tv 1968 - America in Turmoil Medias Role CSPAN April 29, 2018 6:29pm-8:00pm EDT
stop in the summer of 1951. in the 1953 the armistice takes effect. this and otherh american history programs on our .ebsite that c-span.org/history. we continue our series, 1968, america and turmoil, with a look back at the media's role 50 years ago. america's were eyewitnesses to a war in vietnam, astronauts orbiting the moon, chaos on their city streets, and assassinations. magazines and news captured america at its most volatile, vulnerable and vibrant , while shooting the stories they covered. mag --n 1968, cbs news news man walter concrete delivered his assessment that the bloody series in vietnam is
to end and a stalemate -- and in a stalemate -- is to end in a stalemate. and pulitzer prize-winning photographer david hume kennerly , who is a west coast-based upi photographer in the late 60's. he covered senator robert kennedy's presidential campaign, the vietnam war, and the white house. here's cbs news coverage of the 1968 democratic national convention in chicago. right now the speeches are being made for senator mcgovern.
a speech forhave the reverend mr. channing phillips of washington dc. a favorite candidate of the black caucus to this convention. there are some 212 negroid 212 negrohere -- delegates here. here in the amphitheater new york is holding a caucus right now discussing the violence downtown and how walker is there. >> we are not impressing ourselves. >> several hundred of the mccarthy supporters have gathered into the caucus room, caucus room number one to hear a proposal of all of those who are opposed to the actions taken in this convention. the action of the police and other security agents as they
gathered together at the end of the mcgovern speech and go forth to present their objections and be permitted to present a resolution. if not permitted to present that say they doe will not return to the convention tomorrow. they will not come back tomorrow. as one of the delegates said, we are going to bring to a grinding halt this entire convention unless what he calls the atrocities are stopped. he was giving a rousing round of applause here in this concord -- here in this caucus. been any suggestion in that caucus that new york delegates attended a meeting at the draco hotel? question --e new the question of a new party has not come up to people are angry about the reports they are
receiving about the way delegates are being treated. as i said they have called them atrocities. they have not said what they will do in subsequent time. >> thank you. forming a fourth party. he has called a meeting at the draco hotel. her 300pecting to delegates to attend that meeting. we welcome --
what role did walter concrete play? >> a big one. when the communists seem to be in the ascendancy and probably the victors of the war, walter thought he could no longer sit as the anchorman in new york. he very much wanted to see what was happening. he was an old-fashioned reporter he askedespect to you the president at cbs, can he go? in --idn't want to send send an anchorman. he spent a brief period of time there but he absorbed a great deal. he realized while he was there the war cannot be won. when he went back to new york he somethingave to do which expresses my opinion. want yourdon't opinion, you're the news man,
tell me what happened. says i have to tell you what it means. they have a extraordinary line, we are a great country, we did whatever we could for the nownamese people, but it is up to them and this war is deadlocked. lyndon johnson was watching that with two of his very close aides at the time. have one -- when i have lost walter concrete, i have lost middle america. >> how significant was that? and take us back to where the media was in 1968. we didn't have cable, we didn't have twitter. >> you have a young even kennerly at 21.
for me wire service photographs, i think if you look at the biggest photo of the year was shooting theto suspect in the head, that was on the front page of every newspaper in the world. flashing for to watching the of south korea and north korea holding hands and stepping over that line, that was one particular image from the back. those kind of images stay with you, and they affected everybody's life. didn't have the torrent of information you are getting now, so those things really locked into your psyche.
