tv 1968 - America in Turmoil 2018 Medias Role CSPAN December 31, 2018 7:39pm-9:10pm EST
. television and news magazines captured america at its most volatile, vulnerable and vibrant, while shaping the stories they covered. early in 1968, cbs news man walter cronkite delivered his on-air assessment that the bloodied experience of vietnam is to end in a stalemate. our guests are former cbs and nbc journalist marvin kalb, the founding director of harvard university's sure and stand center on media, politics and public policy. and pulitzer prize winning photographer david kennerly who was a west coast based upi photographer in the late 1860s. -- late 1960s. he covered rf k's presidential campaign, the iraq war and the white house. here is cbs news coverage of the 1968 democratic national convention in chicago. >> chicago, illinois. the convention of the
democratic party nominating tonight, the candidate for the presidency. the man will be here. the speeches are being made for senator mcgovern. then we will have a second speech for the reverend channing phillips of washington dc. and a favorite candidate of the black caucus of this convention. some 212 negro delegates here. those who are not bound by other state requirements such as primary elections are expected to vote in the first ballot votes for channing phillips. here in the amphitheater and new york, they are holding a caucus right now discussing the violence downtown. al walker is there. >> we are wasting valuable
time. >> several hundred of the mccarthy supporters and others have gathered into the caucus room here. caucus room number one. to hear a proposal that all of those who are opposed to the actions taken in this convention, the actions of the police and other security agents against many of the delegates, that they gather together at the end of the stage and go forth to present objections and present a resolution. if not permitted to present the resolution, they say they will not return to the convention tomorrow. the proposal is not that they will walk out tonight but they will not come back tomorrow. as one of the delegates here said, we are going to bring to a grinding halt this entire convention unless what they call the atrocities are stopped. it was given a rousing round of applause by delegates in the room. back to you. >> has there been any suggestion that new york
delegates attend a meeting at the drake hotel? >> so far, the question of the new party has not come up. but these people are very angry about the reports they are receiving about the way delegates are being treated in the way others at the convention are being treated. as i said, they have called them atrocities. they said they will walk out of this meeting. >> that was it, walter. >> the so-called new party forming a fourth party has called a meeting at the drake hotel and reserved a room there. expecting 200-300 delegates to attend the meeting. >> and our thanks to cbs news for that footage from 1968 with walter cronkite. as we look back at 1968, america in turmoil, 50 years later.
and the focus for this segment is the role of the media. we welcome david kennerly who was a pulitzer prize winning photographer to talk about the work from 1968. and marvin kalb from cbs news and nbc news. let me begin with walter cronkite in particular. what role did he play? >> big time. when this began the end of january of 68 and the communists seemed for a week or two, to be in the ascendancy and even probably victors in the war, walter thought he could know longer set as the anchorman and new york. he wanted very much to see what was happening. he was a very old-fashioned reporter in that respect. and he asked the president at cbs if he can go. they didn't want to send an anchorman. but walter insisted and he went and he spent a brief period of time there but he absorbed a great deal and he realized while he was there that the war could not be won.
and when he went back to new york, he said, i have to do something, which expresses my opinion. and he said, i don't want your opinion. you are the news man. tell me what happened. he said, i can tell you what happened but i have to tell you what it means. and he argued with him. but walter won. he went on the air and he then had that extraordinary line where local we are a great country. we did whatever we could for the vietnamese people but it is now up to them and this war is deadlocked.." it is a stalemate. lyndon johnson was watching that with two of his very close aides at the time. he looked at that and he said, "when i have lost walter cronkite, i have lost middle america.." he meant in effect that he had lost his basic support. >> how significant was that?
and take us back to where the media was in 1968. we didn't have cable. we did not have twitter. there were no websites. >> you have a young david kennerly at 21. there were demonstrations for antiwar. for me, what really affected me the most -- wire magazine and service photographs. i think if you look at the biggest photo of the year, it was the adams photo of the dc suspect on the front pages of every newspaper in the world. it has funny flashing forward to watching the president of south korea and north korea holding hands and stepping over the line. that was one particular image from the back. those kinds of images stay with
you. those kinds of images affect everybody's life. they didn't have the torrent of information they are getting now. those things really locked into your psyche. >> the story of lyndon johnson watching, some people said he was on a plane and was not watching the cbs evening news at that moment. >> my understanding is that he was at the white house. his spokesman was with him. they remembered. they have talked about it since that time. they were in his office. he was watching it. he saw walter. walter said what he said and he said, i have lost middle america. >> let's talk about the larger role of what was happening in vietnam. the so-called television war. david kennerly, what were americans seeing at home and what was the significance of that when the war was unfolding? >> at that point, for me, that was the beginning of my career in the news business.
