Ink by the barrel/ recent use

Posted by SR on February 23, 2005

In Reply to: Ink by the barrel posted by ESC on February 22, 2005

: : : : : Does anyone know the origin of this saying?
: : : : : I work for a newspaper in the Philippines and I heard the saying when our then-president Estrada organized a boycott of the Philippine Daily Inquirer because it wrote unflattering stories about him.
: : : : : Estrada was kicked out of office in 2001.

: : : : Short answer: I don't know. I've e-mailed "Editor and Publisher" and "The Columbia Journalism Review" with the above question. None of my quote books have the phrase. Online it says it is an "old adage" and it is attributed to Oscar Wilde and to Mark Twain.

: : :
: : : It is not a phrase I have come across before, but I would imagine that it is a caution against taking up arms against the press. (Who presumably would have bought ink by the barrel.)

: : : DFG

: : ------------

: : See "Ink by the barrel" - February 20th below

: : Serge.

: I was a reporter and now I answer reporter questions. So I am really familiar with that phrase.

On one of the Sunday talkshows, while discussing a politician's recent decision to restrict a certain newspaper's access to his staff, a pundit used this quote. I had not heard it before, and now here it is again. SR