THE NEW YORK GRAPHIC: The World's Zaniest Newspaper by Lester Cohen

THE NEW YORK GRAPHIC: The World's Zaniest Newspaper

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For fornication and against vaccination"" epitomized the policy of the Graphic. The paper was founded by the body building magazine magnate Bernarr Macfadden during the delirium stages of his Presidential fever in 1924. It magnified his klaxon coo to the heedless voters and pressed his crusades for the ""body beautiful"" and against doctors (""puss peddlers""). ""Three elements, I believe, made the Graphic -- and sent it zooming...its staff, particularly Walter Winchell; contests...; and the Composograph"". This last was a startlingly real looking come-on picture faked up from a hodge-podge of bits and pieces. Unfortunately, hodge-podge is the operative word for author Cohen's approach to this recollected history. He thumbs the pages of the old paper, strings out through quoted headlines and excerpted stories and news of the day, and buries his best material in between the rehashes of Daddy and Peaches Browning, Jimmy Walker under investigation and the second Halls-Mills trial. This makes irretrievable, quotable, gossipy low-down on the staff which included the soon to be famous Winchell hustling to make Broadway's sweepings his own; Ed Sullivan brooding on the sports desk; and his own hand in starting the country on a crossword puzzle craze. Fulton Oursler, Macfadden's ""Svengali"" in the venture, comes off worst. A Depression casualty in 1934, the Graphic lives up to the book's subtitle.

Publisher: Chilton