Skip to main content

tv   Vietnam War and the Press  CSPAN  May 28, 2016 6:55pm-8:01pm EDT

6:55 pm
vietnam and how it compares with the official version of the war. reports aired on cbs from 1965 to 1966. peter arnett worked for the toociated press from 1962 1965. andrew sherry, a former foreign correspondent moderates. we began with dan rather reporting from vietnam. it was part of a three-day library.e from the lbj it is called the vietnam war summit. it is about one hour. >> did you tell us what is happening, what the situation is? >> i think this is the second or third day that i was in vietnam.
6:56 pm
as they began to move, i brought crossfire. badly.ung boy was hit they needed help getting him out. i helped. it doesn't take much imagination to know what i was thinking. >> i will give you a hand. >> i see this young man come younger than i, cut down. you say to yourself, this is someone's son, someone's brother, someone's husband. when you're there, you let your and you out for second
6:57 pm
will not be able to do what you need to do. dan rather, cbs news. lifetimeew people in a get to see this as an observer. >> inside the main pagoda. a tank is around the corner. 30 yards. >> show him and tell him the best you can what it is like, what it is really like. >> someone is firing on the tank. >> as opposed to someone imagines it is like or is telling them it is like. a lot of people believe what soldiers fear in combat is death. they do fear death, but that is not the big fear. the biggest fear is that they will somehow let their comrade down. >> no soldier worthy of the name will leave even a dead comrade on the field of battle and
6:58 pm
abandon him. this outfit was rained on yesterday. rained on this morning. they will stay out here until they find the body of nunez. to be like brothers. the best friend you could ever have. >> ladies and gentlemen, please welcome dr. don carlton, executive director of the briscoe center for american history at the university of texas at austin. [applause] dr. carlton: the briscoe center is delighted to sponsor this session this afternoon entitled "the war and the for the -- and the fourth estate."
6:59 pm
houses a valuable archive of papers and photographs documenting the history of the american news media, including walter cronkite and morley safer. the photographic -- center has produced an exhibit of documentary material selected from these and other collections relating to the aspects of the vietnam war. this exhibit is entitled ." itnam: evidence of war is on display of the third floor of the lbj library. i invite all of you attending the summit to come and visit our exhibit while you are here.
7:00 pm
>> those panelists are peter arnett, a pulitzer prize and emmy award-winning correspondent who has spent nearly a lifetime covering wars and international crises for major american news organizations. the vietnam work for the associated press for 13 years. from the buildup of u.s. military advisers in the early 1960's to the fall of saigon in 1975. arnett wrote more than 2000 news stories from vietnam for the associated press. he has written several books, including his autobiography "live from the battlefield." in his memoir on the vietnam war called "the fall of saigon."
7:01 pm
dan rather. my friend dan rather has been a fixture in broadcast news for over six decades, during which he has won every major journalism award. dan has interviewed every president since eisenhower. and he's covered almost every important dateline of the last 60 years. he served as the anchor of the cbs evening news. he is founder, president and ceo of news and guts, an independent production company specializing in nonfiction content. andrew sherry,s
7:02 pm
vice president of communications at the knight foundation, the leader of media innovation. as journalist, sherry was based in hong kong and paris, first for afp news agency, and then dow jones, where he became a regional editor of the far eastern economic review. one of his most memorable assignments included covering the opening of the vietnam. please join me in welcoming our panel today. [applause] >> thanks for that intro. it is great to be here. we are fortunate to be here with
7:03 pm
two reporters whose long and storied careers personified the healthy tension between a free press and government. just a word on format. i want to spend the first half of the panel asking questions to two of them so we can bring out the range of their insights, we can go from experiences in vietnam to the evolution of the relationship between the press and military. to look forward at that defragmentation of the media -- at that fragmentation of the media landscape and what it's implications are. peter, you were in vietnam since 1962, before the u.s. military buildup. 1975o not leave until after the fall of saigon. peter: yeah, basically.
7:04 pm
host: why don't you set the scene for us? peter: i was here through the conference all yesterday and heard through henry kissinger's presentation. overnight i made a few notes. [laughter] that is a long time ago. i think it's clear from the that thecussions important policies of president kennedy involving vietnam were carefully concealed from the american public. to maintain what i call the dissension, the media policies of all 3 presidents attempted heavy-handed news manipulation and intimidation of reporters in the field as their superiors back on. the objective was to proceed with actions in the economic that -- in vietnam, that is publicly debated, word meet wrist -- would meet resistance at home. our leaders endeavored to
7:05 pm
compel a news industry to bend to the whims of policymakers making questionable judgments on issues important to the american public. judgments often made far from the battlefields. an earlier significant american wars, the government took upon itself to burden the deciding what news was fit to print, what information gathered by reporters might harm security and military operations, or what my cannot, to keep on message in terms in terms of achieving the overall objectives and keeping the support of the public at large. but not for the war in vietnam. an enterprise deemed too sensitive politically -- le tme say that again.
7:06 pm
the war in vietnam, an enterprise deemed too sensitive to justify censorship. from the beginning, as early as june 1962, when i arrived in the saigon, there were the beginnings of the credibility gap plaguing media and military relations that only worsened as the years went by. in the course of our discussions this afternoon, i know we will track this evolved situation that continues to plague american media relations. these initialude remarks by quoting a letter sent to president candidate on june --president kennedy on june, 1963 by the president of the american society of newspaper's, then editor of the hartford current, which he refers to an incident during a buddhist
7:07 pm
protest in saigon. was beaten up by plainclothes police and later arrested with my a.p. colleague and held on assault charges." his letter in part said "in recent weeks, as you are aware, mr. president, there have been charges that the enemies secret police -- that vietnamese secret smash,, knockdown and reporter's camera. " it is not certain that all possible efforts are being to meet further deliberate obstacles to free reporting. whatever the difficulties, we urge you to bear in mind the need for the american people to have the fullest possible factual information from south vietnam, no matter what anyone may think is right or wrong about the situation there. this letter not only represented
7:08 pm
the full support of the mainstream media, but open reporting vietnam at that time. it remains the views of editors and tv producers at home who supported the work of journalists in the field for the entirety of the war. hope people in the audience have been taking notes as well because we will open it up for comments at the end. dan, you went back and forth between vietnam and new york. i'm interested in hearing, how different was it the first time you arrived? what type of reception did you get for your reporting, and how much did your network support you in telling what you felt was the complete story? 1965, it hader
7:09 pm
been the better part of a year. when i went to vietnam it was clear to me, and it remained clear throughout the time i was there, that i had the complete unmitigated support of not just cbs news as a division of cbs, inc., but the full support of the corporate entity theat owned cbs news. there never was any question whatsoever about having support of the breast back home. -- of the brass back home. that was a long cbs news tradition. there wasn't a doubt about it.
7:10 pm
when it watched the first time, i was unprepared to cover the war. perhaps could be said of most correspondence. i had covered war before. war in theakistan summer of 1965. but it was the first time i had been privileged to cover american men and women. at the time it was mostly men in combat. to say i was unprepared was understated. i remember the first time, three days after i arrived. i quickly went north and covered an operation near donkey -- that was the first time i had seen in person by witness to war.
7:11 pm
real blood, real screams of the wounded, moans of the dying. when i saw the first wounded american that i had ever seen in combat, i first threw up, and then i wept. host: what was the impact that your reporting was having back in the united states? peter, you were writing for the associated press. what kind of feedback were you getting on the impact of your storytelling? peter: the first three months but i was there, in 1962, we were getting messages from a washington bureau, saying "how
7:12 pm
come their coverage of washington of the white house was 180 degrees different than ours on that was happening in vietnam?" possibly those of us in vietnam were not concerned to much about our reporting buddies in washington. we were really concerned about what we were seeing in the field. when i was assigned to vietnam, the ap president said, peter, report the truth, report what you see. we'll support you all the way. , davidarrived, of course halberstam came in for the new york times. malcolm brown was a great photographer. all of us were reporting what we were fighting. what were we finding?
