The founding in 1777 of the Journal de Paris, France's first daily and distinctly commercial paper, represents an early use of disinformation as a tool for political gain, profit, and societal division. To attract a large readership and bar competition for C.W. Gluck's works at the Paris Opera, it launched a prolonged campaign of anonymous lies, mockery, and defamation against two prominent members of the Academie Francaise who wished the Opera to be open to all deserving composers but lacked a comparable daily forum with which to defend themselves. In this unique episode, music served as a smokescreen for nefarious activity. No musical knowledge is necessary to follow this purely political drama.
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