Column VI

1 minute read

Phrase-fancier Franklin Roosevelt had picked up a new one: sixth column. He used it at a press conference to denounce gossips and defeatists who spread rumors planted by enemy agents.

Added the President, newspapers sometimes unwittingly spread rumors too. He would mention no names. (But everyone knew that his honeymoon with the U.S. press ended with the first New Deal.) Waving his hand, he indicated that, if he did mention names, he would have to include some of his listeners. But he was not going to do anything about it so long as the public was not fooled; he did not think the press had much influence any more.

Up spoke a respectfully indignant reporter: he thought the press still had a good deal of influence.

Said Franklin Roosevelt, sweetly: Do you really?

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