“You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war.” William Hearst to Frederic Remington

The Correspondent by Frederic Remington

This Thanksgiving pray for our leaders. They either don’t know what they’re doing–or they do.

Remember a few years ago when the American people and their  soldiers refused to support overthrowing Syria? Let’s do a little comparative history, shall we?

I’ll quote extensively from Wikipedia (not always the best source of info, but in this case they get it right) about a “Splendid Little War.”

“The Spanish–American War (April–August 1898) is considered to be both a turning point in the history of propaganda and the beginning of the practice of yellow journalism.

It was the first conflict in which military action was precipitated by media involvement. The war grew out of U.S. interest in a fight for revolution between the Spanish military and citizens of their Cuban colony. American newspapers fanned the flames of interest in the war by fabricating atrocities which justified intervention in a number of Spanish colonies worldwide.

Several forces within the United States were pushing for a war with Spain. Their tactics were wide-ranging and their goal was to engage the opinion of the American people in any way possible. Men such as William Hearst, the owner of The New York Journal was involved in a circulation war with Joseph Pulitzer of the New York World and saw the conflict as a way to sell papers. Many newspapers ran articles of a sensationalist nature and sent correspondents to Cuba to cover the war.

The situation prior to the Spanish–American War was particularly tense. Several members of the media, such as William Randolph Hearst, and of the military were calling for intervention by the United States to help the revolutionaries in Cuba. American opinion was overwhelmingly swayed and hostility towards Spain began to build. American newspapers ran stories of a sensationalist nature depicting fabricated atrocities committed by the Spanish. These stories often reflected on how thousands of Cubans had been displaced to the country side in concentration camps. Many stories used depictions of gruesome murders, rapes, and slaughter. During this time there was a riot in Havana by those sympathetic to the Spanish. The printing presses of newspapers that had criticized the actions of the Spanish Army were destroyed.

In the days following the sinking of the USS Maine, Hearst ran a story with the heading “The War Ship Maine was Split in Two by an Enemy’s Secret Infernal Machine”. The story told how the Spanish had planted a torpedo beneath the USS Maine and detonated it from shore. Hearst soon followed this article with one containing diagrams and blueprints of the secret torpedoes used by Spain. This Article was so convincing that even Captain Sigsbee of the USS Maine, who put in an official statement that judgment and opinion should be suspended until further report, now believed the Spanish were responsible for sinking his ship.

Many stories like the one published by Hearst were printed across the country blaming the Spanish military for the destruction of the USS Maine. These stories struck a chord with the American people stirring public opinion up into a divided frenzy, with a large group of Americans wanting to attack and another wanting to wait for confirmation. The Americans that wanted to attack wanted to remove Spain from power in many of their colonies close to the U.S. Those easily persuaded by the Yellow Journalism eventually prevailed, and American troops were sent to Cuba.”


9 responses to ““You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war.” William Hearst to Frederic Remington”

    • I think it’s a basic human truth that once you begin to embrace the dark side with all its power and corruption you become blind to everything else. Rationalizing, joking about killing etc, being a part of the in group and terrible hypocrisy go with the territory.

      None of us are perfect but I refuse to buy into relativism–your truth is your truth blah, blah, blah. Anyone with the smallest bit of light still in them can see the suffering caused by manufactured war. Assad is evil? Maybe so but no one was beheading Christians on massive scales until we stuck our sticky, disgusting hands in. I just don’t buy that our western governments are all that humanitarian. Yes ISIS is evil–but who created ISIS? So horribly boring.

      The worst part, of course, is that the average Brits and Americans are pretty great–our govts not so much.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Classic fight between good and evil. I’m no longer thinking the US is on the good side. (they haven’t been for a long while). What kills me is exactly what you’ve said. There are many people in the govt, military, civilian world who try to be humane etc . . .

      I can’t watch the news with any confidence that there’s truth being spoken. Only the smallest amount of digging and common sense leads one to conclusions quite contrary to the way things are portrayed in the media.

      I went to school with a bunch of journalism majors (I was one). What a bunch of egotistical dumbasses–myself included. Unless journalists are forced to have a double major or some real life experiences before taking an internship at CNN or Fox they will be quickly corrupted and blind to nuance– and unable to play their role as skeptic. The good journalists are marginalized. Ugh.

      happy Thanksgiving anyway!


      Liked by 1 person

  1. They say the pen is mightier than the sword … We shouldn’t believe everything we read. Some have said there isn’t anything like ‘objective’ journalism as reporting is tinged with some kind of bias… But in this case of blatant fabrication …

    As I read, I’m reminded of a poem by J.P. Clark, The Casualties. Several lines point to the role of propaganda in war. I reproduce them here:

    The casualties are many, and a good member as well
    Outside the scenes of ravage and wreck;
    They are the emissaries of rift,
    So smug in smoke-rooms they haunt abroad,
    They do not see the funeral piles
    At home eating up the forests.
    They are wandering minstrels who, beating on
    The drums of the human heart, draw the world
    Into a dance with rites it does not know.

    The drums overwhelm the guns…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Devastating.

      Once your eyes are opened to the propaganda of this world, you see it everywhere. It’s so bad in the US on every level I can’t watch TV, read a modern book or see a movie without feeling assaulted by it.

      It does enhance my faith though. The more I witness evil and how closely the world marches to the prophetic parts of the Bible I’m amazed. I used to think prophecy was boring and stupid! haha


  2. Our media is controlled by two foreign agencies. Orwell’s 1984 looks prophetic. Putin wants to fight the radical Muslims; personally, I would let him lead the charge. Europe has much more to lose because they have even less border security than we do. Elections are coming up sp, the controlling power will try and look competent.


    • It’s so horrifying to see how our government has been taken over by corporate evil. Power corrupts but this goes way beyond the pale. When we occasionally get to see the damage done to Iraqi civilians–the birth defects from uranium etc….I just can stand it. Or the jokes about predator drones. SICK.


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