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William Randolph Hearst: Yellow Journalism

When the American battleship Maine was blown up in Havana harbor in February 1898, William Randolph Hearst sent the artist Frederic Remington (who specialized in the depiction of warfare) to Cuba.

The expected conflict between the United States and Spain did not immediately materialize, however, and Remington was obliged to cable Hearst for instructions. Should he return home?

No, Hearst promptly cabled back: "Please remain. You furnish the pictures and I'll furnish the war."

[Hearst's New York Journal implied that the Maine had been sunk by Spain. (A Hearst reporter also aided the escape of a Cuban political prisoner.) Sure enough, an American ultimatum (dated April 20th) to withdraw Spanish troops brought about the desired conflict; Hearst's papers had so inflamed the populace that demands for war were virtually inevitable. (This episode was depicted by Herman Mankiewicz and Orson Welles's in Citizen Kane)... Some time later, in a Broadway bar, an unknown patron hoisted a drink and cried, "Gentlemen, remember the Maine!" Henceforth Hearst and the Yellow Press had their battle cry, and America had one of its most famous slogans.]

[When JFK was president, a memo was written by the Joint Chiefs of Staff proposing that if John Glenn was accidentally blown up on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral, the tragedy could be blamed on the Cubans and used as a pretext for an invasion.]

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