Sunday, October 26, 2014

Theodore Roosevelt on Propaganda Tsar George Creel, Chairman of the Committee on Public Information (1917-19)

This entry is a work in progress; updated/reviewed 5/22/2016; suggestions welcome -- please email

"The [Wilson] administration, through the Publicity Bureau, under the lead of Mr. Creel, is conducting a gigantic news propaganda with the public money. Mr. Creel's activities are exercised nominally on behalf of the country, but in reality primarily on behalf of the administration. Mr. Creel announces and publishes himself as the special representative of the President, and is permitted by the President to announce and publish himself.

Roosevelt image from

He assails the publications that truthfully expose the shortcomings of the administration, and without regards to facts, he personally and through his bureau, actively upholds the administration as regards these matters, such as the aircraft program, in which there have been grave governmental shortcomings. This is partisan propaganda of the very worst type, carried on with public money, under the guise of public work.

--Roosevelt to Poindexter, May 22, 1918, Congressional Record, 65th Cong., 2nd sess., May 25, 1918, pp. 7054-61."

Cited in Gregg Wolper, unpublished dissertation, The Origins of Public Diplomacy: Woodrow Wilson, George Creel, and the Committee on Public Information (Chicago: The University of Chicago, March 1991), p. 35.

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