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89 votes
Accepted

Are there historical examples of audiences drawn to a work that was "so bad it's good"?

I’ll throw in a vote for Robert “Romeo” Coates, a theatre actor in Britain in the early 1800s. According to Wikipedia (emphasis mine): Despite this ridicule, Coates went on to tour the British ...
Gaurav's user avatar
  • 3,065
71 votes

(Why) are there two different versions of the photograph of inmates at the Buchenwald concentration camp?

The original photo is the one with the man standing on the right, which is available from the National Archives as used in high resolution on Wikipedia. The New York Times version, with the man on the ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
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62 votes

Are there historical examples of audiences drawn to a work that was "so bad it's good"?

The poet William McGonagall (born March 1825 and died 29 September 1902) is a famous example. McGonagall has been lampooned as the worst poet in British history. The chief criticisms are that he is ...
Grundoon's user avatar
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48 votes

Are there historical examples of audiences drawn to a work that was "so bad it's good"?

Florence Foster Jenkins, known as the world's worst opera singer. "No one, before or since, has succeeded in liberating themselves quite so completely from the shackles of musical notation." ...
Grundoon's user avatar
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42 votes
Accepted

Did the Soviet Union or its satellite states have any broadcast propaganda media for an international audience?

Yes. Ample supply. At least for print and radio. Newspapers and magazines Not really 'broadcast medium', but mentioned in the question: Many versions printed directly under the auspices of a communist ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
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26 votes

Are there historical examples of audiences drawn to a work that was "so bad it's good"?

English As She Is Spoke was so bad it was enjoyable: English As She Is Spoke is the common name of a 19th-century book written by Pedro Carolino, and falsely additionally credited to José da Fonseca, ...
user28434's user avatar
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14 votes

How did the news of the reality Nazi concentration camps reach the United State's mainstream? What were the waves of awareness and when?

On November 23rd, 1938, the Arizona Republic was one of several papers to carry this stark headline: Source: Newspapers.com On November 6th, 1939, on page 7 of the New York Times, under a headline '...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
13 votes

What access did people in the Warsaw pact countries have to Western television and radio?

It varied from country to country. Deep inside the Soviet Union they could not watch Western TV and the only access was shortwave broadcasts. You could easily listen short-wave broadcasts in European ...
Alex's user avatar
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11 votes

Did the Soviet Union or its satellite states have any broadcast propaganda media for an international audience?

Let me add to the previous answer some Soviet media outlets. Soviet Union, a journal published in 18 languages. It had a supplement called "Sports in the USSR". Moscow news - a newspaper ...
Alex's user avatar
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10 votes

(Why) are there two different versions of the photograph of inmates at the Buchenwald concentration camp?

I decided to pay what was needed1 to get past the paywall, and can confirm that the man on the right is not in the image in the May 6th, 1945 New York Times Magazine article titled "The World ...
Giter's user avatar
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9 votes

What access did people in the Warsaw pact countries have to Western television and radio?

People in the German Democratic Republic could and did receive TV from the Federal Republic of Germany. Terrestrial reception of TV was limited in some parts of the GDR, notably the Dresden area. In ...
o.m.'s user avatar
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9 votes

Are there historical examples of audiences drawn to a work that was "so bad it's good"?

The works of Amanda McKittrick Ros are an example of prose that was so bad it was considered entertaining for its badness. One group who entertained themselves with her work was a group of British ...
EvilSnack's user avatar
  • 706
8 votes

What is the proof that during WW I, belligerent countries censored reports on the Spanish influenza?

The existence of censorship in many countries during WWI (and many other wars) wasn't exactly hidden. Many countries had official structures and organisations for censorship, underpinned by official ...
Henning Kockerbeck's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

What "silly places" (according to Muggeridge) did Nikita Khrushchev go to during his visit in the United Kingdom?

Muggeridge's itinerary was printed in the 6033rd issue of Punch magazine on April 18th, 1956. This issue, and the itinerary, can be viewed on archive.org. The overlap of the two itineraries appears to ...
CDJB's user avatar
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7 votes

Did the Soviet Union or its satellite states have any broadcast propaganda media for an international audience?

