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Richard E. Byrd

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What people think about you is not supposed to matter much, so long as you yourself know where the truth lies; but I have found out, as have others who move in and out of newspaper headlines, that on occasion it can matter a good deal. For once you enter the world of headlines you learn there is not one truth but two: the one which you know from the facts; and the one which the public, or at any rate a highly imaginative part of the public, acquires by osmosis.
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Ch. 1

 
Richard E. Byrd

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John Dewey, the educator said, no, no, let the free press report the truth to the American people and the needs will be reflected, to the congressmen and senators in Washington. And he was right. But they’re not telling the truth anymore. They all were doing the headlines rather than headway. They’re all getting by with perceptions; they’re all getting by with pollster politics. They’re not talking about the needs.

 
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And the parson made it his text that week, and he said likewise,
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von Humboldt (seeing a newspaper containing slanderous falsehoods against Jefferson on the President's desk) : Why do you not have the fellow hung who dares to write these abominable lies?
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Newspaper headlines still quote Tyndale, though unknowingly, and he has reached more people than even Shakespeare.

 
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I'd like to say two things. One intellectual and one moral. The intellectual thing I should want to say to them is this. "When you are studying any matter, or considering any philosophy, ask yourself only: What are the facts, and what is the truth that the facts bear out. Never let yourself be diverted, either by what you wish to believe, or what you think could have beneficent social effects if it were believed; but look only and solely at what are the facts." That is the intellectual thing that I should wish to say. The moral thing I should wish to say to them is very simple; I should say: "Love is wise — Hatred is foolish." In this world, which is getting more and more closely interconnected, we have to learn to tolerate each other. We have to learn to put up with the fact, that some people say things we don't like. We can only live together in that way. But if we are to live together, and not die together, we must learn a kind of charity and a kind of tolerance which is absolutely vital, to the continuation of human life on this planet.

 
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