Convenient fictions

Here is the front page from December 8, 1941. It says only one US battleship was sunk at Pearl Harbor.

According to Wikipedia, 4 battleships were sunk, 4 more were damaged. The damages should have been obvious at the time.

I remember my father saying it took several months for the government to admit the true magnitude of losses in a series of revisions.

Why would the government hide the truth?

Was it just to confuse the Japanese?

wow. this is a good example of why no one should every trust the press/media

Oh for sure. I mean if you think about it hard enough, that makes total sense.


The questions are really about the government, not the press. Here are two more recent examples:

The US military showed marines practicing an amphibious landing and bombarded the coast to get the Iraqis to think that an amphibious landing was planned in Kuwait in 1991. The Iraqi forces were concentrated near the coast, which allowed the US forces to easily enter the country by land.

Schwarzkopf deftly used the media to distract attention away from the planned offensive. Operation Imminent Thunder employed thousands of Marines for a phony amphibious task force, which began posturing in the Gulf in January. The media were invited to cover an amphibious rehearsal in nearby Oman.

“It’s not so much that Schwarzkopf lied to the media,” Allison said. “He just misdirected the media a little bit and they ran with this idea about how the Marines were sitting out there in the Gulf all ready to go: it’s going to be Iwo Jima; we’re going to storm the beaches.”

In 2001 the US government downplayed the risks from dangerous materials in the dust from the 9-11 attacks:
“We are very encouraged that the results from our monitoring of air-quality and drinking-water conditions in both New York and near the Pentagon show that the public in these areas is not being exposed to excessive levels of asbestos or other harmful substances,” Christine Todd Whitman, the then administrator of the EPA, told the citizens of New York City in a press release on September 18—only seven days after the attacks. “Given the scope of the tragedy from last week, I am glad to reassure the people of New York . . . that their air is safe to breathe and the water is safe to drink.”

The government’s interests do not necessarily result in releasing the full truth about events.

Is that a good thing?

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In war?

Yeah it’s probably a good thing the government doesn’t reveal the whole truth.

Of course one might make the argument that if there was total transparency in governments, there wouldn’t be anywhere near as many wars or conflicts.

Um…it was 1941.

I don’t think the Baltimore Sun had a reporter on the scene…there were no TV feeds or live streams from Oahu…so any “deception” came from the medias sources, not the media.

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oh yes i remember this in college. it was due to this that started me realizing everything we see and hear is a contrivance

whether its a good thing or not, on the part of govt is debatable. they even put out fakes in wwII about d-day. militarily, strategically it can be argued for the best, but one thing remains - “news” is not reality.

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and one would be wrong about that

its the press’ job to find out truth, to be curious and dig, expose govt and be the watchdog.

hard to imagine isnt it?

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Keep in mind that the Sun article was published the day after the attack.

At that time the War Department probably didn’t even know the full extent of the damage done in the attack.

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It’s Jan 8, 1941 and Hawaii is 5,000 miles away from Baltimore.

No Internet…no TV (well there was but not in major circulation).

How, exactly, is the media to “be curious and dig in”?

In 1941 most Americans probably didn’t even know where Hawaii was.

And it’s not a new thing.

So, to be clear, because the government put out fake news in advance of D-Day, we can never trust the media, right? Is that what we’re thinking?

Pretty much because the media should have “dug around and been curious”.

thats not the only reason, but no, you should never trust the media/press

Why didn’t the paper also include the attacks on Manila that happened on the same day?

What are they hiding?

Who should I trust? Only the government?

And the allies staged fake cardboard tanks and munitions dumps across the English Channel to foll the nazis that the invasion of France would occur elsewhere.

A common (and important) strategy of war is deception.

And I submit that when we are at war, the US media become a tool of the enemy, so it’s wholly fitting for the US leadership to keep the media as much in the dark as it can.

And nowadays, the media are at perpetual war with the government.

I also noticed they failed to mention the Kurds’ cowardly refusal to defend the harbor.

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