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About The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923 | View Entire Issue (Jan. 8, 1909)
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WILLIAM J. BRYAN, EDITOR AND PROPRIETOR
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VOL; 8, NO.-52!-
Lincoln, Nebraska, January 8, 1909
.Whole Number 416
EDITORIAL INDEPENDEiTCjv V
"THE-'GOVERNMENT" AND "THE '.AD
. .'.PENNSYLVANIA'S DEMOCRACY
BEWARE OF THE POISON,'
DANGERS OF OFFICE
.LEAVES FROM A REPORTER'S NOTE
. ' . BOOK
SOLVING THE MYSTERY
COMMENT ON CURRENT TOPICS .'
WHETHER COMMON OR NOT
NEWS OF THE WEEK ;.-
v SECRETS OF THE SECRET SERVICE
HELP FOR THE EARTHQUAKE
SUFFERERS ' "; Jlll4..'.,
So widespr ead is tine distress among the
earthquak-e-GU&oxers in Italy that every section
of. the civilized wp.rjd, is expected to make con
trlb'ution for. the relief of th'ese-sorely stricken .
people. It is needless to say that Americatwill -a
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"EQUALITY BEFORE THE LAW"
her part In this great work and to this; end.. , r
every1 Mailable a'gency must be utilized.
' , ; It is' difficult for the human mind to under
stand the extent of the disaster. Some idea of
ttie great damage done to the living and to
property Interests may be obtained when it is
remembered that carefuL estimates vindicate tliat
sat least-2 a0,'O 00" 'people lost' their lives.
Many of the larger papers are calling for.
subscriptions and The Commoner will join in '
The Commoner starts the fund with $100
and calls upon its readers everywhere to make
such contribution as they can afford.
All drafts or money orders given for this
purpose to this office should be made payable
to The Commoner. The money thus collected
will be paid to the proper authorities in order
that this fund may be promptly and effectively ,
used for the benefit of the needy.
Let every reader of The Commoner make
some cont'ribution to the Earthquake Fund.
.It is a. .duty they owe humanity.
PROBABLY AN ERROR
The usually reliable Springfield (Mass.)
Republican has a headline to the effect that
"Taft led Bryan by $44,754." If, the Republi
can meant to fix the cost of the republican ma
jority, the estimate is probably too low, but as
that is the exact amount of the plurality in
Massachusetts, the dollar mark was probably
put in by mistake.
When it was announced ' that President
Roosevelt would become the associate editor of
the. Outlook, inquiry was made as to the stock
holders. The Outlook company at first resented
. the inquiry, as if it were;, a matter pf no im
ipprtance. Finally, when it developed that Mr.
"Stillman, the Standard Oil banker, was one of
the stockholders, the representatives of the Out
look condescended to give some attention to the
matter and announced that Mr., Stillman's hold
ings did not amount to one-tenth of the entire
stock. When the subject was brought to the
attention of Mr. Roosevelt he also scouted the
idea that it made any difference who owned the
stock of the company. It is not necessary to
assume a bad intent upon the part of the presi
dent or upon the part of the proprietors of the
Outlook. On the contrary it is entirely possible
that both he and they honestly believe that
President. Roosevelt will feel entirely free to
express himself on any and all questions. But
, however immune the president and the managers
' of the Outlook may be, the principle which they
asserted is not a tenable one. It does make a
difference who owns a paper; the editor is not
always independent of those who employ him.
The fact that the men interested in the trusts
and combines are reaching out after newspapers
and periodicals is sufficient proof that they ex
pect to exert an influence on the editorial policy
of the papers which they own and no one can
read the editorials in the papers thus owned
without recognizing the subserviency of the edi
torial writers. Even the managers of the Out-
look might be unconsciously influenced by those
of their stockholders who have a pecuniary in
terest In predatory corporations. The fact that,
tile influence may be unconsciously exerted does
not make It any the less deadly. Even the
president mlght unintentionally avoid editorial
utterances offensive to stockh6lders,' with, whom .
ho is supposed t6 associate with more orfejim
intimacy. . ,
The president doubtless feels that he can
raako the Outlook a useful medium in
reaching the public, but ho could have given
to his utterances a greater weight had ho In
quired Into the personnel of tho stockholders
before becoming an employe, for an editor re
ceiving a salary Is, after all, only an employe,
even though his contract may stipulate that ho
Is to have absolute freedom in his writings. Tho .
president might have given more confidence to - .
the friends of reform and emphasized the neces- ,
slty for Independence In journalism by stipulat
ing that during his connection with tho paper
none of its stock should be owned by law defy
ing corporations or those intimately connected
Tho president used as an argument against
the democratic ticket that it was supported by a . ",,
St. Louis lawyer who acted as attorney for a
trust official. If the president was justified in,
making the support of this man one voter In
six million and a half a ground .for criticism,
he might be justified In Inquiring whether an
objectionable man owned one-tenth of the stock
in the company from which he expects to draw
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