Tisdale’s Topics:Men among men

Reprint: August 31-September 6, 2000

Edward J. Meeman, the late great editor-publisher of the now defunct Memphis Press-Scimitar, had as his editorial page slogan, “This is true liberty when free men speak freely.”Meeman developed a stable of reporters who reflected Meeman’s own love for truth and justice. Among these reporters was Clark Porteus, whose book, South Winds Blow, reflected Mississippi’s penchant for lynching black men accused of dating white women. Porteus’s story detailed a gory lynching in Marshall County near Holly Springs.Meanwhile, Porteus’ friend Hodding Carter Sr., publisher of Greenville’s Delta Democrat Times, also penned a book about racial intermingling, political corruption and official vice which also became a best seller, Winds of Fear.Both Carter and Porteus represented a style of journalism that bespoke truth and fearlessness. Today, journalism has sunk to a new low in terms of its manipulation of the news for the benefit of the almighty dollar!An editor of the local daily Clarion Ledger admitted that he was told that I had firebombed my own office by an official of the FBI. He also admitted that he spread that calumny among other news sources.That act was criminal in both its intent and practice!Newspapers and their writers enjoy a constitutionally guaranteed right to free speech ensured by this nation’s founding documents.However, in recent years, economic, political and physical impediments have been placed in the way of organs of protest, such as minority owned publicans.