In 1938, 80 years ago on Halloween, filmmaker Orson Welles narrated a prologue for H.G. Wells’ War of The Worlds on broadcast radio estimated to have reached millions. It began with “Ladies and gentlemen, we interrupt our program of dance music to bring you a special bulletin, Martians have landed in New Jersey!” It was arguably the most famous fake news before the term entered our lexicon. The aftermath was also a bit of fake news as the popular story of mass hysteria was also sensationalized.
- Was there more or less fake news in the thirties as there is now?
- Are people fooled by fake news today as much as they were in the thirties?