The Kingfish and the Constitution: Huey Long, the First Amendment, and the Emergence of Modern Press Freedom in America

By Richard C. Cortner | Go to book overview

Chapter 2
The Kingfish and the "Lying Newspapers" of Louisiana

Can any sensible man or woman fail to see that the daily newspapers are straining and struggling every minute of the day to give . . . [them] LIES instead of truth?

-- Louisiana Progress, April 24, 1930

I will tell you now, there is not a man or concern in this state that knows that he is as much hated, as little respected and as little believed as these newspapers know they are.

-- GovernorHuey E. Long, April 17, 1930

◆ After he won election as governor of Louisiana in 1928, Huey Long's relations with the state's leading newspapers suffered a steady deterioration, and by the early 1930s Long and his political organization faced an almost unified and implacable opposition from the Louisiana daily press. The opposition to the Kingfish was overwhelmingly centered in the urban press of the state, while the governor enjoyed some support from the smaller, rural weekly papers that had limited circulations. In an attempt to counter press opposition to him and his policies, Long established his own newspaper in 1930, the Louisiana Progress, which was described as "probably the most cheerfully venomous publication in the nation." Published in Meridian, Mississippi, the Progress was renamed the American Progress in 1933, reflecting Long's attempt to influence public opinion not only in Louisiana but also nationally as he sought to further his presidential ambitions.1

-19-

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The Kingfish and the Constitution: Huey Long, the First Amendment, and the Emergence of Modern Press Freedom in America
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Titles in Contributions in Political Science ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents ix
  • Preface xi
  • Notes xiv
  • Chapter 1 - Introduction: Huey Long, the Press, and the First Amendment in 1930 1
  • Notes 16
  • Chapter 2 - The Kingfish and the "Lying Newspapers" of Louisiana 19
  • Notes 44
  • Chapter 3 - The Kingfish Goes National 47
  • Notes 64
  • Chapter 4 - Guiding the Newspapers in the "Path of Rectitude": Censorship by Taxation 67
  • Notes 92
  • Chapter 5 - The Press Counterattacks 95
  • Notes 116
  • Chapter 6 - The Grosjean Case before the Three-Judge Court 119
  • Notes 148
  • Chapter 7 - The Appeal to the Supreme Court 149
  • Notes 171
  • Chapter 8 - Epilogue 175
  • Notes 185
  • Bibliographical Essay 187
  • Index 191
  • About the Author 197
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