Re: Article Finally Located !!! : True, the Man's Magazine ( October 1947 issue )
Dear Gay Mathis:
I agree with the general idea you are communicating here. The real problem about these "Police Gazette" articles is, we don't know FOR SURE if they were written PRIMARILY just to "capitalize" on all the furor surrounding J. Frank Dalton and thus were a good way to sell more copies of the Gazette, or, did George McGrath REALLY believe that the evidence he presented in his articles constituted PROOF of his claims? McGrath COULD have documented his claims, but the articles are largely devoid of any documentation whatsoever. Because of this lack of documentation, in my opinion the articles were written PRIMARILY to CAPITALIZE on the furor surrounding Dalton, and it was never McGrath's intention to SERIOUSLY ATTEMPT TO PROVE that Dalton was really Jesse James. McGrath was just using the words "PROVE" AND "PROOF" as "attention getters" so as to ( hopefully ) increase "impulse sales" of the "Police Gazette."
I don't really think the IQ of the general reading public in the early 1950s was that low either. Nor do I think that many people were convinced by McGrath's articles, not EVEN those who were inclined to believe that Dalton was Jesse James on other grounds. What I am really trying to say is that McGrath's articles simply aren't that convincing, and I'm SOMEWHAT surprised that he didn't try to make them more convincing than they are, ESPECIALLY since he went out of his way to claim he was presenting PROOF. The PHOTO COMPARISONS he presents aren't convincing AT ALL to me, and I doubt they were to the VAST MAJORITY OF READERS at the time these articles were published. What I am saying is, the degree to which the pictures DON'T MATCH is such that even those who ALREADY BELIEVED ( on other grounds ) that Dalton was Jesse James, would have to start RAPIDLY DISBELIEVING that Dalton was Jesse James IF the case for these 2 men's IDENTITY was based SOLELY on a comparison of the pictures presented by McGrath.
What I am saying, in effect, is that McGrath's inclusion of these pictures for comparison in his article actually WEAKENED his overall claims, since the pictures OBVIOUSLY don't match. Even those who WERE ALREADYCONVINCED ( on other grounds ) that Dalton was Jesse James would have to admit that McGrath's pictures DON'T MATCH. If even those who ALREADY BELIEVED Dalton was Jesse James weren't convinced by McGrath's pictures, how much LESS would the general public believe Dalton was Jesse James, based on McGrath's pictures? This idea is what I was trying to express by my comment regarding the IQ of the general reading public in the early 1950s. In other words, if McGrath was SERIOUSLY trying to prove that Dalton was Jesse James, he must have had a DISMAL OPINION of the IQ of the general reading piblic, or he NEVER would have included these OBVIOUSLY NON-MATCHING PICTURES in his article. However, in the final analysis, in my opinion McGrath WASN'T concerned about this whole issue of the reading public's IQ or general level of discernment/critical judgment, because his REAL OBJECT was merely to INCREASE "IMPULSE SALES" of the Gazette by writing some highly sensationalistic articles on the then current Dalton/Jesse James controversy. In my opinion, based on the evidence of certain prominent features of McGrath's articles themselves ( such as the lack of documentation of his claims, and his inclusion of the OBVIOUSLY NON-MATCHING PICTURES ), McGrath's use of the terms "PROVE" and "PROOF," and his inclusion of the OBVIOUSLY NON-MATCHING PICTURES in his article, were all merely standard journalistic "attention getting devices" designed/calculated to increase "impulse sales" of the Gazette.
Orvus Howk commented that "This Police Gazette publicity does help out." I would argue that all the Police Gazette publicity really did was to keep Dalton's name and photo constantly before the public, so he wouldn't be forgotten. In other words, if the information contained in McGrath's Police Gazette articles was presented in a court of law, the information would NOT have proven that Dalton was Jesse James. However, that fact was of no consequence to Howk: All Howk needed was a steady, ongoing stream of SENSATIONALISTIC PUBLICITY concerning Dalton, in order to be able to continue his agenda/campaign of coaxing "old timers" ( who were acquaintances of Dalton from times past ) out of the woodwork so they would divulge privileged information Howk was seeking. In order to serve Howk's purposes, therefore, it wasn't necessary for articles about Dalton to be ( strictly speaking ) accurate or truthful - the important thing to Howk was that they were SENSATIONALISTIC AND/OR CONTROVERSIAL ENOUGH to keep Dalton's name and photo constantly/firmly before the public eye. THAT, the Police Gazette articles CERTAINLY WERE.
Sincerely, and Lots of Love - - -
P. K. K.