The Press: Free Press Gone Wrong

"Violence is not only that of pistols and fists; that of the pen is more dangerous." —Japan's Premier Nobusuke Kishi

Against the screeches of Japan's rioters last week came an imploring chorus that sounded almost like the voice of reason.

As paid demonstrators shed blood to keep Dwight Eisenhower out of Japan, seven of Tokyo's most influential daily newspapers jointly denounced such goings-on. "We cannot condone violence," cried Tokyo's Asahi Shinbun (circ. 5,000,000). "Impermissible under any circumstances," echoed Yomiuri (3,500,000).

Such sentiments were admirable—except for one thing. As much as any other agency, the Japanese press was responsible for the very violence that...

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