Quote of the day

Courtesy of a link at Joel’s place, we find this letter from Thomas Jefferson in 1807 – two hundred and ten years ago.

Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle … I will add, that the man who never looks into a newspaper is better informed than he who reads them; inasmuch as he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. He who reads nothing will still learn the great facts, and the details are all false.

There’s more at the link.

I didn’t know that Jefferson numbered prophecy among his many gifts!  His words apply just as well to the mainstream news media today as they did to the newspapers of 1807.



  1. Peter, Mr. Jefferson had no need for second sight: some things never change. A wiser man than I said, "History may not repeat itself–but it rhymes".
    –Tennessee Budd

  2. Jefferson and Franklin may not have gotten along, but Franklin had been dead for around 17 years at the time Jefferson wrote that.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *