Last day to participate: Sunday, May 8 Please answer open-ended questions Assess guest speakers, oral-history project JAMM 100 5 Discussion questions Please write down on a half-sheet 1. What memories (people, images,
songs, movies) do you have of the Vietnam era? 2. How was this war different from previous U.S. wars? 3. What parallels do you see between Vietnam and the current war in Iraq? Vietnam images Vietnam in popular culture U.S. and Vietnam
It became a war like no other, a war with no front line, no easily identifiable enemy, no simply explained cause, no clearly designated villain on whom to focus the nations hate, no menace to the homeland, no need for general sacrifice, and therefore, no nationwide fervor of patriotism. --Philip Knightley, Author, The First Casualty Contrast to World War II
American consensus on justification for war Germany, Japan widely seen as threats to world security U.S. political leaders unified U.S. media supported war
effort with reporting, photos, editorials War lasted only 3 years The Media in Vietnam Vietnam was a new kind of war and required a new kind of war correspondent. It was an interdisciplinary war, where complex political issues intruded on the military aspects, where battle success was necessary but where battle success alone was insufficient, a war where
unwarranted optimism, propaganda, and news management could deeply obscure the issue. --Philip Knightley U.S. and Vietnam
1964: Gulf of Tonkin resolution 1965: Massive bombing of North Vietnam 1967: 486,000 U.S. troops in Vietnam 1968: TET offensive Video: Vietnam, a Television History TET offensive
January 1968 (Lunar New Year) N. Vietnam, Viet Cong attack targets throughout S. Vietnam Attacks briefly threatened U.S. Embassy U.S. reporters based in Saigon covered events close to their bureaus TET casualties
Jan. 29-March 31, 1968 4,009 - United States and allies 4,954 - South Vietnamese troops 58,373 - North Vietnam and Viet Cong 14,300 - South Vietnamese civilians
TET offensive U.S. Gen. Westmoreland claimed military victory... But TV showed strength of Viet Cong, North Vietnamese army
Pentagon asked for 200,000 more troops War became campaign issue in 1968 election TET analysis For the American press, the combination of high drama and low national understanding created a monumental challenge in Vietnam and the press, like the government, was ill-equipped to meet it --Don Oberdorfer, Washington Post Tet: The Turning Point in the Vietnam War
Walter Cronkite Anchor, CBS Evening News Feb. 11, 1968: went to Vietnam for one week Feb. 27: half-hour special Report From Vietnam
Ended with commentary: To say we are mired in stalemate seems the only realistic conclusion. Cronkites conclusion It is increasingly clear to this reporter that the only rational way out, then, will be to negotiate -- not as victors, but as an honorable people who lived up to their pledge to defend democracy and did the best they could.
--Walter Cronkite, 1968 The myth If Ive lost Walter Cronkite, Ive lost the American people. --Lyndon B. Johnson, 1968, before deciding not to run for re-election* *Source of quote ??? VIDEO: Cronkite looks back http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDNJL0mTHWI Campbells view
LBJ not at the White House on night of CBS broadcast (Feb. 27, 1968) American public opinion had already turned against the war (before TET) LBJs advisors convinced him U.S. military venture had failed, new strategy needed
Campbells view The evidence demonstrates that the Cronkite moment is a media-driven myth. It was not a moment when a single newscast changed the course of history. Not unlike the MurrowMcCarthy myth, the Cronkite moment parlayed coincidental but propitious timing into enduring recognition. Media and Public Opinion The later years of Vietnam are a remarkable testimony to the
restraining power of routine and ideology of objectivism. ... Most television coverage was dispassionate; advocacy journalism made no real inroads into network television. --Daniel Hallin, historian U.S. and Vietnam 1968: Nixon elected president
1973: Cease-fire signed 1974: Most U.S. troops withdraw 1975: South Vietnams government falls to North Vietnam; country reunified Possible essay questions How did coverage of the Vietnam War influence public opinion? How did TV coverage make this different than previous wars?
What lessons did the media learn from this war? What lessons did the Pentagon learn? Quote of the Day I see a very close parallel [between Iraq and Vietnam]. I'm not saying Iraq is hopeless, but we are facing an intensifying guerrilla war, and it is taking a
great deal of our people and treasury. --Walter Cronkite, Feb. 12, 2004 Reading for next week Monday: Persian Gulf Wars Voices, 528-530; GIW, ch. 9: Jessica Lynch
Look for study guide via e-mail today Please sign thank-you card for Joseph Campbell Turn in half-sheets about Vietnam
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