Vietnam (war)

Topics: Vietnam War, South Vietnam, Kent State University Pages: 3 (1040 words) Published: May 11, 2014
Vietnam was the first war that issued full freedom to the press, allowing media to cover the war as they saw it. Without censorship, appalling images enabled the public to see war, as they never had before. Many people believe that it was the media that sparked the lack of support for the war. The Tet Offensive, for example, would become one of the most controversial and climactic events in which the media played a role. Up to that point, the media had portrayed the U.S. as winning the war. When the North Vietnamese sprung an attack on the U.S. embassy in Saigon, however, the American public watched on as if they were there. As the images filtered across TV screens and magazines pages, people began to doubt President Johnson’s creditability. In just a few days American support for the war took a rapid turn around. The Tet offensive was clearly a military failure, but thanks to media coverage it came across as propaganda-like triumph for the Communists. In other words, television footage boosted the morale for the "enemy". The media widely reported that Vietcong soldiers had invaded the U.S. embassy building, when in fact they never made it. Twenty-six men did make their way inside the walls of the embassy compound, but three marines kept them from entering the actual building. The media, however, never retracted their stories. This pattern was repeated throughout the war. In the wake of such death and destruction, it isn’t surprising that peace, love and sexual freedom became the mantra of a new generation. The youth movement challenged authority on all fronts, and authority frequently fought back. As the Sixties unfolded, no institution remained untouched, no belief unchallenged. It was a climatic decade. A dashing young president was shot only two brief years after being elected. The struggle for civil rights was gaining momentum, while riots broke out in the wake of Dr. King’s death in April 1968. And in a brief moment of American pride, families across...
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