Benjamin FranklinBenjamin Franklin, (1706-1790) US Founding Father

Benjamin Franklin Quote

“Printers are educated in the Belief, that when Men differ in Opinion, both sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Public; and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter: Hence [printers] cheerfully serve all contending Writers that pay them well, without regarding on which side they are of the Question in Dispute.”

Benjamin FranklinBenjamin Franklin
~ Benjamin Franklin

“An Apology for Printers,” Pennsylvania Gazette, 10 June 1731

Ratings and Comments

Charles T. Neighbors, Longmont, Colorado

The MSM is currently ALL Commentary!

Daniel D. Torres, Cortland, NY

I'm a printer and I can't agree more.

Angela Selden, Adairsville

Great quote! I am looking for an explanation of "The best thing to give your enemy is forgiveness

Mike, Norwalk

The most accurate segment of the quote is: "when Men differ in Opinion, both sides ought equally to have the Advantage of being heard by the Public;" - that statement alone deserves infinitesimal stars as a rating. Other than that, it is a rare occasion that printers (the media of all types) have relayed just the facts as perceived from an outside observance. Truth and Error may often be ascertained in such scenario, court administrations are played out in such manner for that ultimate purpose. Here, a precarious quagmire presents itself in the form of "Writers that pay them well". Only the rich are privileged and have an Advantage to be heard - other than that, "Printers" give the victors, most powerful and most threatening side of the story.

Mike, Norwalk
  • Reply
Mike, Norwalk Mike, Norwalk 5/16/22

A caveat to my previous comment. Opinions are based on collected data. When the foundational data has nothing to do with truth (including cause and effect, the laws of nature and of nature's God vs. legal positivism, Divine reality vs. religion, etc., etc. etc.), men's differing opinions do not rise to a level of "truth and error" (opinion is based solely and uniquely on error).

E Archer, NYC

If the printers want to stay in business, they must accommodate as inclusive an audience as they can -- in order to sell advertising. Slanted media will only draw an audience within the special interest groups to which they cater. The media is populist in nature, a balance of reporting and opinion kept in their respective columns keeps it clean. But when reporting is but opinion-making and opinions are gospel, the audience that remains represents merely those that have fallen for the narrative -- the rest simply will not submit themselves to such obvious contrivances.

Hence, The New York Times and the Washington Post are today a fraction of the size, worth, and influence they once possessed. A slanted press has a shaky foundation -- the facade may look the same, but it crumbles within.


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