The media played an important role in the development of the Cold War, as Americans and Soviets wanted to convince their own people that they were in the right. How might Soviet leaders have done this? How might a Soviet newspaper have framed the Truman Doctrine or the Marshall Plan?

Soviet leaders would have framed themselves as right in opposing the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan by presenting them as threats to the existence of the Soviet Union and as an insult to their country, which bore the brunt of the suffering in World War II.

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A newspaper account would answer the questions of who, what, why, how, and when, so it is first important to assemble some facts. The Truman Doctrine emerged in 1947. In it, President Truman offered financial and military aid to any country trying to resist a communist takeover. From the US point of view, this was a response to the Soviet effort to unfairly impose a buffer zone of communist satellite states between it and Western Europe.

The Marshall Plan, also unveiled in 1947, offered any country in Europe financial aid to help them rebuild after a devastating war, including communist states under Stalin's control in Eastern Europe.

The Soviet take on this in newspaper accounts would point out the threat to the USSR of the US offering military aid to countries that opposed communism. As the lead nation of the communist bloc, the Soviet Union would present this as a threat to Soviet existence. Likewise, the Soviets would present the Marshall Plan as a way to wrest control of Eastern Europe from the communists and, thus, as a threat to the existence of the Soviet Union. It would also point out that the Marshall Plan would give billions in aid to the Germans. Propaganda would point this out as an insult and a threat to the Soviet people who had borne the brunt of the casualties and the suffering from the Germans in WWII. Propaganda would frame this aid as a way to re-empower Germany to once again attack the USSR.

Looked at from the Soviet point of view, it is not hard to see how a country that had suffered terribly in World War II and was determined to protect itself at all costs against another attack from the west would see and frame these US proposals as extremely threatening.

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