New times, old ideas
Source Michael Perelman
Date 06/11/01/22:05


New times, old ideas

...I have tried, since I came into power,to bring the whole of the German
press into line. To do so, I have not hesitated, when necessary, to take
radical measures. It was evident to my eyes that a State which had at its
disposal an inspired press and journalists devoted to its cause possessed
therein the greatest power that one could possibly imagine. Wherever it may
be, this fetish of the liberty of the press constitutes a mortal danger par
excellence. Moreover, what is called the liberty of the press does not in
the least mean that the press is free, but simply that certain potentates
are at liberty to direct it as they wish, in support of their particular
interests and, if need be, in opposition to the interests of the State.

...It is not easy, at the beginning, to explain all this to the journalists
and to make them understand that, as members of a corporate entity, they had
certain obligations to the community as a whole. And endless repetitions
were necessary before I could make them see that, if the press failed to
grasp this idea, it would end only in harming itself. Take the case of a
town with, say, a dozen newspapers; each one of them reports the various
items in its own way, and in the end the reader can only come to the
conclusion that he is dealing with a gang of opium-smokers. In this way the
press gradually loses its influence on public opinion and all contact with
the man in the street...

(Adolf Hitler speaking about the place of journalism)

????????: Hitler's speech (Hitler's Table Talk by Hugh Trevor-Roper)

Ralph Johnson

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