Mark Twain Defends the Media

In the Baton Rouge Advocate this morning one will find an op-ed piece discussing Mark Twain’s opinion of newspapers.  This piece announces a new collection of Twain’s works never before published in book form – thus a welcome addition to America’s body of literature.


Not having had the opportunity to review the new book, this writer can only comment on the essay that The Advocate chose to cite, which is a debate between Twain and Matthew Arnold, and Englishman who had been critical of American newspapers of the day for their lack of respect (respect for what is not made clear).  The Advocate likes Twain’s rebuttal –


… a vigorously discriminating American newspaper is the greatest “force for the nurture and protection of human freedom that either hemisphere has yet produced.”


One can’t help but wonder if Twain would be so bold in his defense of the American print media today; a media that is so adamant in it’s support of progressive policy, and so selective in the news it chooses to print.


How much counterpoint has one read about climate change and global warming in the conventional American print media?  How much has been reported in that venue about the “climategate” scandal of falsified climate change data?


How much has been published about the negative economic impact of the proposed healthcare legislation?


How much has been published about the negative economic impact of “cap & trade” legislation?


How much has been published about the Obama administration, especially the Department of the Interior, sitting on permits to explore for crude oil on the outer continental shelf when an overwhelming majority of America supports this activity?


Do the editors of The Advocate believe they are a “force for the nurture and protection of human freedom” in their reporting of today’s news and politics?  I doubt Mr. Twain would be so supportive.


He would probably place them in the same category as he did Louisiana’s old State Capitol, which he characterized as being one of the ugliest structures on the Mississippi River.



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