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  Report: Disinformation and Democracy

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  The Post-World-War II-period

After World War II the importance of propaganda still increased, on the commercial level as well as on a political level, in the era of the Cold War. The propaganda institutions of the different countries wanted their people to think the right way, which meant, the national way. In the USA the McCarthy-era started, a totalitarian system in struggle against communism. McCarthy even managed to publicly burn critical books that were written about him; and every unbeloved artist was said to be a communist, an out-law.
Cold War brought the era of spies with it, which was the perfect tool of disinformation. But the topic as a movie-genre seems still popular today, as the unchanged success of James Bond-movies show.
A huge net of propaganda was built up for threatening with the nuclear bomb: pretending that the enemy was even more dangerous than the effect of such a bomb.
And later, after the fall of the Iron Curtain, disinformation found other fields of work, like the wars of the 1990s showed us.

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Disinformation and Democracy
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Born in Grand Chute, Wisconsin, Joe McCarthy graduated from Marquette in 1935. In 1939, he won election as a circuit court judge. During World War II, he enlisted in the Marines and served in the Pacific. In 1944, he campaigned for senator but lost in the Republican primary. In 1946, he ran for Wisconsin's other senate seat.

In a 1950 speech, McCarthy entered the public spotlight by claiming that communists had "infested" the State Department, dramatically waving a sheet of paper which purportedly contained the traitors' names. A special Senate committee investigated the charges and found them groundless. Unfazed, McCarthy used his position to wage a relentless anti-communist crusade, denouncing numerous public figures and holding a series of highly confrontational hearings, ruining the careers of many people.

He died at the age of 49 of complications related to alcoholism.