Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Why Chomsky is Probably Wrong: Was Walter Lippmann a Member of the Committee on Public Information (1917-1919)?

This entry -- a footnote to an article on Creel and Lippmann during World War I -- is a work in progress; updated 5/22/2016; suggestions welcome -- please email john.h30@gmail.com

American public diplomacy can be defined in two ways: it should tell the truth or tell a story. Of course, there are many shades of gray between these two activities. Their tensions go back to Plato's Gorgias, in which Socrates (the truth-speaking philosopher searching for knowledge) has sharp, often sarcastic, exchanges with Gorgias (the story-telling rhetorician seeking power).

In the twentieth century, specifically during World War I, the tension between philosophy and rhetoric in political life took a new, amplified form with the appearance of a new type of propaganda, differentiated from its earlier historical forms by its efforts manipulate mass audiences through the latest forms of communications at times of global conflict.

In the United States during Great War -- from the perspective of the history of public diplomacy -- the still quite well-known Walter Lippmann was the philosopher, and the far lesser-known George Creel the rhetorician. Lippmann, part of the East coast elite, studied philosophy at Harvard; Creel, born poor in Missouri, was a journalist/publicist with an eight-graduate education. Lippmann thought for a living; Creel scribbled for a living. Both men, despite their different backgrounds, were concerned with that new political force, public opinion, and how to deal with it.

Lippmann, the philosopher, wanted to enlighten public opinion; Creel, the rhetorician, to manipulate it. Both men worked for the U.S. government in the Great War in that new frontier, the public-opinion field -- Lippmann as a captain in military intelligence; Creel as the chairman of the Committee on Public Information, labelled as America's first ministry of propaganda.

Lippmann and Creel, men whose weapons were words (but used differently), were rivals in Washington bureaucratic turf wars. Each, self-promoters infatuated with politics, wanted to be a favorite of that powerful man in the country, the president. Because of this competition, they couldn't stand each other. But intellectually they did have something in common. This is because the distinction between philosophy and rhetoric, in the real world, can be very blurry indeed.

The below deals in a concrete fashion with a philosophy vs. rhetoric issue with which students of the past are not in full agreement:

Was Walter Lippmann a member of Creel's Committee on Public Information?


1) Noam Chomsky, "What Makes Mainstream Media Mainstream," Z Magazine, October (1997), accessed 9/29/2014:
Britain needed U.S. backing, so Britain had its Ministry of Information aimed primarily at American opinion and opinion leaders. The Wilson administration reacted by setting up the first state propaganda agency here, called the Committee on Public Information. It succeeded brilliantly, mainly with liberal American intellectuals, people of the John Dewey circle, who actually took pride in the fact that for the first time in history, according to their picture, a wartime fanaticism was created, and not by military leaders and politicians but by the more responsible, serious members of the community, namely, thoughtful intellectuals. And they did organize a campaign of propaganda, which within a few months did succeed in turning a relatively pacifist population into raving anti-German fanatics who wanted to destroy everything German. It reached the point where the Boston Symphony Orchestra couldn’t play Bach. The country was driven into hysteria.

