Daily Archives: September 20, 2006

A. J. Liebling: “Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one.”

Since early 2003 I have maintained a list of the URL’s articles, columns, and such that have struck my fancy. Most have been about OSS. I just kept them in one large HTML file for the first few years, then I started using an internal IBM Filefox plugin, dogear, and most recently I have been posting them on the internal IBM wiki about the Volunteers project.

Going forward I will also post some publicly here in a new page to be called “The Wayward Press” in honor of the New Yorker column of that name that was the inspiration for the name of this blog.

A.J. Liebling died in late 1963. I wish he could have been with us longer. I expect some of his best work would have come during the Watergate era, but alas we shall never know.

We also don’t know what he would have made of the internet. But I think we can make a good guess. The article A. J. Liebling in Wikipedia lists some of his notable quotes:

  • “Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one.”
  • “People everywhere confuse what they read in newspapers with news.”
  • “I can write better than anybody who can write faster, and I can write faster than anybody who can write better.”

The first two are especially apropos today, and the second makes great sense with s/newspapers/blogs/.

But I think he would have been especially pleased by knowing that so many more are guaranteed freedom of the press. We can each have our own press, including my own here at WordPress.

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