Our cover this month, illustrated by Paul Lachine (who illustrated our November cover, pictured in “Open Outcry,” page 11) is an homage to “Dewey Defeats Truman,” the sensationally incorrect banner headline on the front page of the first edition of the Chicago Tribune on Nov. 3, 1948. Incumbent U.S. President Harry S. Truman, who had been expected to lose to Republican challenger and Governor of New York Thomas E. Dewey in the 1948 presidential race, won the election. A delighted Truman was photographed at St. Louis Union Station holding a copy of his premature political obituary.
“The headline is a cautionary tale for journalists about the dangers of being first to break a story without being certain of its accuracy. It is also a caution about allowing editorial preference to cloud judgment; the Tribune had been strongly against Truman throughout the campaign.”
This quoted text is borrowed from deweydefeatestruman.com, a website devoted to documenting “The World’s Most Famous Newspaper Error.” We added the emphasis above — as it is apparent that (dare we say) the mainstream media failed to heed the caution of this infamous lesson.