“You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war.” – William Randolph Hearst, January 25, 1898

By Ian C. Friedman - Last updated: Monday, January 25, 2010 - Save & Share - 32 Comments

112 years ago today, an powerful theme of 20th century American history–the influence of mass media–found expression a few years before the new century would begin.

The story centers on William Randolph Hearst, the son of a U.S. senator from California who had made a fortune in the mid-1800s mining industry.  Hearst developed a passion for journalism and wrote for the Harvard Lampoon while a college student before working as an apprentice for New York World editor Joseph Pulitzer.

Hearst returned to California in 1887 at the age of 24 and , with the aid of his father’s wealth, became the owner and operator of the San Francisco Examiner, imitating the flashy, sensationalistic style of Pulitzer.  In 1895, Hearst returned east, purchasing and running the New York Journal.  This put him in direct competition with his former mentor and accelerated the intensely competitive environment of newspaper publishing in New York City.

As Hearst sought to gain readership for his New York Journal against Pulitzer’s New York World, he pursued increasingly sensational stories.  Front pages shouted about the boy who bit into a stick of dynamite thinking it was candy and leading to an “awful death” and a tale of a deranged girl running down a street with her hair “all ablaze”, and other stories of violence, sex, catastrophe, and mayhem  were typical of what became known as “yellow journalism”, so named because the newly-introduced colored comics sections often spread a yellow smeared to other parts of these newspapers.

But Hearst found that these sensational stories–as successful as they were in attracting readers–lacked the benefit of carrying on from day to day and week to week.  In search of such a story, Hearst grasped onto the Cuban revolt against Spain in 1895.  His paper regularly published stories sympathetic to the still sparse revolutionary cause and describing in great detail real and rumored atrocities of the Spanish.  Hearst hoped to spark U.S. intervention in Cuba and was persistent in finding ways to achieve it, including organizing a daring and successful rescue mission to free a young, female Cuban political prisoner, Evangelina Cisneros, which he proudly trumpeted on the front page of the Journal.

Though the Cuban insurrection against their Spanish rulers was stagnating, Hearst continued to send many of his high-profile writers and illustrators to the Cuba in hopes of capturing a great story.  Among Hearst’s employees was the famed illustrator Frederic Remington.  In 1897, Remington became very bored by the lack of anything newsworthy in Cuba and cabled to Hearst, “Everything quiet.  There is no trouble here.  There will be no war.  Wish to return.”  In response to Remington’s message, Hearst reportedly replied, “Please remain.  You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war.”

Less than three weeks later, the American ship USS Maine exploded in Havana Harbor.  The cause of the explosion that claimed 274 lives remains a mystery.  Theories for its destruction include that the ship detonated an external mine, that it was caused by an undetected internal coal fire, that it was attacked by the Spanish, and even that it was intentionally attacked by American forces eager to have the United States enter a war with Spain.

Whatever its true cause, Hearst determined that the sinking of the Maine was the result of Spanish treachery and his paper vigorously published stories that helped create and foster the American sentiment reflected in the popular phrase, “Remember the Maine, to Hell with Spain!”  Within three months, the United States was at war with Spain in what became known as the Spanish-American War.  Though it was only one of the factors–and an often overemphasized factor–that led the U.S. into war with Spain, the effect of Hearst’s newspaper on shaping American support for war was enormously significant.  It also signified the growing influence of mass media, which had never before proven to be as immediate and far-reaching.

Within four months, the United States defeated Spain, becoming a truly global power while simultaneously marking an end to Spanish imperialism.  Hearst would continue solidifying his status as a media mogul, eventually becoming the leading newspaper and magazine publisher in the world.  He served two terms as a Democrat in the U.S. Congress, was partial inspiration for the character Kane in Orson Welles’s legendary film “Citizen Kane”, and lived for most of his later years at the extravagant, 90,000 square foot Hearst Castle in San Simeon, California.

Hearst died on August 14, 1951 in Beverly Hills, California, just less than a quarter century before his grandaugher, Patty Hearst, was the focus of the the kind of sensational news story his old New York Journal would have devoured.

