The Death of the Daily Paper
OBJECTIVITY, CIVILITY & CREDIBILITY, R.I.P.
My all-time favorite journalist was Will Rogers, the great American humorist who was loved by both liberals and conservatives. This grinning, rope-spinning, Cherokee-American cowboy kept our nation laughing through the depths of the Great Depression. President Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “Will Rogers held the secret of banishing gloom, of making tears give way to laughter, of supplanting desolation and despair with hope and courage.”
Rogers once wrote in his newspaper column: “I’m fond of the candidate for public office who, during a fierce campaign, penned this note to his opponent: ‘Dear Sir: Let us make a deal — if you promise to stop telling lies about me, I will promise to stop telling the truth about you.'” Rogers poked fun at everybody, especially politicians of both parties, but he never attacked or slandered anybody for political or personal reasons. He was unfailingly courteous to everyone he met.
When he died in 1935 the entire nation mourned. A couple hundred thousand people showed up at his funeral, and a Protestant minister, a Catholic priest, and a Jewish rabbi offered prayers. What journalist today would get that kind of turnout?
Will Rogers had a loving heart. He was fair-minded. He had credibility with the American people. Americans of all political, philosophical, and religious persuasions believed Will Rogers.
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