The Press: Original Lonelyhearts

If Daniel Defoe were alive today he would probably be writing for the Hearst papers. His Robinson Crusoe was the greatest and most enjoyable journalistic hoax in history. His accounts of London fires, plagues, streetwalkers, ghosts and insect pests would be welcome copy for any Sunday supplement. When Reporter Defoe went to Scotland in 1706 to spy out political sentiment for his secret master, Secretary of State Robert Harley, he improved his time by picking up believe-it-or-not tales of a bridge over a dry river (between Glasgow and Sterling), of fishermen who killed...

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