@LangLangC's answer mentioned This gets even more interesting when one would look at the propaganda against each each other between Soviet Union and China but did not go into details. There is ...
gerrymanderer's user avatar
6 votes

Were there cases where an ethnic newspaper had the highest circulation in a country?

In 1900 Hufvudstadsbladet (Swedish language newspaper in Finland) had a circulation of 17,500, putting it far ahead of the nearest Finnish language rival, Uusi Soumetar at 11,300.(Conflict and ...
liftarn's user avatar
  • 2,066
6 votes

Why does the First World War (WW I) play such a minor role today compared to Second World War (WW II)?

World War II was in many respects a "continuation" war of World War I, from which there were a lot of "unfinished" business. World War II brought "closure" to many of these things. Consider the ...
Tom Au's user avatar
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5 votes
Accepted

How did Tunisia's revolution (and Arab Spring) begin?

Its a truism, at least in the Lockian conception of government that any system of government that doesn't allow the governed a legal way to remove leaders that have become unacceptable (for whatever ...
T.E.D.'s user avatar
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4 votes
Accepted

Was the Times of London available for sale in 19th century Singapore?

Until early 1871, when cable communication between Singapore and London was first established, it would take quite a while for information to travel between the two locations. Suez shortened the trip ...
Denis de Bernardy's user avatar
4 votes

Virginia's response to Harper's Ferry, compared to the US response to 9/11

The two are not at all comparable IMO. Before the civil war, members of US Congress were literally engaging in pugilism, with occasional duels, and did so chiefly over slavery. Moods calmed down, and ...
Denis de Bernardy's user avatar
4 votes

Are there historical examples of audiences drawn to a work that was "so bad it's good"?

This is a matter of taste. And "so bad, it's good" is an 'acquired taste'. As a more or less mass phenomenon it is indeed a recent one, although slightly older thatn the question presumes. Tastes ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
  • 80.9k
4 votes

Why does the First World War (WW I) play such a minor role today compared to Second World War (WW II)?

This is only an extended comment. One (possibly unsatisfactory) reason is that WWII happened after WWI, and so the interwar period is now seen as a period of 20 years that led to an even greater ...
taninamdar's user avatar
  • 3,053
3 votes
Accepted

How were the prophecies of Biblical prophets such as Isaiah first published or disseminated?

Our understanding of the composition and redaction of biblical texts has developed enormously over the course of the 20th century alone - let alone since the days in which Isaac Newton published his ...
Shimon bM's user avatar
  • 3,276
3 votes

What access did people in the Warsaw pact countries have to Western television and radio?

I think no one mentioned: In western Europe TV channels were in PAL system, while Eastern Europe mostly adopted a version of SECAM. There were differences in the audio system, too. From late 80s, ...
Greg's user avatar
  • 1,205
3 votes

What "silly places" (according to Muggeridge) did Nikita Khrushchev go to during his visit in the United Kingdom?

As a follow-up to CDJB's answer, some context on the origin of the so-called "Muggeridge's law". The anecdote of Muggeridge's satirical list being the same as the actual list appears to ...
fred2's user avatar
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3 votes

Was it common to address politicians by their first names / nicknames in the past?

There are well-attested examples of the use of nicknames for popular political figures going all the way back to Athens and Rome. Examples of this would be Pericles, who was nicknamed "Squill-head" (...
tbrookside's user avatar
  • 1,168
3 votes

(Why) are there two different versions of the photograph of inmates at the Buchenwald concentration camp?

Yes, there are two versions of the picture, one with Simon Toncman edited out. And the editing is easily detectable. Why? The obvious conclusion is that it's because he's showing more crotch than ...
Laurence's user avatar
  • 525
2 votes

Did small rural newspaper offices in 1895 use rotary presses with rolls of paper or sheets?

There were a host - literally - of newspapers published in Oregon starting in 1846, some even continuing to the current day. The East Oregonian is an example of one still publishing that began ...
Pieter Geerkens's user avatar
2 votes

Are there historical examples of audiences drawn to a work that was "so bad it's good"?

The book that leapt to my mind was A Pickle For the Knowing Ones (1848), by Timothy Dexter. The book contained 8,847 words and 33,864 letters, but without punctuation and seemingly random ...
amalloy's user avatar
  • 121

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