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ERIC Number: ED357357
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Nov
Pages: 13
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Doublespeaking "Times" of the Klan in the Twenties.
Fulcher, Jim
A teacher has found a historical study of a newspaper's doublespeak to be consistently effective when it is used in an American studies classroom as a teaching model. As the Ku Klux Klan evolved in the 1920s, so did the Pekin, Illinois, "Daily Times's" deceptive coverage of the Klan. Doublespeak in news reports and editorials was used to deceive readers; doublespeak distorted events, hid purposes, and evaded results. During the first year (1922) of the Klan's ownership of the "Daily Times," the paper used euphemism, jargon and gobbledygook to exaggerate the Klan's popularity and to mislead the community about the Klan's legitimacy and authority. In January 1924, the paper's doublespeak took a new turn. In a series of columns published on the editorial page under the banner of"Klan Komments," several Klan beliefs were announced. The paper used doublespeak in its reporting of the murder trial of D. C. Stephenson, a former Klan leader. The Klan sold the newspaper a few months after the Stephenson case. During the time the Klan owned the paper, censorship was used to omit some reports of Klan-related events. Doublespeak made the Klan's opposition to immigrants, strikes, and bootleggers look legitimate and popular. Doublespeak made the Klan leaders represent order and authority. But even doublespeak did not work in late 1925. When the Klan sold the paper in 1926, however, it still looked like a newspaper. (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Historical Materials; Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois