February 14, 2003

The Real Story

It's been said that truth is the first casualty of war. In this week's show, we try to get the real stories from three very different wars.


Host Ira Glass talks with a Lance Corporal from the Marines' Eighth Communication Battalion at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, about what his superiors told him about Iraq at his pre-deployment briefing to go overseas. (4 minutes)
Act Two

What's The Truth Good For, Anyway?

For many years, Israeli citizens learned a sanitized version of what happened during their War of Independence in 1948. They learned that 700,000 Arabs fled the country on their own accord. But in the late 1980s, a group of Israeli historians gained access to most of the government documents from the war and started writing a truer, less flattering version of the story: That in some cases, the Palestinians were forced out, or scared away, and then not allowed to return. Ira discusses the real history and its impact on the Israeli public with some of the men who uncovered it: Benny Morris, author of The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem 1947-1949, and Tom Segev, who wrote 1949: The First Israelis. He also talks to BZ Goldberg, one of the filmmakers behind the Emmy-winning documentary about Israeli and Palestinian kids, called Promises. (20 minutes)

Act Three

Jar Jar Head

John Hodgman tries to tell the real version of a war movie that's already been written, filmed and released on DVD—Star Wars. Aside from contributing regularly to This American Life, John Hodgman hosts a monthly performance series in New York City called The Little Gray Book Lecture Series. (10 minutes)