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The President Who Told The TRUTH!

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Tzar Nicholas II and Hitler to that group.

Luke 3:38
Isaiah 43:3-5



it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

text for those who still read..


This transcript contains the published text of the speech, not the actual words spoken. There may be slight differences between the transcript and the audio/video content

Full Transcript

The President and the Press: Address before the American Newspaper Publishers Association, April 27, 1961

President John F. Kennedy
Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York City
April 27, 1961

Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen:

I appreciate very much your generous invitation to be here tonight.

You bear heavy responsibilities these days and an article I read some time ago reminded me of how particularly heavily the burdens of present day events bear upon your profession.

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.

I have selected as the title of my remarks tonight “The President and the Press.” Some may suggest that this would be more naturally worded “The President Versus the Press.” But those are not my sentiments tonight.

It is true, however, that when a well-known diplomat from another country demanded recently that our State Department repudiate certain newspaper attacks on his colleague it was unnecessary for us to reply that this Administration was not responsible for the press, for the press had already made it clear that it was not responsible for this Administration.

Nevertheless, my purpose here tonight is not to deliver the usual assault on the so-called one party press. On the contrary, in recent months I have rarely heard any complaints about political bias in the press except from a few Republicans. Nor is it my purpose tonight to discuss or defend the televising of Presidential press conferences. I think it is highly beneficial to have some 20,000,000 Americans regularly sit in on these conferences to observe, if I may say so, the incisive, the intelligent and the courteous qualities displayed by your Washington correspondents.

Nor, finally, are these remarks intended to examine the proper degree of privacy which the press should allow to any President and his family.

If in the last few months your White House reporters and photographers have been attending church services with regularity, that has surely done them no harm.

On the other hand, I realize that your staff and wire service photographers may be complaining that they do not enjoy the same green privileges at the local golf courses that they once did.

It is true that my predecessor did not object as I do to pictures of one’s golfing skill in action. But neither on the other hand did he ever bean a Secret Service man.

My topic tonight is a more sober one of concern to publishers as well as editors.

I want to talk about our common responsibilities in the face of a common danger. The events of recent weeks may have helped to illuminate that challenge for some; but the dimensions of its threat have loomed large on the horizon for many years. Whatever our hopes may be for the future–for reducing this threat or living with it–there is no escaping either the gravity or the totality of its challenge to our survival and to our security–a challenge that confronts us in unaccustomed ways in every sphere of human activity.

This deadly challenge imposes upon our society two requirements of direct concern both to the press and to the President–two requirements that may seem almost contradictory in tone, but which must be reconciled and fulfilled if we are to meet this national peril. I refer, first, to the need for a far greater public information; and, second, to the need for far greater official secrecy.


The very word “secrecy” is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings. We decided long ago that the dangers of excessive and unwarranted concealment of pertinent facts far outweighed the dangers which are cited to justify it. Even today, there is little value in opposing the threat of a closed society by imitating its arbitrary restrictions. Even today, there is little value in insuring the survival of our nation if our traditions do not survive with it. And there is very grave danger that an announced need for increased security will be seized upon by those anxious to expand its meaning to the very limits of official censorship and concealment. That I do not intend to permit to the extent that it is in my control. And no official of my Administration, whether his rank is high or low, civilian or military, should interpret my words here tonight as an excuse to censor the news, to stifle dissent, to cover up our mistakes or to withhold from the press and the public the facts they deserve to know.

But I do ask every publisher, every editor, and every newsman in the nation to reexamine his own standards, and to recognize the nature of our country’s peril. In time of war, the government and the press have customarily joined in an effort based largely on self-discipline, to prevent unauthorized disclosures to the enemy. In time of “clear and present danger,” the courts have held that even the privileged rights of the First Amendment must yield to the public’s need for national security.

Today no war has been declared–and however fierce the struggle may be, it may never be declared in the traditional fashion. Our way of life is under attack. Those who make themselves our enemy are advancing around the globe. The survival of our friends is in danger. And yet no war has been declared, no borders have been crossed by marching troops, no missiles have been fired.

If the press is awaiting a declaration of war before it imposes the self-discipline of combat conditions, then I can only say that no war ever posed a greater threat to our security. If you are awaiting a finding of “clear and present danger,” then I can only say that the danger has never been more clear and its presence has never been more imminent.

It requires a change in outlook, a change in tactics, a change in missions–by the government, by the people, by every businessman or labor leader, and by every newspaper. For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence–on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations.

Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed. It conducts the Cold War, in short, with a war-time discipline no democracy would ever hope or wish to match.

Nevertheless, every democracy recognizes the necessary restraints of national security–and the question remains whether those restraints need to be more strictly observed if we are to oppose this kind of attack as well as outright invasion.

