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Could we have won WWII with the type of media we have today?

Discussion in 'Free Fire Zone' started by USMCPrice, May 8, 2011.

  1. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

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    Clint,
    I know that Hearst was very instumental in fanning the flames leading up to the Spanish-American War. He was quite effective but not to the degree that he is often credited with. I would like to pick your brain on the quoted point you brought out. I was familiar with the fact that there was some anti-Roosevelt bias in some of the media, but you appear to be much more familiar with the topic than me. Your personal opinion please, do you think the anti-Roosevelt media went after FDR as strongly as the current media went after George W. Bush? How would the volume of the anti-FDR media coverage compare to the amount of anti-G.W. Bush media coverage during our time?
     
  2. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    Not a chance. China has tried on numerous occasions to censor the internet with only limited success. Look at Egypt just recently. There the government shut down the internet entirely and people went around them with dial up connections, cell phones and, other electronics that weren't down. Saddam had to forbid satellite dishes for television because it would have connected his people with uncontrolled news not that they didn't get some anyway.
    As the electronics revolution continues to grow, and at an accelerating pace, the world is becoming so interconnected that information will be available to anyone through one means or another. This isn't the 1960's and Vietnam. The news media and journalists are losing their clout because of blogging, tweeting, internet boards (like this one), internet TV, and a plethoria of other new electronic media. Guys like Brietbart are revolutionizing news by letting virtually anyone be a reporter.
    That kind of information spread is like a virus or an out-of-control wildfire. You cannot stop it. Remember, some 600 or so years ago the Cathoic Chruch and governments in Europe tried to control and even ban the printing press. They failed to.
     
  3. Otto

    Otto Rested & Resupplied with MREs. Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    An interesting thought experiment here, but one that's ultimately moot in my humble opinion. Today's media is a function of our current era and current culture, as are the wars being fought in this era. Plugging "today's media" into a WWII scenario is essentially creating a "What If?" discussion on the topic.

    Today, the overwhelming majority of today's American public aren't affected by the war other than a few rare clips on the nightly news, and would have absolutely no appetite for a "total war" effort of the WWII era. The media in ww2 reflected the much more unified national directive (total commitment to total war), and the US public of the day would have zero acceptance for today's partial commitment to warfare.

    Uncoupling today's media landscape and attempting to affix it to the ww2 era is just not an applicable premise. We might as well ask if we could win today's war with ww2 weapons, or vice-versa. As I said, it's an interesting thought experiment, but unfortunately it must assume we could have a WW2 era media culture today, which simply isn't possible.
     
  4. Dauntless

    Dauntless Member

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    I am a writer. I can imagine what it would’ve been like had today’s media been calling the shots 70 years ago.

    US Expects Pasting In Coming Battle

    HAWAII…Unnamed sources have told this reporter that the USS Enterprise left Pearl Harbor this morning, heading east, most likely for Midway Island. Unnamed sources have also reported that a massive Japanese invasion fleet is heading for Midway Island. It is expected that the invasion fleet should reach Midway within the week.

    When reached at his office, Admiral Nimitz wouldn’t confirm the reports. Admiral Nimitz also wouldn’t answer why he isn’t evacuating Midway Island, or why he isn’t ordering an evacuation of civilians from Hawaii. Phone calls to Admiral King went unanswered, although sources confirm that an evacuation plan is being considered.

    Polls conducted of Hawaiian citizens indicate that at least half of civilians would evacuate when asked “In light of the pasting the US Fleet took on December 7th, if it is wise of Admiral Nimitz to continue opposing the Japanese fleet in an antagonistic way. Should civilians then flee the islands to the West Coast ?”

    Meanwhile, Senator McAvoy (D) Iowa continues to question the increase in military funding in light of Japanese progress in the Pacific and the inability of the US Fleet to stop them. He ponders the futility of making more ships, planes and bombs when the Japanese economic model seems to be working. Also, Representative Sheepdip (D) Kansas has brought up the recent turn around on the isolationist policy as intervention in yet another European war would only be a waste of lives, money, and resources.

    Even though the vote for entry into the war was nearly unanimous, Secretary Perkins is petitioning President Roosevelt for a recount on the vote. So far, the Secretary’s pleas have reached deaf ears, but when reached for comment, Secretary Tojo said that he would dictate peace terms in the White House itself.
     
  5. f6fhellcat

    f6fhellcat Member

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    With a report like that, I don't think the American people would be motivated enough to give it their all back in World War II. I really hope that one day, I would be able to see unbiased news and come up with my own opinion about it. Until then, I just can't stand watching the news because it's just too processed. I'd rather have the raw news and think about it myself.
     