7:13 pm
american advisers would come to saigon, would come to the field, who would start complaining about the reluctance of the south vietnamese military to listen to their advice. there was an incident in the first few days of 1963 where several american helicopters were shot down. americans were killed on the ground. the helicopter pilots called us to tell us about it. the reuters guy flew in on a helicopter. miles south of saigon with a texan that happens to be working for the stars and stripes at the time. we got our information from the americans on the ground. the information we were getting thetically was that
7:14 pm
american role in vietnam wasn't working. in december, 1962, the speaker of the senate, mike mansfield, visited vietnam with a team. he asked to meet us at the caravelle hotel. we thought he wanted us to brief him. he brief us on what he thought he felt was the negatives about the information he had picked up all week during his visit. he criticized the american embassy. he went back and briefed president kennedy on his version of the work, which was very similar to our version. this did not stop the pressure. soon after that, president kennedy called the managing editor of the new york times. raises an important point. you asked when i first got to vietnam.
7:15 pm
from the first moments i was in vietnam, the difference between the reality on the ground, what you bore witness to, and what was being spoken in washington all over the country was at such variance, it was a shock. the longer you were in vietnam, the more you had to say to yourself, what i am seeing is politicianshat the were saying. the weight of this gap grew. i'll give you a quick anecdote. when i came out of vietnam after my first year, three shortly i was made the white house correspondent for cbs news.
7:16 pm
they said, perhaps you would like to come to the briefing room downstairs. we can give you a briefing on what is going on. i found it somewhat curious that they would give me everything of what was going on by people that had never been there, [laughter] or had only been there for a short time at any rate, this never left my mind. it underscores what peter referred to. i get to the situation room. good and decent americans, intellectual gentlemen. they gave a everything on the battle situation. he pointed with his pointer to one particular place on the came beauty and -- on the cambodian border. he was describing "the success of our armor" there. i'm saying to myself, one of two things is evident. either he's lying through his
7:17 pm
teeth, or he is vastly misinformed. just before i had left saigon, i had been in a very area, which is swampy. believed you me, nobody takes armor in there. [laughter] just as an anecdote, i think that encapsulates it. i think he actually believed it. from that moment on, when i went back to vietnam, i always had that in mind. right there was the nut of the problem, if you will. people that had been there, people like peter arnett -- le t me pause and say, there has never been a braver correspondent than peter. andkind of thing that peter
7:18 pm
malcolm brown and others were reporting was in such variance, if you had any decency as a journalist, you would have to say "i've been there, i spent almost a year there, and what i saw it does not match this briefing that i'm getting." if that's the briefing that the president got, then we can see how the problem grew over the years. host: so what do you think it is that made the relationship between the press and military so different in vietnam than korea or world war ii? it seems like some of the military assumed it was a problem with society or the press. they argued that the nature of the conflict was fundamentally different, so it led people to behave differently. which do you think? peter: censorship was the difference. i was talking to wander --
7:19 pm
walter cronkite about censorship in world war ii. he said, i did have access to the whole war. on aew over normandy glider over d-day. he said, at least we can know all about it. introducedwas not until vietnam. felt thattalked to the political climate in america would not produce that kind of onerous censorship. okay, without censorship then, we were free to go and report stories where we could find them. what is not understood is that each american division that landed in vietnam came from a hometown. from fort bragg or fort polk --
7:20 pm
or fort hood. the pineapple division from hawaii. those soldiers wanted the folks back home to know what they were doing in vietnam. the information officers from these units would come to saigon and lobby for the attention of the media. i'm sure dad was invited. the marines had a very successful operation to invite journalists. all of the units wanted our appearance. i wrote over 2000 stories while in vietnam. many were written with these soldiers in the field. i kept getting invited back. in terms of the intended to some between the military and the media, it didn't exist in vietnam. did you feel that? dan: no, quite the contrary. this is a strong point. you have to have
7:21 pm
the pictures. journalist, wea had an ideal situation. i think the military thought they had an ideal situation. the military wanted you to be upfront. they wanted you to be in the middle of combat. they wanted you to film it. we could go anywhere in vietnam that we wanted to go. we were in the hitchhiking business. most of my helicopters, my plane, once in a while, or ground convoy. as a consequence, we could report individually. from the south to everything in
7:22 pm
between. during the vietnam war, the military was eager for correspondence to see the wra as it was -- see the war as it was and to have that transmitted back to the states. on the question of censorship, i agree that in world war ii and the korean war, it was censorship. most censorship during the vietnam war. i think the american people deserve much better by the circumstances in vietnam than th ey ever had been. but that is my own opinion. here is the point -- it's frequently said what led to -- inctions on the press the first gulf war, the
7:23 pm
military's whole mindset had changed. they did not want correspondence to see combat. they successfully prevented coverage of what the average soldier is going through.they did not want the public to see. it was a sea change, to use the cliche. the military thought they had learned a lesson. their lesson was, keep the press out. don't let the press see what the work is. -- what the war is. thing the, one administration did not want you to see was the effects of war on civilians. anybody that has seen war no this truth. war is idiotic. it's ghastly, it's savage for everybody involved. but those that suffer the most are women, children, and old
7:24 pm
people. the military never wanted you to see the civilian casualties. they never wanted to emphasize that. , --g forward to world war i host: a couple points quickly to make. morley safer did a piece in 1965 that was shown on cbs. president johnson watched it and picked up the phone and the early hours of the morning and called the president of cbs.