i grew up in a little town in oregon. i went to portland to work on the newspaper and then down to la. at that point, i had not been to vietnam. before i came on today, i was looking back. there were four of my classmates from west one high school in oregon who were killed in the vietnam war. one of them was in 1968. bob clark was 21 years old. these are guys i went to school with. there was a profound effect for me. and i think i was just getting it from knowing that my friends were getting bumped off and vietnam. and i wanted to go over there. all you had to do was go on the campuses. i was living and working in la at that time. i covered san francisco and the
adjoining areas. so you could see the rising people protesting the war. >> and this is from a cbs radio network. add mr. k -- was this gentleman? i mention this because it is also the year of peter the great. my question is, what were we so concerned about with the soviet union? why was this such a fear in the government and by the american people? >> and 68, we were still caught up in the cold war. and that was an existential quarrel, fight come argument with the communist world. in the entire world itself was divided by the cold war. vietnam was the pivotal war which really turned the whole cold war around in my judgment. in 1968, more than in any other year, it seemed as if the
united states had lost its innocence in that war. and the media had lost its innocence in 1968 as well. we have the credibility gap. where the people in vietnam, the officers, majors and colonels would tell us what it was we had covered that day. and it had nothing to do with what we had seen and heard. so there was the credibility gap. and the government itself, the lyndon johnson administration, was up against it. that was one of the reasons the president felt he had to get out. that is what he did march 31st. he felt he no longer had -- whether it was walter cronkite or not was irrelevant, he had made up his mind that he could know longer leave the country and that the war had captured and, in effect, brought him down. lyndon johnson was a very proud
man. he had done great things in my opinion, on the legislative front, the domestic front and the society. then the war was always there pulling him down and ultimately dragging him down. and the american people have to face, in a sense, the loss of the president, the loss of innocence and the our own government was lying to us, i was in moscow, i assumed the russians would like to me. i had never assumed up until that point that my own government was going to lie to me. and that was a big, grown-up moment for me. i think for many other reporters at that time. >> david, you are with upi in 1968, correct? there were other things happening on the from front, based on the west coast. escaped convicts, we look at these photographs and explain what you saw and what you
reflect on 50 years later. >> i lived in manhattan beach california, i got a radio report of a guy hold up in a hotel, motel who was fairly close to where i lived. someone else had brought it to light, i raced over there and i went into the driveway and the cops were talking to this guy through a window. it turned out his name was arthur jones and escaped from san quentin. they tried to talk amount and there was a cvs cameramen, this would never happen anymore. i don't know how i didn't get killed. were there other pictures in the sequence? >> just the one. >> they couldn't talk him out and all of a sudden there was an explosion and he set off some dynamite in the room and the cops started climbing out of the window and they started
shooting him and i kept taking pictures but the camera kept rolling and he ended up crawling over to where he is right there, the bomb squad guy came over but it was terrifying but i sat there and i shot the whole thing. that was right after lbj announced it wasn't his run but these pictures were all over on the paper. my whole vietnam experience, i have a lot of close calls with that. >> another part of the media, in 1968 62 1/2 million americans received a newspaper either morning or afternoon, you can see according to research the number down by 20 million in the most recent number of 2014 with over 40 million receive the daily newspaper. what does that tell you? >> it tells me the world of newspaper was big and alive back then. and right now it has been supplanted by television, radio,
by the internet and so it is amazing to me that there are as many newspapers as there are, functioning. but we live in a world today that is so completely different from what it was in 1968, and that world we were closer to events, we depended upon a more limited group of people that could be argued as a negative because he got the slant of only those people but at the same time there were highly experienced rational reporters. and today people don't really regard reporters as professional , they regard them as propaganda. that is a horrible change that has taken place but it is true. >> hours sierra's 1968 america and turmoil and joining us here is marvin from nbc news and cbs news and david kennerly juana who went on to serve her president ford.
we have the line for democrats and republicans, we will go to carol in texas, go ahead please. >> good morning and thank you. thank you c-span for having me. for having this program today. i wanted to get your comments, we were talking about the war in 1968, i use those years, 68, 69 to teach my grandchildren that we survived those years and that no matter the complex we have come 911 and so forth i come in the future, the country is going to hang together and that we will survive. i also wanted to get your comment about the fact that the vietnam war didn't end and 68 when johnson quit being president. it continued on for the
vietnamese until 75 and for america until 73. and it became nixon's war. thank you for taking my call. i will listen to your comments on line. >> thank you for the call. want to respond? >> that's a good point, it didn't end when johnson left. is a 21-year-old in 1968 i could vote for the first time and i actually believed when he said he would end the war so i voted for him because that had a direct impact on me. i was in college but i ended up going in the army for six months, national guard, i did basic training and all that. but richard nixon, i don't know the exact numbers but during the nixon administration just about is money >> 28,000 americans killed when
richard nixon was president. >> is about 50-50. >> i went to vietnam in 1971 after eddie adams who told me all the good pictures were taken. so yes, it went on and on and towards the end of the war with the president pulling the plug, i was in the room when that happened with him at the white house. >> we will go to the republican line, good morning. >> good morning, reporters of the time and the vietnam war described free and open access to the combat scenes, that they would hop a plane and able to see the fighting as it occurred. but the pentagon papers came along and they were great surprises and i am wondering, how would you reconcile the gap between the free access, missing the main facts of the war. >> i will have you answer the
question and also explain how the pieces came back to the u.s. in the days before satellite transmission. >> in those days you had a camera crew if you are in television. it consisted of a cameraman, light and sound and you went off to cover the war. i have to add, i did most of the coverage of the vietnam war from washington. my brother covered it for cvs from the warfront it's all. what i know is that you would go out with the team, there was no censorship, you covered what it is you saw, you brought it back, it had to be shipped up to japan and shipped to new york and in other words he did not have live, instantaneous coverage. commentary is something you could do a day or two later, you would lay in over the footage. but you would not have a live commentary and that made all
the difference in the world. let me try to explain. when you're doing a live story right now, you have to go in and immediately know what it is you are going to be saying. 30, 40 years ago we had an opportunity, sounds funny now but we had the opportunity to actually think about what it is you wanted to say. you had an opportunity to spend a day or two checking with people, you had the footage, that is what you saw. but what did it really mean? i think 20-30 years ago we might have had a richard diet of news. >> back to his question, i think that the press was reporting things are going well, i'm not so sure what he meant by when the pentagon papers came out like what you found was duplicitous activity in the white house but the
reporters were constantly talking about how things weren't going well, in fact usually at the time the right- wing was blaming the press for us losing the war when in fact it was the government we shouldn't of been there in the first place. having been there, almost 2 years there, i thought reporting was really good and it was true, we could go anywhere, anytime, i have never bought into the idea that somehow we lost the war for the u.s. that's not true. >> i just wanted to add that also in the coverage at least it cbs and the other networks, you had the coverage from vietnam but you also had coverage of the war as seen from the nation's capital.
