Why Now? Episode 12: All The News That’s Fit To Print

A conversation with historian Kathryn McGarr about American journalism, foreign policy, and her new book, “City of Newsmen: Public Lies and Professional Secrets in Cold War Washington”

Today, conservative critics condemn the so-called “liberal media” for being in cahoots with policymakers and politicians—but there was a time when that was a formal, accepted way of doing business. In her new book, City of Newsmen: Public Lies and Professional Secrets in Cold War Washington (University of Chicago Press, 2022), University of Wisconsin historian Kathryn J. McGarr takes us into that world—one in which journalists agreed, as McGarr explains in today’s episode, to publish government lies—but not lie for the government; to work to prevent World War III by serving as informal advisors to the powerful, and in return, filtering news to keep the United States safe from nuclear holocaust.

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