"Journalism Is Printing What Someone Else Does Not Want Printed; Everything Else Is Public Relations" - George Orwell
This powerful quote gets plastered on social media by people decrying the obvious bias displayed by Fox News or MSNBC, or when nerds are mad at Kotaku for some confounding reason. At its worst, it's used to immediately dismiss any news story with a conclusion the reader doesn't like. In its more highbrow moments, it's employed by protestors or newspaper columnists condemning attempts to control White House reporters. It was even listed as a quote that predicted life in the futuristic American dystopia of the year 2014, and it came with a picture of Orwell's signature so you know it's legit. Truly these are wise words from a man who dedicated his life to warning us about how power can be abused.
Except there's no record of Orwell saying anything like it. A similar version is attributed to William Randolph Hearst, who popularized crap journalism with stunts like breaking out of a prison and starting a goddamn war, but while giving the quote to him can lend your anti-media rant a darker "The news has always been terrible!" edge, there's no evidence connecting the quote to him either.
The earliest words resembling this quote appear to be from 1918 and can be traced to L. E. Edwardson, whom you have not heard of. He was an editor at the Chicago Herald and Examiner, and it's funny how the quote loses most of its force when the person who said it is just "some guy." And when you look at the actual quote's wording, you pick up a few differences that reveal how the popular version is rather sanctimonious.
Edwardson's quote is "Whatever a patron desires to get published is advertising; whatever he wants to keep out of the paper is news." Because yes, when someone who pays the paper requests that you publish something about them, that is advertising, and when someone wants the truth hidden, that is often newsworthy. But it's a huge jump from there to say that journalism consists exclusively of things people want to keep out of the papers. No one tried to silence "Futures gain on hopes of U.S.-China trade deal," but we're pretty sure that's newsworthy journalism, not PR for "everyone who participates in the economy."
"The Definition Of Insanity Is Doing The Same Thing Over And Over And Expecting Different Results" - Albert Einstein
This quote has been attributed to so many speakers that there's probably someone out there who's convinced it was coined by the Far Cry 3 villain, but Einstein seems to get the most credit for it, ol' Al being somewhat well known as a smart fellow. It's a great stock line to bust out when you want to criticize someone for sticking to a strategy, and it's often used to call out politicians. Throw the phrase into Google News and you'll probably find someone who attributed it to Einstein within the last few hours. And, of course, the quote goes great alongside pictures of Al looking super serious.
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