Journalism: Intellectual Prostitution in America

Intellectual Prostitution in America

What today is considered journalism is not true journalism.

“There is no such thing, at this date of the world’s history, in America, as an independent press. There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print.” Former Editor in Chief of the New York Times John Swinton said as he stood before the New York Press Club.

“We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities, and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes.” Swinton said.

It is here that the term “intellectual prostitute,” referring to mainstream media journalists, is coined for the first time. In the profession of independent journalism, every educated and well-versed writer knows just how rare it is for someone to be completely truthful.

What is considered news today would be an embarrassment to the pioneers of early journalism. The whistleblowers who uncovered fraud, exposed corruption in the government, and revealed the poverty in this country have been replaced by the worst kind of yellow journalists, who will print a story about a celebrity’s dog on the front page of their magazine before they tell the public the truth about what is going on in the world around them, as long as it puts a few more dollars in their bank accounts.

The “news” nowadays that is fed to the public, and the matter of honesty and objectivity, is very questionable.

With powerful men and women controlling public information from behind closed doors, we are made to believe that enhanced interrogation is not torture as long as it is in Guantanamo Bay and quantitative easing is most definitely not counterfeiting as long as the government is involved.

Journalism has become one of the most dangerous influences in the world because the press has the remarkable power to shape the thoughts of not just American citizens, but the entire world.

What will society become if journalists continue to blindly follow orders and simply print what they are told to print? What will happen if these writers do not revert back to the days of when journalism was truly news? For how long will these correspondents allow the upper class to censor what they write?

These questions can not be answered, but a few things are certain. By not being exposed to different viewpoints, the ability to think for one’s own self is greatly injured. It is of utmost importance to question what is heard, seen, and read.


What needs to be seen is the reason behind why this form of low brow reporting has not been stopped. The blame must be shared with the citizens of America. It is through the people, and through them only, that this abominable form of news has not yet been laid to rest.

Journalism should be unbiased but networks such as Fox News and CNN are targeted specifically towards members of opposing political parties. Supporting this type of news is adding fuel to the fire that is already burning out of control. The people of America must realize their own part in this disaster and take the steps to abolish this pattern of reporting.

With the gossip, defamation, and hearsay printed and reported everywhere, it is most critical to be inquisitive on what is left out rather than to simply believe anything and everything.

“The business of the journalist is to destroy the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell his country bgand his race for his daily bread. You know it and I know it, and what folly is this toasting an independent press?” Swinton said.

The change this man wanted so badly to see has not yet been achieved; However, Rome was not built in a day. Taking the first step toward an uncensored press is to be more aware of the events taking place around the world. In this case, simply seeing should not be believing.