York Town Square

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York newspaperman J.W. Gitt rejected Barry Goldwater’s ad money


Barry Goldwater, right, and his veep candidate William Miller took extreme positions that did not set well with York County voters in 1964. York countians backed Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson by a 57,366 to 32,846 vote. Goldwater’s politics didn’t set well with Gazette and Daily owner J.W. Gitt either. He refused the Republican’s advertising. The image above comes the York County Goldwater campaign’s letterhead. Background posts: A Newspaper afraid …; Newspaper’s founding date hard to pin down and McCarthy probe could not corral J.W. Gitt.

Republicans blasted J.W. Gitt, maverick owner of The Gazette and Daily, for his decision to ban advertising for Barry Goldwater in 1964.
He caught it from the same local ACLU branch that had honored him in 1956.
Some of his staff was critical.
And Mary Hamilton, author of the recently published Gitt biography “Rising from the Wilderness,” writes that the longtime newspaperman’s family thought he should accept the advertising… .

She wrote:

“Before the year 1964 ended, one of Gitt’s decisions further isolated him from his newspaper, not only from those who already disagreed with him, but also from admirers, including family members, who felt he had finally ‘gone too far with his principles.’ They questioned whether he should continue to print his front page motto: “The news all the time without fear or favor, bias or prejudice.”

Gitt never did give in.
“As he said, he couldn’t bring himself to accept money on behalf of a man whose policies were warlike,” Gazette editor Jim Higgins said in Hamilton’s book.
But, as Hamilton wrote, Goldwater got in a bit of a jab in the same Newsweek in 1965 that profiled Gitt and his Gazette. That Jan. 11 edition carried an article bearing the ironic headline “Pride of York County.”
The Gazette article came after another story in that section of Newsweek titled “Column Right,” a notice that Barry Goldwater would be writing a thrice-weekly nationally syndicated column.