7:25 pm
he called dr. frank stanton in corporate. "frank, your boy this morning shat on the flag because of the nature of this report." i'll just give you a few other things. the johnson administration people are trying to limit the coverage. the a.p. was a prime target/ has beenports that dan talking about, riot gas experiments in the military operations, equipment failures, weapons shortages. it so angered washington that president johnson ordered the fbi at one point to rife through my life, looking for something to silence me. a.p. headquarters was aware of the generalities of the criticism, but only much later did we learn the extent of white house unhappiness.
7:26 pm
the press secretary revealed memo that the coverage of cbs correspondent morley safer and me, peter ar and, was "irresponsible procedures -- and prejudiced," and because we were foreign-born, we did not have the best american interests at heart. [laughter] we promised to tighten things up, and the president scrolled " good" across the message. some of my schoolmates were in the kiwi forces in vietnam, in combat along u.s. soldiers. when presidential assistant jack valenti heard that the ap president was coming to the white house to discuss white house criticism, valenti wrote"
7:27 pm
you might want to bring up the problem of peter arnett, who has been more damaging to the u.s. than whole battalion of viet cong." [laughter] we were prepared to counter the criticism, with photos and fax disputing the stories. the day prior to the meeting, 2 ap member managing editors reported to gallagher that the president had complained to them about my coverage. the ap chief went to the meeting anxious to resolve this issue. the american president and gallagher were a formidable pair. tall,where -- both were tough people. the luncheon drew to an end with no mention of the war. gallagher said at last, "mr.
7:28 pm
president, i understand you are critical of some of ap's story from vietnam." "oh no, the president replied. i think the ap. is doing a great job." not wanting to challenge what he had been told, gallagher said "i just want you to know mr. president that the ap is not against you, but for you." where johnson replied, "that is not quite the way i like it." [laughter] dan: one important things rings through here. let's take the great morley safer reports on the earning of village -- ont he burning of village huts. the difference between yesterday and today is important.
7:29 pm
while it's true that president johnson picked up the phone and cbse frank stanton in unmitigated hell about the safer report, and applied maximum pressure. at no time was there even the thosetest indication that who owned or ran the company were going to influence coverage in any way. that was true of nbc. acb was not the organization -- abc was not the organization then as it is now. ,ut quality journalism particularly in times of war, begins with an owner, a publisher, a reader who has guts. who will back his reporters. the length and breadth of the vietnam war had all kinds of pressure from corporate leaders.
7:30 pm
i know of no instance in which they caved to it. odd yearsking 50 some later. the whole corporate structure, so much of national distribution news is covered by a small amount of conglomerates. journalism is operating in a different kind of arena in which all too often the corporate leadership doesn't have the sensitivity about the value to society of a truly independent press. thatg the vietnam war, existed on almost every corporate level. i am sorry to say that no longer exists. dan: host: peter: that is an interesting point.
7:31 pm
very little press criticism within the military within the actual criticism of the war. we were welcome. we were often with soldiers that just appreciated our company. it was only in the later stages, the nixon presidency, when the u.s. was withdrawing with no real victory, that tension started to materialize between the military. i have a quick note from william hammond, he did a 2 volume official study. end, whatin the happened in vietnam with the military on one hand and the media with the other is so symptomatically of the u.s. as a whole." he said at the beginning the u.s. supported the war effort, the idea of containing china and russia behind an
7:32 pm
anti-communist vietnam. he said that with many deaths publictradictions, the view changed. significant portions of leadership moved to repudiate the earlier decision. organizations that had supported the war started to turn against it. and mentioned -- hammond mentioned that the military and government was for unable to follow this idea that the war was not continuing. with most of the soldiers out, those who are remaining behind -- they stayed to retrieve whatever national phase they could. --national face they could.
