Ducks in a Row

25 May

K.M. Lawson posts Office of War Information (OWI) public diplomacy guidelines, and some of them actually make good policy. I think it’s wrong to call these guidelines by the pejorative term "propaganda", though. When considering the damage caused by Sneed article during the Virginia Tech episode, where a reporter initially identified Korean-American Seung Hui Cho as "Chinese", there is something to say for some government agency taking an interest in what the repercussions of comments by American officials and citizens might be.

Sept 7, 1945: “Caustion: Use special care in avoiding the use of any materials which might be considered derogatory to the Far Eastern peoples in general, such as, ancestor worship or reference to color, size, or “Oriental” appearance.

There then is this wonderful guideline displaying how contentious was the American relationship with Chiang Kai-shek:

May 30, 1945 “As an indication of American interest in the problem, report the Generalissimo [Chiang Kai-shek]’s proposed cooperation with Harley and Wedemeyer on easing up of censorship. Make use of any comment which favords such a development and which favors evidence of such a change.” [Text was crossed out in original]

Read all the guidelines!

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