and you look at the capitol building right now and you realize that at that time the war was being fought in this country, as well. the country was split. it was dramatically almost, violently split in two among those people who supported the government and one of the war to continue and those people by the hundreds of thousands who were out in the street objecting to the war. so with two angles of vision on the war, where it happened and also the impact that it had on this country. >> you capture that in some of your photographs. >> i tried. another thing about being and covering the war, i was compelled. it is funny, about a 50-50 split between casualties, two buddies from high school were killed during the johnson period and two during nixon. >> explain this photograph in
the blood on the face of the antiwar demonstrator. >> that was san francisco state college, it was partially antiwar, partially, that is a reflective point. i must say, i got beat up by the cops and the demonstrators so it was equal opportunity. in vietnam the soldiers loved it when someone like me showed up, like an outsider, someone who didn't have to be there. and contrary to what you may hear, we had incredibly good relationships with gis, with officers, everybody. they wanted to tell their story. it was important to them and that was another facet of what i did when i was there. >> the focus is 1968 and the program with the media in particular. daniel is joining us from erie, pennsylvania. independent line.
good morning. >> it morning, and 1968 i couldn't tell if a journalist was liberal or conservative. today, it seems a lot more flagrant and it's more of a comment than anything else, blatant, flagrant that journalism is more liberal but back then you couldn't tell if they were little or conservative. >> apparently you don't watch fox. for me, it the time i will say speaking for myself particularly, we really don't take sides, i was brought up that way. i think we see the lines blurred between commentators, people like sean hannity or not journalists, people who are true reporters and those are the people i have worked with. i think that is part of the problem. you don't know why they are
saying what they are saying. normally a reporter is going to give you the straight fetch. but you are right about the oppression, i don't believe it's true in cases of real pros in the news business. >> under the category of how their stories were characterized in the media, let's talk about a couple photographs. let's begin with the governor of california. >> the picture of the 21-year- old, the fairly young reagan at the time, ronald reagan was governor of california, he became a republican and i have had a long history with him because i photographed him as governor and he ran against my boss when i was the white house photographer and the other shutdown in 1976. and of course reagan went on to
become president and i covered the first four years of his administration. one of the beautiful things about my career as i have seen people progressed through it from the beginning to the end, there is ronald reagan and 68, i covered his funeral. these are people i got to know. >> the influence he had on that year. >> in 1968 i don't think his influence on the war and on the flow of domestic events was all that great. i think it was later that reagan really picked up steam. at that time, he was still a young politician on the rise, he had not yet become i believe the governor of california. he was governor at the time, a young governor. he did deal at that time with student unrest and he became
associated with the government cracking down on student demonstrators. and a lot of people felt that reagan had gone too far. and one of the reasons he developed a following among the right-wing of the republican party was just for reasons like that. that he was capable of ordering a crackdown. >> during that period i believe they had helicopters going over uc berkeley, i have a son at uc berkeley and i am glad things have calmed down a little bit. for his sake. governor reagan was law and order and definitely had the cops cracking down on the university and demonstrations. >> another significant player, senator eugene mccarthy. >> that was in los angeles during 68 in the campaign. he was the first mainline politician to rise up.
>> let's get back to phone calls. thomas and joining us from maryland. good morning democrats on. >> good morning, i find it interesting in the conversation that your journalists are having because it seems like they are coming across to me, they were in a white world with perks and whether you are liberal or conservative it was still white supremacy but the reason i am going this way is because i notice you are talking about reagan, you showed the first clip of cronkite, you are talking about what was addressed to white people for white people, by way people, primarily you haven't talked about the south or even with minorities and the great suffering that was really going on internally in this country. and white supremacy was at the root of it.
reagan, johnson, they were forced to accept black people as people, let's be real. you are a renowned journalist and photographer, let's get down in the dirt. let's be real about what happened in america. it wasn't all about white people and all your pictures show white students, the police being just like they are today, crushing people school, under command of a white supremacist. maybe they weren't white supremacist but on the command of a white person, let's be real about what's going on. >> thank you for the call, we have focused on that and a previous installment, this is a nine part series and we are focusing today on the media. >> he has a good point, we can't cover the most tumultuous year in american history if i could get it all in there. quite frankly, the photographs taken by my colleague
particularly of civil rights unrest, the picture of martin luther king, really made a big impact on all of that. we were telling those stories, i think he has a good point. as a young white person from a fairly small part of oregon that is what i knew growing up. i have certainly come a long way from there. you did cover that in a previous statement as he mentioned. >> time to go to the front lines, how powerful were these pictures as americans were watching walter cronkite or david brinkley and they saw the body bags in the serviceman being carried out? >> in my opinion, television came of age in the 60s and clearly when we got to 1968
beginning as it did with the offensive in vietnam, followed up by linda johnson and his statement that he won't run any longer for president, followed up by the killing of martin luther king and early april 1960 in the killing of robert kennedy in june 1968, then the effort to wind on the war, then the democratic convention in chicago, the beginning you were showing cronkite at the coverage , we were in the midst then of one of the great years in american history. it touched every aspect of our lives. the war, the piece, the extraordinary downfall of the president, the killing of a black leader, all of these things meant a great deal to everybody and television news was the way in which most people, not everyone but most people found out about this country, about what was going on
and it had an enormous impact on people. television applet absolutely came of age and 68. >> i also believe if it was tv that brought the war into your living room, the pictures took it a little bit further into your heart and soul and you look at eddie adams pictures, the photo of the little girl running down the road after being a pond to larry's photographs, on and on and on, the indelible images were principally coming at you from the photographers who many were killed today those photographs. >> you would agree with this special edition time magazine that did shape a generation. >> yes, it did. there was a piece in their, it
was really very good. having lived through it in my own place, one thing about being california, it is neglected a lot because you are away from the center of power in washington and in new york and all that. it did seem to me that i got every element of the vietnam war of civil unrest, being in california, as a 21-year-old in 1968 i got to see the show. >> one of the photographs from time magazine is in chicago after the assassination of dr. king. >> these pictures were taken by a brave photographer who wanted to tell the story. >> we will go to frank in new orleans on the democrat line. good morning. >> hello, this is frank. i appreciate the two gentlemen, what they are writing about, i lived that as a black soldier,
