Yellow Journalism

The headline stopping me in my tracks…


So I did what I always do when I’m about to go into cardiac arrest, I called my pal Ed.

“Can he really do that if he’s elected?”

“If he wants to start a fucking revolution he can,” said Ed.

Then I emailed the wise and powerful Hal who writes back, “Are you nuts?”

Yes, but that’s beside the point.

“Why do they print such a thing like that Ed if it’s really not true,” asked Alice, before diving back down the rabbit hole.

“To scare the shit outta people like you.”

Don’t hold back Ed, give it to me straight.

It made me think of newspaper owners, Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst, who competed with one another over producing the most scandalous headlines coining the term, Yellow Journalism.  Journalism that’s based upon sensationalism and crude exaggeration. Murder, suicide, graft and adultery, oozed like pus, plumping up sales.


Who said, never underestimate the taste of the American public?  Apparently it hasn’t changed much since the era of both these men from 1895 to around 1898 when sensationalism was at its highest.  images-3

I happen to be a fan of Joseph Pulitzer images-1 (1847-1911) who bought the New York World in 1883, only charging two cents per issue so every New Yorker could afford it, in two years, becoming the most popular paper of its day.

My favorite Pulitzer story involves the Statue of Liberty.  A gift of friendship from the citizens of France, we agreed to pay for her erection, so to speak, meaning her stand she so proudly perches upon in New York Harbor, but Grover Cleveland, our president at the time,  fd191494-aefa-3dc0-8550-72138ce1d99c refused to ask Congress for funding.

So Liberty sat in piecesimages-6 until Mr. Pulitzer placed an ad in his paper stating, anyone who contributes even a penny to the Lady, will get their name in The New York World Besides that, he said, the people who she represents, he being one of them sailing here from Hungry at the age of 17, should be the ones to come to her aid.  And we did.  Her stand was paid for by New Yorkers thumbing their nose at Mr. Cleveland, who had the nerve to come for her unveiling on October 28, 1886.

At the height of his speech, her scrim flew off to great applause drowning him out, not to mention upstaging our cheap, 24th President, and the only one to serve two non-consecutive terms.

Wonder what Mr. Pulitzer, a diehard Democrat, would think of Donald Trump?

Five words come to mind…







About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Thanks.
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14 Responses to Yellow Journalism

  1. Elle Knowles says:

    I couldn’t have said it better myself Susannah! And I even learned a little history with this one…~Elle

    Liked by 2 people

  2. micklively says:

    I’d guess he wouldn’t be surprised by Donald. But what would he make of Hillary?
    And what should we do when democracy is rendered irrelevant by the media?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lisa says:

    Oh American History I didn’t know! I remember learning about yellow journalism my first year in college but never about the statue of liberty. Guess that’s what I get for taking American History from 1900 rather than 1864 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s not a mainstream story which is why you didn’t know, but a great one I think. Goes to show what can be done when people unite, and she was so worth it. There’s never a time I see her my heart doesn’t lift. Always nice hearing from you 🙂


  4. Loved the Statue of Liberty story!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi there Monkey, how goes it. U.S. Grant was the president who brokered the deal about the stand with France so Cleveland really should have seen it through, but then we wouldn’t have had this mighty tale to tell. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. skinnyuz2b says:

    So Susannah, if social security ends I’ll come down to NYC and we can panhandle on the streets. And am I correct in assuming that Chelsea was the alien baby? Since she grew up fairly normal it gives rise to the old argument of nature vs nurture.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. There was a time I was entertained with tabloids while waiting for someone to check out my groceries. The headlines were so outlandish that I wasn’t tempted to buy them. Now they have cooking magazines with gluten-free, low carb, and every other conceivable -free diet there is lining the aisles. Those don’t temp me either. Love the Statue of Liberty story. It demonstrates the power of the press.

    Liked by 1 person

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