October 20, 1909 (Wednesday)
A NEW YORK NEWSPAPER DECIDES NOT TO PRINT THE NAME OF ONE OF THE CANDIDATES FOR MAYOR: After hearing some gripes from the Obama Administration about the political leanings of Fox news, an editorial titled "Anonymous Personalities" in today's Globe helps put some of the dispute in a historical perspective. It summarizes the use of "acrimonious invective" that editors in Dickens' time would draw upon "to maul, claw and scratch" opponents -- both personal and political. The editorial particularly points out the skills that "the elder Bennett" used in this regard.
"Editors in those days regarded their newspapers as their big stick wherewith to smite, not alone a hostile political party, but their personal foes."
Some tactics remain, although they are "devoid of the vitriolic diction of ancient times."
The editorial looks at the 1909 election for mayor of New York City. It points to an unidentified newspaper in New York that REFUSES TO PRINT THE NAME of William Randolph Hearst (shown above), one of the major candidates for mayor. When the paper reports about the race, it uses a phrase such as "a certain independent candidate for mayor" even though a speech of the candidate might be printed in full. I like the subtle dig the Globe uses the same tactic in writing the editorial -- NOT NAMING the offending newspaper. But I wish it had.
Think Fox will take the same route and start referring to Obama only as "one of the residents of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue"? Of course not!
[Incidentally, the winner of the 1909 election -- William Gaynor -- nearly lost his life in 1910, when he was struck in the throat by a bullet in an assassination attempt. The moment (shown at left) was captured by news photographer William Warnecke of the New York World. The shooting took place on Aug. 9, 1910, on board the SS Kaiser Willhelm Grosse, which was docked at Hoboken, N.J. Gaynor died three years later -- with the bullet still lodged in his body.]
HIGH SCHOOL KICKERS THWARTED BY UPRIGHT: The charming illustration above gets right to the heart of the matter, in the wake of yesterday's 5-5 tie football game between Boston Latin and Newton. Each team scored a touchdown (worth five points). And each team's kicker clanged the extra-point attempts off the left upright -- "almost exactly" at the same point on the pole, the Globe reports. The illustration was three columns wide and reveals a welcome attention to high school sports.