The Great Moon Hoax

Friday, September 03, 2010


August was the 175th anniversary of the New York Sun’s Great Moon Hoax, when Richard Adams Locke created a sensation by writing a series of satirical articles, taken seriously by the public, about life on the moon. Matthew Goodman, author of The Sun and the Moon, says this story marked a paradigmatic shift in the way Americans perceived newspapers.

Comments [6]

Chris Gray from New Haven, CT

Hey, why go back 5 years! Yesterday there was going to be a burning in Gainesville. Now there isn't because of a promise that was or was not given. Unreal, man!

Sep. 10 2010 03:05 AM
Pam from CT

Foget for a moment about all the context-relevant issues (we NEVER have problems any more, only issues, right?), I loved this history-story. Never heard about it before. What a gem!

Sep. 08 2010 08:36 AM
Just a Thought

Thanks for the clarification. It is good to know there was a definitive DEBUNKING of various false conspiracy theories in the past. I believe a more politically diverse selection of guests would further aid audience understanding of how these question arise and how the media should report it. Thanks

Sep. 05 2010 10:01 PM
Brooke Gladstone from Brooklyn, NY

Reply to "Just a Thought":
Some years back, we presented a discussion examining the conditions that lead to the proliferation of conspiracy theories, followed by a definitive DEBUNKING of the 9-11 Truth Conspiracy, followed by an interview with one of its main perpetrators, to learn how he came to hold his views.

Did you even listen to that show - or are you merely cherry-picking moments devoid of context?

It seems you would prefer us to speak only to people with whom you (or for that matter - with whom we) agree - but if we functioned that way, our listeners would be deprived of the chance to understand how dangerous, unfounded ideas are spread.

Sep. 05 2010 08:26 PM
Just a Thought

I am "experiencing a sense of deja vu" myself and a "fight between various versions of reality and a deemphasis on what may be actually true". No need to go back 175 years to the long defunct "New York Sun"; simply go back a mere five years to the eternally funded "On The Media" when they welcomed a 9/11 Truth theorist to public radio and offered a serious and respectful hearing to conspiracies which implicated then President Bush and helpfully directed the audience to websites so they could learn more. ("The Plane Truth - In Theory" Feb. 25, 2005)
I am "shocked, shocked" that there was no derisive ridicule and references to "Moon Hoaxes" to those offensive and false accusations against President Bush way back then. Thanks

Sep. 05 2010 07:31 PM
Darrel Plant from Portland, Oregon

Goodman blames the idea that Obama is a Muslim on the Internet? Really? After writing a book about how the popular mass media of the day spread a hoax about bat-men on the moon he thinks that it's the fault of "the internet" that the "Obama is a Muslim" story is going around? Has he seen Fox News? Or any of the multitudinous television interviews with senators and representatives who have questioned Obama's religion and/or nationality? Has he missed the wave of conservative talk radio that's been around since well before the internet was widely-accessible? It's not like radio's exactly a new phenomenon, either.

Sep. 04 2010 05:02 PM

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