  6. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    In my opinion I think that in the event of a casus belli , governments would not only restrict the internet, but censor journalists. Most of them would possibly censor themselves in the name of patriotism. If the survival of the country is at stake, people are ready to stick together and may accept to temporary give up some of their freedom in order to regain it back later. See the anti-terror acts after 9-11 .
     
  7. Biak

    Biak Adjutant Patron  

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    I believe the War would have still been won. Mainly because the citizens, then as now, generally have enough sense to realize what we read, hear and see in the media always has a political slant. I hate polls and never pay attention to them but here is one example;

    "What is your impression of how the war in Afghanistan is going for the United States right now: very well, somewhat well, somewhat badly, or very badly?"
    ............................................Very well.. Somewhat.well...... Somewhat.badly.. Very badly.. Unsure % % % % %
    3/18-21/11....................... ...........4.............. 40.................................... 34................... 15.............. 7....​
    2/11-14/11 ..................................3.............. 33.................................... 36................... 19.............. 9...​
    10/21-26/11 ................................3.............. 35.................................... 36................... 19.............. 7..​
    9/10-14/10 ..................................2.............. 36.................................... 34.................... 21............. 7...​
    8/20-24/10 ..................................2.............. 35.................................... 38.................... 14 ............11..​
    7/9-12/10 ....................................2.............. 29.................................... 41.................... 21............. 7..​
    5/20-24/10 ..................................2.............. 38.................................... 37.................... 12 .............11..​
    12/4-8/09 ....................................1.............. 29.................................... 43.................... 17............. 10..​
    11/13-16/09 ................................4.............. 19.................................... 42.................... 27............... 8..​
    9/19-23/09 ..................................3.............. 32.................................... 38.................... 15.............. 12..​
    8/27-31/09 ..................................2.............. 35.................................... 34.................... 18.............. 11..​
    7/24-28/09 ..................................3.............. 30.................................... 39.................... 18............... 10..​
    7/9-12/09 ....................................2.............. 34.................................... 40.................... 15................ 9..​
    6/12-16/09 ..................................2.............. 28.................................... 40.................... 15................15..
    4/22-26/09 ..................................1.............. 37.................................... 40.................... 13................ 9..​
    4/1-5/09 ......................................3.............. 33.................................... 37.................... 15............... 12..​
    3/12-16/09 ..................................3.............. 30.................................... 36..................... 21............... 10..​
    12/4-7/08 ....................................2.............. 25.................................... 44..................... 18............... 11..​
    9/21-24/08 ..................................2.............. 29.................................... 32..................... 23............... 14..​
    8/15-19/08 ..................................3.............. 25.................................... 40..................... 18................14..​
    3/20-24/03 ................................30.............. 46.................................... 11...................... 3................ 10..​
    9/22-23/02 ................................19.............. 53.................................... 20...................... 3.................. 5..​
    9/2-5/02 ....................................14.............. 58.................................... 16...................... 3.................. 8..​
    7/8-9/02 ....................................13.............. 54..................................... 21...................... 7................. 5..​
    6/18-20/02 ................................14.............. 51..................................... 21...................... 8................. 6..​
    5/13-14/02 ................................18.............. 55..................................... 17...................... 3................. 7..

    CBS News Poll. March 18-21, 2011. N=1,022 adults nationwide. Margin of error � 3.

    There are many "polls" here Afghanistan and the telling thing (to me at least) is the fact that most only compare a few months rather than the one posted which covers the attitude over nine years. Also of interest might be the 'bump' or 'dip' between 2003 and 2008. Curious as to the reason no polls were taken or at least reported during those years and co-incidentally the War in Iraq started in March 2003. An example of media bias? What was happening for the other five years of the Bush Administration?

    I think it would have been difficult then (WW2) to not report the barbarous acts found in the concentration camps,mass killings in the villages etc: if today's technology existed then. Thus causing more resolve. One aspect of the American people (and I believe every Countryman) is; Most of us take with a 'grain-of-salt' the "story-line" espoused today. With the internet we can (if we desire) check the validity of the reporting. Also during WW2 there were millions fighting. Compared to today, OPSEC not withstanding, the Truth of what is actually happening gets back to the Citizens. Military Families have a better understanding of what is transpiring than the general public. I'm fortunate to have a friend who gave me a couple of DVDs with a few hundred pictures from Afghanistan and Iraq. They could not be 'posted', emailed or sent Home, but they could be handed to me directly. I could not put them out on the internet but could talk about and show them to friends. Bullet pocked Schools getting books and supplies, not to mention Windows!, Doctors and medical attention for hundreds of citizens. Local (Theirs not ours), media reporters and interviews. The few people I showed these to helped, if not change their minds, give them a perspective. I think this would have also happened in the world War.

    Overall I believe the media can try to tilt the opinion but we only subscribe to it if it fits our own political leanings.
     

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