Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Houdini combats "fake news"

Fraudulent spirit mediums tried many ways to derail Houdini's campaign of exposing their tricks, even spreading rumors of his own conversation. Here's an article from the March 8, 1925 Pittsburgh Post Gazette in which Houdini disputes such a claim.

Of course, Houdini had his own tactics, and it not impossible he invented rumors just to debunk them and garner the press. Houdini hated J. Malcom Bird, and this offered him a nice platform to publicly criticize him. This was what Margery claimed when stories surfaced that she had put a "curse" on Houdini.

So is Houdini combating or creating "fake news" here? Only the spirits know.


1 comment:

  1. In 1925, Houdini could certainly get his name in the papers by voicing just about any controversial opinion. But by so specifically attaching blame to Bird for his alleged conversion, he'd technically be exposing himself to a libel suit if there weren't some factual basis for saying it, even though Bird's credibility was obviously lacking. Seems like the risk would've outweighed the gain. But one can but wonder.