Before BuzzFeed and Gawker There Was Walter Winchell

Intrusiveness is the nature of journalism; it is its sharpest and most necessary instrument and it is also its most agonizing responsibility for journalists who choose to accept any responsibility at all. Intrusiveness is journalism’s power and its curse. Only taste and a sincere respect for accuracy can govern the power and remove the curse. Journalism is as complicated and as difficult as that. Winchell has no taste and he has no sincere respect for accuracy.

—From a six-part profile, by St. Clair McKelway, of columnist Walter Winchell that ran in the New Yorker from June 15 through July 26, 1940.

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