— B. L. Godhin, Scribner’s magazine, July, 1890. A fascinating little read from 122 years ago in light of the ruckus going on right now over fact checking in media.
"Nothing is more striking in the way in which men judge newspaper criticism, than the difference it makes, whose ox is gored. Whether condemnation is too severe, or whether the limits between public and private character have been overstepped in any particular comment on a man in public life, is apt to be decided by most men under the influence of party predilection. A low view of ones opponents, personally as well as politically, seems an almost inevitable result of active participation in, or strong interest in, party politics. It grows up imperceptibly, and often becomes incapable of eradication, and is a strong stimulus, and sometimes a powerful protection, for newspaper attacks on reputation."