7:33 pm
those that were most tight to the -- most tied to the failed policy fixed their anger on the media, who seemed to have projected them. they became the most inevitable result. it was only after the war that we had these numerous meetings between the media and the military arguing about policy. it was because we lost the war. [laughter] had we won the war, the press wouldn't have faced the kind of criticism that so insists today. host: you both have brought up a number of significant things regarding the war and the state. and significant changes over time. when you go to the first gulf war, the military learned some good lessons from vietnam, like having a defined objective and having a plan for pulling out afterwards. the lesson towards the press was
7:34 pm
to isolate them by only allowing and vetting. you can suggested that in the iraq war, the government took it to another level and almost went on the offensive with the information about weapons of mass destruction that turned out to be false. that, how much around the rock invasion -- how much around the iraq invasion were the pentagon playing the new york times, or was the the press caught up in somewhat of a patriotic fervor and dropped the ball? latter is thehe greater truth. during hteticism
7:35 pm
period leading up to the iraq myself fromt exempt this criticism. at the time, we thought of the invasion of the iraq war, there were certainly exemptions. by and large, by the time we reached that point, american journalism in general had lost some of its spine. we got caught up -- questions would arise in your mind, but you would say, if you raise those questions, you are going to pay a heavy price. tough question and to ask the tough follow-up question
7:36 pm
, you will have a sign put around your neck, "unpatri otic," or something. there are no excuses by way of explanation. to mix metaphors, we lost our gu ts. we know that the questions need to be asked. this train is rolling, we're going to war. every journalist knew it. it was palpable that nobody wanted to talk about it. i will use the word cowardice. it was, if you question this too much, if you don't get on board with this invasion, you are going to wind up metaphorically like in south africa once when the worst of the civil war was
7:37 pm
underway. they would put a burning tire around someone's neck who dissented. metaphorically, you say to y ourself, you will get at sign marking you as a be drunk person -- as a petri avec person. -- as patriotic person. general said, listen, the president of the united states says that it's about stopping possible nuclear war or chemical warfare. having said that we have lost our guts -- when a president of saysd states -- when he
7:38 pm
something, and the whole administration was orchestrated for one point of view, than any voices of dissent, press or otherwise, got obliterated. most of us could not speak up when we should have. we do not ask the right questions. we americans were afraid to use the word propaganda. but there was an immense propaganda campaign to build american public opinion for the war. i'm confident those that stood up at the time in the face of that. peter: the first gulf war changed the whole nature of foreign coverage. it represented the american , certainly the one that
7:39 pm
cnn and ted turner was creating in the 1980's. they decided to expanded the restraint beyond american interests to cover the other side. to look at both sides of the story. this happened happened in the past. -- this hadn't happened in the past. saddam hussein and his people invited cnn to stay. other media were included. but it was cnn that decided to stay in baghdad. why did we do that? one was the vision of ted turner, that believed that cnn could be a vehicle to get both sides of international stories. the other is that we had the technology to actually effectively do live coverage of a war theater. this hadn't happened before with 6-7 satellite.
7:40 pm
this was from your own tom johnson, who had taken over cnn a few months earlier. he used his contacts to use one of the first cell phones, an 80 monstrosity sent to baghdad. [laughter] when the war started, we were able to cover it despite great objections from the to u.s. government and others. my interview with saddam hussein during the war attracted a lot of criticism. dan had interviewed him prior to the war and did not attract any criticism at all, right? from being ange story to be covered, that the moment american troops were in action, it became a forbidden territory.
7:41 pm
i was the only reporter for much of the war in baghdad covering with a wonderful team of cnn personnel. the second gulf war in 2003, there were 40 other live television units. the whole nature of international coverage changed. the communications allowed reports from ordinary people all across the globe. --hink the affect of this that was a negative effect on the u.s. military because they closed up the access to their own people. because of this barrage of information, they wanted to control it. but if i doing that, journalists in are rock, -- but by doing
7:42 pm
that, journalists in iraq were hesitant to do coverage with the u.s. because they were not allowed any action. you cannot take pictures of wounded americans or casualties. however, reporters could go all over the countryside. i think most pulitzer prizes are given for international coverage about stories of ordinary people, victims of the war. all these stories added up to a criticism of american involvement. it's been an explosive mixture of technology. more than 50 years ago, but in vietnam there was no live battlefield coverage.
