J. Jonah Jameson and the Daily Bugle Reflect many Media Outlets in the World

April 17, 2002

By Avi Green

If youíre an experienced Spider-Man and, come to think of it, Marvel comics reader, youíll know that J. Jonah Jameson and the Daily Bugle are probably even worse enemies of the wall-crawler as well as many other members of the Marvel superhero community, than any of the supervillains put together. Always trying to pin it on poor olí Spidey, and always trying to pin it on even the X-Men and the Fantastic Four as well.

Well, dear readers, you know what thatís meant to do? Itís meant to reflect how many media outlets throughout the world operate! From the New York Times to CNN, the late Westbrook Pegler to Victor Navasky, J. Jonah Jameson and the Daily Bugle are the ultimate example of how many biased and dishonest news companies work.

J. Jonah Jameson and his Ministry of Truth, the Daily Bugle, through which he works day and night to defame Spider-Man and plenty of other members of the Marvel superhero community, first made their appearance way back in Amazing Spider-Man #1 Vol. 1 in 1963. During that time, Peter Parker, aka the Amazing Spider-Man, was trying to earn a living by doing spider-stunts on a TV entertainment program. But when Jameson reared his ugly head, all performances were called off, and Spidey soon found himself a man scorned by the public.

But the worst was yet to come. J. Jonah Jamesonís son John was a popular astronaut who was taking off on an orbital flight. But due to a malfunctioning craft, he soon found himself sailing out of control round and round the United States. But Spidey came to the rescue, and boldly boarded a USAF jet plane and went in pursuit of the malfunctioning space vessel, jumped on top of it and succeeded in repairing the wires connecting the vesselís flight controls, enabling John Jameson to land the craft safely. Spidey then returned home, proud of his successful and daring rescue, and certain that JJJís treatment of him would be different afterwards, and maybe heíd even be willing to give Spidey a job!

But no! The next day, much to Peter Parkerís horror and disbelief, JJJ published a false claim accusing Spider-Man of having deliberately sabotaged the space vesselís mechanism and then initiated the rescue mission on purpose in order to gain credibility for himself in a dishonest way. Or, in other words, he implied that Spidey was nothing but an opportunist at best, and a saboteur at worst.

And so, poor Peter Parker found his alias, Spider-Man, loathed and despised by not only the press, but also by the public, and, most sadly, even by his own Aunt May! And JJJ kept doing his best to smear Spidey as often as possible over the years as often as possible, always trying to make him look like the baddie in all of the situations taking place in New York City, and always trying to discredit him whenever he could. And, as the Nazi propagandist Goebbels is believed to have once said, "If a lie is repeated often enough, it is seen as the truth."

In one of the earliest issues, Spidey tried to collar three robbers who were attempting to break into a jewelry store. But he acted too soon, before they'd broken in, and the three thugs called a police officer who frightened him away. And then, Spidey sat down on the roof of an apartment building, to catch his breath, and angrily pointed at a billboard with J. Jonah Jameson's head prominently featured, and rightfully said, "and it's all because of him!" Yep, because of him, that being JJJ, the public and the police thought that he was just a common criminal who preyed on supposedly innocent people.
 
Luckily, not in all cases, of course, was Spidey resented. Of course there were plenty of people who were grateful to him as well. And the Fantastic Four, who initially thought that he was a crook too, subsequently realized that these were all just false claims being made by Jameson, and all because of baseless hatred. For the record, Triple J smeared even Johnny Storm, aka The Human Torch of the FF, back in 1993, for arson when it was really just an accident committed by poor Johnny while carrying out a rescue mission to save one of his ladyfriends, and got him landed in jail for a short while. This was also during one the FFís worst periodís of having bad luck.

And now, itís great to report that as of Amazing Spider-Man 37-39, Aunt May, having discovered that her beloved nephew Peter Parker was really Spidey, also came to realize and figure out that Triple Jís claims were baseless.

"A lie travels the gloge faster than the truth even has a chance to put its pants on." - Winston Churchill

And all this is a perfect reflection of how many media sources distort and smear innocent people who are guilty of no wrongdoing, and ignore whatís really important for news.

And where and what did Stan Lee draw upon to conceive the premises and templates for JJJ and the Bugle? Letís take a look.

