Sunday, March 7, 2010

"Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable." - The History

Comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. “In the 1960 movie Inherit the Wind, an H.L. Mencken-like newspaper editor says, ‘It is the duty of a newspaper to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.’ Credit for this credit gets passed around. In his 1942 quotation collection, Mencken attributed the saying as ‘author unidentified’ – although Mencken himself is sometimes thought to have been that author. (He was prone to quoting himself anonymously.) Four decades before Mencken’s collection was published, however, Finley Peter Dunne wrote this observation by his philosophizing bartender, Mr. Dooley: “The newspaper does ivrything f’r us. It runs th’ polis force an’ th’ ligislachure, baptizes th’ young, marries th’ foolish, comforts th’ afflicted, afflicts th’ comfortable, buries th’ dead and’ roasts thim aftherward.”

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chiccoreal said...

Thanks Mike! I'll have to watch for the movie on TCM channel. Sounds like a WC Fields quote, although I know it is a journalist saying. Can't make people to comfortable lest they complain which would be a terrible affliction!

mrflorer said...

Very nice. It's going on my classroom wall.