For the facts of the matter are that this nation’s foes have openly boasted of acquiring through our newspapers information they would otherwise hire agents to acquire through theft, bribery or espionage; that details of this nation’s covert preparations to counter the enemy’s covert operations have been available to every newspaper reader, friend and foe alike; that the size, the strength, the location and the nature of our forces and weapons, and our plans and strategy for their use, have all been pinpointed in the press and other news media to a degree sufficient to satisfy any foreign power; and that, in at least in one case, the publication of details concerning a secret mechanism whereby satellites were followed required its alteration at the expense of considerable time and money.

The newspapers which printed these stories were loyal, patriotic, responsible and well-meaning. Had we been engaged in open warfare, they undoubtedly would not have published such items. But in the absence of open warfare, they recognized only the tests of journalism and not the tests of national security. And my question tonight is whether additional tests should not now be adopted.

The question is for you alone to answer. No public official should answer it for you. No governmental plan should impose its restraints against your will. But I would be failing in my duty to the nation, in considering all of the responsibilities that we now bear and all of the means at hand to meet those responsibilities, if I did not commend this problem to your attention, and urge its thoughtful consideration.

On many earlier occasions, I have said–and your newspapers have constantly said–that these are times that appeal to every citizen’s sense of sacrifice and self-discipline. They call out to every citizen to weigh his rights and comforts against his obligations to the common good. I cannot now believe that those citizens who serve in the newspaper business consider themselves exempt from that appeal.

I have no intention of establishing a new Office of War Information to govern the flow of news. I am not suggesting any new forms of censorship or any new types of security classifications. I have no easy answer to the dilemma that I have posed, and would not seek to impose it if I had one. But I am asking the members of the newspaper profession and the industry in this country to reexamine their own responsibilities, to consider the degree and the nature of the present danger, and to heed the duty of self-restraint which that danger imposes upon us all.

Every newspaper now asks itself, with respect to every story: “Is it news?” All I suggest is that you add the question: “Is it in the interest of the national security?” And I hope that every group in America–unions and businessmen and public officials at every level– will ask the same question of their endeavors, and subject their actions to the same exacting tests.

And should the press of America consider and recommend the voluntary assumption of specific new steps or machinery, I can assure you that we will cooperate whole-heartedly with those recommendations. Perhaps there will be no recommendations. Perhaps there is no answer to the dilemma faced by a free and open society in a cold and secret war. In times of peace, any discussion of this subject, and any action that results, are both painful and without precedent. But this is a time of peace and peril which knows no precedent in history.


It is the unprecedented nature of this challenge that also gives rise to your second obligation–an obligation which I share. And that is our obligation to inform and alert the American people–to make certain that they possess all the facts that they need, and understand them as well–the perils, the prospects, the purposes of our program and the choices that we face.

No President should fear public scrutiny of his program. For from that scrutiny comes understanding; and from that understanding comes support or opposition. And both are necessary. I am not asking your newspapers to support the Administration, but I am asking your help in the tremendous task of informing and alerting the American people. For I have complete confidence in the response and dedication of our citizens whenever they are fully informed.

I not only could not stifle controversy among your readers–I welcome it. This Administration intends to be candid about its errors; for as a wise man once said: “An error does not become a mistake until you refuse to correct it.” We intend to accept full responsibility for our errors; and we expect you to point them out when we miss them.

Without debate, without criticism, no Administration and no country can succeed–and no republic can survive. That is why the Athenian lawmaker Solon decreed it a crime for any citizen to shrink from controversy. And that is why our press was protected by the First Amendment– the only business in America specifically protected by the Constitution- -not primarily to amuse and entertain, not to emphasize the trivial and the sentimental, not to simply “give the public what it wants”–but to inform, to arouse, to reflect, to state our dangers and our opportunities, to indicate our crises and our choices, to lead, mold, educate and sometimes even anger public opinion.

This means greater coverage and analysis of international news–for it is no longer far away and foreign but close at hand and local. It means greater attention to improved understanding of the news as well as improved transmission. And it means, finally, that government at all levels, must meet its obligation to provide you with the fullest possible information outside the narrowest limits of national security–and we intend to do it.


It was early in the Seventeenth Century that Francis Bacon remarked on three recent inventions already transforming the world: the compass, gunpowder and the printing press. Now the links between the nations first forged by the compass have made us all citizens of the world, the hopes and threats of one becoming the hopes and threats of us all. In that one world’s efforts to live together, the evolution of gunpowder to its ultimate limit has warned mankind of the terrible consequences of failure.

And so it is to the printing press–to the recorder of man’s deeds, the keeper of his conscience, the courier of his news–that we look for strength and assistance, confident that with your help man will be what he was born to be: free and independent.

I thought is was going to be Eisenhower talking MIC


Free includes debt-free!

Farewell Address...

Thanks Man

The word is finally getting out.

Free includes debt-free!

