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 5
The Press Counterattacks

A terrific howl has been set up by the lying New Orleans newspapers because they have been taxed 2 percent on their gross amount of advertising. "Blood murder. Freedom of the press, persecution," they yell. Their big job has been lately in trying to make ignorant people believe that the freedom of the press has been jeopardized by a tax on advertising.

-- American Progress, August 7, 1934

[E]very effort should be made to press the point on abridgment of freedom of the press, in the hope that the decision will turn favorably to the newspapers on this point. If it does, the newspapers are once and forever rid of the possibility of any license tax on them as newspapers.

-- Eberhard Deutsch, August 1934

◆ During the months following the imposition of the newspaper advertising tax, Huey Long appeared to have become almost manic in his drive to monopolize control of Louisiana in his hands. In one of his continuing disputes over the political control of New Orleans, he not only defeated but crushed his opposition, revealing, as a sympathetic biographer said, "that he was approaching a point beyond which he would tolerate no opposition--from any quarter or any grounds." Commenting on events in Louisiana during 1934, Hodding Carter observed that nine months previously Long had appeared to be "politically finished." "Today, however," Carter added, "the bewildered belief of many is that Huey's grasp upon the destinies of this state is stronger than it ever was."1

-95-

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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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