drafted and 66 through 68. coming home at the end of 67, preparing for riot control, now i have to back off crowds of riders after king's assassination on april 4. i lived fighting a war, being forced to watch riots in the streets, americans fleeing the country and would later get amnesty while the poor fought wars overseas. >> thanks for the call, as he answer that, you were talking about photographs, reverend jesse jackson reading the newspaper the day after dr. king's assassination. >> you make a great point about coming back from the war and having to stand off like
demonstrators, people who were protesting the war you were in and i have such sympathy for people like that for the african-americans who came back to basically the same old problem with racism and having to live as a soldier, because you were in a war that you had nothing to do about, it was about the war and i spent a lot of time with black-and-white soldiers in vietnam and trust me, as he knows, everybody was going through the same thing and it was not good. >> next collar is from california, maryland. republican line. >> i would just like to mention the fact that i am more involved
disgrace to my eyes the trouble today, we have no respect, we do not talk about our leaders and we should. around the world we are this would never be allowed anywhere else. no, as far as 68, my dad was a diplomat, i was a young girl when president kennedy was shot which i remember how it affected my father and mother. it touched my heart very much to where i grew up with a passion to stop the bigotry, the hate, i became the president of an international club in college, i write poetry , my nickname is unity. i want to say, today i think the trouble is that we have no respect, adults need to grow up, people are not living and
showing a good example to their children which scares me, i am now a grandmother and it scares me to think if change doesn't happen to where we should respect our leaders and for each other, i don't know what will happen. all i know is martin luther king's dream has become a nightmare. >> thanks for the call, how we lost that? >> i think what she was saying touches to the very heart of the central problem that now exists in this country. and that is there appears to be what some people call a culture war. which is not necessarily just political but it is a belief on the part of any number of people that their control of the world of their country has been taken out of their hands. and it's in the hands of strangers, of them as it put quite often. and they want it to be
reconstituted. one of the reasons that president trump's slogan about making america great again makes people feel that they want to go back to a time when they felt more comfortable living in this country and this country has since 1968, great year and american history, since that time to know i have century plus we are still living with the consequences of 68 the way the country was literally torn apart in that year. by assassinations, by mass demonstrations, by students, being killed on college campuses, by what was going on in vietnam and questions that were raised at that time, is it worthwhile? even in the senate across the street, the argument was intense. and lead by the arkansas senator, people who argued passionately this war was
immoral and had to end. and on the other side led by people like goldwater on the republican side who would argue that we were facing communism and it had to be stopped. no one could really argue that point sensibly then and we still can't argue those points today. and i hear people saying that we may be facing another civil war. i think that is overstating it but it is a reflection of the frustration of being able to deal with radical change within a limited period of time and how do ordinary people catch up with that? >> you mentioned some of the iconic photographs from that time period. eddie adams is one of them, i will put it on the screen and give you the back story, how did this come about and why was it so significant. >> the photograph was taken in the chinese section of saigon,
this is at the height of the offensive war the vietcong had come into saigon and they had taken over the embassy, the u.s. embassy, they got right into the edge and the general on the left who eddie had known had just had some of his guys killed and heavy streetfighting around that area. and they arrested the suspect and there is a film of this thing happening although this photograph, one of the most powerful pictures ever taken obviously. so they brought that guy over and the general pulled out his
gun and shot him right then and there. he was a reviled character after that, he lived right across the way in arlington at the end of the war and he was always torn by this photo because two lives were ruined that day, the general was subject to repulsion from the every day after that. >> the cruelty of the war seems to be is what comes up in that photograph. there is a cold dispensing of life, no feeling attached to it. this guy was on the opposite side, kill him and move on. >> there are three photographs that stick in my mind and they were all taken by divers, but the flag raising picture was exactly the opposite of that
one. it showed the marines raising the flag, red, white, and blue, honor and glory and this is the dark underbelly of it all. this is what war is about, it's what i saw, anyone who photographed war when they were made war movies with john wayne, you never see any blood, there is blood and violence. >> we are looking back 50 years later, 1968 america in turmoil and our guest at the table, upi back in 1968. carmen is joining us from new york. >> good morning, great show gentleman. my question is for either gentleman. less than a year into the vietnam war president johnson was given a report from our military that the incident in
the gulf as reported, never happened. i wanted to know did the media at the time know of this report? >> the answer to that question is at the time we did not know about the report but that particular incident was the one that moved the united states very dramatically into the vietnam war. and it happened on august 2 and august 4. of 1964 and there were two attacks against an american destroyer right off the shores of north vietnam and the first attack actually did take place but lyndon johnson did not take retaliatory action after the first attack. when the second attack took place on august 4 he did but it turned out at that time we knew it did not take place, it was bad reporting from the ship's captain on the destroyer. mcnamara knew it was bad
reporting, he knew it did not take place, the attack didn't take place, lyndon johnson knew it but johnson went on the air and declared that the attack had taken place and therefore the u.s. was going to bomb north vietnam and that started the whole idea that the u.s. would be using airpower to go directly against north vietnam. that started with the golf resolution passed here in congress and at that time it said that the president of the united states can take any action, anywhere in defense of america's interests against the communist. and that was a big statement but most of the reporters did not, i'm sorry to say, pick that up. i think the people at cbs knew it and the people at the washington post, that was it. >> you began the conversation by saying in january 1968, that
was referring by way to the chinese new year, proved the u.s. government was lying to the american people. why? >> at that time, we were told, remember it was already 25,000 american deaths into the war. we had been experiencing over a period of three years. but it was like to fight the war. and to realize that you could take a mountaintop and lose 100 marines doing so and that might come willingly pull out from the mountaintop and the question wasn't why didn't you take it in the first place? and questions about strategy came up. and the credibility gap came up and the american people were beginning to realize when the people who were dying, the man who spoke to us a couple of colors before, when you talk about the war, remember that most of the people who were
dying on the american side were poor kids from poor families from poor neighborhoods who had no way of saying they were going on to college and didn't have to be drafted. so they were drafted and they were the people who are being killed. and that had a big impact on minority communities in this country that led and 68 after the end of these nationwide demonstrations. >> why did people listen to walter cronkite? >> he was a man who had come through world war ii, great correspondent, started with united trust, he had a print background and i knew walter really well and watching the last american pows release, people trusted him. and actually i have a personal story about how there was no
