Think the Press Is Partisan? It Was Much Worse for Our Founding Fathers

A Scheming and Salacious Newspaper Reporter Targeted Hamilton and Jefferson—and Nearly Ruined Them

It is a common complaint that the drive for traffic at news sites in the digital age has debased our political dialogue, turning a responsible press into a media scramble for salacious sound bites. But partisanship and scandal-mongering go way back in the American political tradition. And there was no internet to blame in 1793, the year an especially vicious and salacious newsman arrived on American shores and soon after set his sights on the founding fathers.

Despite efforts to unify the early United States around President George Washington, two …

What Does ‘Natural-Born’ American Even Mean?

The Seemingly Rigid Requirement for the Presidency Didn't Disqualify the Nation's British-Born Founders

When choosing among presidential candidates, Americans find plenty to debate about their fitness for office, experience, and economic and foreign policies. But the framers of the Constitution made no mention …