Even the telegraph was fair game for the trolls of the time, including some politicians. I can only imagine what a tough time folks would have had in staying up with important news before the telegraph.
Photo via Wikimedia
In general, all the bad things that people say now about Twitter and online news were the same things that people said about the telegraph 150 years ago. This invention did not have a lot of fans when it was first conceived. In fact, there were two major groups that fervently opposed it: politicians and the media.
Newspapers often bad-mouthed the telegraph, perhaps out of fear of being made irrelevant. (They later did the same thing with radio.) They argued that the speed at which the telegraph could provide news was simply unnecessary. When just 10 days would bring the news from Europe to America and vice versa, what need could there be to deliver it in 10 minutes? Traditional media branded the telegraph as untrustworthy and superficial.
The US government was also wary of the device. When Samuel Morse offered to sell his telegraph system to the government for $100,000, they said no. While some politicians saw the telegraph as a mischievous device that could be used for evil, others were more practical, opining that the cost of installing and operating a telegraph between two cities far outweighed any potential revenue.
I guess that all technical advances are considered by some to be too costly and impractical to pursue. I'm glad that enough wanted to improve things and the telegraph was finally a big part of our history.
Coffee out on the hot patio this morning.