The facts are - by George Seldes - PDF ebook

The facts are

The facts are

A guide to falsehood and propaganda in the press and radio

It is more than likely that in the time intervening between the writing of this book and the day it is read the World War now being fought far away will have become a reality, a matter of life and death, to millions of Americans. There may be long casualty lists, there may be bombardments of great coastal cities, and the facts of the greatest struggle for the welfare of humanity against its greatest enemy (Fascism) will be felt as well as known. 

The conduct of this war, the making of the unity necessary to win it, or the spreading of disunity which for the first time in the history of the Republic may endanger its existence, will depend considerably on the press, and the kind of peace which will follow will depend even more than did the Versailles peace, on the conduct of the press of all nations. Today we are fighting for our lives. We have been attacked. The enemy is Fascism. 

There can therefore be no room in the anti-Fascist world at this time for doubt about the justness of the war, or its causes, as there were in the last war, but when peace nears all of us will have to be on the alert to prevent the present movement against world Fascism from being diverted into many strange channels by public opinion created by a press which is still in Fascist or semi-Fascist control even in democratic nations. 

I believe that the press will be the instrument for uniting America for war and that it will be still more powerful in making peace which may benefit all peoples or certain interests. 1 also believe that most of the world press is controlled by special interests and as a result is corrupt. Therefore it is necessary to explain and expose this corruption of the press and to question its handling of the news of the war, so that we may judge its role in creating a better world— for which this war is being fought. '

What is the most powerful force in America today?
Answer: public opinion.
What makes public opinion?
Answer: the main force is the press.
Can you trust the press?
Answer: the baseball scores are always correct (except for a typographical error now and then). The stock market tables are correct (within the same limitation).
But when it comes to the news which will affect you, your daily life, your job, your relation to other peoples, your thinking on economic and social problems, and, more important today, you're going to war and risking your life for a great ideal, then you
cannot trust about 98 percent (or perhaps 99 percent) of the big newspaper and big magazine press of America.

Part one is the entire press corrupt?
1 the greatest power in war and peace— I
2 from Washington to f.D.R.— 4
3 can you fool all the people all the time?— 7
4 chief victims of the press: labor— 24
5 agency of press corruption: advertising— 33
Part two how to read the war news
1 war before now— 49
2 how to detect propaganda— 6 1
3 can you trust the military experts?— 72
4 can you trust the war correspondents?— 90
5 can you believe atrocity stories?— 99
6 how to read the editorial page— 108
7 can you trust the radio?— 109
Part three the people vs. The press and radio
1 to sum up— 118
2 what are you going to do about it?— 121
Index— 128 

Author: George Seldes
Publication date: 1942

Download The facts are by George Seldes  8.2 MB - PDF ebook

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