Propagandists In American History Essay, Research Paper
Propagandists In American History As generally understood, propaganda is opinion expressed for the purpose of influencing actions of individuals or groups… Propaganda thus differs fundamentally from scientific analysis. The propagandist tries to “put something across,” good or bad. The scientist does not try to put anything across; he devotes his life to the discovery of new facts and principles. The propagandist seldom wants careful scrutiny and criticism; his object is to bring about a specific action. The scientist, on the other hand, is always prepared for and wants the most careful scrutiny and criticism of his facts and ideas. Science flourishes on criticism. Dangerous propaganda crumbles before it. -Alfred McLung Lee & Elizabeth Bryant Lee, The Fine Art of Propaganda, 1939. How much of what the news media tell us is true, and how does it control our view of the world? There are many profound ways in which the media can influence and manipulate the public’s perception of reality. It attacks the widely held belief that the news media are controlled by liberals and liberal opinion–and clearly depicts the news media as a controlling institution of the American capitalist system, an institution that serves the interests of the rich and powerful while appearing to serve the many.
As every American knows the media has major effects on each and every on of us everyday. Companies, magazines, books, Cereal boxes, television, newspapers, billboards and especially radio help influence individuals in forming opinions and their decision making. The widespread use of this utility of radio throughout World War I and World War II as some may agree actually helped to win the war. Paul Schubert, Was probably one of the most noteworthy American propaganda journalists of his time. He wrote vast articles and gave numerous radio broadcasts to the American public in order to stir up support for the military actions being taken and gain support for our troops. Many of his radio broadcasts were later translated to short two page articles ranging from such famous magazines as the Saturday Evening Post and as small and menial as local newspapers. It was through him and radio that the U.S. strummed up support. Schubert was chosen to carry-out this task because of his qualifications as were many others. It was Schubert in particular though, because of his background as a former Naval Academy graduate, and prior service in the United States Navy that led him to be one of the best. These qualities just may have been the precise point of his effectiveness. He didn’t support the military because of his years of training, but it was because he truly believed and internalized the governments decisions in such matters as war.