Sunday 23rd of January 2022

the immigrants, a fox and a duce...


You can trace the name Fox in the news industry back through various corporate iterations until you get to the Fox News Service, part of Fox Film, which merged with Twentieth Century Pictures in 1935 to form 20th Century Fox. Fox News Service was in the newsreel business, as Fox News today is in the cable news business. And in 1927, it had a problem.

"The Fox News Service," Donald Crafton wrote in his book "The Talkies," "was far behind the leader, [film studio] Pathé. [Company Vice President Winfield] Sheehan saw immediately that adding sound" — itself a new technology — "would give his company's product a singular advantage, since the only other studio with sound capabilities, Warners, had no newsreel." He dispatched camera and sound crews around the world to film newsworthy events. "Fox News officials," Crafton wrote, "saw that a transformation in the newsreel was about to take place." The company created a new tagline: "Fox Movietone News: It speaks for itself."


As the number of Italians coming to the United States increased, so did tensions with those already here. In 1920, The Washington Post editorialized for new constraints on immigration from Southern Europe, saying that "the alien scum from the cesspools and sewers of the Old World has polluted the clear spring of American democracy."

This was the era during which the prime minister Italy appeared in one of the first sight-and-sound newsreels in history, screening just before the F.W. Murnau film "Sunrise."

This was that statement.