A Fanatical Fifth Column: The Media’s Argument for Japanese Internment

  • Lindsey Tanner University of Texas - Austin


In the time leading up to and following Pearl Harbor, American media perpetuated a myth about Japanese American citizens: they were a part of a fifth column. Scholars aiming to understand the conditions that led to Japanese internment cite the media’s unfounded portrayal of Japanese persons as traitors. However, this scholarship focuses on the historical context of internment, and as a result, significant examination of the media’s role is neglected. A close analysis of the media’s language reveals why such an unfounded myth was persuasive and how societal acceptance of it led to the internment of American citizens.

Author Biography

Lindsey Tanner, University of Texas - Austin

Lindsey Tanner graduated in December 2012 from the University of Texas, Austin, with her a BA in Rhetoric and Writing. She plans to attend law school in the fall of 2014.

How to Cite
Tanner, L. (2015). A Fanatical Fifth Column: The Media’s Argument for Japanese Internment. Young Scholars in Writing, 11, 39-46. Retrieved from https://youngscholarsinwriting.org/index.php/ysiw/article/view/168