7:43 pm
in vietnam, as a correspondent you film a battle. thesre is no putting it up on satellite in vietnam. not only were there no cell phones, there was virtually no telephone contact. yes, if you haven't to be in saigon -- you happened to be in saigon at the government building -- it was the only communication. you filmed a war. we had yellow grapefruit bags which we made a point to say to anybody -- if you see ita grapefruit yellow bag, and ship it to tokyo. you film one day. your film has to find its way to
7:44 pm
saigon, where a jet plane takes it to tokyo. and tokyo is transferred to san francisco. san francisco gets to new york. generally speaking there were a few exceptions. but whatever you saw on the evening news was at least three or four days old. today, where if the story is 3-4 days old, you will not let it air. the lack of to medication, not just for josh lack of -- lack of communication, no satellite or cell phone access to speak of -- translated to a feeling with the troops in the field. loneliness,sense of a sense of being an alien in an
7:45 pm
alien land. it is almost totally different from today. a soldier today on the frontline combat, they can get on skype and you can talk to his children on their birthday while these incumbent. -- while he's in combat. this is so far from coverage in vietnam, it frugally gets overlooked. -- it frequently gets overlooked. the difficulties of getting the they out, never mind pressure from the administration . to be in the field. the problem with getting your report from the field where it can be transferred to the u.s.
7:46 pm
was a herculean proposition. host: you have commitments-- peter: you have commitments of troops from one place to another. it's difficult to get the kind of investigating reporting that were prominent in vietnam. the public is missing out on the kinds of explanation picture irat was important to the understanding. what i think is lacking in coverage today, the hometown stories, soldiers in action. their daily routine. a lot of people that i know wanted to be the ernie pyle of vietnam. [laughter]
7:47 pm
but you don't have anyone even considering that. you don't see those stories. if you are embedded with the u.s. military, they don't encourage soldiers to talk about much. maybe about football and stuff. the families of those men who are over there missing out on getting a view on what's happening. dan: this is a point worth pondering. soldierse vietnam war, and officers, with the exception of generals, were free to talk to reporters anyway they wanted to. today, even platoon commanders are screwed on how to handle the press. they operate under a set of rules. , captain and sergeants were keys to knowing
7:48 pm
how the war was going. during my time in vietnam, i never had any officer tell me other than what they really thought was true. it was not uncommon, you're taking heavy mortar rounds and you say, how is it going captain? he might say, we are getting our butts kicked here. the coverage would reflect that they are getting their butts kicked in that particular area. first of all, you probably could not get a frontline situation anymore. secondly, if you got there, the captain would be very reluctant to be talking to any journalist. that seeps down to the sergeants and those below. there is a whole different
7:49 pm
dynamic. the inventors of getting into the field is that you could find what was really going on opposed to what somebody wanted you to believe was going on. host: where do we go from here? you talked about the changes in corporate structure where you have news divisions owned by big entertainment companies. you mentioned technology, which has produced a complete fragmentation of the media landscape. we have also talked about something which may be lost. a plot of this conversation seems to be about conflict between press and other entities. you spoke before about the role the press plays in building trust in a democratic society so it can function. if that is at the root of what the fourth estate is about, how to remove toward rebuilding that in the the current context? peter: that is a good point.
