Ernest Bevin Quote

“A newspaper has three things to do. One is to amuse, another is to entertain and the rest is to mislead.”

~ Ernest Bevin

at London Conference of Foreign Ministers, 10 Feb. 1946, quoted in The Barnes Review, vol. 5, no. 3 (Washington D.C.: TBR Co., May/June 1999), p. 29

Ratings and Comments

Ken, Allyn, WA

It does have a more fundamental thing to do: make money. Of course amusing, entertaining, and misleading is how it's done. Journalists, and I use that term loosely, can fool themselves into believing they are society's watchdog, but we all know better.

jim k, austin

Some folk are catching on as most of the liberal papers are losing subscribers.

Waffler, Smith, Arkansas

Newspapers are predicated on the fact that human beings want to know "wha's happenin'" they want to know know what is going on outside of their own lives. As a high school senior I started reading Time Magazine cover to cover every week, I knew minute details about the internal politics of nations around the world and policy discussions in DC. We need a balance between our own affairs and the world or village affairs. It may be good to know that their is a world beyond our door or is it just wasted curiosity. I agree with Ken that enterprizing people who understand this insatiable appetite to know also learned the power of printing presses, mass circulation, and thus the gold at the end of the rainbow ala Annenbergs, Hearsts etcetera. I give it a star for each quality of amuse and entertain give it a minus for mislead and another minus for its shallowness. I guess I wind up with a thumbs down.

E Archer, NYC

The battle for 'hearts and minds' is waged by the press. It starts with the 'text book' and continues with 'periodicals.' Then along comes the Internet! Wow, now anyone with a web site has a chance to express themselves. The Internet is like the pamphleteer of old who wrote his own words, paid for his own printing, and delivered them himself. Just try to do that today without getting arrested! It is all back to the ruler mindset -- control.

  • Reply
RobertSRQ    9/12/08

Waffler, that happened when newspapers were independently owned. Spot on Ernest - I gave up buying those comics a long time ago - I get all my news off the Internet (sorry Archer, but theirs nothing else) and from friends in those places I need to know about. Reading newspapers is a bit like watching professional wrestlers and in case you were wondering, no, I don't watch professional wresting. Archer, please tell me where you get your news from - it's a bit like the question put to Palin "you've suggested that God approves of the Iraq War and the Alaska Pipeline. How do you know" Source: Katha Pollitt.

RKA, Wasilla, AK

Talking heads, partisans, and murders of liberty. No wonder, they give coverage to glamorous about profiles like Barak and Palin. If protecting constitution is the sore oath that we take by being a national of this country, why in the world are we not listening to the likes of Ron Paul. Because, we are always mislead in thinking people like Ron Paul are outside of the main stream politics, yes, the very main stream politics and the watchers and amusers, who gaze on filth of modern day soap opera.

Logan, Memphis, TN

Well said RKA. Apparently there isn't as much acid in the water in Wasilla as there is in Fort Smith, AK. Must be a city thing.

Logan, Memphis, TN

..laughs.. Of all the political journals I've read, the classes I have ever been in or taught, the peer reviewed papers I've gone through... and to know now that the only source I needed to understand the nuances and internal politics of nations was to read Time Magazine. You mean I've been missing out on this unbiased news source all along? To think, that I didn't really HAVE to think -- I just had to read Time.

RKA, Wasilla, AK

Wasilla, AK, a city? Ha Ha Ha. Its a small, dare I say "community"!!!

E Archer, NYC

Robert, I wasn't being sarcastic about the Internet -- it is a great source of information. The best part is that you can read 'stories' from many, many different sources. Sometimes it is nice to get news about US affairs from Canadian or French sources. AP and UPI wire sources are good as they are relatively neutral, although nothing is completely neutral. I read the NY Times, the Wall Street Journal, NY Post, Washington Post, Washington Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe -- I know the bias of each. I liked Walter Cronkite and Peter Jennings but CBS and ABC are now owned by huge conglomerates like Viacom and Disney, so a lot has changed. I have stopped watching broadcast television.. I like to read books about history, science fiction, and encyclopedias (but not Funk and Wagnalls, c'mon). I think variety is most important to help avoid bias. I subscribe to email newsletters from the Democratic party, MoveOn, Foreign Affairs, Republican party, ACLU, NRA, the Federalist -- they all have agendas to promote and reading their stuff helps to identify what they are as opposed to real facts. I think developing a discerning mind is important and to be able to detect the phraseology of 'opinion-making.' Whatever we read, we ought to be skeptical and look up some of the details to confirm. I used to hang out at the libraries a lot when I was a kid. I could read Time, Newseek, Look, Life, Popular Science, National Review, Paris Match, whatever -- it is all just other people speaking. I can't imagne relying on only one paper, one mag, or one newscaster. It drives me nuts to go into some place where they just have CNN going on all day long, blecch..

Waffler, Smith, Arkansas

I hate to say when it was that I was devoted to Time, Inc. but it was a few years ago. The best defense of the press is that every one thinks it is biased both leftists and rightists. When every one gangs up on it you can depend on 'ol Waffler to defend it. I hate mob action which y'all are giving into above. Archer complained the other day about having only two choices for President. How short sighted that statement is, there must have been 6 in each major party and 3 or so in fringe parties. The field has been narrowed to two after almost two years of campaiging and electioneering. His expression of regret about there only being two for President is about as ignorant and shallow of y'alls knee jerk opinions of the press.

warren, olathe

Waffler you are right about how left and right view the press and about the Presidential election having many candidates, but the goal of the press is definitely to mislead.

warren, olathe

Robert, Palin did not suggest that God approves. That came from the old gimmick the press uses to misinform, creative editing.

The Student Philosopher, Utah

Papers may mislead, but they shouldn't take all the blame. They print what the readers want to hear, what will sell the most papers. They are in it to make profit more then to deceive or be unbiased. A Newspaper reflects what the people want. Entertainment, Political wrestling matches, etc.

W. E. Sept, Missoula, Montana

You missed one important responsibility of a Free Press, which we no longer have! Today we have a managed Press . We receive pre-approved propaganda with a liberal slant! The most important duty of a free press is to be the watchdog of government at every level and to keep the public informed. Outside of the editorial and Readers Opinions sections, news should be reported, unbiased, as it happens. James Fenimore Cooper (1838) said "The press, like fire, is an excellent servant, but a terrible master." As a nation, we are no longer well-served by the press.

warren, olathe

The Student Philosopher, Utah sorry you are dead wrong when it comes to politics. Their purpose is to elect the left. That requires them to mislead. If their goal were to say what the readers want to hear they would not be losing readership at such an astonishing rate and lay off so much of their staff seemingly every day.

warren, olathe

Time magazine is a propaganda rag, Waffler.

J Carlton, Calgary

Yep, it's all propaganda. And nowadays it's all propaganda dedicated to the NWO and its agenda of destroying freedom and liberty. Propaganda dedicated to the idea that "people are bad" and must be governed and ruled down to the most minute aspects of their lives. It's all garbage...

Mike, Norwalk

OK, OK, that is what the news media now does. A real news outlet would not interpret, would - give facts previously unknown and, stay with an unbiased truth as much as possible. 2 different animals

Fredrick William Sillik, Anytown

It is improper to mislead. It is proper to lead to the human path.



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