Mark Twain Illustrates his Point

Mark Twain illustrates his point well in the story Running for Governor, one of three stories in Twain illustrated. And what point is that? These days you could easily transpose it to be: Make Fox News pay the price.

Running for Governor is a story that Twain wrote in 1872 for his monthly column in The Galaxy, a literary magazine. It centers on corrupt reporting in newspapers and shows modern readers that misinformation has been freely practiced in the USA for as long as forever. 

Nobody should expect truth from those who fly by night. But since all people with at least half-normal sensibilities want truth when getting information, we should be able to expect honest news reporting from standard outlets. Twain suggests the fulfillment of that expectation can never be presumed with full confidence.

Newspapers can corrupt democracy by shadily selecting the events they report and by the dishohest or spun content within their reports. If we expand newspapers’ to include ‘news media’, we can easily infer what Twain would have to say about Fox News these days. In a sworn deposition, Rupert Murdoch, Fox Corporation Chairman, said that his employees falsified news reports, ostensibly to placate, retain, and win back their regular audience for the purpose of securing advertising revenue that is largely dependent on audience size. Don’t you just know that Twain would demand Fox News pay the price for its corruption.?

The satire of Twain and others is funny, but it’s also meant to illustrate a point. In Running for Governor, Mark Twain hilariously illustrates his point about inaccurate news reporting. For modern readers, and especially with respect to Fox News, it’s up to all of us, not just a judge or jury, to take Mr. Twain's point to heart and act accordingly.
View and/or download a FREE pdf version of Twain Illustrated  here!

Big News! The Midwest Publishers Association (MIPA) has named Twain Illustrated finalist for Best Short Story Anthology of 2022!.