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Ode to TMZ

Gutter journalism on SeacoastNH.comNH POETRY

To tell the truth, this poem was written 100 years ago by NH-born poet Sam Walter Foss. It was originally an attack on muckraking yellow journalists of his era. We think the poem applies nicely to the fascinating rise of garbage reporting on American celebrities fueled by paparazzi photos Like any traffic accident, it’s hard to look away from this sludge journalism.



By Sam Walter Foss
Published 1907
Reprinted by

MORE poetry here

Ply your muck-rakes, thrust them in
To the fetid bogs of sin;
Lift them dripping with the slime
Of the cesspools of our time;
Search through every social sewer,
Search for all that’s most impure,
Hunt for every deed of shame
And for deeds without a name;
Let the eager public see
All our moral leprosy.
For it is our daily stint
The unprintable to print;
‘Tis the glory of our clique
The unspeakable to speak.
Run we through our printing-press
Myriad miles of nastiness;
Smear with slime it’s league-long rolls –
Food, my masters; food for souls.

Pour we through our printing-press
Tons of moral putridness;
Let it thru the land be spread,
Let the people all be fed.
Ply your muck-rakes with all haste,
Lest some filth shall run to wastes;
Rake out every carrion shape,
Let no noisome thing escape;
Heave it from your sewers vast,
We will scatter it broadcast.
This is stuff supremely good
For our hungry children’s food.
Let the printing press be whirled
Smear this sewage o’er the world;
Let not your supply grow less,
Dump it through our printing-press;
Smear again its league-long rolls –
Food, my masters; Food for souls.

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