By Joel H. Wiener, Mark Hampton (eds.)

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16 Throughout the first third of the nineteenth-century sporting journalism in the United States sought to “catch-up” to the British model it copied. The most significant early American sporting journal devoted to sport was William T. Porter’s Spirit of the Times, established in 1831. ”17 Soon Spirit included sketches and tall tales from the American frontier and the weekly emerged from the 1830s as an American original, reporting on American events in its signature style. 21 As part of this transformation, the Herald and other papers offered new attention to the sporadic, but significant sporting events of the ante-bellum era, including the still evolving urban sport of baseball.

8 As Kristin L. Hoganson points out, the discourse of war is always gendered male, and thus assumes a worldview that bases all human action on the necessity of physical violence to defend one’s honor. See her Fighting for American Manhood, How Gender Politics Provoked the Spanish-American and Philippine-American Wars (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998). 9 I have divided rhetoric (which includes signs) from discourse (signs plus signifiers) to simplify the impact of these elements on sensational journalism.

More Londoners turned out to view the return of the Grenadier Guards than had turned out for Gladstone’s funeral six months earlier. Buffalo Bill replaced his “Custer’s Last Stand” act with a “Rough Riders Charge” act. ” The British press launched a successful fund-raising campaign to build a college in Gordon’s name in Khartoum. Kitchener’s victory was used to sell Pattison’s Scotch Whiskey, Pimm’s No. One Cup, carpets, cigarettes, Bovril, plays, music hall acts, and public pageants. Sensational discourse led quickly to commodification, at least.

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