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The Background Noise

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Faith Potts

on 23 March 2015

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Transcript of The Background Noise

The Background Noise
by Faith Potts and Sally Zhi
The Significance of Propaganda and the Radio
Radio broadcasts, films, posters, and other methods were used.
Propaganda exaggerated cooperation and the need for citizens of all genders, races, or backgrounds to do their part and support the war.
Propaganda targeted at home and at soldiers encouraged the defeat of other nations, such as Germany, and also boosted moral.
There was “government food propaganda”, which was directed towards helping the war effort.
The most successful U.S. propaganda during Pacific war was aimed at the civilian population–"city leaflets" listing the Japanese cities that would be bombed and the dates of the bombings. This happened around the bombing of the Japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Famous propaganda programs were "We Hold These Truths" and
The Army Hour.
United States Propaganda
Both sides greatly enjoyed jazz music.
The song, "Lili Marlene," originally written by German soldier Hans Leip was both popular with the Allies and the German troops.
Popular Music for the Allied and Axis Powers
The Nazis quickly established the Ministry for Popular Enlightenment and Propaganda, with Joseph Goebbels as its head.
Joseph Goebbels stated that propaganda should be as accurate as possible. But, he constantly targeted the home front during the war with repeated and made-up accusations of the Allies until people believed them.
All forms of media, education, industry, and scientific activity were used to spread National Socialist ideals.
Hitler often appeared to deliver the propaganda in person, and this summoned mass rallies of citizens.
Film and radio helped promote the power of German arms. The bright, garish poster art and printed media did as well. Germany's propaganda is often considered the most effective of any belligerent in the war.
A key theme of National Socialist propaganda was the superiority and racial purity of the German people. They often blamed all their troubles on their enemies as well.
German propaganda depicted Germany as creating a "new Europe" and defending Europeans against Communism.
German Propaganda
90% of American families owned a radio, and it was a part of daily life.
Propaganda was spread through the radio by news programs, public affairs broadcasts, as well as through Hollywood and the mainstream.
Radio brought the outside world closer than ever before. The source soon obtained a political significance as the ideal platform for the leaders of the period, especially Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler.
The new technology allowed information and news (whether false or true) to spread faster than ever before.
Philip M. Taylor once said that World War II "witnessed the greatest propaganda battle in the history of warfare."
Psychological warfare was often seen. It was a method that used different strategies to demoralize the soldiers and civilians.
This is a propaganda poster that depicts a German soldier, urging US citizens to act because they are "being watched."
This is a poster urging men to join the US Navy.
United States Music
Electric blues, hard bop, serial music, folk opera, country swing, and show jazz were all innovations of the era.
The influence of technology increased the use of electric guitar and led to changes in all music styles.
Swing-jazz orchestras were extremely popular. Swing was a style of blues and jazz orchestration, developed in the 1930s, that was exciting and daring.
Blues and pop singers such as Billie Holiday, Helen Forrest, the Andrews Sisters, Bing Crosby, Dinah Shore, and Frank Sinatra were popular during World War II.
Swing groups led by men such as Tommy Dorsey, Louis Armstrong, Harry James, Les Brown, and Benny Good-man were popular as well.
Radio in the United States
Radio made three contributions to the war effort: news programs encouraged American involvement, propaganda targeted Nazi-occupied Europe, and broadcasts to the troops via the Armed Forces Radio Service increased confidence.
Some popular radio shows according to Hooperatings during the war years were The Bob Hope Show, Fibber McGee and Molly, and Red Skelton.
A well-known radio rabble-rouser and Catholic priest, Charles Coughlin, used The Golden Hour of the Little Flower, and obtained as many as 40 million listeners. Although he originally supported the New Deal, this grew to become hatred for Franklin Roosevelt and support of European Fascism. His audience stopped listening before he left in 1940.
Another reporter, Walter Winchell, broadcast gossipy versions of news.
Works Cited
Japanese Propaganda
The English translation is "Be prepared. Don't be negligent just because you won -- The Army Ministry of Japan."
This is glorification of Japanese military:
"Valiant Japanese soldiers are invincible in battle, advanced Japanese weaponry is the most dominant in the world.”

Propaganda at home emphasized Japanese victories and expansion. Japanese listeners were actually confused when Emperor Hirohito ordered an end to the hostilities committed by Japan in 1945 because they were unaware how involved Japan was in the war.
Japanese propaganda often glorified the Japanese military.
New technology allowed Japan to broadcast their propaganda over the radio.
Propaganda posters sometimes depicted the battles and fights that Japan had been involved in.
Japanese propaganda featured strongly nationalistic themes and portrayed western culture as weaker than and inferior to Japanese culture.

This is a Japanese soldier aggressively charging Britain. Japan promised to drive the British lion out and implied that the U.S. would stand by and let Britain be ousted.

