Henry Louis Mencken Quotes

They have taken the care and upbringing of children out of the hands of parents, where it belongs, and thrown it upon a gang of irresponsible and unintelligent quacks.

The cynics are right nine times out of ten.

There is a bird that knows no closed season – and if he won’t come down to Texas oil stock, or one-night cancer cures, or building lots in Swampshurst, he will always come down to Inspiration and Optimism, whether political, theological, pedagogical, literary, or economic.

The impulse to create beauty is rather rare in literary men. Far ahead of it comes the yearning to make money, and after the yearning to make money comes the yearning to make a noise.

No, I never got a scoop in my life. They were the things that were esteemed in those days. They never seemed to me to have any sense: most scoops were bad stories, and they were always exaggerated and played up in an idiot manner.

A newspaper is a device for making the ignorant more ignorant and the crazy crazier.

I graduated the Polytechnic very early – I was only fifteen – and never went to school since, thank God. Most men that escape college have a regret that pursues them, but I must confess I’m much too vain to have any such regret. I think that what I was doing when the boys of […]

The volume of mail that comes in to a magazine or a newspaper or a radio station is no index of anything, except that you happen to attract a lot of idiots, because most people that write letters to newspapers are fools. Intelligent people seldom do it – they do it sometimes, but not often. […]

All successful newspapers are ceaselessly querulous and bellicose. They never defend anyone or anything if they can help it; if the job is forced upon them, they tackle it by denouncing someone or something else.

The average newspaper, especially of the better sort, has the intelligence of a hillbilly evangelist, the courage of a rat, the fairness of a prohibitionist boob-jumper, the information of a high-school janitor, the taste of a designer of celluloid valentines, and the honor of a police-station lawyer.