I. F. Stone 2/15/10
One nice thing about having the website is the opportunity to tout heroes. I.F. Stone is a hero of mine.
I first came across him during the war in Vietnam when he was putting out I.F. Stone’s Weekly. Long before bloggers and the internet, Stone was almost single-handedly destroying the government’s case for the war in Vietnam. I.F. Stone’s Weekly was indispensable reading.
He was a newspaperman and an investigative journalist. He went his own way and dug up stories by reading everything and finding stories that no one else covered. He did this for a lifetime.
For years I have had the quote below on my bulletin board at work. Stone is worthy of a much more detailed post but I mostly wanted to share the quote which I have always enjoyed:
“It’s just wonderful to be a pariah. I really owe my success to being a pariah. It is so good not to be invited to respectable dinner parties. People used to say to me, “Izzy, why don’t you go down and see the Secretary of State and put him straight. Well, you know, you’re not supposed to see the Secretary of State. He won’t pay attention to you anyway. He’ll hold your hand, he’ll commit you morally for listening. To be a pariah is to be left alone to see things your own way, as truthfully as you can. Not because you’re brighter than anybody else is – or your own truth so valuable. But because, like a painter or a writer or an artist, all you have to contribute is the purification of your own vision, and add that to the sum total of other visions. To be regarded as nonrespectable, to be a pariah, to be an outsider, this is really the way to do it. To sit in your tub and not want anything. As soon as you want something, they’ve got you!” I.F. Stone