Joη's picture

truth being: he didn't want people to talk about the war!


"You underestimate the character of man." | "So be off now, and set about it." | Up for a game?

Heart of Matter



History will view the Kennedy family differently in the future.

JFK was a Fearless Patriot and Martyr.

He had many faults, but pure love of Country and Countryman was not one of them. Nor was a lack of balls - big brass ones - JFK - Hero!

O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Joη's picture

the rense link is false

Kennedy was helping phase out silver certificates in favor of federal reserve notes.

The other link I'm presently unfamilar with.

"You underestimate the character of man." | "So be off now, and set about it." | Up for a game?

John F Kennedy

was a conspiracy theorist.


...the man...
in the box.

Off topic, but I've had the song stuck in my head for a week.

save me.

Unlearning and self-teaching since 2008. Thanks, Dr. Paul!

jrd3820's picture


I'm the dog who gets beat.....

Won't you come and save me?

Save me....

“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.”
― Dr. Seuss

ecorob's picture

what the hell...

does this have to do in furthering the discourse of this conversastion?

Thats right, NOTHING!

Quit distracting but thank you for the opportunity to bump up this wonderful speech again.

Perhaps you just allowed ONE MORE PERSON to view it and become awakened!

its 'cos I owe ya, my young friend...
Rockin' the FREE world in Tennessee since 1957!
9/11 Truth.

peace brother

see below ecorob. love the fire! just keep it directed downrange

O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!


Sorry, sir, for a bit of friendly banter with the individual who posted this video (reference to his pseudonym).

I suppose that sometimes my mind takes me in a direction other than the relentless evangelism from from which I, apparently, must never stray. In this instance, it was my desire to engage a forum member on a common interest newly discovered (music, presuming that his tag is, in fact, a reference to the AIC song of the same name) rather than sticking to the not so shocking revelation that we have a similar moral and political philosophy.

In case you haven't noticed, most members of this community agree on the basic premise of social interactions governed at the individual level by the non-aggression principle along with personal liberty and responsibility. Sometimes, it can be healthy to debate more mundane topics such as the arts, since it gives discerning minds prone to self-fashioned opinions and discussion thereof a chance to do something other than all sing from the same hymnal.

Of course, I happily accept your somewhat disparaging comment given that this is an open forum. Thanks for your input.

Unlearning and self-teaching since 2008. Thanks, Dr. Paul!

Man In the Box...

ecorob... i've seen your call sign for months now and view you as a brother in Liberty. no stress amongst brothers, bro

as for my call sign - thanks for asking. I am of the age that I'm a huge Alice in Change fan. Layne Stanley's chilling cries for mercy, while he was losing a very public death spiral with heroine addiction, the raw human frailty of it affected me deeply - as any good art does. not all of us are as strong as Job from the bible...

also, since the Bloomberg Freedom of Information act in Aug of 2009 'woke me up' I've felt isolated and alone, trapped in my lonely box. Who do you talk to about all of this

until I found you screwballs on the DP, and I've been an addict since

and finally, the most obvious application of my call sign. I believe with Schwartz and others, dissodents are going to be taken out, more and more, and speaking out - bravely - here on the DP, puts your own life, more and more at risk. And yet, I've made my decision. I will not live in fear, and I will only stand for Christ, for Love, and for the TRUTH. I will not be swayed. so they con come and suicide me now or anytime, but I will not silence myself. thus, the dramatic, but true nonetheless, that we will all - eventually - end as the man in the box

peace jg

O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

ecorob's picture

peace, jg...

its very easy to go on the "defensive" here and i usually seek that course first

i understand that i directed friendly fire towards you and i am sorry for that

its like coming up on a checkpoint, isn't it?

sometimes we just have to identify ourselves to be welcomed in

i have made this mistake in the past because, like you, i don't trust everyone here

i THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for your willingness to approach me peacefully and just explaining yourself

i often wonder what people here think of me because i almost ALWAYS wear my passions on my sleeve for all to see

sometimes that can be a little brutal and sometimes even misguided

i thank you again for your understanding and i am sorry i overreacted


its 'cos I owe ya, my young friend...
Rockin' the FREE world in Tennessee since 1957!
9/11 Truth.

We are a similar age...

...though I was an angry Pearl Jam kid. Just "off" enough to be into the grunge scene, but not nearly so "troubled" as to be a Nirvana nut. Though I definitely loved that entire musical movement, only later did I really start to appreciate AIC and even Nirvana more deeply.

Growing up, i remember describing grunge as music about the problems of suburban life for kids without real problems. In retrospect, I think one theme that sort of united most of the good rock music (which included grunge but which we more broadly called "alternative") of the time was the fact that there was no "Vietnam" or ostensible, single manifestation of a problem... Cold War was over, economy had recovered, technology was advancing in exciting ways, our standard of living was pretty clearly improved from only a decade or two prior... but, as I more recently learned, that was all pretty much bull s t.

