The term originated during the American Gilded Age of the late nineteenth century with the circulation battles between Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World and William Randolf Hearst’s New York Journal. The battle peaked from 1895 to about 1898, and historical usage often refers specifically to this period. Both papers were accused by critics of sensationalizing the news in order to drive up circulation, although the newspapers did serious reporting as well.
In other words…anything to sell a newspaper.
Why am I writing about this? I can’t stand how it still goes on today, but even more viciously. The world knows that Philip Seymour Hoffman has died, at 46, of an overdose.
How could it not with the press it’s getting.
He leaves behind three children and a legacy of work that no one, even the New York Post who picked up the yellow gauntlet, can deny. However, concentrating only on his addiction costing him his life, makes me sick to my stomach.
The last thing he should be remembered as is a lowlife, something he was not. On the contrary, he was kind and generous, a good friend to many…did not have a snooty, mean bone in his body…he was humble, unlike many of his peers and despite how it may look, loved his kids.
His suffering should not diminish traits such as these.
He was a tormented soul for sure, like many of us. He found refuge in a dark place, like many of us, but sadly did not emerge back into the light, like many of us.
There, but for the grace of God, go I…put that on the front page why don’t you?
My neighborhood is packed with news people…trucks with live feed, cameramen parked in front of Campbell Funeral Parlor where the wake is being held. Imagine sharks with cameras swinging from their necks I’d so like to snap, looking for that sensational picture or statement from that one person who wants to be the self-designated asshole.
The dust of Hearst and Pulitzer must be gyrating in their graves.
It happens every time someone famous dies. I remember Jackie Kennedy’s funeral taking over the avenue as if it were a National Holiday. Venders even sold buttons with her picture and dates looming on the front. One of my more surreal recollections was coming out of my building finding John Kennedy Junior talking to a friend on the steps with a vendor ten feet away selling Jackie mementos.
Where’s the respect, the solemnity? It’s tragic, but do we have to know the sordid details of Mr. Hoffman’s final hours…do his kids? The eldest is ten, but even one so young can feel quite deeply reading painful paragraphs devoted to the last few days of his dad’s life.
My heart breaks to the point where I won’t walk past the funeral parlor…I don’t want to see the sensation a death, such as this, can cause though sadly trite in our sick society.
I hope wherever he is, he’s finally at peace, the only upside in his senseless, much too soon, exit from the planet.
Philip Seymour Hoffman’s struggles are finally over.
Rest in peace Philip.
We’ll pray for your kids.
Philip Seymour Hoffman
1967 – 2014