November 30, 2001

Hearts and Minds

Of all the wars to win, perhaps the propaganda war is the hardest. In this show, we bring you stories of propaganda wars past and present, by those who fought them and those who survived them.


We hear clips from the recent press conference with Charlotte Beers, recently appointed Undersecretary of Public Diplomacy. Part of her job is, in her words, to sell the "brand America" abroad. To consider all the difficulties she might face in certain parts of the world, host Ira Glass talks with Zdenka Milanovich, who ran the marketing campaign for Ariel laundry detergent, the European equivalent of Tide, in Pakistan. He also talks with John Quelch, a marketing expert from Harvard. (9 minutes)
Act One

Don't Believe Anything You Hear On The Radio

The story of a clandestine radio station the CIA set up back in the good old, bad old days of the 1950s, to overthrow Guatemala. The coup succeeded because of the immense power of radio. Or that's what the CIA believed, anyway. We play the recently declassified tapes of the station's broadcasts. We believe it's the first time they've ever been broadcast in this country. Nancy Updike reports. (25 minutes)
Act Two

Live On Stage By The Sword, Die On Stage By The Sword

A story of wartime, of altruism and self-interest, of believing one's own publicity, and of a 50-year campaign for hearts and minds that was better known as the Bob Hope USO tour. Reporter Margy Rochlin saw one of the tours with her own eyes, in Tahiti in the 1980s, and has audio tapes to prove it. (23 minutes)