The members of Wilson’s propaganda agency included people like Edward Bernays, who became the guru of the public relations industry, and Walter Lippmann, the leading public intellectual of the 20th century, the most respected media figure. They very explicitly drew from that experience. If you look at their writings in the 1920s, they said, We have learned from this that you can control the public mind, you can control attitudes and opinions. That’s where Lippmann said, 'We can manufacture consent by the means of propaganda.' Bernays said, 'The more intelligent members of the community can drive the population into whatever they want' by what he called 'engineering of consent.' It’s the 'essence of democracy,' he said.'Another member of the Creel Commission was Walter Lippmann, the most respected figure in American journalism for about half a century (I mean serious American journalism, serious think pieces). He also wrote what are called progressive essays on democracy, regarded as progressive back in the 1920s. He was, again, applying the lessons of the work on propaganda very explicitly. He says there is a new art in democracy called manufacture of consent. That is his phrase. Edward Herman and I borrowed it for our book, but it comes from Lippmann. So, he says, there is this new art in the method of democracy, 'manufacture of consent.' By manufacturing consent, you can overcome the fact that formally a lot of people have the right to vote. We can make it irrelevant because we can manufacture consent and make sure that their choices and attitudes will be structured in such a way that they will always do what we tell them, even if they have a formal way to participate. So we’ll have a real democracy. It will work properly. That’s applying the lessons of the propaganda agency.
2) "Noam Chomsky’s misrepresentation of Walter Lippmann’s chief ideas on manufacturing consent," YDS: The Clare Spark Blog, accessed 9/29/2014
Both Bernays and Lippmann had worked for George Creel’s Committee during the First World War, as Chomsky and his followers note.
3) "Woodrow Wilson's propaganda efforts were a great success - Walter Lippmann,"  progressingamerica.org [blog] accessed 9/29/2014:
Most notably, Edward Bernays, the father of spin was a part of CPI. So too was Walter Lippmann himself, though perhaps to a bit of his credit he quickly turned against Creel and his CPI. But as Lippmann would go on to write in Public Opinion (1920): The mass of absolutely illiterate, of feeble-minded, grossly neurotic, undernourished and frustrated individuals, is very considerable, much more considerable there is reason to think than we generally suppose. Thus a wide popular appeal is circulated among persons who are mentally children or barbarians, people whose lives are a morass of entanglements, people whose vitality is exhausted, shut-in people, and people whose experience has comprehended no factor in the problem under discussion. He was no fan of individual rights or "the masses" in general. Here's another example of what he writes:(Phantom Public page 145)[:] The public must be put in its place, so that it may exercise its own powers, but no less and perhaps even more, so that each of us may live free of the trampling and the roar of a bewildered herd.
4)  Addition (10/4/2014): Richard T. Arndt, The First Resort of Kings: American Cultural Diplomacy in the Twentieth Century (Washington, D.C.: Potomac Books, 2006), pp. 28-29)
When young CPI propaganda analyst Walter Lippmann reported from Paris to Wilson's assistant, Colonel House, on the misbehavior of a Wilson crony from a Trenton newspaper, Wilson vented his fury not a the boor but at Lippmann.
Was Walter Lippmann a member of Creel's Committee on Public Information?

Not quite yes

1) Addition (10/16/2014): Christopher Sharrett, "9/11, the Useful Incident, and the Legacy of the Creel Committee, Cinema Journal 43, no. 4, Summer 2004, pp. 127-128:
Lippmann and Edward Bernays, a founding father of PR, became advisers to George Creel, a progressive-era journalist Wilson had chosen to head the CPI at a time when imperialist demands called for a more coordinated effort than the rather loose support of Hearst et al. for the state's conquest of former Spanish colonies.

2) Addition 10/17/2014: David M. Kennedy, Over Here: The First World War and American Society (1980; twenty-first anniversary edition), p. 91: 
Lippmann had been among the initial architects of the Committee on Public Information.
Not quite no and no

