“J’accuse!” is arguably the most famous newspaper headline of all time (there are those who would nominate the NY Post’s Headless Body in Topless Bar). “J’accuse! was Emile Zola’s 4,000-word front-page defense of French Army Capitan Alfred Dreyfus, a Jew, who was railroaded into a treason conviction by the French Army. It appeared 120 years ago today on January 13, 1898. More than anything else the Dreyfus Affair and J’Accuse made anti-Semitism acceptable in ‘polite society,” the press, and most recently the Democratic Party.
As described by Jeff Jacoby in a 2008 Boston Globe column:
The Dreyfus saga was the first legal ordeal to trigger a media feeding frenzy, and to view “J’accuse!” more than a century after it appeared is to confront the birth of something the modern world takes for granted – the power of the press to galvanize and shape public opinion. The DreyfusThis post was originally published on this site