Category: fake news

Jun 19 1919 FAKE NEWS from the “Kept Press” decries Montana’s The Butte Daily Bulletin!

@ The Museum of Hoaxes – The April Fool Archive

                                     November 7 1918, False Armistice and a Real Party!

‘When United
States press flashed word to its client papers in the US that an armistice was
signed November 7, 1918, homefolks in hundred of cities didn’t doubt the
report. When the premature news reached the states at 11.56am. factories, boats, and
railroad locomotives tied down their sirens and whistles. Workers poured out of
shops and offices closed for the day. From coast to coast, people came out on the street
to hold impromptu carnivals. The Secretary of state denied the armistice report
in Washington and newspapers began to print the denial late in the afternoon.

This had small
effect on dampening the public spirits, and persistent denials by government
officials didn’t quiet the celebrations until late evening.’


                                                                Trolling the Kaiser

During WW1 satirists & cartoonists from the US & allied
countries, often depicted the Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany as a tiny
creature, a baby, a spoiled & rambunctious child or schoolboy, playing with his favorite toys; the European countries. Occasionally, he was also represented as a spreader of fake news. Here, a serie of awesome cartoons “100 Years Ago, Trolling the Kaiser”.

Illustration: WW1, the Kaiser as a spoiled child.                                                

‘January 27 1918 – Today is the
Kaiser’s birthday, and we half expected that things might happen, but there has been a thick fog, and all has been as
silent as can be. I am afraid the troops are not so sorry as they should be.

“Am I offensive enough?”** is one of the questions laid down in a pamphlet that reaches us from an
army school some thirty miles behind the line. It is for the subaltern to ask
himself each morning as he rises from his bed. Most laudable! But, it is one of the
paradoxes of war that the further you get from the battle line the more
‘offensive’ are the people you meet!’

**“Am i offensive enough?”  is a reference
to a trench newspaper. See here. A chinless
platoon commander clutching his cane wondering “Am I as offensive as I might be?”
was the paper’s motif. Written by the troops on the front line, “The Wipers
made fun of fake stories about the war being told at home.

In the Somme, France, British officer’s letter:

War Letters to a Wife

– Photo: 1918, fog in the Somme, France

                                                      The Office of Censorship

‘The rigid censorship on journalism in Europe
brings the American press into close relationship with the Embassy. The news we
bring to the Embassy require unusual discretion and confidence so that
the American public receive accurate information, while avoiding any
improprieties against the countries involved in the conflict.

This censorship, sometimes incredibly
stupid, is responsible for a great many myths. “Beating
the censor” is a gleeful game for some
correspondents until it becomes clear that the censor always wins, and can even
suppress their activities altogether. The “half truths” of the official
communications is also responsible for mixing the real news with fiction.

But finally, we are going officially to the
! No sentry can stop us. No officer can
“detain” us—there is no fear of prison at our journey’s end. It’s been
decided by Joffre himself! He appointed a Captain, whose orders is to
remain with us even after our return to Paris, where he will place the magic visa
of the Etat Major upon our articles, thus preventing any delays at the regular Bureau de Censure.’

Wythe Williams, WW1 American journalist, who became so frustrated with the censorship that he volunteered to drive an ambulance – “intead of sitting around in the Paris bureau”.

Passed by the Censor, the Experience of an American Newspaper Man in
– Photos: 1916, Paris, The office of Censorship. Gallica. More photos here.