Journalism

  • Season 3, Ep 8
  • 10/20/2015

Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland race each other around the world, New York's newsboys go on strike, and a political cartoonist exposes a corrupt politician.

- Hello.I'm Drew Droege.

I've had half a bottleof reposado tequila,

and today we're talkingabout the newsboys' strike.

So it's the 1890s.

Also, it's New York,

and there are these kids that are rampant about the street--

these little boys that are dirty, filthy,

and they sold newspapers for a living.

And they would cry on the streets,

and they would be like,

"Extra, extra!Read all about it.

I'm a newsie."

People were like, This kid is annoying.

Fine, I'll buy a paper. It's okay.

Get out of my face.

I'm trying to enjoy my breakfast.

In 1898,the Spanish-American War

broke out, and two major publishers

named Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst

- Name drop.- I will, I'll do it.

I'll name-drop them.

Hearst and Pulitzer took advantage of this,

and so they raised the price of the newspapers

to 60 cents a bundle.

People were just buying newspapers.

They were like,I've got to find out

what's going on.

But then when the war was over,they didn't lower the price

of the newspapers, and people weren't buying

as many newspapers.

So the newsies couldn't make their money back.

And so there were a handful of newsies,

mainly led by Morris Cohen and Kid Blink.

Kid Blink has a patch over one eye,

and he looks like a man.

[both chuckle]

- This is really--

This doesn't get easier.

You think you're gonna geta taste for the flavor,

and it just getsmore and more violent.

- [laughs] - [blows raspberry]

Okay, anyway...[laughs]

They went to Hearst and to Pulitzer,

and they said,Would you lower the prices

back to 50 cents?

And they said,No, we're not gonna do that.

We're not gonnalower the price.

Okay, so that's when--

Yeah, so, when they were like--they were just like,

Strike!

Strike!

You're not gonna sell that. No, this is a revolution.

Any of the other newsies they saw with newspapers,

they would take them, and they would rip the papers up.

[imitates paper tearing]

William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer

sent men into go into the streets

to, like, try to controlthese newsies.

The newsies attacked these men.

They attacked the men. They jumped on them.

They were like,Uh-uh, no, no, no, no.

But really what--what reallydid something was

they all walked and stormed

and held up traffic on Brooklyn Bridge.

Kid Blink is giving a speech. He's saying...

Friends and coworkers,

we got to stick togetherlike glue.

We--This is a time--

this is somethingwe need to do.

Even if you're blind.

You have to do this.

Police drove up,and they were like...

[imitates engine whirring]

That's the exact noisethat the police car made.

- [imitating engine whirring]

- Oh, wait.- There you go.

[both imitating engine whirring]

So the cops were like,You're going to jail.

[militaristic music]

And these kids were like,What are we gonna do now?

Like, we have nothing.

And then...

Kid Blink shows up.

Bl-ow. Wow.

And he is dressed to the nines,

and he has a wad of cash.

And he's like,Hey, it's not that bad,

like, we should probably stopdoing what we're doing.

We should--you know,we should respect the rules.

We should go backto our lives.

All is good.

So the beret--No, wait.

Uh, Morris Cohen was like,I get it.

You've been bought out.

They bought you out.

Like, look at you.

And so they kicked Kid Blink out of the club.

It was like,You are not cool.

You're a scaband an asshole.

And then Morris Cohen took over and said,

We're not gonnago down like that.

We're not gonnaget bought out.

We're gonna do this.

And so they were growing in numbers.

More and more kids were joining the newsboys' strike.

And it spreadto, like, 14 different cities.

And people weren't able to buy newspapers.

So finally these bigwig men were like,

We got to meetwith these kids.

So then--so then they finally met with Morris Cohen.

Sat down and said,Hey, what do you want?

And the kids were like,You have to lower

the price of the newspapers.

And they said,We're not gonna do that.

And they said,Okay, well, then you

at least need tobuy back the papers

that we don't sell.

And they said,Okay, we'll do that.

And the kids were like,Hoorah!

You know,you can't mess with us.

We have figured it out.Da-da-da-daa!

We win.

It was a wonderful,wonderful time.

Wonderful day.

The newsies united and created change.

Yay, kids.

You haven't seenthe movie "Newsies"?

There's a lot of dancing.

- How would youmake "Newsies"?

- I would-- - Who would you cast?

- Oh, God,who would I--Oh.

I would cast--Oh, my God, One Direction.

- I can't believeI'm doing shots.

- Trust me, I'm not a shots guy.

- [laughs] - Um...

- So...- This is a really bad game

that I'm gonna pitch.- Let's hear it.

- Well, we're doinga racing story.

- Oh, so we have to race?

- Okay, I like this.- I'm just--

both: Three, two, one,we rarely do shots!

- Aah!- [laughs]

- Hello. Today we're gonna talkabout Nellie Bly

and Elizabeth Bislandand the race round the globe.

[laughs]What a race.

So Nellie Bly is the "fost"--the "fost" famous.

[laughs]- She's the "fost" famous.

- She's the--the "fost mamous"--

She's the most famousfemale journalist of her day.

And she's reading Jules Verne.

She's like,80 days around the world,

well, I wonderif I could do that.

So she goes to her editors, and she says...

Not only did Jules Vernewrite a decent book,

but also I thinkI can beat the time

of 80 daysaround the world,

and you should payfor it.

And her editor's like,All right, gal.

You're a gal.And women--they can't travel

by themselves.

Can you imaginehow much stuff

you're gonnahave to bring

like curling ironsor a lot of trunks of stuff?

She says,Listen, editor.

If you don't putthis story out,

I'm gonna go toa competing paper.

So then the editor's like,Okay, well,

if you put it that way,you're leaving, like, tomorrow

or really soonor something like that.

And there is a gentleman, and he's saying to himself,

Well, look at this newspaper.

It says that Nellie Blyis gonna go around the world.

Well, I own"Cosmopolitan" magazine,

and we're justa little baby magazine.

We've only been aroundfor three years.

So, like, what if we also senta journalist,

and then she wentaround the world?

And it was definitely "she,"because, like, fairness.

He thinksof Elizabeth Bisland.

She's their literary editor.

So she's mostly known for literary salon

and just kind of generally being hot.

He says, Would you like to goaround the world?

You have to leave tonight?

And she's like,

Well, if my editor wants meto do it, I'll go.

And so, six hours aftereven learning of this idea,

Elizabeth Bislandstarts heading west.

Nellie Bly's already on a ship,

so she has no idea this is happening.

She thinks she's racing a fictional character.

Well, it turns out she's racing a real woman,

and they're going in opposite directions.