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

By Gary Dean Best | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 9
A Shoulder to Lean On

IGNORANCE AND SPITE

Despite the depressed economic situation, there seemed early in 1938 little evidence that the Roosevelt administration had altered its basic animus toward the only vehicle for economic recovery that existed: American business. The press, too, now came in for what David Lawrence called "scathing denunciation." Judging from the Roosevelt administration's attitude, the press was guilty of failing "to tell the people that 'prosperity is just around the corner,'" and was "thinking up new ways of 'spreading fear.'" Lawrence wrote that "we are asked to believe, in effect, that the ' Roosevelt depression' is just a fable and a myth of their [the press] creation." The Ickes and Jackson speeches, Lawrence wrote, "draw an indictment so broad and so ridiculous that the intelligent business man who wants to cooperate with the Administration finds himself inclined to stand apart waiting for Reason to be restored inside the government of the United States." It seemed apparent to Lawrence that Roosevelt was "determined to drive ahead with his reform policies," with a "strong selling campaign to convince the people that big bankers and industrialists planned this depression to wreck the reforms for which the people voted." In this way they hoped "to build up a backfire that will react favorably on Congress." 1 Eleanor Patterson, publisher of the Washington Herald-Times, addressed a front-page open letter to Roosevelt in which she told him: "You said once, with eternal truth, that the only thing to fear is fear itself. Fear is depressing industry. With due respect, you should concede the obvious: This fear is fear of you."2

Arthur Krock found that "the adoption by Messrs. Jackson and Ickes of the methods of the Fat Boy in Pickwick has failed in its larger design." The speakers,

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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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