BEHIND THE NEWS
ON the way back to New York we stopped at a roadside inn for the night. On a table I saw a newspaper. Its screaming headline caught my eye:
"Starvation in the Soviet Union." I could not believe it. Yet there it was in print as large as life. I picked it up and there was a photograph of the starved people. Now, how could that be? I pondered. Our factories turn out hundreds of thousands of tractors and other farm machines. Millions of acres of new land are plowed up each year. The land yields double with our improved cultivation. Fodder for milk cows and sheep, food for hog and poultry. Plenty of everything! "Twenty one millions starved in the Ukraine in 1933, I read, and I threw the paper down greatly relieved! Then I knew that the whole thing was a lie from beginning to end. It so happened that in 1933 I was working in the Ukraine. Starvation! Not even a dog went without food. Why do they print such lies in America?
When Mr. Keen joined me, I showed him the paper.
"A Hearst paper!" He snorted with disgust. "What do you expect?"
"What is a Hearst paper?" I asked.
"A Hearst paper is a paper that prints what Mr. Hearst wants it to print. It is owned by Mr. Hearst. There are many of them throughout the country."
"But how can he print what is not true?" I asked, puzzled.
"Truth has nothing to do with printing newspapers," said Mr. Keen.
"Don't lose any sleep over it."
"But it is slanderous, it makes it seem as though we could not run our country. When the truth is, that we, in our country, were able to achieve in seventeen years, what took the rest of the World a couple of centuries. In spite of that according to him Communism is a failure!"
"You expect Mr. Hearst to tell the American people that Communism is a success and put ideas into their heads? Man, be reasonable! Mr. Hearst is very rich."