way around the voice, demeanor, the straightahead manor of walter cronkite but when we got to where they were housing these prisoners, a place called the plantation is where they released all of them, the early prisoners were released two weeks before but they were in their p.o.w. pajamas and one of them said i didn't think they would let us go until i saw walter cronkite and i knew it must be true. that is the kind of impact he had. >> i want to go back to this convention in 1968, he's reporting from chicago, the turmoil taking place outside the convention center is democrats about to nominate vice president humphrey in 1968. >> as reported earlier, and we
remind you this is not life, it is on film. this happened some time ago. 45 minutes or an hour ago. the demonstrators did get in to the lobby of the hilton hotel, the national guard was called. we do not see national guard in the scene so i assume this film is even longer ago than the last videotape we saw. this was before the national guard was called, that would put it at two and half hours ago. >> wisconsin. >> mr. chairman. most delegates to this convention do not know that thousands of young people are being cretin and the streets of chicago. and for that reason and that reason alone i request the suspension of the rules for the purpose of adjournment for two weeks at 6 pm to relocate the
convention in another city of the choosing of the democratic national committee and the presidential candidates. >> wisconsin is not recognized for that purpose. >> that is albert. >> i didn't know he got so twisted up. >> that was interesting to me to see that. >> we should point out the convention was late august to be tied to lyndon johnson's birthday. he was not the nominee of 1968, you heard the exchange where they said let's move it to mid- september. you wanted to say something? >> that is wonderful footage illustrating how torn apart, not just the whole country but political party was torn apart and outside the convention center reporters were being beaten up by mayor daley's police because they were simply
doing their job. you asked about cronkite, why? walter cronkite in the late 1960s was regarded by 83% of the american people as the most trusted man in america. not the most trusted inkerman, the most trusted man, period. and he would and each broadcast as you probably remember and that's the way it is and people believed that that is the way it is. because walter cronkite set a. >> if you listen to his commentary, his calm, explaining what's going on, he is not interjecting his opinion into it. >> he was not interjecting his opinion but he was emotionally moved by the fact that dan rather and other cbs reporters were being manhandled by the police. right there on the floor of the convention. >> you go back to political figures, richard nixon went on
to become president, nominated in 1968 for the second time after losing in 1960. >> when i first photographed him it was at the mission bay after the republican convention where they came out to san diego to reformulate campaign strategy and i got a picture of them looking chummy, he didn't know him, there it is. this is one of my favorite charts because obviously because of the man on the right, i ended up in the white house because gerald ford replaced him after he resigned in 1973. and that is how i became the white house photographer. i was covering ford, time magazine, my first time covering the president, minority leader ford. >> randy is joining us from clearwater, florida. good morning. >> hello.
i want to respond to a couple of the black colors because they were saying white supremacy and all this other stuff. if you remember, starting when we only had three tv channels with anchors, they would not tell you that the democratic party were the ones who are the segregation , the ku klux klan, 95% of them
and compared to republican conservatives who were offering opportunity but democrats were saying that they hate you and they don't want you to succeed. >> we are going to jump in and get a response. >> quickly, i don't want to get into the political side, it is a fact that for a period of time after world war ii, most of the southern states were represented by democrats in the congress and at that very same time there was some of the worst anti-black writing, lynching that did take place and became associated with the other. >> we will go to dinner deborah in virginia. >> good morning, i am a frequent collar and i have been saving my phone call to try to
say something positive instead of trying to be negative and complain about another party. i was a democrat for many years and i did leave after this last election and became independent but i want to thank the gentleman for being here today, photojournalism is something that is seeming to be on the wayside right now and it was so important, a little bit of a soft moorish photographer myself. i was a sophomore in high school and 68 and we would sit in the morning and listen to announcements and we would listen to, we lost two classmates in vietnam and then we thought we couldn't stay but we were preparing to go to college and what a huge impact and i think my generation has suffered from ptsd from this. i watched this vietnam thing on pbs right now and i have to turn it off because it draws so much from me.
but i want to thank them for their work and all the photos they have done and i think they are brave for being here and what the press has been going through. i want to say one more thing. for the black gentleman that called, i think it's very difficult for any one person to understand, we can say i'm not prejudiced, we will never, ever have any idea of what black people have gone through. we did not experience it, we will never know, my daughter had a friend who used to say to her you had no idea what it's like to go through a revolving door and have a white mother pulled her daughter away from you and said you would contaminate her. thank you, that is my addition. >> who is behind that series, kevin will join us next week pointing to the work you and others have done. >> i think i would take
exception to the fact that photojournalism has gone by the wayside. it has not, there are photographers on the front lines of history, every single day. an example i used was the meeting of north and south and going back and forth across the line on the dmz in korea. there is a good example of an image of photographers that are out shining lights in the corners of the world that people need to see. there may be some delusion because everybody is a photographer now but not everybody is a professional photographer, not everybody is taking risks, putting their lives on the line to report the truth which is the way i look at it. so i think it's alive and well. just like you were saying, a different world from your newspaper, that is it or
television. you can get it from a lot of different angles. >> your reaction to the cover story of life magazine june 14, 1968 following the assassination of robert f kennedy. what does this image tell you? >> the image, photo by bill everett, by the way. what it says to me is in away the poor kennedy family. a family that in the 1960s was like a starburst, everyone, a lot of people were excited about john kennedy and the way in which he governed and was killed. and then robert kennedy comes along and he becomes a senator and he will run in 1968 and take on lyndon johnson, a guy he did not like but a number of his own party and robert kennedy
, you look at a picture like that of someone skipping off across the beach and it's two things. the excitement of being alone on a beach and running and at the same time it's the end and a sense of a major chapter in the history of the kennedy clan. >> we have some your photographs from the ambassador hotel that evening. kennedy winning the primary, tell us what happened. >> very quickly to go back to the photo, the photographer who did the life cover which is on an oregon beach and where i come from and when i first photographed robert kennedy was 1966. i had never seen a political figure like that and there was a photographer at the edge of this crowded room and he looked like he was traveling with the
group and i went over to him and i said how do you get through these crowds? he said hang onto my coat and he took me through and put me up on this one place and said here is your photo, you will see the crowd in the background and the senator in the foreground. that is bill etheridge who took the photograph, helping the little kid out at 19 years old. flashforward i was at the ambassador hotel covering for upi, he was declared the victor of the california primary had won the primary the week before , this is the moment if you see the film, this happened so fast. ron bennett was the other photographer there, he was in the room, he went off the stage and when i heard the senator had been shot i ran outside, i got this photograph of a full ethyl in the ambulance.
