The Critical Press and the New Deal: The Press Versus Presidential Power, 1933-1938

By Gary Dean Best | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 3
The Honeymoon of the Hundred Days

EARLY NEWSPAPER SUPPORT

Newspaper sentiment, even among those journals that would soon move into opposition, was initially favorable to Roosevelt and the New Deal. After applauding Roosevelt's early moves, the Washington Posttribune opposed indications that Congress might adjourn as soon as the emergency banking bill was passed. Psychologically the country was "in a mood for leadership. It wants action, and fears delay and uncertainty more than anything else." A congressional recess might undermine the confidence created by Roosevelt's initial bold actions. Instead, Roosevelt should lay his program before Congress and, if it were "adopted with cooperation and dispatch," the effect on the country would be "electrifying." 1 Similarly, the Chicago Tribune wrote that it was the responsibility of Congress to show "unity in the effective support and expeditious advancement of [Roosevelt's] program. He has accepted responsibility. He has asked for adequate powers to act as the emergency requires. The country supports that demand." 2

This early support for Roosevelt's program, however, assumed that the broad grant of powers sought by the president was to be used to effect the platform of the Democratic Party, which had called for economy in government, a balanced budget, and, implicitly, the maintenance of the gold standard. When the course of the Roosevelt program began to deviate from the platform on which he had been elected, newspaper support began to ebb. The New York Herald-Tribune complained when Roosevelt took the United States off the gold standard, despite the fact that the Treasury had ample supplies of the metal. 3 The Washington Post was disappointed when it appeared Roosevelt was about to negate his $500

-35-

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The Critical Press and the New Deal: The Press Versus Presidential Power, 1933-1938
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction ix
  • The Critical Press and the New Deal xvii
  • Chapter 1 the Use and Misuse of the Press I 1
  • Chapter 2 the Use and Misuse of the Press II 19
  • Chapter 3 the Honeymoon of the Hundred Days 35
  • Chapter 4 Increasing Doubts 49
  • Chapter 5 a Marriage on the Rocks 61
  • Chapter 6 a Bitter Divorce 79
  • Chapter 7 Name Calling 93
  • Chapter 8 Assault and Defense 113
  • Chapter 9 a Shoulder to Lean On 131
  • Conclusion 147
  • Epilogue: the Psychology of Disability 153
  • Notes 167
  • Bibliography 189
  • Index 193
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