A Loathsome and Leprous Slanderer


James Gordon Bennett Senior is often associated with euphemism’s such as “cor blimey!” and “would you believe it!”. He was educated in the village of Newmill near Keith in rural Scotland-shire and, in later life was widely feared and indeed hated by many.
Described by one reputed enemy as "an obscene foreign vagabond, a pestilential scoundrel, ass, rogue, habitual liar, loathsome and leprous slanderer and libeller" he specialised in “kiss and tell” stories. It seems that in 1836 for example, he offered a reward to any woman prepared to “set a trap for a Presbyterian parson and catch one of them in flagrante delicto.”
Familiar rhetoric perhaps? Well, given the ‘Slime Ball vs Mob Boss’ headlines in this weeks papers and the ‘kiss and tell’ antics of Stormy Daniels, all is not well in the land of Trump.
Tomorrow seemingly, Jim Comey’s ‘kiss and tell’ tale of a deeply disturbing presidency is due for publication – hence the proliferation of major-domo articles exposing the tumultuous relationship enjoyed by the most powerful man on earth and his former FBI chief.
I am of course intrigued, not least by the press coverage of Jim’s new book. I was maybe – but, of course, unintentionally - near to calling out Trump at least three times in my A-Z of Curious Aberdeenshire and all I got was a few –  and very much appreciated -  positive reviews in the Scottish press. Not that my book was intended to reform the presidency you understand. Exposing the presidential attitude towards women – I think Jim suggested that el-president views the fair sex as hunks of meat – is one thing, and I certainly am not going down that road. But, and it is a big but, exposing the presidential attitude regarding Scotland’s renewable energy policy was quite another matter.
Jim of course has achieved coverage in the form of a two-pager in the Sunday Times plus a good few global media interviews reflecting his take on the institution that is the presidency. Now that’s what I call a crowd-puller for those Amazon analytics. I respect a man who shoots from the hip.
As for Gordon Bennet? I expect he’s watching with interest from the grave and taking it all in prior to reviewing Jim’s new book in the NY Times. I only hope he remembers to refer to para 4 on p146 of my book.


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