host: the story of lyndon johnson watching, some say he was on a plane at that moment. guest: my understanding is he was at the white house, bill morris was with him. christian, his spokesman was with him. they have talked about it since then. they were in his office. he was watching it, saw walter. he said what he said. host: let's talk about the larger role of what was happening in vietnam, the so-called television work. david hume kennerly, how was that? guest: at that point, that was the beginning of my career in the news business. i grew up in a little town in oregon, portland, to work on the newspaper then down to l.a.. by that point, i had been in vietnam. before i came on, i was looking
back. there were four -- four of my classmates in ouroregon who were killed in the vietnam war. one was the 1968 -- clark was 29 years old, dale. these guys i went to high school with. it was a profound effect for me. i was just getting it from knowing that my friends were getting bumped off in vietnam, and that i wanted to go over there. all you had to do was go on campus. i was living and working in l.a. at the time, so i covered san francisco state and the adjoining areas. you could see the rising tide of people protesting the war. host: this is from a cbs radio network added. mr. k in the kremlin. also, you are the author of "the year i was peter the great." why
was the soviet union such a fear by the government and american people? guest: by 1968, we were still caught up in what was called the cold war. that was an existential quarrel/fight/argument with the soviet world. 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 seems as if the united states had lost its innocence in that work. the media has lost its innocence in 1968 as well. there was a credibility gap, very famous. the people in vietnam, the officers, majors, kernels. they would tell us what it is that we had covered that day. and it had nothing to do with what we had seen and heard. there was the credibility gap. 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, which is what he did on march 31. he felt he no longer had -- whether it was qualified or not is irrelevant -- he made up his mind that he could no longer lead the country. that the war had, in effect, brought him down. lyndon johnson was a very proud man. he had done, in his life, great things on the legislative front, domestic front. his great society. but the war was always there, pulling him down. ultimately, it dragged him down, and the american people have to face the loss of a president, the loss of innocence. the loss of media -- our own government was lying to us. i was a moscow correspondent.
i assumed the russians would lie to me, but i never assumed until that point that my own government was going to lie. that was a big grown-up moment for me. and i think for many other reporters at the time. host: david hume kennerly, you were with upi? there were other things happening on the home front. photographs, you were based in the west coast. escaped convicts from san quentin. look at these photographs and explain what you saw and what you reflect on later. >> i lived in manhattan beach, california, and got a radio report there was a guy hold up in a hotel/motel, fairly close to where i live. i raced over there and went into
the driveway, and the cops were talking to the sky through a window. it turns out his name was arthur glenn jones and he had escaped from san quentin. there was a cbs cameraman, a local guy. we were standing in the driveway, something that would never happen anymore. i don't know how i didn't get killed. were there other pictures in the sequence? host: just the one. guest: so, all of a sudden, there was an explosion. he had set up dynamite in the room and started climbing out the window. the cops started shooting at him and i started taking pictures and the camera was rolling. they ended up crawling over to where he is, the bomb squad guy came over. it was terrifying, but i sat there and shot the whole thing. that was right after lbj announced he was not going to run.
these pictures were all over the paper. actually, my whole vietnam experience, i had a lot of close calls, but that was an early one. host: newspapers in circulation, in 1968, 60 2.5 million americans received a newspaper in the morning or afternoon. according to pew research, that number is down by 20 million as of 2014. what does that tell you about the press? >> it tells me the world of newspapers was big and alive back then, and now, it has been supplanted by television, radio, internet. guest: so it is amazing to me that there are as many newspapers as there are
functioning. but we live in a world that is so completely different from what it was in 1968, and in that world, we were closer to events. we depended upon a more limited group of people. that could be argued as a negative. you've got the slant of only those people. at the same time, they were highly experienced professional reporters. today, people don't really regard reporters as professional. they regard them as propagandists. that is a horrible change that has taken place, but it is true. host: our nine part series, 1968: america in turmoil. joining us are marvin kalb and david hume kennerly. (202) 748-8000 is the line for democrats, (202) 748-8001 for republicans. carol in ocean, texas. caller: good morning and thank you both for being on, and thank you, c-span, for having me and having this program today.
i want to get your comments on the war in 1968. i use those years, 67-69 to teach my grandchildren that we survived those years. a matter of the conflicts we have, 9/11 and so forth that come in the future, the country will hang together and we will survive. but i also want your comment on the fact that the vietnam war did not end in 1968 when johnson quit being president. it continued for the vietnamese until 1975, and for america until 1973, and became nixon's war. thank you for taking my call and i will listen to your comments off-line. host: thank you. guest: that is a good point about how it didn't end with johnson.
