Patron of Hollywood
TO BE an object of national detestation at the age of fifty- five is not a pleasant experience, particularly when one has earned it not through any defense of principles or personal integrity but through mere maladroitness in compromise. Hearst's extreme unpopularity at the close of the war might well have had disastrous mental consequences for the publisher but for his good fortune in finding a new interest just at this time to divert his thoughts from public questions. His intimate friendship with Miss Marion Davies and the absorption in the movies that followed were undoubtedly most beneficial in restoring that fiction of superiority which was absolutely essential to his being. His successful flouting of public opinion by the openness of his relations with the beautiful actress enabled him to feel that he was an exception to the ordinary rules made for lesser men -- a special privilege which he jealously guarded by continuing to maintain the strict moral standard of his papers on the general question of sex irregularity and by continuing to attack any inclinations toward "free love" wherever that hideous monster showed its head.
He had been dabbling -- more than dabbling -- in moving pictures for some time. In March 1913 Edgar B. Hatrick, director of the photograph department of the Hearst press, suggested to "the Chief" -- as Hearst likes to be called both by his subordinates and friends -- that it would be a good idea to take moving pictures of the presidential inauguration of Woodrow Wilson. The pictures were taken and were exhibited with huge