1) Addition 10/19/2014: From: J. Michael Sproule, Propaganda and Democracy: The American Experience of Media and Mass Persuasion(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977) 93:
Lippmann's direct and sometimes painful immersion in political and psychological opinion control during the war may have diluted and even postponed his inchoate movement toward a paternalistic-administrative conception of mass democracy. As a worker in the army's psychological warfare unit, Lippmann contended with the jealousy of Creel's CPI [Committee on Public Information] and his own growing disdain of military organization.
2) Sidney Blumenthal, "Journalism and its discontents: Ninety years after Walter Lippmann first railed against the complicity of the media in wartime propaganda, we're back at ground zero," Salon (October 25, 2007), accessed 9/29/2014:
Lippmann had ferried from the offices of The New Republic, located in New York, to the White House, where he helped work on speeches for Woodrow Wilson. After the entry of the United States in the world war in 1917, Lippmann enthusiastically accepted an appointment as the U.S. representative on the Inter-Allied Propaganda Board, with the rank of captain. But Captain Lippmann soon crossed swords with George Creel, chief of the Committee on Public Information, an official federal government agency that whipped up war support through jingoism. When Lippmann submitted a blistering report in 1918 on how the committee manipulated news to foster national hysteria, Creel sought his dismissal -- and Lippmann quit his post to assist the U.S. delegation at the Versailles peace conference.
3) In her more recent essay,  "Semantic Tyranny: How Edward L. Bernays Stole Walter - Lippmann’s Mojo and Got Away With It and Why It Still Matters,
"International Journal of Communication 7 (2013), p. 1100, Professor Jansen deals with Lippmann's membership in the CPI in a less definitive way:
Some histories of the CPI ... describe Lippmann as a member. The evidence here is murky.
4) Updated 10/5/2014: Sue Curry Jansen, "Walter Lippmann, Straw Man of Communication Research," in David W. Park, Jefferson Pooley, eds., The History of Media and Communication Research: Contested Memories (New York, Peter Lan, 2008), p. 86, writes:
Lippmann was not a member of  George Creel's Committee on Public Information CPI (81). ... Moreover, Lippmann would never have enlisted with a program affiliated with the CPI. He had been a vehement critic of Creel before the war, calling him a 'reckless and incompetent person' in an editorial in The New Republic. In response to Creel's attempt to ban socialist publications in 1917, Lippmann approached Chief Justice Brandeis and later Colonial [sic -JB] House (Wilson's chief adviser) to stop the suppression.  ... [p. 100:] It required real intellectual courage to criticize the Creel Commission during and after World War I."
Footnote 81 is a reference Ronald Steel, Walter Lippmann and the American Century (New Brunswick, N.J. Transaction Publishers, 1999), p. 143. On that page, however, Steel does not state outright that Lippmann was not a member of the CPI, although he makes it clear that this would be most unlikely.

5) Sue Curry Jansen, Walter Lippmann: A Critical Introduction to Media and Communications Theory (New York: Peter Lang, 2012):