Bookmark and Share
Posted in Uncategorized • • Top Of Page

32 Responses to ““You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war.” – William Randolph Hearst, January 25, 1898”

Pingback from Scavenger Hunt | Carlos Bradley
Time February 3, 2013 at 8:12 pm

[…] William Randolph Hearst […]

Comment from hosting
Time May 16, 2013 at 7:34 am

Great function! This is the type of info that ought to be shared around the internet. Shame on Google for not positioning this publish greater! Come on more than and go to my site . Thanks =)

Comment from ทำความดี
Time September 4, 2013 at 4:36 pm

Thanks for every other informative site.
Where else may I get that kind of information written in such a perfect means?

I have a undertaking that I’m just now running on, and I have been on the glance out for such information.

Comment from Darnesha
Time February 17, 2014 at 3:41 pm

what exactly does he mean by that quote?

Comment from Michael
Time June 25, 2014 at 11:35 pm

They were asked to pay for new homes provide are three-fold.

Consumers need to be in charge of performing regular servicing and lateral services.
We do a proper procedure that provides for reimbursement of wages and 1099
work statuses.

Comment from Eurasian hair
Time September 26, 2014 at 3:45 am

Awesome issues here. I’m very glad to peer your
post. Thank you so much and I’m looking ahead to contact you.
Will you kindly drop me a e-mail?

Comment from Phen 375
Time October 10, 2014 at 9:23 am

Hello, its nice post concerning media print, we all be familiar
with media is a enormous source of data.

Pingback from Goodbye Google! | livingstingy
Time October 18, 2014 at 9:30 am

[…] made to believe most outlandish things.  William Randolph Hearst is alleged to have said, “You furnish the pictures, I’ll furnish the war” – with regard to the Spanish-American war.   The point of the alleged quote is that […]

Comment from Gym membership prices
Time November 30, 2014 at 10:34 am

Offer them gentle snacks before journey similar to crackers and water.
They are able to offer discounts because they get a deal from the airlines,
cruise companies, restaurants, amusements parks, etc.

Water will also avoid unsettling your stomach, but carbonated
drinks and acidic drinks like juices will upset the balance.

Comment from google.com news
Time April 1, 2015 at 2:16 pm

Very good information. Lucky me I discovered your blog by chance (stumbleupon).
I have book-marked it for later!

Comment from atheistbikers.org
Time April 15, 2015 at 9:39 am

Good blog you have here.. It’s hard to find good quality
writing like yours these days. I truly appreciate individuals like
you! Take care!!

Pingback from This Upcoming Week in US and World History: April 18-24 | Xpatnation
Time April 18, 2016 at 8:29 am

[…] war; his Roughriders got headlines that would help him become president. Third, newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst proved the power of the press, and of the depths “yellow journalism” would go to, by keeping […]

Comment from Stanton
Time July 16, 2016 at 12:22 pm

Thanks on your marvelous posting! I certainly enjoyed reading it, you
may be a great author.I will be sure to bookmark your blog and will eventually come back someday.
I want to encourage continue your great writing, have a nice afternoon!

Pingback from Our Media-Driven Epistemological BreakdownWestern Free Press | Western Free Press
Time August 18, 2016 at 8:25 am

[…] and broadsheets into modern newspapers, whose agenda-setting influence goaded America to “Remember the Maine” and become an imperialist […]

Pingback from Our Media-Driven Epistemological Breakdown | Drawnlines Politics
Time August 19, 2016 at 12:50 pm

[…] and broadsheets into modern newspapers, whose agenda-setting influence goaded America to “Remember the Maine” and become an imperialist […]

Pingback from How do we know what we know? | Satu Insan – Malaysia
Time August 19, 2016 at 1:03 pm

[…] pamphlets and broadsheets into modern newspapers, whose agenda-setting influence goaded America to “Remember the Maine” and become an imperialist […]

Pingback from Bibliography: – Yellow Journalism & People's Champions
Time October 11, 2016 at 3:30 pm

[…] http://www.iancfriedman.com/?p=29 […]

Pingback from Bibliography – Yellow Journalism & People's Champions
Time October 16, 2016 at 5:26 pm

[…] http://www.iancfriedman.com/?p=29 […]

Pingback from “You furnish the pictures I’ll furnish the war” – Yellow Journalism & People's Champions
Time October 19, 2016 at 4:59 pm

[…] Source: http://www.iancfriedman.com/?p=29 […]

Comment from adam murphy
Time November 4, 2016 at 8:55 pm

My children were looking for IRS 1099-MISC earlier today and saw an online platform with an online forms database . If others are interested in IRS 1099-MISC too , here’s https://goo.gl/FF5zWD.

