(UN)Intenitally SCARING THE PUBLIC
The Cold War and the idea of Communism really rattled the America as a nation beginning in the 1950s and continuing for decades to come. Beginning in the 50s, the spread of Anti-Communism was moving rapidly and even though Americans were starting to split into different groups, this message of hating communists was what really what kept them somewhat together. The propaganda that the media spread was the worst part of this whole debacle. Sure, there were legitimate concerns over the security and privacy of the American people…but it has been understood that there wasn’t really a big threat that Russia, Cuba, or any other communist nations had brought to America. Although the media and government might have had good intentions about spreading the Anti-Communism message, they unnecessarily scared American citizens while trying to get their point across.
The US Government played a huge role in the spread of Anti-Communism messages but most of them were true; it wasn’t until the media got ahold of the information of either the Gaither Report or any other type of group that released details concerning the US security that it got out of hand. There isn’t any evidence that the media purposefully tried to scare American citizens by releasing these documents or any type of ad that was against communism…but it certainly did scare citizens…most of them. It all started out with political figures warning America about how much of a threat Communism was to not only the nation but the world. Joseph McCarthy, a senator from Wisconsin, was one of the most prominent political figures known for his outspokenness about Communism. In one of his speeches, he claimed that over two-hundred State-Department were ‘known communists’. This really scared Americans, because instead of them being able to say that Communism was far away from the US, they couldn’t with real certainty anymore. None of his accusations ended up being true and he scared many American citizens for nothing.
The invention of the TV was a great thing; it brought families together, it provided important information that the public needed to know without them having to hear it on the radio…but it also led to a lot of propaganda that scared them by conveying so many Anti-Communism messages. There were countless numbers of ads and educational videos that would tell Americans how to “protect” themselves from a nuclear war. Not only were educational films made, but these messages were incorporated into TV Shows and movies as well. A great examples of this is George Orwell’s book, Animal Farm, was created into an animated film as instructed by the CIA to be a message of Anti-Russian Propaganda. All of these issues raised by the US Government and the media, would have a long-lasting effect on the American citizens that would lead into the 1960s and beyond and really solidified the countries hatred of mainly Russia, but also any other would-be communist nations or peoples.
See Some Examples