Freedom of the press has always beennnear and dear to America; consider, fornexample, the simple fact that the press isndealt with in the First Amendment, notnthe Second or Third. It may be banal tonnote that with freedom comes responsibilities,nbut overused or not, it is stillntrue, and yet regularly disregarded innvarious ways. In Newhouse’s case,nnewspapers didn’t exist for truth, justice,nthe American way, or for any othernpurpose than that of making money,nperiod. Editorial copy was overhead; adsnbrought in the revenue. The ads counted,nthe writing didn’t. Consequently,nNewhouse was less a “press lord” in thensense of a Lord Beaverbrook, and morenof a cattle baron of 19th-centurynAmerica. Newhouse let nothing stand innhis way—^not feelings, traditions, livelihoods—innhis avaricious quest to acquire;nno one ever thought about thenfeelings of the steers that were beingndriven to the markets either. One man.nMeeker asserts, a competitor, wasncommitted to a madhouse because ofnNewhouse’s machinations.nA newspaper wasn’t a cherished organnof news and opinion for Newhouse, itnwas a money-making machine. Standardsnwere set by the bottom line, not byncommunity concerns and standards.nNewhouse, in a dubious manner, purchasednthe Patriot Company in 1947; itnpublished two newspapers in Harrisburg,nPennsylvania. In 1949, there werenno Sunday newspapers printed in thentown. Meeker explains that it was then anPennsylvania Dutch community wheren”there were still blue law^s and, it wasngenerally believed, strong sentimentnagainst any commerce on Sunday.” Henadds, “To Newhouse, Sunday had annaltogether different meaning—it was thenbest advertising day of the week.”nNewhouse created a Sunday edition,naided by the local businessmen whonwere assured that there was moneynwaiting to be made. The former ownerpublishernof the Patriot papers stoodnfoursquare against ads for liquor andnpatent nostrums; that restriction—nChronicles of Culturenwhich cost about SI million in lost adnspace—went in 19 51.nAnother case is that oitheLonglslandnPress in Jamaica, New York. It was one ofnNewhouse’s early acquisitions but anpaper that he, it seems, came to ignorenwhen bigger treasures beckoned. Duringnthe mid-50’s, Jamaica began tondeteriorate; the neighborhoods began toncrumble. Says Meeker, “There werenmore burglaries, holdups, muggings.nThere was trouble in the schools. Smallnshops lost business.” But the paper didn’tncomment on the threat to the status quo;nindeed, Meeker claims that the paperninstituted a policy whereby “No ‘negative’nstories [about local events] wouldnbe published in the Press unless theynappeared first in other New York papers.”nnnStories about crime and the like are, afternall, bad fiar business. The paper relented,nended its silence in the mid-60’s, whennthe bad conditions became the norm—nand folded in 1977.nThe stories of employees—^from pressnoperators to editors—^who lost theirnjobs on successful papers becausennewspapers were business to Newhousenare legion. Consolidation, cost-cutting,nand other acts aimed at enhancingnprofits—which would be plowed backninto doing more of the same elsewhere—^whilennever alienating advertisersnwere a way of life. Quantity was thenkey; quality could go to blazes. Thenultimate consequence is that therenexists a pervasive mediocrity throughoutnthe land, one that pops up on breakfastntables and which is picked up afterndinner. This, then, is the real issue ofnmass newspaper ownership or, morenaccurately, communications empires.nThe dangers of a Rupert Murdoch arennot found in the sensational headlines ornthe lascivious snapshots, but in thenelimination of the freedom to report onnevents and to express opinions onnsubjects that may, in some way, be badnfor the press business. In such a scheme,ninformation, the basis of a true newspaper,nis of little consequence; processingnand packaging are key. Ultimately,nreaders become cattle. DnHarper’s RedevivusnAlmost a century-and-a-half in printngives a journal a specific cultural aroma:nthat of tradition. To be sure, there arenthose whose olfactory organs receiventhis sublimation as mustiness, or as annodor of unventilated chambers ofnMadame Tussaud’s wax museum. Tonothers, it signals the redolence ofndistinguished values of mind and heart, anbouquet of ever-beautiful norms. Thentitle Harper’s Magazine is still floatingnamidst symbolic whifis which connotenthe best intellectual and literary substances.nTrue, during the decades of itsnexistence many transmutations andn