Quote 1

Kane:   “Don't believe everything you hear on the radio. Read the Inquirer!”

Early in the movie, during the newsreel detailing Kane’s life, Charles Foster Kane arrives from Europe to a phalanx of reporters who bombard him with questions, and this is his first reply. This quote is undoubtedly one of the lines added to the script by Welles and is a dig both at himself and at William Randolph Hearst. Just before coming to Hollywood to make movies, Welles achieved notoriety through his War of the Worlds radio broadcast, when he had people all over America believing that Martians were invading. He was nearly arrested during the broadcast and was investigated subsequently by the FCC. The panic that resulted from the event led to stringent new rules for radio broadcasts. Welles probably felt a certain amount of resentment toward these rules since newspapers had no such controls placed upon them and often printed material that was sensationalist and simply untrue.

The comment's mockery of Hearst also derives from the fact that newspapers were no longer the rivals Hearst had to worry about—the advent of radio and of photo magazines threatened newspaper circulation. Because these media provided a new outlet for news and information, people read their papers more critically. Credibility became increasingly important in the news media. Just as Hearst had been able to reach into people’s homes and influence them through his newspapers, Welles could now do the same through radio. However, neither Welles’s radio broadcasts nor Hearst’s papers could be counted on as reliable sources, simply because the men behind them were so manipulative. When Kane tells the reporters to read the Inquirer instead of listening to the radio, he says it with tongue firmly in cheek.