Record #1310

Record Type:
Arthur James
William D. Manning, Episcopal Bishop of New York
Reel 7
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Magazine - The Churchman

The Churchman attacks Hays and the industry in its editorials. They fight back through the motion picture magazines, enlisting support from Mrs. Chapman of the Daughters of the American Revolution.The Churchman has printed a number of damning editorials (included) about Hays, the MPPDA, and the industry in general. Mrs Newton Chapman of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) writes a form letter deploring the attacks, and this is sent to 221 editors of religious newspapers. William D. Manning, the Episcopal Bishop of New York also dissociates himself from the attacks. The motion picture magazines fight back in their editorial columns. Included here is the editorial, correspondence concerning the attack and a retraction from "The Churchman". Effects of motion pictures.


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Long Description:

Material on The Churchman editorials -- letter, 09 July 1929, from Arthur James, editor Exhibitor's Daily Review, to Bishop Manning of New York, enquiring as to the official status of The Churchman: "I notice, with profound regret, a flippant series of attacks on Will H. Hays, on former Gov. Milliken, and on the Hays organization generally, as responsible for the 'degrading influence of the movies in this country.' The Churchman in this attack lines up squarely alongside Atheistic writers and is utterly wrong in its statements of fact. ... It is a very serious matter when a pathological subject like Canon Chase drags the ecclesiastical robes in the mire perpetually and permitted [sic] to go unrebuked by the Church itself, but it is still more serious when a paper of the antiquity of The Churchman lends itself to the spreading of misinformation and taking a stand which is fully misguided and mistaken." -- he sent a copy to Pettijohn -- and 13 July 1929 published an editorial, 'Nosing in the Swill', denouncing the attacks. "This thoroughly revolting exposition of what is the matter with the church press has been mimeographed and broadcast to the secular press of the country. Someone who, by every slimy insinuation and direct lie possible to his imagination, has sought to destroy the good name of two constructive and earnest gentlemen, of a whole industry and of two Protestant denominations, has had the audacity to distribute as a circulation 'publicity gag' the evidence of his own indubitable moral odoriferousness." He published a reply by Manning saying The Churchman had no official connection with the Episcopal Church 20 July 1929. There is also a presumably widely circulated letter from Mrs. Newton D. Chapman, who works with one of the preview groups, to 271 editors of religious newspapers, denying The Churchman's accusation about a non-existent film called Kongo and claiming that they also misrepresent the facts over West of the Water Tower, which happened before the formula, and where Hays managed to have the illegitimacy of one of the characters, a vital part of the book story, removed.

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