Lipton’s Journal/January 31, 1955/346

From Project Mailer

Journalists—another variety of psychopath. They are dishonest men whose dishonesty is the defense (the turning-back) against their desire to know and to destroy. That is why they are so unpleasant. They have to get the story—it is their great compulsion—but of course once they get the story, they never write it. They write a lie instead.

The worst of these are the political analysts, the “serious” journalists. They cover themselves with expertization, they penetrate into the crevices of society, and feed out social pap. At least the scandal writers, the murder writers, and the columnists occasionally do give out a bit. (The word bit really means in the slang—a bit of truth.)

Underneath the pious tones with which call girls are written about—in the Post which is a forward paper socially—the pious tone is the tone of the social welfare worker who has everything clocked, rather than a conventionally moral tone. He or she knows that the sexy call girl is really rigid. (Only if this were truly so instead of half-true; why do they hate call-girls? Especially female social workers.) The Life and Times boys are the Harvard variety of the journalist, the man who must learn the truth in order to lie.

Possible insight: the compulsion to get the story, to know the truth, can be a reflection of the anxiety that if the “truth” is not known, one cannot lie efficiently—by accident one may tell the truth.