The old saw says, "Let sleeping dogs lie." Right. Still when there
is much at stake it is better to get a newspaper to do it.
- Following the Equator
...news is history in its first and best form, its vivid and fascinating form, and...history is the pale and tranquil reflection of it.
- Mark Twain's Autobiography
It has become a sarcastic proverb that a thing must be true if you saw it in a newspaper. That is the opinion intelligent people have of that lying vehicle in a nutshell. But the trouble is that the stupid people -- who constitute the grand overwhelming majority of this and all other nations -- do believe and are moulded and convinced by what they get out of a newspaper, and there is where the harm lies.
- "License of the Press," speech, 31 March 1873
Unassailable certainty is the thing that gives a newspaper the firmest and most valuable reputation.
- Roughing It
Our papers have one peculiarity -- it is American -- their irreverence . . They are irreverent toward pretty much everything, but where they laugh one good king to death, they laugh a thousand cruel and infamous shams and superstitions into the grave, and the account is squared. Irreverence is the champion of liberty and its only sure defense.
- Mark Twain's Notebook