by NICK ROSEN on MARCH 21, 2011 - 2 Comments in people
The LA Times and The Washington Post both carried prominent reviews of my “Off the Grid: Inside the Movement for More Space, Less Government, and True Independence in Modern America”, but The New York Times merely lifted several stories from an advance copy of the book without attribution (for example this one). I wonder if the (rather stuffy) publishers were upset at the way their paper was characterized in the book?
Despite its recent conversion, the newspaper had not historically shown any empathy for the subject. In an 1854 review, as I mention on page 110, The New York Times, dismissed Walden by Thoreau as the product of “cold and selfish isolation.” Walden went on to become one of the great classics of American literature.
In 1923, they ran with an exclusive story about the building of the new national electricity grid. “One vast power system for whole country projected,” declared the New York Times on July 17, 1923 in a breathless preamble to a front page report written by none other than the Chairman of Westinghouse, Brigadier General Guy Tripp. “The only reason for the existence of such a system,” wrote Tripp, “is that it will increase the welfare of the people served by it.”
Fancy that, an impartial report on the electricity grid by the Chairman of Westinghouse! Anyone who bemoans what the Times has become should recall – its always been like that.
In the late 1920s, a Federal Trade Commission enquiry revealed the exact level of manipulation, and the large propaganda budget devoted to persuading households to go on the grid.