Clive Palmer, billionaire and new boy in Australia’s Parliament, delivered a speech to the National Press Club today which mirrored that given by American President John F. Kennedy more than 50 years ago.
This led to the headline Copycat Clive Palmer swipes John F Kennedy’s 1961 speech on News Corp’s news.com.au.
A spokesman for the newly-sworn-in Member for Fairfax said Palmer regularly referenced JFK material in public speech and was something of an authority on the former US president who was assassinated 50 years ago this month.
“He regularly quotes JFK. He’s a director and member of the President’s Council of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston. He told the same story differently.”
Here’s what Mr Palmer said:
In 1851 – a long time ago – the New York Herald Tribune had retained its London correspondent, a little known journalist, named by his mother as Karl Marx.
Apparently he was without means, his family was sick and hungry, he didn’t have any money.
He repeatedly appealed to his publisher Horace Greeley … to boost his salary of $5 a story, a stipend his close friend Engels said was the lousiest petty bourgeoise heating that he’d ever seen.
He sought another means to support his family, to find the recognition that all journalists deserve. So he was forced to give up his job at the New York Herald Tribune so he could spend all his time working on an idea.
An idea he thought he would leave to the world. An idea which became the foundation if Stalinism, Leninism, revolution, and the Cold War.
If only this bourgeois publisher and editor had treated him more fairly and listened to his increase for wages.
If only Marx had remained a foreign correspondent, the world might be a different place and the 20th century wouldn’t have so much suffering.
I just want to say today that I hope Rupert Murdoch and all publishers will think more about talented dedicated journalists and their families.
Here’s what President Kennedy said in his speech on April 27, 1961, titled “The President and the Press: Address before the American Newspaper Publishers Association”:
You may remember that in 1851 the New York Herald Tribune under the sponsorship and publishing of Horace Greeley, employed as its London correspondent an obscure journalist by the name of Karl Marx.
We are told that foreign correspondent Marx, stone broke, and with a family ill and undernourished, constantly appealed to Greeley and managing editor Charles Dana for an increase in his munificent salary of $5 per installment, a salary which he and Engels ungratefully labeled as the ‘lousiest petty bourgeois cheating’.
But when all his financial appeals were refused, Marx looked around for other means of livelihood and fame, eventually terminating his relationship with the Tribune and devoting his talents full time to the cause that would bequeath the world the seeds of Leninism, Stalinism, revolution and the cold war.
If only this capitalistic New York newspaper had treated him more kindly; if only Marx had remained a foreign correspondent, history might have been different. And I hope all publishers will bear this lesson in mind the next time they receive a poverty-stricken appeal for a small increase in the expense account from an obscure newspaper man.
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