it was one of the worst nights in american history and for me, i met and talked to robert kennedy, that very evening. this is bilberry who was his bodyguard, a former fbi agent who was with him all the time and there was nothing he could do. he popped out of the crowd and shut the senator. when his body was being put on a plane, this is the former first lady jacqueline kennedy, at the airport. this is a woman whose experience in the tragedy, these are pictures i took as a young guy. photographing history and watching a nightmare unfold. >> we should point out ethel kennedy turned 90 years old, her daughter was with us a few weeks ago, back to your phone calls. jenny in honolulu, hawaii. the democrats line with marvin and david.
>> is it yesterday in honolulu? >> it morning, thank you. i have to wonder about you guys, you have not mentioned bob dylan, he inspired our generation. in 1968 he was in woodstock. he wasn't out in public. but we were suffering some kind of separation anxiety on fm radio his songs were playing every 15 minutes. nobody could escape awareness of what he had to say about america's militarism in 1962 and 63 and 64 and 65 when you hadn't figured it out yet. >> i was still in high school. i read a subtitle from 1961-67
emphasizing his use of enigma. >> the title is prophecy in the christian era, he is a prophet. >> thank you. >> bob dylan was one of the great ones of course. i would point out we can't mention everybody who had anything to do with the year of 68 but she is right. that is why he was awarded the nobel prize, he is the great poet and and put things in perspective and still at it. which i applaud. >> from pittsburgh, texas. you are next. >> thank you for taking my call, i remember the 60s very distantly. i made it to 82 years old, i lost a brother during the 64 democratic convention, i
remember very well. they would get up to make a speech and they would interpret what they said and it was a big joke at work. what the person said from the podium and what they interpreted from the reporter were totally different and we asked how much difference it was and i had a blind neighbor that got so upset watching he said he threw his shoe at the television. but to recall the protests during the 60s were financed by the kgb, this came out after the collapse. and this was all paid for with aggression back then. >> you are laughing. >> i don't believe that. >> let me turn to a story that you did cover in 1968 and that was the invasion of czechoslovakia.
set the stage, what was happening in the cold war? what were relations like? >> 1968, brought to i had a number of things in the cold war , intensified the tensions between the two sides. everybody in the west assumed that because the russians had a very major force in eastern europe it was essentially to threaten the west but not actually to take action against the west. but on october 20 of 1968 the russians moved tanks into prague , the capital of czechoslovakia. i happened at that time in a vacation, way out in the outer edge of long island and i got a call, he said did you hear the news, and he said that's right,
we want you back here, you will be the lead of the program. take as much time as you like and explain why the russians would move west? at this point? i knew walter did not mean take as much time as you like. that was 20 tops. but i was thinking on the drive into new york what i was going to say and i sort of assumed that the idea was the american president in the russian mind was so absorbed with the vietnam war that in europe we moved west and took advantage of the american preoccupation with the world in vietnam and that was one of the major reasons they moved. one of the major reasons. there were others. and so i wrote this piece and i had it, walter read it, it was
terrific. and in those days you had to get in front of the camera and let the camera film and all that stuff. at about 5:45 pm he called me into his office and said we just got some footage of the fire in new orleans. we really want to run the footage of a fire. and i knew there was no point in arguing. i said how much time will you give me and he said well, can you explain why the russians moved into czechoslovakia and 45 seconds? i said sure. it was silly but that was the nature of the news then. if you have footed you will run it. and that was on the day when they moved in. >> were you the lead >> let's go to robert?
you are next. >> is a black american, i remember president kennedy, the military during the cuban missile crisis. he decided he was going to place black citizens in a place of dignity. i remember in 1964 lyndon johnson said giving minorities rights, and that would cause a lot to move to the democratic party and from that
transferring over, moving over to the republican party and they carried that over to the republican party. running for president, taking this hatred and bigotry, the kerner commission report which he was referring to, about half. and americans and what was happening. let me show you what this report concluded in 1968. we have found a significant imbalance between what actually happened in our cities and what the newspaper, radio and
television coverage told us. the news media has failed to analyze and report adequately on racial problems in the united states and related, the knee grows legitimate expectation in journalism. they have failed to communicate to both their black and white audiences the problems america faces and the sources of potential solutions. this is from the kerner commission. your reaction? >> i think you are right. i will admit to being the young photographer at that time. in 68 i didn't cover any race riots in l.a. so i don't have first-hand experience of how that went other than i was on the paper and marvin have a better view. >> at that time i was covering another area.