The Radio in Japan
New technology, such as radio and motion pictures, had the ability to spread information on a greater scale.
Radio broadcasting began on May 22, 1925 in Japan. The Tokyo Broadcasting Station was the first commercial radio broadcaster in Japan. Two other commercial radio stations then opened in Osaka and Nagoya. The government merged the three stations in 1926 to create new broadcaster, NHK. NHK held a broadcasting monopoly in Japan until 1951.
The communications industry strictly controlled anything to be released over the radio.
Japanese propagandists had many Allied listeners, often simply because they played popular music on their radio stations.
Japanese programs focused on the message that the Japanese were superior to the Westerners.
The most famous propaganda program was
Zero Hour.
Music in Japan
Japanese Military Song
Propaganda is news and information that is intended to influence people's feelings about a certain cause.

During World War II, propaganda and music influenced how many people, soldiers and civilians, felt about the war.
Zero Hour
Japanese Radio Tokyo broadcast a popular propaganda program called "Zero Hour".
The program was directed at Allied troops and tried to lower US Military morale by giving false battle reports.
It featured popular music in between propagandist war reports.
It was made appealing to the Allied troops because the propaganda reports were read by women with alluring voices known as Tokyo Rose.
Allied prisoners of war were forced to produce "Zero Hour".
Even though jazz was the "enemy music" Japanese music was widely influenced by it.
There were many jazz-like Japanese songs that featured strong patriotic themes.
Popular music in Japan also had strong militaristic themes.
Many of the songs were directed at children.
Nikudan san'yūshi (The Three Brave Human Bullets), Aikoku kōshinkyoku (Patriotism March), and Hawaii kaisen (Hawaii Naval Battle) were some of the most popular songs in Japan. Even the names are strongly patriotic.
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Japanese Propaganda Posters
Axis Sally
Mildred Elizabeth Gillars, more famously known as Axis Sally, was a host of a popular radio show that played recordings of jazz music all night.
She tried to demoralize soldiers by telling them that their girlfriends and wives were cheating on them at home.
She sometimes read the serial numbers of dead or captured American soldiers.
"Vision of Invasion" was her most influential broadcast of a failed American Invasion on the soldiers.
Appeal of Propaganda
Popular music was played in between bursts of propaganda on the radio so that people would tune in to listen to the music.
Women used alluring voices on radio shows.
Soldiers found the propagandists attempts to demoralize the troops funny and entertaining.
Propaganda often over-exaggerated or lied about news to keep people listening.
"We Hold these Truths"
"We Hold these Truths" was a propaganda program produced by the government.
It used celebrities and important political figures to gain popularity.
It was initially produced to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Bill of Rights.
It became a source of patriotism, and it portrayed the U.S. with a "unified spirit" to boost morale after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
Radio in Germany
Hitler once declared that, without radio and other modern methods of communication, there would have been "no victory for National Socialism."
Radio was often produced in English to target the Allied troops. To gain listeners, most radio hosts played popular music and only touched on propaganda during their shows.
William Joyce, also known as Lord Haw Haw, has the broadcaster of a popular radio propaganda program. To demoralize soldiers at the front, he told them that they were losing the war, fighting for no reason, and their leaders were getting rich while they were dying.
Another popular radio propagandist was Philippe Henriot. He targeted French civilians by telling them the hardships they faced by being on the Allied side.
The most popular radio propagandist was probably Axis Sally.
Music in Germany
Hitler attempted to suppress and control what type of music was listened to.
German "popular" music consisted of patriotic songs, folk songs, and sentimental ballads
Though jazz was condemned by Hitler, it was still widely popular and listened to on the radio in Germany.
Gleichschaltung was music that conformed to the Nazi ideals.
Composers that met Hitler's standards were Ludwig von Beethoven, Anton Bruckner, and Richard Wagner
"Berlin bleibt doch Berlin!" (Berlin is still Berlin) was a popular song approved by the Nazis.
Composers that did not meet the standards were Berthold Goldschmidt, Ernst Krenek, and Arnold Schoenberg.
Anti-Germany Propaganda Video
"The Thrifty Pig" was an anti-German animated short film by Walt Disney.
This is a Nazi propaganda poster depicting a Nazi sword king passing through the star of David and killing a snake. The words on the snake are: Versailles, unemployment, war guilt lie, Marxism, Bolshevism, lies and betrayal, inflation, corruption, prostitution, terror, etc.
Lili Marlene
One of the most popular songs was "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B" by the Andrews Sisters.
U.S. Propaganda Posters
Nazi Propaganda Poster
Richard Wagner- The Ride of the Valkyries from "Die Walküre"
Nazi Approved Music
U.S. Music

Tokyo Rose Recording
This is a recording of Iva Toguri, a Japanese American most famously associated with the name "Tokyo Rose" in some of her radio propaganda broadcasts.
Full transcript