How Threatening Was Domestic Propaganda?

Friday, July 19, 2013


The Smith-Mundt Modernization Act goes into effect this month, lifting prior domestic broadcast bans on U.S. propaganda. Bob talks to historian Thomas Fleming, author of The Illusion of Victory: America in World War One, about how powerful domestic propaganda was in the past, and how unlikely it is to have much impact today.


Thomas Fleming

Hosted by:

Bob Garfield

Comments [5]

dizzy5 from Manhattan

Hey, David Calhoun, fat mouth from Seattle commenter- the Nazi broadcasts can be found on, I think they call it, You-Tube. I had no idea you people in Sea-burgh haven't discovered computers yet! Say hi to Mayor Ole Hanson.

Aug. 16 2013 09:52 PM
Arthur Aldrich from New York

The Germans were far ahead of even the English when it came to TV broadcasting. Nipkow had patented a scanning system in the late 19th or early 20th century. The main TV transmitter in Berlin is named for him. Unlikes the English, however, which broadcast TV to homes using a system of scanning discs, the Germans, especially under the Nazis broadcast to TV parlors. The televised the Olympic games and other mass events using a combination of 16mm movie film which was developed instantaneously and scanned into TV images.

Aug. 07 2013 02:07 PM
David calhoun from Seattle

Pllease tell us more about Nazi television during World War II. I had no idea that the Germans were so advanced. Perhaps you meant the early form, without pictures? That medium has another, less unfamiliar name - radio.


Jul. 21 2013 10:09 PM

The media "can correct any extremes that a government organization might go.."
Not if the media are in political collusion with a government organization.

Can it be argued that the same pro-government propaganda exists today with the media replacing the foreign enemies of WWII with the domestic and lawful political opposition of the Obama administration as the new enemy to be thwarted today?

Jul. 21 2013 08:31 AM
Benoit Balz from NYC

Are you guys nuts? World War ONE?? How about the domestic propaganda that is going on constantly, and right now? Ten plus years in Afghanistan and Iraq and how many photos of dead Americans have appeared in/on US media of any kind? This is not going on in the distant past...

There's a disconnect going on at OTM. You have current propagandists like Quil Lawrence as guests - Lawrence was and is one of the prime Pentagon Propaganda shills at NPR - and don't ask any questions about messaging monkey business. And Bob threw puffballs (with no follow-up) at Rep. Adam Smith. Not to worry, really? Believe me, if you're talking about the VOA, you're looking in the wrong place for the most virulent propaganda. Try looking at the NPR editorial offices and find out where the Pentagon Puff-Pieces are generated, and who on the NPR staff makes sure listeners are subjected to that insidious crap.

Really disappointing coverage on this stuff...

Jul. 20 2013 04:38 PM

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