MANUFACTURING PUBLIC OPINION

Manufacturing Public Opinion CONCRETE evidence of the expenditure of the funds of the New Haven Railroad for the purpose of controlling public opinion* has heen secured by the Interstate Commerce...

...It is deplorable, but it is nevertheless the fact, that the newspapers that share in this kind of advertising are the newspapers that maintained silence with respect to the wrongdoing of the New Haven, or gave support to the acts of those who looted that.company...
...And out in Los Angeles we find the parents and teachers getting together in a most promising fashion...
...The present revival of interest on the part of parents in their school buildings and the uses to which they are put probably means the end of that old plaint...
...Of this amount $400,000 was invested in the bonds of a certain Boston paper, not yet named in the evidence...
...Doubtless some of the "traffic advertising'' is legitimate...
...More than 2,800 newspapers, advertising agencies, newspaper correspondents and publicists are found upon the books of the company...
...Large amounts were placed through advertising agencies, such as Doremus and Kalkoff & Company of New York...
...Thus far the investigation shows that the total expenditure for the manufacture of public opinion, aggregated more than $300,000...
...but the people are willing to sacrifice the order and prosperity of- government even by, the most benevolent of despots in order that they may de^ velop the far more precious power of social self-conseiotisness and social self-discipline...
...The evidence discloses that the New Haven not only dealt directly with the newspapers, but that it kept upon its payrolls a large number of newspaper correspondents, including one who was also employed by the Associated Press...
...Governor Folk is conducting this investigation for the Commission...
...Self Government IT IS characteristic of political development, * as far back as we have any record of civilized society, that good governments are being constantly threatened or overturned by.the people in search of a greater-share in government, writes Ray Stannard Baker in Harper's Weekly...
...Prof...
...Good government is always temporary while the passion for self-government is elemental...
...What is being done there is described on page five by Mrs...
...Neither does it include the sums which the New Haven expended in financing "citizens' associations," in preparing petitions to the legislature, and employing other means of creating a counterfeit public opinion...
...But this is considered of secondary importance to the social improvement made possible...
...302,509 in "traffic advertising...
...What business could the advertising produce to the railroad, that it would not secure without-advertising ?' The railroad officials on the stand admitted that they expended these large sums for the control of public opinion...
...60,695 for "publicity" purposes...
...We find Mayor von Wagner buying land for the city, and buying more and more land, encountering opposition at times, which, however, gradually diminishes...
...read this article...
...It must not be presumed that $863,000 represents the total amount paid out by the New Haven for this purpose...
...Traffic advertising should have for its object the securing of business for the railroad...
...it puts the city in a position to influence building development so as to promote favorable social, hygienic and coiv-'trnctional policies.'' * * » Parents and Schools T%0 YOU remember how the boys and girls at Friday afternoon "exercises" used to sing: "Dear, dear, rehat can the matter be, Parents won't visit the school...
...A City and Its Land \A7TIAT a city may do for its people through an enlightened policy of land ownership is told by Prof...
...Richard T. Ely...
...and $100,000 as above noted, expended in Connecticut...
...Doty...
...This $863,000 was used directly and indirectly to control the press...
...and we find the municipality and its.foundations (e...
...This does not include the large sums which were paid by the New Haven to an army of lawyers, throughout New England, who performed no legal service, and who received salaries in some instances as high as $20,000 per year, to maintain a healthy sentiment in the community favorable to the railroad...
...You will find it suggestive...
...All over the country today the railroads, through their publicity agencies, are endeavoring to create public sentiment to influence the Interstate Commerce Commission in the five per cent, rate cases...
...The social center is helping greatly...
...What mankind has been yearning, suffering, struggling for through all the ages, is not merely a peaceful, comfortable, prosperous government, but the ability to think and act in constantly en larging social units...
...The Boston News Bureau received $37,000...
...of the ,Vni versify of Wisconsin, in an article in Tlie ISurren, on the activities of the German city of 1.1m...
...ej., the hospital) owning three-fourths of the land within the city boundaries and energetically building homes for the working people and the less well-to-do generally, selling the houses outright to encourage home ownership, but selling them under many restrictions, carefully worked out, having as their aim the Well-being of all the purchasers as well as the health, safety, security and beauty of the city as a whole...
...Newspaper correspondents employed to report the proceedings of the Massachusetts legislature were also on the pay roll of the New Haven, and received additional salaries from the railroad ranging from $200 to $800...
...The investigation into these expenditures by the Commission is not complete, and covers a period of eighteen months only...
...The money was spent to foster a false sentiment to support the legislators and others in serving the railroad and betraying the public...
...When the whole sickening story of the New Haven is known, it will be found that the amount thus expended greatly exceeds the amounts that have already been uncovered in the investigation Avhich the Commission is conducting...
...But the New Haven is a railroad having an absolute monopoly of the transportation business in the territory it serves...
...Payments to newspapers at regular rates for publishing time tables, advertising stockholders' meetings and other kindred activities are proper expenditures...
...A benevolent despotóa truly enlightened rulerólet us say an administrative genius like Goethals of Panama could probably govern New York City, or the State of Massachusetts, with more economy and efficiency than it is now governed by the halting suffrage of the people...
...The testimony shows that this railroad company not only used its money corruptly with the representatives of the press, but carried upon its books a "publicity account" and in one instance expended for the creation of public opinion in the state of Connecticut through an attorney, the sum of $100,000...
...If you have been wondering how you, in your own community, may bring home and school into a closer relationship for the good of the children (and yourselves...
...These railroads are doing the same thing in the New Haven way...
...These all told would constitute, however, but an infinitesimal part of the total...
...Good Government vs...
...He quotes Mayor Wagner as saying: /"...'' "." 7_"Not only does a large ownership of land enable the city to create institutions of all kinds designed to . promote general welfare, such as pleasure parks, playgrounds, skating rinks, school gardens, gardens to be leased to people of small means, etc...
...Ely then describes how the city has gained from the sale of 400 out of 1,100 acres a profit of a million marks more than the cost of all 1,100 acres...
...He writes:, "In Tim we find private activity supplemented 'by public activity showing a common thought, a common life, a love in common for the affairs in common...
...Where else could the public go for accommodation...
...The same newspapers and other newspapers of the same character are conspicuously active in support of the railroad's contention for the five per cent, increase...
...Manufacturing Public Opinion CONCRETE evidence of the expenditure of the funds of the New Haven Railroad for the purpose of controlling public opinion* has heen secured by the Interstate Commerce Commission, and is now a part of the record of the inquiry which the Commission is making into the affairs of that company...

Vol. 6 • May 1914 • No. 21


 
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