Was Mary Todd Lincoln a victim of "Fake" News?

frontrank2

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On May 18, 1861, one year to the day after the then-fledgling Republican Party nominated Abraham Lincoln of Illinois as its presidential candidate, a newspaper account berated first lady Mary Todd Lincoln for allegedly having behaved in a shrewish manner toward her husband.
An unnamed reporter for the Humboldt (Calif.) Times attributed Lincoln’s hollow cheeks, sunken eyes and woebegone expression in large measure to his wife’s purported caprices and persistent interference in affairs of state. (It is fair to assume, which the reporter did not, that the Civil War, which had broken out a month earlier, may also have had something to do with the president’s troubled countenance.) continued https://www.politico.com/story/2018/05/18/was-mary-todd-lincoln-a-victim-of-fake-news-may-18-1861-590369

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archieclement

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What's the "fake" news? It says the account is unsubstantiated, that's not the same as proven false or fake.....

If there's only one witness to an event, it's going to be near impossible to collaborate it, however that doesnt disprove an account in itself.
 
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jackt62

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I recall that Mary Todd was criticized for lavish spending habits in decorating the White House. That could be fair game depending on the amounts involved, and if accurate, certainly not "fake" news.
 
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Mary Lincoln seems to have garnered an exceptional amount of criticism for a First Lady. Why is that?
Scroll down and have a look at the list of similar threads. A lot of them refer to Mary Lincoln's erratic behavior.
Whatever the reasons for that were, she must have been different from other ladies of ther time. Being different frequently leads to rejection, and I guess that is what had happened here. And in her exposed position as First Lady flawless behaviour was expected from her, rightfully or not, which she, like most of us, could not deliver.
 

wbull1

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What's the "fake" news? It says the account is unsubstantiated, that's not the same as proven false or fake.....

If there's only one witness to an event, it's going to be near impossible to collaborate it, however that doesnt disprove an account in itself.
I agree. The story reminds me of tabloid reports based on vicious rumors or an opinion disguised as news. Mrs. Lincoln's visits to wounded soldiers and her private contributions to charity lacked the "punch" needed to sell papers.
 

Northern Light

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From my reading, I would suggest that Mary was the victim of a studied campaign that was intended to discredit her, and thereby harm Lincoln.
She was snubbed by Washington society for being too provincial, criticized for her own behaviour and her spending habits, but her worst sin was that she was from the South, and therefore presumed to favour the confederate cause.
She became isolated from her family and from society, and so was lonely. No matter what she did, it was wrong. She was concerned, with good reason, about her family in the South, worried about her husband and children, and had few people with whom she could share her worries. No wonder she was crabby and irritable by times.
 

archieclement

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I always thought that the radicals hated anything southern had a lot to do with it. Here one could be loyal, but if of southern heritage or owned slaves be marked a target by the radicals. She was of southern heritage which the radicals consumed by hate could never overlook. Southern men who had chose to and demonstrated loyalty, were still always viewed with distrust and suspicion by the radicals
 

frontrank2

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From my reading, I would suggest that Mary was the victim of a studied campaign that was intended to discredit her, and thereby harm Lincoln.
She was snubbed by Washington society for being too provincial, criticized for her own behaviour and her spending habits, but her worst sin was that she was from the South, and therefore presumed to favour the confederate cause.
She became isolated from her family and from society, and so was lonely. No matter what she did, it was wrong. She was concerned, with good reason, about her family in the South, worried about her husband and children, and had few people with whom she could share her worries. No wonder she was crabby and irritable by times.
Totally agree. :thumbsup:
 

WJC

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her worst sin was that she was from the South, and therefore presumed to favour the confederate cause.
Exactly! That was cause for the intense criticism by both Northerners who thought she was not radical enough and influenced the President to take a 'softer' approach and Southerners who considered her a traitor to her heritage. She just couldn't win!
As I recall, most- if not all- of the allegations against her were for relatively insignificant things.
 


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