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Answered 2011-03-15 14:51:49

Finley Peter Dunne (1867-1936), a humorist, coined the phrase "comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable" - I've always heard it in the context of ministry, but he was talking about newspapers. He put it in the mouth of his character Mr. Dooley. Here's the full quote:

"The newspaper does everything for us. It runs the police force and the banks, commands the militia, controls the legislature, baptizes the young, marries the foolish, comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable, buries the dead, and roasts them afterward."

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