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The Media's Role in The Vietnam War

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Jane Ann

on 24 January 2014

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Transcript of The Media's Role in The Vietnam War

Unfair Media
Graphic and violent images in family's living rooms
Military censorship not fully practiced
Interviews, videos and pictures on the front
Unaccomplishing war -> critical war reporting
Images not shown in loving/sad way, but in a destructive and loss way
Showed frustration of soldiers because they felt they weren't winning & got tired of fighting for a cause they weren't sure about
Contributed to the confusion Americans felt about why we were there in the first place
TV couldn't explain the complexity of the war
My Lai conflicted the public's opinions on soldiers
Soldiers couldn't tell who was Viet Cong or not, they were everyday civilians
The Media's Role in The Vietnam War
Young college students
Attracted media attention
Made it look like majority against the war
For the war -> weren't protesting
Incorrectly portrayed public opinion
Made it seem like all protests were violent
Attempts to be fair/unbiased backfired
A Recap of Vietnam
The French claim "Indochina"
Japan controls Indochina during WW2
France wants to reclaim Indochina
Truman turns down Ho Chi Minh's plea for help
Viet Minh defeats France
The Creation of Vietnam
Geneva Conference = Vietnam, Cambodia & Laos
Vietnam split at 17th parallel
N: Ho Chi Minh
S: Ngo Dinh Diem
Supporting Vietnam
Kennedy sends advisors
Viet Cong is formed
Diem assassinated
The War Begins
Gulf of Tonkin & Resolution
LBJ full control
Escalation of war
Americans and Vietnam
Hawks and Doves
Criticism from both sides
Teach-in Movement
Draft resistance
Conscientious objectors
"Physical disability"
Fled the U.S.
Protests against the war
The Government & Vietnam
Contributed to media's distrust
Created controversy
Dedicated to the domino theory
Eisenhower appoints Diem
Viet Cong created
Kennedy sends "advisors" into Vietnam
Johnson heavily criticized
Credibility gap
Gulf of Tonkin alleged incident
Opportunity in election year
Rushed vote to pass in Congress
Commander John J. Herrick
No visual sightings of enemy vessels
Bad weather & relied on radar
Journalists no direct access
Nixon elected
Appealed to Americans during elections saying he'd end the war
Continued bombing Vietnam & got Cambodia involved
Pentagon Papers
Revealed governments decisions in Vietnam War that contradicted America's thoughts
Fueled anti-war movement and debate
The Government's Decisions during Vietnam
Secret and quiet about decisions
Didn't reveal many official facts
Not truthful about level of involvement
Casualties of military "advisors" actually in combat
Never declared war, but kept increasing involvement
Misleading casualty information
Media justified in revealing government deception
Different views on government
Inaccurately reported war -> changed public opinion
Didn't shape it, but changed it because people trusted TV
Lasting impact of images left public feeling differently about the war
Lasting impact on society years after
comparing Vietnam to recent wars
don't want to make same mistake
Television #1 source of information -> took advantage
Shaped political perception
Walter Cronkite very influential
Short 30 minute segments
Leave out strategy and politics
Viewer has no idea what situation is
Showed only "exciting" part of war
A Recap of Vietnam
Operation Rolling Thunder
Search and Destroy
Ho Chi Minh Trail
Turning Point
Tet Offensive
My Lai Massacre
LBJ doesn't run for President again
President Nixon
Cambodia & Laos
Kent State
Peace agreement
Last of troops leave Vietnam
Inaccurate Reporting
Buddhist monk burns himself to death on the street to protest the anti-buddhist South Vietnamese government
South Vietnamese soldier alledgedly beats
farmer because he gave inaccurate Viet Cong location information
Vietnamese father holds body of child in front of SV army
US Soldier's helmet says "War is Hell"
U.S soldier carrying blindfolded Viet Cong
U.S. Soldier setting fire to Viet Cong hut
Soldiers carrying a wounded soldier
Dropping Agent Orange
US Soldier crawling through a rice paddy
A medic helps a soldier with a bullet/head wound after fight with Viet Cong
South Vietnamese fires at suspected Viet Cong
9 year old runs after napalm attack
Full transcript