Psychopathology and Politics; Politics: Who Gets What, When, How; Democratic Character

By Harold D. Lasswell | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER VII
POLITICAL AGITATORS -- Continued

B is an agitator who uses his pen instead of his tongue. He has achieved eminence in newspaper work, beginning as a news editor and editorial writer. At twenty, when he held his first newspaper job, B led a fight against the red- light district of the city, exposing the pimps, panderers, and prostitutes in sensational style. He has always responded quickly to the appeal of the underdog and revealed injustices wherever he found them, and he won great popularity among minority racial and national groups whose claims he championed before the American public. It is noteworthy that B has never been converted to "isms" and responds to the call of specific abuses. No one who knows B has ever questioned his sincerity, for the news value of his campaigns is often much less than the personal risks incurred.

B has a high reputation for absolute truthfulness and reliability, often carrying his scruples to what his fellow- newspapermen think are unwarranted extremes. On one occasion, he threw up an excellent job on a very well-known newspaper on a point of honor. The paper had divulged the source of a story which he had received in confidence, and which he communicated to the editor in confidence. Later he was made the editor of an important newspaper. For five months he produced brilliant results, when a misunderstanding arose with the proprietor over another point of honor. In a despondent moment he resigned, but the proprietor refused to let him leave, offering a substantial

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