Inspirations

During the Silver Age, the Bugleís most likely template may have been the New York Daily News, which had a very  anti-Jewish stance at the time, and since Lee himself was New York Jewish, and Peter Parker carries a bit of that template himself, thatís probably one of the reasons why he chose to use a biased newspaper as one of the templates for the Daily Bugle. And for Jameson, they could include such news publishers and owners such as William Randolph Hearst, who was notorious for using his newspapers to smear and persecute innocent people.

Today, the Bugleís templates can range from the New York Times to Knight-Ridder News Service to the UK Independent , and for Jameson himself, they could include publishers like Victor Navasky, whoís been using his magazine, The Nation, to smear Israel and its nationalist/Zionist movements while ignoring much more important topics such as the PLOís terrorist campaign against Israel and even the modern-day slavery and murder of the Sudanese blacks at the hands of Muslim slave traders in Africa. And the people in real life today who could resemble Spider-Man include NYís former mayor Rudy Giuliani, and even Israelís former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Evil deeds and some similarities

There have been many times in the past years when J. Jonah Jameson tried to frame our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man for all sorts of crimes, only to be proven wrong afterwards. One example that I know of comes from the daily Spider-Man newspaper comic strip distributed by King Features Syndicate, in which Jameson tried to frame him for being part of an armed bank robbery, but was subsequently proven wrong, much to his dismay and humiliation.

"If a lie is repeated often enough, it is seen as the truth."

In a similar real life situation, the PLO tried to frame the IDF for the death of a monk in the Church of Nativity on April 4, 2002 in Bethlehem. But it was the Church themselves who confirmed that the PLOís claims were false, since the man was not even killed, much to the murderer Yasir Arafatís dismay and humiliation.

Whatís been done in protest of these evil deeds

As mentioned before, as of the story arc in Amazing Spider-Man 37-39 vol. 2, Peter Parkerís Aunt May now knows that all the reports by the Daily Bugle against her nephew were all just a work of falsehood. And in retaliation, she canceled her subscription to the Bugle and, seeing that the fictional New York Banner took a more positive approach to Spider-Man, submitted a subscription to them.

And in real life, many Jewish Americans have canceled their stock support and subscriptions to cable TV stations like CNN, and to newspapers like the NY Times in protest of their one-sided stance against Israel and begun subscribing to magazines and papers like the New Republic, the American Spectator and the Wall Street Journal instead.

The Daily Bugle and J. Jonah Jameson can serve as an important lesson as to how many media companies can cause a considerable amount of harm to innocent people everywhere, and why itís important not to trust everything they say, nor to jump to conclusions about whether what they say is right or wrong.

I think that if I were to take a job at a newspaper, Iíd want it to be something like Superman/Clark Kentís place of employment, the Daily Planet, and itís editor, Perry White, the most honest newspaper publisher around today in comics, whose templates might include the New York Post and even FOX chairman Rupert Murdoch.
 
And I know of someone in real life who's very honest and outspoken just like Perry is, the movie critic and social/world affairs commentator Michael Medved, one of the best at what he does, and in ways that even Marvelís Wolverine isnít.

Michael Medved and his family (like mine), came from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and later moved to SanDiego, CA. He got his scholarship at Yale, and was one of the hosts of PBSí Sneak Previews for many years, as well as being the head movie critic for the NY Post. Today, heís expanded his range of topics for discussion to more than just that: heís a radio talk show host in Seattle, and heís also one of the most outspoken critics of Arab and Muslim bigotry, and has written some very expert research on subjects like those for the Jewish World Review as well as his own radio program. Even New Yorkís former mayor Ed Koch is a very outspoken commentator these days on such subjects, and you can find some of his writings on NY Newsday. And one of the reasons why theyíre both so successful is because theyíve got guts, because theyíre outspoken, and because they take the side of the public, and not the establishment. Which is just how Perry White, Clark Kent, and Lois Lane work too.

And if you ask me, Medved and Koch are just the kind of people whom publishers like Perry White resemble. And theyíre all together the kind of people whom everybody should try to emulate.

Even me.

Avi Green, freelance independent journalist, can be reached at avigreen2002@yahoo.com

Copyright 2002 Avi Green. All rights reserved.

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