It’s fairly easy to sway opinions with the skillful use of propaganda. Governments often spend a lot of effort to control what people know to the extent of outright lying, although most successful efforts have just enough truth to seem convincing. But every once in a while, something backfires, people see right through the smoke and mirrors, or there are unforseen and unintended consequences …which they should have seen coming. One example is the 1950 Soviet propaganda film Rusky Vaprosk, that was supposed to make American journalism and foreign policy look bad.
The viewers reportedly paid little heed to the plot of the film, in which an American journalist faced losing his job and wife for writing pro-Soviet pieces. They instead focused on the kitchen appliances like the electric fridge and stove. Russians who watched the film admired the beautiful American homes, heaping praises on even buildings Americans consider “extremely poor housing.” Seeing the rows of shirts and trousers hung on the clotheslines, the Russians also expressed amazement that Americans owned such extensive wardrobes.