7:50 pm
what has to be done is renegotiate the between the mainstream media and the military about how to approach the story of young americans that are committed to war. today, when you have an and suited over -- an incident overseas, we are told about it. -- we are never told about it. you wait until the books come out. in learningelay what these boysw are doing over there. we should talk about how we can improve embedding to tell the story more about what these
7:51 pm
young people are doing. this is the biggest story for america -- young men said overseas, 300 going to syria. some will give their lives. what they are doing is far more important than all the political campaigns being launched at this moment. [applause] host: amen to that. [laughter] n a macro level, it's true that in a society such as essential absolutely during war time that there be a high degree of communicable trust between the leadership and the led. what happened in vietnam -- a lot of that trust built up over great worldring the
7:52 pm
war and russian was fractured as time went along. one, better heads in mind. you can begin with political leaders, whether they be republican, democrat, independent, whatever. understanding how vital it is to build that trust. you cannot build up trust if you run an administration that is operating behind-the-scenes. you create an atmosphere of deceit and lawlessness. it's an unfortunate truth, but it is the truth. the vietnam war wore on. it went from the kennedy administration. by the time we got to the nixon administration, i reckon that
7:53 pm
it's now clear -- you had an an administration led by a president that dealt in deceit and lawlessness. reporters are trained to be skeptical, not cynical. to ask questions. the responsibility of cynicism is to be skeptical. okay, that is what they are saying, what is the truth behind that? with political leadership, there has to be a rededication to the understanding -- you can't sustain a war, much less any hope of winning one, on this there is a high degree of communicable trust between the leadership and the led. the invasion of iraq. what the president says were the reasons were not true.
7:54 pm
people can argue, did he know it was not true or not? but whether he did or did not know what was true or not, he had plenty of reasons to question it. i think for the for suitable future, this is going to cause us continual problems. sometimes war is imperative. america's entry in world war ii was not a choice, it was imperative. but one, having the public recognize what war really is. television coverage of war tends to flatten war out. general lacks prospective, context, particularly any historical context. the very fact that you have a flat screen. it's hard to described it.
7:55 pm
with a television camera, the the work has to understand -- the viewer has to understand that the camera shows you the end beam. but it doesn't show you what is above, below, or at either side of the beam. understanding the limitations of television coverage. this business of building trust is going to be slow. but we have to start sometime. opinion, now would be a good time to start. peter: this generation of young journalists being produced by this university and others are up to the challenge. they want to get out. the successors or dan rather and myself -- they want to emulate what we do. withare ready to go out
7:56 pm
the cooperation of the military and news industry. they want to go out and tell the story about american boys overseas. and i hope that will happen. would happen,fear happened. we ran out of time. [laughter] you will have to find dan or askr afterwards to questions. please join me in a thanking them for a fantastic session. [applause] >> thank you. >> it was great. >> thank you, people. what an audience. it's a live audience. >> well done.
7:57 pm
[chatter] more from the linden johnson --visit our website, c-span.org/history. you can also find our tv schedule. this is american history tv, only on c-span 3. think today we need to catch up to the 20th century. we've been the invisible half of the congress the past seven years. we have watched our house with interest. and the tv coverage of members of our colleagues in the house. >> today, as the u.s. senate comes out of the communications dark ages, we create another
7:58 pm
historic moment in the relationship between congress and technological advancements in communications through radio and television. >> 50 years ago, our accident of branch began appearing on television. -- our executive branch began appearing on television.this is the first time that the legislation branch in its entirety will appear on that tradition, through which most americans get their information about what our government and country does. >> televising senate chamber proceedings represents a wise unwarranted policy. broadcasting media coverage recognizes the basic right and need of the citizens of our nation to know the business of their government. >> thursday, c-span marks the 30th anniversary of our live gavel-to-gavel senate floor coverage on c-span2. we feature key moments from the senate floor from the past 30 years. >> i would show to you the body
7:59 pm
of evidence from this question -- do you trust william jefferson clinton? >> we have just witnessed something that has never before happened in all of senate history. the change of power during a session of congress. >> the american people still don't understand is this bill. there are 3 areas in this bill that will put the government in charge of everybody's health care. >> interview with senate majority leader mitch mcconnell. the televisionst of the senate was one of my mistakes. >> watch 30 years of the u.s. senate on television, beginning thursday on c-span. and to see more of our 30 years of coverage of the u.s. senate on c-span2, go to c-span.org.
8:00 pm
>> on lectures and history, colorado professor sutter talks about how the rise of commercial fertilizer affected trade in farming practices. 1800s, farmers looked for nitrates to enrich their soil, and traditional methods, such as field rotation. this is about 50 minutes. prof. sutter: my name is paul sutter, i am a professor here at the university of colorado, boulder. this is an introduction to global history. today, our lecture is on agriculture and the fertilizer revolution. we began this course talking about agriculture with regards to the unending frontier, the expanding across the world, and the birth of the plantation complex in tropical regions.

22 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on