The Spanish-American War Newspaper
On February 9, 1898, Hearst's New York Journal published a letter written by Enrique Dupuy de Lôme, the Spanish ambassador to Washington. The de Lôme letter was addressed to a friend in Cuba but was somehow stolen from the mail and sent to the Journal for publication.In the letter, de Lôme called President McKinley "weak and catering to the rabble and, besides, a low politician." Americans were offended by this criticism of their president. De Lôme offered his resignation, but the damage was done. The publishing of this letter intensified anti-Spanish feelings in the United States and underscored the power of the press to inflame public opinion.The Maine had sailed to Cuba in January after riots broke out in the streets of Havana. Spaniards who opposed government reforms in Cuba led the riots. Fearing harm to American citizens and property, President McKinley had sent the Maine to Cuba to protect American interests.An official navy investigation began immediately, but the Journal and other newspapers immediately blamed Spain.