Pingback from William Randolph Hearst, la pluma sensacionalista del siglo XIX | Revista Magna
Time January 10, 2017 at 9:23 pm

[…] “You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war”. – William Randolph Hearst, January … de Ian C. Friedman en […]

Comment from ca101
Time February 27, 2017 at 6:29 pm

おはよう!実は私は最近悩みがあります。増えているのです。ですからもちろんかつらなどで対策を行ってきました。でもね本当に禿には、なかなか効果が反映されないです。これまでポリピュアEXなどの育毛剤や育毛サプリを使ってきました。少しは効果はあったんだけどね。このままだと、もっと薄毛が進行してしまい、時期にツルツルのテカテカになってしまうでしょう。そんな重い将来は迎えたくないです。そのため、もう育毛シャンプーだけでは止まらないでしょう。ですから決めました。うちは植毛をします!植毛といっても人口植毛ではなく、僕の髪の毛で行う自毛植毛です。いろんなサイトを見て評判のよさそうな、アイランドタワークリニックか紀尾井町クリニックとかがいいかなと思いました。とくに決め手は人気の高さですね。やはり安心感は大切ですからね。1番はアイランドタワークリニックかな。まずは料金のことが心配ですので、相談を受けてみてから、本当に自毛植毛をやってみたいです。植毛の口コミを見てみると、植毛後はイクオス(IQOS)などの育毛剤や育毛サプリを使っていくみたいです。

Pingback from Abandonad la esperanza a todos vosotros que entréis aquí – La Divina Comedia de Dante (Parte I)
Time April 23, 2017 at 7:00 pm

[…] al ilustrador que había enviado a Cuba que no había encontrado una guerra para ilustrar; “Ustedes suministran los cuadros y proveeré la guerra”. Hearst finalmente consiguió su guerra y el experimento americano en el imperialismo estaba […]

Pingback from Invisible History Blog » Blog Archive » American Neocon Imperialism Leads the World Into Dante’s Vision of Hell
Time April 25, 2017 at 11:42 am

[…] in 1897, William Randolph Hearst admonished the illustrator he’d sent to Cuba who’d found no war to illustrate: “You furnish the pictures, and I’ll furnish the war.” Hearst eventually got his war, and […]

Comment from electoral college update
Time April 26, 2017 at 12:23 pm

WOW! I actually started out writing about
this as well and now I realize that many of the problems protected
here coincide as to what I’ve published. Nevertheless you have received right
here the freshest facts. https://goo.gl/m4ImMy

Pingback from ~Takeover of the USA ~ – Today,s Thought
Time May 10, 2017 at 4:42 am

[…] Hearst admonished the illustrator he’d sent to Cuba who’d found no war to illustrate; “You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war.” Hearst eventually got his war and America’s experiment in imperialism was off and […]

Pingback from The history of the Neocon takeover of the USA (a 4 part analysis) – The Falling Darkness
Time May 10, 2017 at 11:21 am

[…] Randolph Hearst admonished the illustrator he’d sent to Cuba who’d found no war to illustrate; “You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war.” Hearst eventually got his war and America’s experiment in imperialism was off and […]

Pingback from What “is” the Neocon con – TEEVisions – Realpolitik
Time May 10, 2017 at 7:45 pm

[…] Randolph Hearst admonished the illustrator he’d sent to Cuba who’d found no war to illustrate; “You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war.” Hearst eventually got his war and America’s experiment in imperialism was off and […]

Pingback from Universal Empire (Part One of Four) | Bill Totten's Weblog
Time May 14, 2017 at 7:02 am

[…] {9} http://www.iancfriedman.com/?p=29 […]

Pingback from The Universal Empire (Part One of Four) | TRUTH TIME
Time May 25, 2017 at 6:19 am

[…] {9} http://www.iancfriedman.com/?p=29 […]

Pingback from La storia della conquista degli USA da parte dei Neocon – Guard for AngelsGuard for Angels
Time June 1, 2017 at 3:17 am

[…] della cosiddetta “stampa gialla” [stampa scandalistica], nel 1897 William Randolph Hearst rimproverò [in inglese] l’illustratore che aveva inviato a Cuba e che non aveva trovato nessuna guerra da […]

Comment from BlondellX
Time June 22, 2017 at 5:06 am

I must say you have hi quality posts here. Your posts should go viral.
You need initial traffic only. How to get massive traffic?
Search for; Murgrabia’s tools go viral

Write a comment