Blogs > Stone Age Brain | Rick Shenkman > War Propaganda: It's an Old Story (Video)

Feb 26, 2022

War Propaganda: It's an Old Story (Video)

tags: war,propaganda

This blog post was written by Rick Shenkman, the founder of George Washington University’s History News Network, and the author of Political Animals: How Our Stone-Age Brain Gets in the Way of Smart Politics (Basic Books). 

In Putin’s Russia people aren’t getting the same version of the war we’re seeing on CNN and other mainstream media outlets in the United States.  Putin’s making sure his people see his version and his version only, with the exception of a single TV station, TV Rain, "Russia’s sole remaining independent television operation," according to the New Yorker -- and now only available on YouTube.

War has always been the great incubator of lies and propaganda. 

This was the theme, as it happens, of one of my shows on Myth America, a series that ran on The Learning Channel (TLC) 25 years ago.  I am making the shows available online.  Click here to watch the show, which reveals how audiences were fooled by newsreel propaganda.  (The show is 30 minutes in length.)

As you'll see propaganda has been the tool of even democratic societies during wartime.

Highlights of the show include:

*How newsreels used fake footage of the sinking of the Maine

*How Thomas Edison staged fake battles in New Jersey of the Spanish-American War

*How newsreels manufactured footage of oppression in Hitler's Germany when cameramen failed to generate film of Nazi atrocities

Some of the footage to modern eyes is obviously contrived.  But much is not, as an audience of voters discovered when we showed them clips.

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