As a proponent of a free press (a precious commodity in today’s world), the stories of yesterday often serve as haunting reminders of the need to talk openly of our political struggles. I came across this article in the Mother Jones News about an American reporter from the Chicago Daily News that traveled to Nagasaki just three days after the devastating nuclear attack ending World War II. His stories, published internationally, described the horrors of the aftermath…
“Hiroshima does not look like a bombed city. It looks as if a monster steamroller has passed over it and squashed it out of existence. I write these facts as dispassionately as I can in the hope that they will act as a warning to the world.”
The story was censored in the States and the reporter was ordered out of Japan by the US military. What is more outlandish is the effort on the part of the United States military to refute the claims of the author using its own propaganda machine. A reporter for the New York Times, also on the government’s payroll, wrote that the reported effects of radiation sickness were the product of the Japanese propaganda machine.
This is an interesting historical view on an issue that feels as real today. Can we trust we are getting the straight story?