Andrew Jackson fiercely protested when James K. Polk named James Buchanan to be Secretary of State. He hated him! When Polk defended himself by pointing out that Buchanan had served as Jackson’s ambassador to Russia, Jackson explained: “It was as far as I could send him out of my sight, and where he could do the least harm. I would have sent him to the North Pole if we had kept a minister there!”

The Washington Globe was a pro-Jackson “official organ” (government sponsored newspaper) similar to the Gazette of the United States (pro-Washington) and the National Intelligencer and Washington Advertiser (pro-Jefferson). Though supported through the government and used as a way to get the administration’s messages out, it was also still operating as an independent and free newspaper when not talking about the president or his party, without editorial intervention. This confused the Russian government and lead to James Buchanan explaining to them what a “free press” was and how they couldn’t just censor the news to serve a political agenda.

However, this didn’t stop them from feeding stories about how great the friendship between the United States and Russia was becoming and then letting Russia start to influence Andrew Jackson’s annual addresses through Buchanan, starting an American tradition that continues to today!