Lippmann's critics stress his role as an army propagandist, implying the exercise of Machiavellian powers. But his civilian advocacy for American intervention in the war [WWI] while an editorialist with The New Republic, his involvement in planning what could become the CPI, raise far more questions in my mind than the work he actually did in the Military Intelligence Bureau (MIB). ...
Lippmann's brief Army career began auspiciously, with an appointment to serve as the American representative to the Inter-allied Propaganda Board Conference in London where he was also to serve as an official representative of the Inquiry [Wilson established a wartime 'Inquiry' body, in effect a secret investigation into world affairs with the aim of producing a programme for world peace. Boasting some 125 researchers, Lippmann acted as its co-ordinator -- JB]. Its final report, The War Aims and Peace Terms It Suggests, sent to Congress on 22 December 1917, formed the basis for Wilson's subsequent Fourteen Points declaration of January 1918 and the unofficial ears of Colonel House. He took these assignments seriously, questioning various authorities in London and Paris about the effectiveness of PI propaganda, learning that both Lord Northcliffe's staff in the British propaganda office and personnel in the American Embassy in Paris were very disturbed by Creel's propaganda work in Europe, complaining that the staff knew nothing about European journalism or politics. [39]. Lippmann reported his findings to House, who in turn reported them to the president. The president was not pleased, but Lippmann, not Creel, was the object of his ire. Already irritated by The New Republic's and Lippmann's criticism of his administration's suppression of civil liberties, Wilson wrote to Secretary of War Newton Baker, "I have a high opinion of Lippmann, but I am very jealous in the matter of propaganda....I want to keep the matter of publicity in my own hands." [40]. The president made it clear to House that he wanted to hear nothing more from Captain Lippmann about propaganda. After that, Lippmann's short Army career before the armistice was a mix of routine and boredom.
In addition to writing leaflets, Lippmann interviewed German prisoners of war to assess the effects of propaganda on them, and found that few prisoners could articulate the causes of the war or German war aims. Struck by the fact that combatants were willing to risk their lives for a cause they did not seem to understand, this experience was one source of Lippmann's interest in how people acquire information and form opinions about public affairs.[41]
Looking back at the war to end all wars in 1955, Lippmann attributed the failure to develop a workable peace to the "impassioned nonsense" created by the CPI, which made "public opinion so envenomed that the people could not countenance a workable peace." [42] He bore some direct responsibility for the impassioned nonsense that he later denounced, and he was never one to shy away from retrospectively acknowledging his errors. He was directly implicated in what became the CPI. He did, however, have having his own plan rejected. ...
George Creel would later claim that the CPI was entirely his idea; and there is strong evidence that he actively campaigned for the position of chief censor [44].
Historian Francine Curro Cary claims Lippmann set "a gargantuan task for his publicity bureau," which would (1) act as a clearinghouse of information for the activities of government; (2) invent a form of publicity to enlist attention to prosaic tasks of industrial warfare (3); supply articles that supported government policy (4); (5) monitor and report on the monitor public opinion on the allied, neutral and enemy press; (6) deal with the motion picture situation; (7) run down rumors and lies [45] ...
Lippmann submitted his plan on April 12th, one day before the president created the CPI and appointed Creel chairman. ... Creel's had to have a been a bitter disappointment. Lippmann had recommended that wartime censorship be put in in the hands of people possessing "real democratic sympathy." [48]. Ronald Steel claims that Lippmann himself coveted the position [49]. While this is certainly possible, historians of the CPI, who examine Lippmann's role quite closely, make no mention of it; Lippmann himself recommenced Vane McCormick as the "ideal man" for the position. McCormick was a former journalist and publishers who was chair of the War Trade Board and the Democratic National Committee [50]. It is, however, quite likely that Lippmann was aware that Creel was the front-runner for the position, and he may have tried to subvert the appointment, giving rise to the belief that he wanted the position himself [51]. Creel was probably Wilson's choice from the beginning as the usually cool and distant Wilson seemed to enjoy Creel's gregarious story-telling and above all valued his unconditional loyalty.
Lippmann's low opinion of Creel's judgment and ethics predate the CPI. Two years earlier, in an unsigned editorial in The New Republic, Lippmann had denounced Creel for his reporting on a Colorado labor dispute (the Ludlow Massacre) as "a reckless and incompetent person...determined to make noise no matter what canons of truthfulness he violates" [52]. ...