So, in fact, what I think I have come to appreciate about AIC and Nirvana is the blatant, indisguisable torment evident in their music and in Kurt's and Layne's very voices. Watch the sound check for Nirvana unplugged or listen to Pennyroyal Tea from the same performance and Kurt is almost naked as an artist. Nothing contrived. Dude can't really sing, he is painfully and awkwardly aware of that fact but somehow he's a "rock god". There was something that looked unsettling about him. Incidentally, my personal favorite 90s rock band (PJ) was the least genuine in that regard. Apart from the Andrew Wood experience, their only "issue" is that they were unwilling pop icons.

On a separate note, I respect Eddie Vedder more than ever and less than ever at the same time these days. More because I used to be a republican and hated his Bush bashing... Less because I wish he would grow a brain and a pair of balls and write a few songs about Obama doing the same and in some ways worse things than those things for which he would bash our last lunatic and chief.

Anyway, always nice to meet a person with his head on straight, especially one of my generation. We're a strange breed... Kids who were kids in the 80s... A little too young to fear the Russians but old enough to remember what it was like not to fear the Muslims and the government (though only one of those fears is justified). All of these college aged liberty lovers (and thank God for them) have few memories of life before 2001.

God bless, bro. You're not alone in the box.

Unlearning and self-teaching since 2008. Thanks, Dr. Paul!

My fav grunge-era band

was the Gits. They were a Seattle grunge-era band. The lead singer would've been great, but she was tragically taken. It took almost a decade to find her killer.

RIP Mia Zapata! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6mQdnr6dm4&list=AL94UKMTqg-...

When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign: that the dunces are all in confederacy against him. ~J. Swift

jrd3820's picture


In all of my lack of knowledge of punk rock, I know and appreciate the gits!


“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.”
― Dr. Seuss

Sorry, but I have to chime in now!


"Grunge" was/is not a genre; rather it was a label used to promote bands from the Seattle area. Kind of like how the "indie" label is now used to describe everything that isn't Rap or Lady Gaga.

Nirvana, Pearl Jam, AIC, and Soundgarden sounded almost nothing like each other, yet they're all labelled "grunge".

LOL sorry, I guess I'm a bit of a "genre nazi" sometimes.

And yes, Nirvana and AIC were (and in AIC's case, still are) excellent bands. I *really* wish Jerry Cantrell would do another solo album, though.

Also, Eddie Vedder sounds like Cher after a stroke.

A signature used to be here!

D' accord

No argument here, though a bit harsh on Eddie. There's a richness to his voice that I love.

You're right, too, about Seattle and "grunge". STP, AIC, PJ, Soundgarden, Nirvana... Like putting U2, Van Morrison and Damien Rice in the same genre because of a common geographic provenance.

I do, however, appreciate the extent to which early 90s alt rock made you feel uncomfortable and unhappy about the status quo.

Unlearning and self-teaching since 2008. Thanks, Dr. Paul!

Accidental double post...

Smart phones can be pretty dumb sometimes.

Unlearning and self-teaching since 2008. Thanks, Dr. Paul!

TwelveOhOne's picture


Similarly, angry, reactionary posters can as well.

I love you. I'm sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you.
http://fija.org - Fully Informed Jury Association
http://jsjinc.net - Jin Shin Jyutsu (energy healing)

I love..

this speech.

'Peace is a powerful message.' Ron Paul

If you listen to the whole thing,

your love will wane. He was talking about the communist conspiracy, and he was getting around to asking his audience of journalists not to divulge US state secrets.

Ĵīɣȩ Ɖåđşŏń

"Fully half the quotations found on the internet are either mis-attributed, or outright fabrications." - Abraham Lincoln

ecorob's picture


You are either a LIAR or IGNORANT!

WTF up if you are ignorant and go STRAIGHT TO HELL if you are a LIAR, which I beleive you are.

Do you think they KILLED him because he opposed communism?

You sicken me and will someday, like the rest of these TRAITOROUS IDIOTS (kerry, bill and hillary clinton, gergen, bush, obomba, et al) be EXPOSED!

its 'cos I owe ya, my young friend...
Rockin' the FREE world in Tennessee since 1957!
9/11 Truth.

Do you ever stop acting like a drama queen?


Someone pointed out a fact and you liken them to George Bush? What mental gymnastics did you perform to come to that conclusion...or did you even bother thinking before posting such nonsense?

What, is that the ego defense mechanism you choose to employ whenever someone points out that you were wrong about something? How pathetic.

A signature used to be here!

Joη's picture

doctored speech

see also.
Here it is in full, take a listen, decide for yourself:


"You underestimate the character of man." | "So be off now, and set about it." | Up for a game?