Virtual vs. Fact: Orson Welles and the War of the Worlds
Are Americans as Vulnerable Today as in 1938?
|Cover of Orson Welles|
People listening that did not catch that it was fake and panicked: http://www.transparencynow.com/welles.htm
"As it listened to this simulation of a news broadcast, created with voice acting and sound effects, a portion of the audience concluded that it was hearing an actual news account of an invasion from Mars. People packed the roads, hid in cellars, loaded guns, even wrapped their heads in wet towels as protection from Martian poison gas, in an attempt to defend themselves against aliens, oblivious to the fact that they were acting out the role of the panic-stricken public that actually belonged in a radio play. Not unlike Stanislaw Lem's deluded populace, people were stuck in a kind of virtual world in which fiction was confused for fact."
You can listen/download the original broadcast here: https://archive.org/details/OrsonWellesMrBruns
Do you think that this type of broadcast, maybe through some other sort of media, would have the same reaction today? And what does this say about American vulnerability? WMDs anyone?