"What chiefly distinguishes the daily press is its incurable fear of ideas, its constant effort to evade the discussion of fundamentals by translating all issues into a few elemental fears, its incessant reduction of all reflection to mere emotion."
H. L. Mencken
(1880-1956) American Journalist, Editor, Essayist, Linguist, Lexicographer, and Critic
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Reader comments about this quote:
What chiefly distinguishes the daily press is its incurable fear of ideas..." What he should have said is its incurable fear of the truth.
 -- J Carlton, Calgary     
  • 1
    a slight modification; an incurable fear of ideas associated to freedom, liberty, prosperity, individual responsibility, individual sovereignty, individual inalienable rights and anything outside the occupying statist theocracy's immediate push.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 2
    Fear and tragedy sells newspapers.
     -- jim k, Austin, Tx     
  • 1
    The media is BIG business. And what pays the bills? Billions in political ads, drug ads, financing ads, etc. -- but it is war, violence, and governments that bring in the viewers. Desert Storm, 9/11, Shock and Awe, Columbine, Sandy Hook -- these are all great for business in the media world. Our blood lust and prejudice fuels it all. I turned that crap off a long time ago.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 1
    Makes it easy on the writers ! Why work so hard to educate when they can manipulate !
     -- Ronw13, Yachats Or     
    Yes, building 7 didn't fall until 5 minutes after the BBC said it did...
     -- Robert, Somewhere in Europe     
  • 1
    I know not of others, so I won't speak for them, but I think I have a tendency to "boil down" issues into comfortable phrases and concepts ... Mr. Mencken says I'm not alone.
     -- Bobble, No. Ferrisburgh, VT     
    His accurate diagnosis of the "press"/media is even more alarmingly true today than when first stated.
     -- empty pockets, NO, La     
  • 1
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