Ben Franklin's veneration for a free press came from his belief that it "diffuses so general a light...of so penetrating a nature" as to keep in check tyranny and abuse. Mark Twain echoed these sentiments nearly a century later saying, "the devil's aversion to holy water is a light matter compared with a despot's dread of a newspaper that laughs." At the core of the American ethos is the first amendment's freedom of the press. From this guarantee grew a robust business of periodicals, including the famous "gray lady." Now in the decline and even ceasing to print a "dead tree edition" at times altogether, newspapers have been for hundreds of years the peoples' window into their own lives and that of the larger society abroad.