the point is that the caller makes a number of very poignant points. they ought to be taken very seriously. and one could make the argument that the kind of coverage required, to deal with the issue of racism in the united states is so profound and it is so deep and would ricard almost constant coverage, to be able to get to the heart of the problem, i think in fairness to the press, it has done a remarkable job of moving toward a solution of the problem. whether the kerner commission said about the failings of the press to report this issue, i think were right to then, i think they are right today, but there has been an it would be foolish to ignore this, there has been enormous progress. the
number of acts african- americans who are reporting today, as anchor people, keep people of the three major news in the evening, one is by an african-american. it isn't the issue is ignored, or shelved, it is being addressed but it is so profound that yes, it is silly. >> 1968, c-span three american history tv, the special series who are watching it. don is joining us out in california. go ahead, please. >> i wanted to comment on that timeframe also. '68 , once robert kennedy passed away, pretty much tore the heart out of the american believes in the truth and david hit on that earlier about what we believed the journalist do and that is to bring the truth
out and that they should have more influence and congress should listen to them. that whole era pretty much has caused the concerns and beliefs i believe that we don't trust the government. i can remember in 1970 with nixon, a group of us, 12, sat down with the envelopes from the military, we saluted with a shot. we all opened them at the same time to see what our draft number was. i grew up in the heart of detroit so i lived through all of that era. there's a definite not trusting the government and we are seeing it today. i am open to your comments. thank you. >> don, thank you. the bookends to the period, the vietnam war and watergate. >> watergate and till now, we
have this relentless attack on the first amendment and the press. i can't tell you how deeply offensive that this to me. having gone through you know, first-hand experiences with my colleagues being killed in the line of duty, not reporting fake news. that's for sure. watergate really ripped it for people and it took gerald ford, a fairly mild-mannered congressman who was a world war ii hero who is office was right across the hall from jfk, they were both navy veteran from the pacific. to bring it back into perspective. donald rumsfeld who was the chief of staff for ford, has a new book coming out in a couple of weeks called "the center held".
it is talking about ford as the center playing football but it was his, he held the line against the rip in the fabric that was caused by watergate. it is a great testimony to the system i mean, if we could survive that we could survive anything. >> we will feature that book on c-span three book tv and he will be sitting down with vice president dyk cheney for a discussion. and it will be next month. cheney was the one who had to transcribe all those notes and the conversation with the president. it was about the memos he wrote at the time. and i read it and it's a good book. >> we hope you sit in on that. >> good morning, we talked before. i can tell you about photographs . in 1965 when king marched in chicago, we marched on the eastside.
i made the front page of the local newspaper. that photograph changed my life. in '68 i was 18 years old and me and michael went downtown to beat up hippies and protesters. that's what they were telling us to do. i started the conversation with the hippie and it changed my outlook on the demonstrators and all that stuff. cronkite came by and said don't worry, three months later i was smart enough to talk three of my buddies to joining the marine corps. vietnam, we all came back. we came back with all her fingers and toes. i was leaving for vietnam and the korean war veteran said call for help and you don't care who it is. it doesn't matter. those kinds of things changed my life. i try every day not to be prejudiced. i hope americans learned how not to be prejudiced.
come talk to me. >> i love you. [ laughter ] >> let's go back to another piece of film from the democratic convention. before we show the, what was happening on the republican side? how was the gop convention in miami beach? >> i was not there but david did an incredible photo essay inside with nixon. and johnson was a caridi great korean photographer. and he knew nixon. his photographs inside the nixon campaign and inside the convention and then inside the democrats, it was a fantastic photo book. all i know is what i saw from those photographs and a helluva lot more orderly than the democrats. which was arguably one of the reasons that nixon helped his
campaign. >> in chicago, it was cbs news and here's walter cronkite. >> other reporters are in trouble. >> will there be any delay in the convention as a result of what's going on downtown? >> i haven't been watching television. i understand there's some trouble. >> there's large disturbances downtown.th there's thoughts that the delegations now to decide not so much to walk out tonight but not to come back tomorrow because of what they call a police state tactic. ding used around the convention hall in downtown. >> i assume the people who are trying to scare are making sure there was no interruptions. after all this is a very serious convention where we nominate the next president of
the united states. >> the charges are undo force, undo force. >> i know nothing about it. i am here in the front row with my connecticut delegation and on the podium. >> and you see no delinda convention? >> i am sure that the candidate we nominate tonight and tomorrow the vice president will be nominated >> don bailey, chairman of the democratic party. and quite a crush year as reporters are asking what's going on. and with all of the reports of undo force being used by chicago police and the national guardsmen. we had a news report walter and it looked rather amazed and interested. some of the people were standing with the. >> marvin kolb it is important to point out this is pre-cable, pre-c-span, the networks carrying the convention almost gavel to gavel. >> that's right and it was a very exciting experience to watch that.
and that was a great example of mr. bailey engaging in what's called the credibility gap. he claimed that he knew nothing about the police whacking reporters or they had. when it was all over television at the time. you had to open up your eyes. you could see it. he was claiming that he knew nothing, he was sitting on the front seat doing his job. >> that was nonsense and the people watching that new it. because they had seen what was going on outside and inside the convention. so this is one of these things that when people look back at '68, they try to answer questions today about a lack of faith in the u.s. government, why don't we believe what it is that a president says or senator says? i am not saying if you went back to '68 you would get all the answers but you get some of the answers. because that's where it was spawned. this is where the whole idea of how we are talking live to people rather than journalist trying to find out what the
heck was going on and telling it as truthfully as they could. >> we have jack in north carolina. on the republican line. >> this has to do with journalism. but in two or three years ago, my wife and i were married in the day we were married i was listening to jack kennedy's eulogy on his brother. it was the best piece of had overheard. >> thank you, congratulations on 50 years, that is a real landmark. >> that's beach, the senator delivered that in new york at st. patrick's cathedral. >> that was one of the great speeches that teddy kennedy ever gave. he was capable of doing great speeches i think the american people over the years learned about this great skill that he had. which was something in the kennedy jean. i think at that particular time, people realized that ted
kennedy had taken upon himself the responsibility of being the leader of the kennedy clan. people in the political world also recognized that. kennedy himself changed at that point. it was the chappaquiddick incident after that. but he became a full person and a full politician when he suddenly realized that there were none of his brothers around any longer, he was the kid called upon to be the senior member of the clan. i think as a senator, most everybody right and left would agree that ted kennedy was an extraordinary senator. after that night. >> next call is william from new york city, good morning. >> yes, i would like to say for the record that kennedy lost, i
would like to correct the record that kennedy lost the primary and not the first time that kennedy lost an election. and i'm surprised neither of your commentators knew that. >> he is right. that was my mistake. i like to think that everyone comes away a winner. [ laughter ] or as a hero. jean mccarthy one that. but then, kennedy recovered in california. that was a good catch on the. >> jack from illinois. good morning. >> good morning, thank you very much. i appreciate c-span programming. i think in terms of having the courage to do this.
