Perspectives; Walter Lippmann

Walter Lippmann (1889 –1974) was an American writer, reporter, and political commentator famous for being among the first to introduce the concept of Cold War, coining the term “stereotype” in the modern psychological meaning, and critiquing media and democracy in his newspaper column and several books, most notably his 1922 book Public Opinion .

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“When all think alike, no one thinks very much”

“If we cannot fully understand the acts of other people, until we know what they think they know, then in order to do justice we have to appraise not only the information which has been at their disposal, but the minds though which they have filtered it.”

“Men command fewer words than they have ideas to express, and language, as Jean Paul said, is a dictionary of faded metaphors.”

“It is often very illuminating…to ask yourself how you got at the facts on which you base your opinion. Who actually saw, heard, felt, counted, named the thing, about which you have an opinion?”

“Almost no two experiences are exactly alike, not even of two children in the same household. The older son never does have the experience of being the younger. And therefore, until we are able to discount the difference in nurture, we must withhold judgment about differences of nature. As well as judge the productivity of two soils by comparing their yield before you know which is in Labrador and which in Iowa."

“Thus the essence of freedom of opinion is not in mere toleration as such, but in the debate which toleration provides: it is not in the venting of opinion, but in the confrontation of opinion.”

“His supporters will push him to disaster unless his opponents show where the dangers are.”

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