We can only speculate whether the course of history might have been different if Lippmann's ... plan had been adopted, if McCormick had been appointed, or if Wilson's press secretary Joseph Tumulty's advice to the president to have war censorship overseen by a committee of prominent journalists had been followed. ...
In any case there are no innocents here, not ... Creel ... Lippmann, and certainly not the "idealistic" Wilson.  ... Wilson enthusiastically supported Creel's efforts, and refused to intervene when his Postmaster and Attorney General suppressed the democratic ideals that the Great War, in theory, committed to spreading throughout the world. ...
In an article in The New Republic, he [Lippmann] wrote, "One of the great calamities of our part in the war was the character of American propaganda in Europe." He continued with a pointed reference to Creel: It was as if an imp had devised it to thwart every purpose Mr. Wilson was supposed to entertain. The general tone of it was one of unmitigated brag accompanied by unmitigated gullibility...The outfit which was abroad 'selling the war' to Europe (the phrase is not my own) gave shell-shocked Europe to understand that a rich bumpkin had come to town with his pockets bulging and no desire except to please [56]. 
Lippmann's Public Opinion would revisit many of the ideas developed in 1919-1920, but that book's original contribution would be its examination of news reception and the formation of public opinion.
[39]. Stephen L. Vaughn, Holding Fast the Inner Lines: Democracy, Nationalism, and the Committee on Public Information, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1980.
[40]. Wilson quoted by Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., "Walter Lippmann: The Intellectual v. Politics." In Marquis Childs and James Reston, editors, Walter Lippmann and His Times. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1959, p. 199. Wilson's opinion of Lippmann was, however, subject to change depending upon his audience. [41]. Lippmann attributed his interest in public opinion to his wartime experience. Reminiscences of Walter Lippmann 1999. Columbia Center for Oral History, Columbia University...
[42]. Lippmann, Essays in the Public Diplomacy, p. 21 ...
[44]. Creel, Rebel at Large.
[45]. Francine Curro Cary, The Influence of War on Walter Lippmann, 1914-1944. Madison: The State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1967. Lippmann's plan, one of many war plans that he submitted to House, is outlined in a brief Letter to Edward M. House, April 12, 1917, published in Public Philosopher: Selected Letters of Walter Lippmann edited by John Morton Blum. New York: Ticknor and Fields, 1985, pp. 65-66. ...
[48]. Steel, Walter Lippmann and the American Century, p. 125
[49]. Steel, Walter Lippmann and the American Century. ...
[50]. Lippmann, Letter to Edward M. House, April 12, 1917, in Public Philosopher, p. 66. Lippmann does, however, make it clear that he and a Wolcott Pitkin, later a member of House's staff, would be available to help the project up and running.
[51]. Thompson reports that Lippmann was at a dinner with a group of writers that included Creel on April 5, 1917, one week before Creel's announcement was announced. Creel, always a self-promoter, may have indicated that he was going to be appointed.
[52]. Lippmann asked Creel in 1915 for what Lippmann took to be a slander of another progressive journalist Paul Kellogg, who Creel claimed was a pawn of the Rockefellers. Unsigned, 'Paul Kellogg Muckraked,' New Republic, February 20, 1915, p. 61 ...
[56] Lippmann quoted by Steel, Walter Lippmann and the American Century, p. 47, from Lippmann, "For a State Department," The New Republic, September 17, 1919
Ronald Steel, Walter Lippmann and the American Century (New Brunswick, N.J. Transaction Publishers, 1999), p. 138, chapter 12, passim:
One morning in the middle of June 1918, an engaging fellow wearing the bars of a captain in military uniform came up to 155th Street and approached Lippmann with a most novel proposition.
Lippmann's visitor that morning, Captain Heber Blankenhorn, was a young journalist with some ideas about propaganda. A stint with Creel's information bureau had persuaded him that the army should have its own organization to get America's message across to the other side, rather than relying on the British and the French. His plan fell on receptive ears in the War Department, but was opposed by Creel, who was wildly jealous of rivals. Blankenhorn decided to put together a a small team capable of doing propaganda work, and then go straight to Secretary of War Newton Baker for permission to set up an army intelligence unit independent of the Committee on Public Information.
By the time he walked into Lippmann's offfice, Blankenhorn was ready to sign up several recruits . ... To fill out his team, Blankenhorn needed someone who understood the politics of Germany and Austria-Hungary and could explain Wilson's diplomacy to the Europeans. Having heard about The Inquiry [see -- JB] and Lippmann's involvement in it, Blankenhorn decided to play a long shot and approach the young [The New Republic - JB ] editorialist [Lippmann - JB] directly. ...
