Henry Louis Mencken (1880–1956) was one of America's most influential journalists during the 1920s.
"Anthologies of Mencken's writings were around in the 1950s and lots of us had them at Notre Dame, so it wouldn't be unusual that John would think of him or know how to imitate him, though not many could do it as well. Some of Mencken's most famous writing was inspired by the Scopes trial in Tennessee, which as a journalist he had covered. Mencken had little use for Catholicism and less for Evangelical fundamentalism. John's ‘I can hear him now, the grand high mucky-muck’ passage is a pretty good representation of his style."