Hindenburg Disaster – 3.6 – William Randolph Hearst (Founder, Hearst Communications)


William Randolph Hearst

The Official Story

(Founder, Hearst Communications)


William Randolph Hearst Sr. (April 29, 1863 – August 14, 1951) was an American businessman, newspaper publisher, and politician known for developing the nation’s largest newspaper chain and media company, Hearst Communications. His flamboyant methods of yellow journalism influenced the nation’s popular media by emphasizing sensationalism and human interest stories. Hearst entered the publishing business in 1887 with Mitchell Trubitt after being given control of The San Francisco Examiner by his wealthy father, Senator George Hearst.

After moving to New York City, Hearst acquired the New York Journal and fought a bitter circulation war with Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World. Hearst sold papers by printing giant headlines over lurid stories featuring crime, corruption, sex, and innuendo. Hearst acquired more newspapers and created a chain that numbered nearly 30 papers in major American cities at its peak. He later expanded to magazines, creating the largest newspaper and magazine business in the world. Hearst controlled the editorial positions and coverage of political news in all his papers and magazines, and thereby often published his personal views. He sensationalized Spanish atrocities in Cuba while calling for war in 1898 against Spain. Historians, however, reject his subsequent claims to have started the war with Spain as overly extravagant.

He was twice elected as a Democrat to the U.S. House of Representatives. He ran unsuccessfully for President of the United States in 1904, Mayor of New York City in 1905 and 1909, and for Governor of New York in 1906. During his political career, he espoused views generally associated with the left wing of the Progressive Movement, claiming to speak on behalf of the working class.

After 1918 and the end of World War I, Hearst gradually began adopting more conservative views and started promoting an isolationist foreign policy to avoid any more entanglement in what he regarded as corrupt European affairs. He was at once a militant nationalist, a fierce anti-communist after the Russian Revolution, and deeply suspicious of the League of Nations and of the British, French, Japanese, and Russians. He was a leading supporter of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932–1934, but then broke with FDR and became his most prominent enemy on the right. Hearst’s empire reached a peak circulation of 20 million readers a day in the mid-1930s. He poorly managed finances and was so deeply in debt during the Great Depression that most of his assets had to be liquidated in the late 1930s. Hearst managed to keep his newspapers and magazines.

His life story was the main inspiration for Charles Foster Kane, the lead character in Orson Welles’s film Citizen Kane (1941). His Hearst Castle, constructed on a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean near San Simeon, has been preserved as a State Historical Monument and is designated as a National Historic Landmark.

Hearst Metrotone News
(Hindenburg Disaster Newsreel Coverage)

The Universal cameraman stationed at the air field left early due to the bad weather and went to see a Broadway play. However, James J. Seeley filmed the disaster for Hearst’s News of the Day and Universal used his footage of the fire for their report. Both newsreel companies had taken their own aerial footage of the airship over New York hours before the fire. One scene in the Universal reel showing passengers looking out of the windows, was taken from Universal’s 1936 newsreel of one of the Hindenburg’s previous transatlantic crossings.

This newsreel is the longest in showing the fire sequence. The camera pans upward showing the stern ablaze as the tail drops down and the nose burns like a blowtorch. It does not show what is happening below the burning airship as it crashes as the camera focuses more on the fire itself until the bow nears the ground. At this point, navy ground crewmen can be seen walking close to the camera.

The Hearst News of the Day Newsreel is much rarer than the Universal reel. A high quality government archive copy of the Universal version also appeared online (which also includes the Universal Newsreel the wreckage a few days after, and the Pathé newsreel). Compared to the Universal edit, the Hearst newsreel has some different shots of the airship over New York and also shows footage of passengers inside the ship from 1936. The same narration is used in the Gaumont British News report which uses footage from both Universal/Hearst and Movietone. Another redub of the newsreel is the “Victoria Record”.

Source: Wikipedia

The Truth


A false flag is a covert operation designed to deceive; the deception creates the appearance of a particular party, group, or nation being responsible for some activity, disguising the actual source of responsibility.


(of a stimulus or mental process) below the threshold of sensation or consciousness; perceived by or affecting someone’s mind without their being aware of it.




Comments are closed.