[A]fter a few minutes of polite preliminaries in Lippmann's office, Blankerhorn made his bid, How would Lippmann like to be appointed American representative to the Inter-Allied Propaganda Board in London for several months? ...
Lippmann was intrigued. He had long been fascinated by propaganda and public opinion. ... But to [Blankerhorn's] surprise, Lippmann ... said: "I think I might like to do that." [1]
That night he talked it over with Faye [his wife] and the next morning broached it to [Wilson's adviser] Colonel House. "I would want to do this work only in a way which the President and you would approve," he explained of Blankenhorn's plan to use the Inquiry in his propaganda work. There would be nothing crude about it; rather, it would be "getting away from propaganda in the sinister sense, and substituting it for a frank campaign of education addressed to the German and Austrian troops, explaining as simply as persuasively as possible the unselfish character of the war, the generosity of our aims, and the great hope of mankind which we are trying to realize." [2]
House was delighted by the idea ... it would remove the sting from Creel's crude propaganda efforts. He gave his enthusiastic approval . ...
While Blankenhorn went to Washington to get War Department approval, Lippmann outlined to Baker the advantages of the scheme offered. ... "The moral of our part in the war is a startling and perplexing novelty" in European affairs and a source of great strength, he noted in an appeal to Baker's idealism. The Americans should not be mere "mechanical transmitters of propaganda" written by the Allies. Propaganda should have a "distinctly American flavor" and use the President's speeches as a text. "We should avoid all the tricky and sinister aspects of what is usually called propaganda, and should aim to create the impression that there is something new and infinitely hopeful in the affairs of mankind." [4]
Baker gave his approval, but warned that 'this education over the lines must be absolutely honest.' With good reason Baker wanted to keep the leaflet program out of Creel's hands, for a tsar of American propaganda, the zealous Creel wanted to limit the army to distributing materials prepared by the CPI. Any independent American propaganda unit would have displeased him -- and particularly one including Lippmann. Creel had not forgiven Lippmann for having taken him to task earlier in the New Republic over civil liberties issue in Colorado, where Creel had worked as a journalist. At that time Lippmann, in an unsigned editorial, had questioned Creel's honesty and called him a "reckless and incompetent persons who ... has shown himself incapable of judging evidence and determined to make a noise no matter what cannon of truthfulness he violates." Creel replied in kind, and the affairs still rankled. [5] ...
Within four days of Blankenhorn's first visit to the Inquiry, the War Department approved  his plan. A week later Lippmann received his commission as captain in the United States Army . ... Lippmann now wore two hats: one as propagandist, the other as House's personal representative to the Allied intelligence services ... . Word went out to the American ambassadors in London, Paris and Rome to cooperate with the young emissary. ... No sooner did they lay down their packs than Lippmann and Blankenhorn set off for London to attend the inter-Allied conference on propaganda.
There they received a rude shock. James Keeley, a former Chicago publisher who directed the CPI office in Europe, told them that while they were crossing the Atlantic the initial lines agreement on lines of responsibility had been changed. Now, instead of the army's MIB being in charge of both preparation across enemy lines, it would be confined merely to distributing propaganda material at the front. Creel's CPI would handle everything else. This would undercut the army unit's operation. Quickly adapting to the ways of bureaucracy, Lippmann and Blankenhorn decided that since they had not been officially notified of the change, they would ignore it. ...
Lippmann was disturbed by Kelley's news about the arrangement between the MIB and Creel's unit. From London he wrote House of the "somewhat confused" relations between the government units, and of the "need to create a real center of political information" in Europe to coordinate American propaganda.  People in the Foreign Office and propagandists on Northcliffe's staff had told him that the CPI's work in Europe was "very bad." Turnover was constant and Creel's people knew nothing about British journalism or European politics. "Their reputation among the English is very low," Lippmann reported of the CPI. Creel's man Keeley complained of having no support from Washington, and even admitted his own inability to handle the job. "He feels completely lost when he has to sit down and discuss the complicated problems of Central Europe with the very expert staff that Lord Northcliffe has collected around him." Lippmann urged House to set up a propaganda unite independent of Creel and work appoint as director High Gibson, a foreign service officer ... [9]
