All the News Unfit to Print: How Things Were... and How They Were Reported

All the News Unfit to Print: How Things Were... and How They Were Reported

by Eric Burns
All the News Unfit to Print: How Things Were... and How They Were Reported

All the News Unfit to Print: How Things Were... and How They Were Reported

by Eric Burns


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You really can't believe everything you read . . .

A premature newswire report announces the end of World War I, spurring wild celebrations in American streets days before the actual treaty was signed. A St. Louis newspaper prints reviews of theatrical performances that never took place—they had been canceled due to bad weather. New York newspaper reporters plant evidence in the apartment of the man accused of kidnapping the Lindbergh baby and then call him a liar in the courtroom once the trial begins.

These are just a few of the many wrongs that have been reported as right over two centuries of American history. All the News Unfit to Print puts the media under the microscope to expose the many types of mistakes, hoaxes, omissions, and lies that have skewed our understanding of the past, and reveals the range of reasons and motivations—from boredom and haste to politics and greed-behind them. Reviewing a host of journalistic slip-ups involving Ben Franklin, Mark Twain, William Randolph Hearst, Theodore H. White, and many others, this book covers the stories behind the stories to refine incorrect "first drafts" of history from the Revolutionary War era to more recent times.

"All the News Unfit to Print is a rollicking joyride that careens through the ridiculous, the odd, and the serious malfeasances in American journalistic history and reminds us of the difference between news and facts."
Neal Gabler, author of Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781683366447
Publisher: TURNER PUB CO
Publication date: 04/01/2009
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

About The Author
Eric Burns is the former host of Fox News's acclaimed Fox News Watch and a veteran of NBC Nightly News and Today. Burns has written on matters of media and popular culture for such magazines as Reader's Digest, the Weekly Standard, Spy, TV Guide, and Family Circle, in addition to such newspapers as the New York Post and the Los Angeles Times, as well as the Huffington Post. His social histories The Spirits of America: A Social History of Alcohol and The Smoke of the Gods: A Social History of Tobacco each won the highest award given in its category by the American Library Association.

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Table of Contents

Part 1 Telling Lies 1

1 How Journalists Got the Idea 5

2 Journalism from Afar 11

3 A Woman Who Never Was 21

4 Lies against the British 27

5 Lies against Americans 37

6 The Boss 51

7 The Epoch of the Hoax 59

8 Furnishing a War 71

9 L'Affaire 93

10 Speeding Up a War 107

Part 2 Hiding the Truth 119

11 Their Man in Moscow 123

12 Sins of Omission 141

13 The Same Team 161

14 Rejecting the Faith 191

15 Janet's World 201

16 What a Picture Is Worth 209

17 The Most Hated Man in American Newsrooms 221

18 What Haste Makes 229

Epilogue: A Few Final Mistakes 237

A Note to Readers 245

Acknowledgments 251

Notes 253

Bibliography 265

Index 273

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