Saturday, May 2, 2009

Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941

I looked at both the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times for this essay.
The New York Times reported about the attack and then reported on all the Japanese nationals being rounded up and imprisoned at Ellis Island. Apparently over 2000 people were rounded up that day. The coverage seems factual, but it strikes me that not one Japanese person was quoted for the article. The article describes the rounding up of the Japanese as a security precaution, and lumps it in with securing the ports and shipyards. There is no evidence that the writer even thinks its shocking. I read the coverage of the attack in several different papers, and the New York Times is the only paper to report this kind of reaction the day after the bombing. I don’t know whether that is because other places did not start imprisoning Japanese until later, or if it was happening all over the place on Dec. 8th and the New York Times was the only paper to report on it that I could find.

The LA Times article was an article about the Japanese business community declaring its support of the war effort. The statement the article made was that the action of the Japanese army was abhorrent, but that the Japanese people who were born in the US were supportive of the US war effort. Several businessmen signed pledges of cooperation to the government. On Dec 8th there was no mention in the LA Times of any detention of any kind happening on that day. The Chronicle had no articles listed about Pearl Harbor on Dec 8th, 1941. There is another article about what’s going on in Little Tokyo on Dec 8th. The article states that it’s “business as usual.” So it seems that the LA Times was looking into the action around Japanese Americans, but that they took longer to start throwing Japanese in jail in LA.

Entire City Put on War Footing: Japanese rounded up by FBI, sent to Ellis Island—Vital services are guarded. New York Times December 8th, 1941

Japanese-Americans Pledge Loyalty to United States; Citizens’ League Offers Faclities to Government; Declaration of War on Nippon Supported by Editor. Los Angeles Times, December 8th, 1941

Little Tokyo carries on Business as Usual; Los Angeles Times, December 8th, 1941

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