i think as everyone says, c- span is doing a great job and you are making sure that we have balance coverage. this question is for marvin. i have watched your work and i appreciate the intellectual approach that you take and the objective approach that you take in examining stories. you did mentioned that the media has done a good job in moving america forward in terms of racial progress. i do agree with that. but i'm curious to know from you, do you think the local press is doing enough to make sure they are not putting negative images before the american people to cast latinos and african-americans in a negative light and causing primarily white americans to look at them from a very negative perspective. and i think from intellectual
analysis that you put into your stories are taking place locally and that's what drives a lot of the dissension and anger in this country. i would like your thoughts on that i'm a please and i will hang up and listen. >> you are absolutely right. a lot of the current data indicates that most americans get their news from local news. and mostly local television. so that is absolutely right. therefore that puts a huge responsibility on the people who run local news as to what they put on the air. if they put, if there is an imbalance, if they put too much negative associated with one group, that is wrong. it is bad journalism and it simply isn't true. but at the same time, if it is a fact, that is something negative is associated with african-american community and hispanic, you have to report
that, that is part of the news. my own feeling is that for the most part, exceptions taken into account, for the most part, news people locally and on network level try to do the best job that they can. >> what did walter cronkite think of nixon in 1968? >> there were two walter cronkite's. there's the cronkite who was on the air who was object of and told it as it is. but walter always had a feeling that if i, i don't know how we voted but if i had to guess, i would say that cronkite was a reluctant democrat. in that his instincts would go toward the liberal side on domestic affairs but he was very tough on foreign affairs. it was very difficult for him to say that the war in vietnam was stalemated because that meant that the united states was not winning and that was something that the inside of
walter cronkite rebelled against. he loved the idea of american being first in winning. >> he was a world war ii guy. >> absolutely. we are about a year away before neil armstrong would walk on the moon. at the space program was coming up. >> i was watching that on television. i didn't get a chance to photograph him at that point. but it was a big story. the russians were doing remarkable things at that time, to. one of the things that i remember is that when the united states descending one of its first rockets to the moon, i was called back from moscow to go to cape canaveral to help report that story with walter. that was silly because he knew the entire story and i really did not. the idea was that space was open for both superpowers at that time. there was a recognition in our
coverage that we understood that the russians were also playing a major role, not just u.s. >> let me share you with you this photograph from new year's eve 1968. this is a capstone to the your. you can see the view of earth. >> and what happened and '68 it was christmas, the crew of the uss pueblo was let go by the north koreans. i think it's worth talking about right now. the commander bucher was there and i was in san diego when the crew came off the airplane. and they were playing the lonely bowl which is the theme song of the crew. and it was one of the most emotional things i have ever seen. now, flashforward to possible peaceful peace breaking out on the korean peninsula, i will
never forget what happened and '68 on christmas with the pueblo crew. >> and we have tom from cape coral, florida. good morning. >> it's great listening to you. i am a student of history and i have a degree in history. i have studied it very well. just a quick comment and then a question. unfortunately, i do believe that the media today is not close to what you guys were in the 60s because i see a lot of terminology, redefines terms. where it skews the language that we talk about, we say undocumented workers to try to skew the discussion. but president trump mentioned something about folks in charlottesville. we hear radical right all the time but we never hear about the radical left. so -- we >> we only have a minute let. >> radical left a radical left.
these are terms that are used to describe complicated processes. i find it very difficult for example, most of the time to look at a reporters and say are you a democrat or republican? i don't have a clue and frankly i don't care. so long as you professionally do your job which you do so well. from that point of view, that is all that is important. that is the key, look at the result of what a reporter does. at the end of the day, if you think that reporter has done as good a job as a human being can do, that's in a. >> i will give him five seconds. >> as you look back in 1968, one of the lessons? >> i was glad to get out of it. alive. [ laughter ] well, i think we have come a long way. honestly i've been doing it so long, and i'm still doing it, i
work for cnn now. covering politics, photographing politics and i love my colleagues, we are a band of brothers and sisters who were out there telling the truth and our professional people. and as a photographer, if you put something into a photo or take it out, you get fired. you have to know that like the new york times and the wire services and the network, all of these people really hold the line of integrity. >> marvin calvi get the last word. >> journalism in 1968 was one huge lesson that we learned is that government of the united states, when it wished to, could life, could lie directly to the american people using the press as the middleman. and the press had a responsibility to speak truth to power. and to understand when power was lying and to speak truth to
the american people. >> marvin kalb with his signature red tie, from cbs news and nbc and david king kennedy, a long career. as a prize-winning photographer and later the white house was president gerald ford. thank you for being with us. next from our series 1968: american in turmoil. a look back at the vietnam war at home. the war was fought not only in the jungles of vietnam but on american streets. student marches and acts of civil disobedience dominated headlines. including the story of daniel and philip kerrigan who with pacifist steve byrne burned hundreds of draft cards. they became known as the catonsville nine. vietnam veterans returned home to a changed country. our guests are doug stanton, author of the odyssey of echo company. the