THE RULE OF NEWS
Originally Published In The Reno Weekly Gazette, Thursday, March 11, 1880, Page 2.
The complicated conditions of modern society renders it difficult, at times, to decide where the cats of men cross the line between public and private life. Newspapers generally go by the rule that anything that happens is theirs to publish if they are so inclined, and the public sustains. The rule often offends the parties who are so unfortunate as to figure unfavorable in the papers. A man stopped the editor of this paper on the street corner last Saturday evening and asked why the GAZETTE cast slurs upon him. It appeared from his conversation, which was somewhat profane and angry, that he did not like the GAZETTE’S account of the recent wrestling hippodrome. He probably expected the principals to be described as models of symmetry and manly grace, and their elephantine pullings and tumblings as herculean exhibitions of strength. We are always inclined to be accommodating, especially to gentlemen, and would take special pains to deal tenderly with the feelings of any one who is sensitive, if he make his wishes known, but when a man accompanies such a request with the worlds “G— d— you, now you’ll get hurt if you mention my name again”, the inducement to oblige him is entirely removed. We told the wrathy man that whenever he was concerned in any matter of public importance, or in anything in which our readers took an interest, that he would not be omitted. He shrieked, “Well now I warn you, you will get hurt.” We remarked to him that he undertook to hurt a smaller man than the deponent once, and he got hurt the worst himself. This innocent statement, instead of acting like oil upon the troubled waters as we expected, drove the poor man frantic, and showered epithets and threats all over the editor, the papers, and anyone who ever read or heard of it, using such language as would render any man entirely unworthy of notice, except for the fact that among the listeners were many strangers, who must have been very much astonished, to say the least. When a man takes advantage of the strength of a bull to use the language of a blackguard, he shows himself to be a coward. No names are given, because the man is probably heartily ashamed of himself by this time, as he certainly should be.
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