The idle ramblings of a Jack of some trades, Master of none

Oct 26, 2008

Pusillanimous Press

Clearly, currying favour with the regime in power is an excellent way to maintain the health of the journalistic industry. See this sequence of reports in the Bourbon-controlled French newspaper Moniteur, reporting Napoleon's escape from St. Elba and arrival in Paris (March 1815):

March 9: "The monster has escaped from the place of his banishment ; and he has run away from Elba."

March 10: "The Corsican ogre has landed at Cape Juan."

March 11: "The tiger has shown himself at Gap. Troops are advanced on all sides to arrest his progress. He will conclude his miserable adventure by becoming a wanderer among the mountains."

March 12: "The monster has actually advanced as far as Grenoble. We know not to what treachery to ascribe it."

March 13: "The tyrant is now at Lyon. Fear and terror seized all at his appearance."

March 18: "The usurper has ventured to approach within sixty hours' march of the capital."

March 19: "Bonaparte is advancing by forced marches ; but it is impossible that he would reach Paris!"

March 20: "Napoleon will arrive under the walls of Paris tomorrow."

March 21: "The Emperor Napoleon is at Fontainebleu."

March 22: "Yesterday evening, His Majesty the Emperor made his public entry and arrived at the Tuileries. Nothing can exceed the universal joy!"

Frederic Hudson, Journalism in the United States: From 1690 to 1872, Routledge, 2002.


Nikhil Narayanan said...

I started reading and I was like satire?mmmm can be, checked the tags for the post and figured it was not.

Never knew press was always like this.


Murali said...

Tres Magnifique. I remember being taught that he was simply welcomed by the French and amassed sizable numbers before perishing at final battle.

Murali said...

Now how has this comment been ascribed to Murali. Its me Its me !

Fëanor said...

And who are you, who are you? :-)

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