Discuss the battles of Kettle Hill and San Juan Hill, making special note of the role of popular journalism and racism in forming a perception of the fighting.
How is this similar and different to modern times?
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The role of popular journalism (or yellow journalism is the term that is most associated with this time period) was central to the Spanish-American War. The term yellow journalism refers to, shall we say, the embellishment of the facts of a news story. For example, in speaking of racism, the press of the day would famously paint the portrait of the Spanish as monsters that would routinely "shoot Cuban mothers with babies in their arms."There were political cartoons that were ran in Hurst and Pulitzer's papers that literally painted the same picture of the Spanish. There were also accounts of rigged photography to show the "brutality" of the Spanish. The same could be said of the Battles of Kettle and San Juan Hill. Both were legitimately brutal battles, however, the press of the day embellished the story where they could to give the impression to the reader of a much more impressive victory that what was probably actually present. For example, San Juan Hill of course, was the birthplace of the fame of Theodore Roosevelt and his "Rough Riders." Now, I would never say anything to diminish the service of anyone who wears the uniform, however, there were tons of solidiers involved in both battles, yet it was Roosevelt and the Rough Riders that enjoyed most of the fame and glory (and political success in the case of soon to be President Roosevelt) thanks to the media of the time.
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