A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry forthcoming—B.P. (4/15)
Millionaire’s Building or Power Building/Tower of Power (740 Park Avenue) (4/15)
Faketriot (fake + patriot) (4/14)
“Now he belongs to the ages” (at Abraham Lincoln’s death) (4/14)
Operation American Spring (#AmericanSpring) (4/14)
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Entry from May 17, 2010
Presstitute (press + prostitute)

"Presstitute” (press + prostitute) describes a member of the press who lets other considerations get in the way of reporting the truth. Sometimes “soft” reporting occurs because of a powerful advertiser, and sometimes the reporter is overly friendly with the subject of the reporting. Newspaper columnist Walter Winchell (1897-1972) used the term “presstitute” as early as 1941.

In the 2000s, during the U.S. presidency of Barack Obama, some critics accused the press of asking “softball” questions of the president. The word “presstitute” was probably re-invented and not remembered from Winchell’s usage many years earlier.


Urban Dictionary
presstitute
A member of the media who will alter their story and reporting based on financial interests or other ties with usually partisan individuals or groups.
Robert Novak’s latest column supporting this administration’s criminal policies show that he is nothing more than a presstitute.
by Nicholas Sasson Feb 9, 2006

Presstitute
One who “screws” the general public by intentionally sumbitting false or mis-leading information to the Press. Esp. for politicians and news folks.
Our congressperson really presstituted themselves with that interview.
or
That politician is a known presstitute.

by Tripod SRQ Oct 13, 2008

Wikipedia: Walter Winchell
Walter Winchell (April 7, 1897 – February 20, 1972) was an American newspaper and radio commentator. He invented the gossip column while at the New York Evening Graphic.

3 November 1941, Waterloo (IA) Daily Courier, “Walter Winchell on Broadway,” pg. 20, col. 1:
Suggested nick-name for newspapermen who can be bought: Presstitutes.

2 March 1943, Kingsport (TN) News, “Walter Winchell on Broadway,” pg. 5, col. 2:
Whenever heywood broun spoke against the paper’s policy, peler could be counted on to toss knives into his back. Mrs. Roosevelt’s another who thinks contrary to the paper’s ideas, gets his hired dander up, too. He’s a Presstitute.

27 September 1951, Springfield (MA) , “Walter Winchell on Broadway,” pg. 15, col. 1:
THE PRESSTITUTES—The Free Press is one of democracy’s most powerful institutions, which is not submitted as a scoop, of course.

31 October 1995, Spokane (WA) Spokesman-Review, “Let’s talk about it, Bob”:
We “presstitutes’’ have a way of sneaking in nouns and adjectives such as “ extremist,’’ “right-wing’’ and “radical’’ to slime people with whom we disagree.

New York (NY) Times
He Turned Gossip Into Tawdry Power; Walter Winchell, Who Climbed High and Fell Far, Still Scintillates
By BERNARD WEINRAUB
Published: November 18, 1998
(...)
A New York Post series about him in 1952 led him to attack the paper ferociously as the ‘’Compost,’’ the ‘’Postinko’’ and the ‘’Postitute.’’ He called the newspaper’s columnists ‘’presstitutes,’’ and his constant attacks on the newspaper’s editor, James Wechsler, were even worse.

No Sheeples Here
The Pressitutes: Obama’s Lewinsky
Thursday, July 02, 2009
President Barack Obama wanted to put a human face on his plans to overhaul health care, and a Virginia supporter did just that at a town hall meeting [campaign stop] on Wednesday. Fighting back wantonly staged tears, Debby Smith, 53, told Obama of her kidney cancer and her inability to obtain health insurance or hold a job.

Smith, or “Exhibit A” as Fearless Reader called her, is from Appalachia, VA, and a volunteer for Organizing for America, Fearless Reader’s political operation within the Democratic National Committee. She obtained her ticket through the White House.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityMedia/Newspapers/Magazines/Internet • (0) Comments • Monday, May 17, 2010 • Permalink