Lippmann's comments on Creel's propaganda unit ... soon reached the White House. Wilson was not pleased. The President had a personal interest in the propaganda program and shared his friend Creel's concern that the army was taking over the PI's activities in Europe. He was also irritated at Lippmann for the New Republic's criticism of his administration's suppression of dissent. Thus, when House passed on Lippmann's letter, Wilson viewed it as a personal criticism. "I am very much puzzled as to who sent Lippmann to inquire into matters of propaganda," he replied testily to House. "I have found his judgment most unsound, and therefore entirely unserviceable in matters of that sort because he, in common with the men of The New Republic, has ideas about the war and its purposes which are highly unorthodox from my own point of view." He also was suspicious of those Lippmann quoted with such approval ... . Colonel House, in an effort to mollify Wilson, explained that Lippmann had been sent over by the War Department to deal with propaganda . ...
At the very moment that House was trying to appease Wilson, Lippmann was ... in Paris meeting with diplomat Hugh Gibson and Arthur Frazier, number two man at the American embassy and House's contact there. They shared Lippmann's contempt for Creel ad encouraged him to complain to House over State Department lines. In a blistering critique of the Creel operation, Lippmann cabled House that the CPI failed to understand that propaganda was a means, not just of winning the war but of laying the groundwork for a just peace. "'In every European country propaganda against the enemy is treated as an instrument of diplomacy and the men who direct it are high in the council of government." Why did the American war effort have to suffer such incompetence?"
If Lippmann's complaint was well taken, his timing could hardly have been worse. Wilson had barely cooled down after Lippmann's letter from London when his new cable from Paris crossed his desk. Creel demanded that Lippmann be recalled immediately. Wilson agreed to muzzle Blankenhorn's unit and put all propaganda under the CPI. "I have a high opinion of Lippmann, but I am very jealous in the matter of propaganda," he told [Secretary of State] Lansing," ... [and] want to keep the matter of publicity in my own hands.' [JB note -- no footnote to this citation].
House warned Lippmann that his complaints were causing "friction" and that he should avoid "talking or cabling anything of a critical character." Stung by the colonel's rebuke, Lippmann explained lamely that he was merely trying to unsnarl "one of those unfortunate affairs where men are trying to take each other's jobs away, You know, of course, that I am a thousand times more interested in the Inquiry than in propaganda, and that I only went into it because I was told I was needed." [14]
Lines of authority continued to be blurred for the remaining months of the war, but Creel kept the upper hand. Lippmann did not openly challenge him again but when it was all over summed up his feelings in a bitter article for the NR. "One of the genuine calamities of our part in the war was the character of American propaganda in Europe," he wrote. "It was run as if an imp had devised it to thwart every purpose Mr. Wilson was supposed to entertain. The general tone of it was one of unmitigated brag accompanied by unmitigated gullibility .... The outfit which was abroad 'selling the war in Europe' (the phrase not my own) gave shell-shocked Europe to understand that a rich bumpkin had come to town with its pockets bulging and no desire except to please." [15]
By the end of August the dispute between Creel and the MIB had been resolved, and the little band of propagandists had moved into their headquarters at Chaumont: half a room in a casern built doing the Napoleonic wars. ... To give the office the proper tone, and to hide the cracks in the plaster, they pasted propaganda leaflets, maps and charts on the four-foot-thick walls. ...
As ranking literary member of the team, Lippmann's job was to write the propaganda leaflets to be dropped behind the enemy lines. ...'God how he hated the army!' Blankenhorn recalled. [16] ...
During September and October 1918 Lippmann's minuscule subunit in Paris produced more than five million copies of eighteen different leaflets. ...
Lippmann's own contact with the troops was exceedingly limited. Not only until late September 1918, after the battle of the Argonne, was the propaganda unit moved up toward the front. ...
Lippmann stayed on at the front, interrogating prisoners. ...
From ... discouraging weeks [Lippmann at the Versailles negotiations after the war] came, four years later, Lippmann's great work on public opinion and his inquiry into the effect of propaganda on democracy itself. ...
[1]. Heber Blanhenhorn-Wl 6/14/18.
[2]. WL-EMH 6/16/18. ...
[4]. WL-NDB 6/20/18.
[5]. 'Paul Kellogg Muckraked,' NR 2/20/15; George Creel-WL 3/23/15; WL-Creel 3/25/15; Creel-WL 3/27/25; WL-Creel 3/29/15. ...
[9]. WL-EMH 8/9, 8/15/18.
[14]. Wilson-Robert Lansing 9/5/18, Wilson Papers, LC; EMH-WL 9/5/18; WL -EMH 10/2/18.
[15]. "For a Department of State," NR 9/17/19.
[16]. Blankenhorn, 'Reminiscences,' 110.

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