Friday, November 7, 2008

`Time' Magazine's `March of Time' Link In Great Depression--Part 2

[Note: It was recently revealed that the Time-Warner Media Monopoly’s Time Inc. magazine subsidiary is expected to soon lay off 600 of its employees, representing more than 6 percent of its work force]

Between 1935 and 1951, 205 March of Time newsreels were produced by Time Inc.’s film subsidiary. During The March of Time’s initial two years of film production, former Time Inc. Vice-Chairman Roy Larsen devoted himself wholly to the film production company and within “a year after its founding The March of Time was playing in more than 5,000 theaters in the U.S. and 709 in Great Britain, and its international monthly audience was estimated at 15 million,” according to Time Inc.: The Intimate History Of A Publishing Enterprise 1923-1941.

Anti-Establishment writers were not too pleased with the political content of The March of Time films during the 1930s. In March 1936, for example, The American Spectator published an article by Hy Kravif, titled “Behind The Scenes of March of Time.” Kravif observed that in the 1930s Time Inc.’s directors included J.P. Morgan & Company publicity man Martin Egan and the president of New York Trust Company (“a bank with Morgan and Standard Oil interests”), Artemus Gates. Also sitting next to Henry Luce and Roy Larsen on the Time Inc. corporate board in 1936 were Brady Securities & Realty Company President William Griffin—who also was a director of 20 other corporations—and Empire City Savings Bank Trustee Samuel Meek, Jr.. The American Spectator also noted that The March of Time radio show was sponsored by Remington Rand—whose director, Henry J. Fuller, was a partner with a Time Inc. director named Crowell Hadden III, in the early 1930s.

The American Spectator claimed that “March of Time broadcasts of recent years show that its pretended accuracy often conflicts sharply with the facts and reveals a Big Business bias.” Kravif defined Time Inc. in the 1930s as “a sort of triple propaganda threat what with (1) its movie and (2) radio versions and (3) Time magazine and Fortune, the latter having a circulation of nearly 100,000 with its $1-a-month price for glorifying Big Business.” American Spectator also warned that “Lest Time’s propaganda on three fronts be underrated, let me point out that the film is now shown regularly in hundreds of movie houses from coast-to-coast” and “to publicize its movie, March of Time reaches out to the classroom with its monthly Photo Reporter for students and a “Teacher’s Manual For Class Study of the Monthly News Magazine of the Screen, ‘The March of Time,” which boasted that “300 schools and colleges throughout the country use Time magazine as a text on current events.”

In the September 3, 1935 issue of the anti-Establishment magazine, New Masses, Peter Ellis was also critical of March of Time, following its August 16, 1935 release of the “Croix de Feu” newsreel which, he charged “was the signal for The March of Time to unfurl their true flag: the swastika.” According to the left-wing New Masses writer, “the political status of The March of Time” was “no longer a matter of speculation” but was now “open and brazen fascism.”

( Downtown 1/29/92)

Next: `Time’ Magazine’s `March of Time’ Link In Great Depression—Part 3