Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: Public Opinion In Wartime

Monday, February 25, 2008

Public Opinion In Wartime

George Creel wrote this article as an apology to the work of the Committee On Public Information , which was catching a fair amount of flack for its more heavy handed methods in spreading pro war propaganda. He writes:
"Our work has been educational and informative. Much has been said in praise of German propaganda, but from the first our policy has been to find out what the Germans were doing, and then not to do it. Rottenness and corruption and deceit and trickery may win for a while, but in the long run it always brings about it's own inevitable demise"
Really? They were 'bad', and we were 'good' in the presentation of the facts? What about the posters showing skewered babies, raped women, cusified civilians? How about the movies like 'The Claws of The Hun', 'To Hell with the Kaiser', and 'The Kaiser, The Beast of Berlin'? How about the Espionage Act of 1917, and the Sedition Act of 1918? People being thrown in jail for giving anti-war speeches? Propaganda is like power. Too much, and corruption will follow...


Blogger A. Mattson said...

A very good post and choice of quotations.

You are correct Creel is an apologist here defending the CPI against the charges that it was just another ministry of propaganda.

The second key point here is Creel's fantasy that the CPI was only spreading facts. Facts were mass produced but strong images were also mobilized to provoke an emotional response.

3/05/2008 9:54 PM  

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