as a 21-year-old in 1968, i could vote for the first time. i actually believed richard nixon when he said he would end the war in vietnam, so i voted for him. that had a direct impact on me. i was in college, but i ended up being -- then went to the army for six months, the national guard. i did basic training and all of that. richard nixon, i don't know the exact numbers, but during the nixon administration -- 20,000 americans were killed when richard nixon was president. guest: so it was about 50-50. i went to vietnam in 1971 after eddie adams had won his pulitzer prize and told me all of the good pictures had been taken. it went on and on, and i was there at the end of the vietnam war when president ford pulled the plug on it.
host: -- joining us from caller: the vietnam war described free and open access to the combat scene, that they would just have a plant and receive the fighting as it occurred. then tet came along and the pentagon papers came along, and there were great surprises. how would you guys reconcile the gap between the free access and the fact that -- missing the main facts of the war? host: marvin kalb, i will have you explain that question and how your data came back to the u.s. guest: we had a camera crew -- if you were in television, you had a cameraman, a light/soundman, and you went out to cover the war.
i did most of the coverage of the vietnam war from washington. my brother covered it for cbs from the war front itself, but what i know is that you would go out with 18. there was no censorship. -- go out without team -- with a team. you had to get shipped to japan, then to new york. in other words, you did not have live, instantaneous coverage. the commentary is something you could do a day later. you would lay it 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. doing a live story now, you have to go in and immediately know what you are going to be saying. 30 years ago, 40 years ago, we
ago, we had the opportunity -- it sounds funny now. we had the opportunity to think about what it was you wanted to say. you had the opportunity to spend one day or two days checking with people. you had the footage. that's what you saw. but what did it really mean? i think that 20 or 30 years ago, we might have had a richer diet of news than today. host: and you went back in 1971 for the first time? guest: yes, and back to his question, the press was reporting that things were not going well. i'm not sure what he meant by "when the pentagon papers came out," that they found duplicitous activity in the white house. but the reporters were constantly talking about how things were not going well over there. 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 to, (a) shouldn't have been there in the first place, and (b), was there too long. and it was true, we could go anywhere at anytime. i never bought into the idea that somehow we lost the war for the u.s.. that is not true. guest: i wanted to add that, on the coverage -- at least the tv and on other networks -- you have 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 now and realize that at the time, the war was being fought in this country as well. the country was split. it was dramatically -- violently split in two between people who supported the government and wanted the war to continue, and
those people by the hundreds of thousands who were in the streets, objecting to the war. two angles of vision on the war. where it happened and the impact it had on this country. host: you capture that in some of your photographs. guest: i tried. another thing about being a combat photographer covering the war, i was compelled. we assume a 50-50 split between casualties. two of my buddies from high school were killed during the johnson time and two during nixon, just about how it worked out. host: explained this photograph and the blood on the face of the antiwar demonstrator.
guest: that was san francisco state college, partially antiwar , and partially -- this is reflective of what was going on at the time. i would say that i got beat up by both cops and demonstrators, equal opportunity. in vietnam, the soldiers loved it when somebody like me showed up, like an outsider. somebody who did not have to be there. contrary to what you may hear, we had an incredibly good relationship with gis, officers, everybody. they wanted to tell their story. another facet of what i did while i was there. host: our focus, 1968. david hume kennerly and marvin kalb are our guests. dan joining us from the independent line. caller: in 1968, you couldn't really tell if a journalist is liberal or conservative. nowadays, it seems more flagrant. that is more of a comment than anything else. flagrant that the journalism is more liberal.
but back then, you could not tell. guest: apparently, you don't watch fox. for me, photographers -- speaking for myself particularly, but knowing a lot of photographers -- we really don't take sides. i was brought up that way. i think that where the lines have blurred a lot is between commentators, people like sean hannity are definitely not journalists. and people who are true reporters, the kind of people i have always worked with. i think that is part of the problem. you don't know what somebody, why they are saying what they are saying. normally, a reporter will give you the facts. but you are right about the impression, i do think people think that. i don't believe it is true in cases of real professionals in the news business. host: under the category of how their stories were characterized in the media, let's talk about
some photographs you have. the governor of california, ronald guest: i first -- the picture of the 21-year-old kennerly and the fairly young reagan at the time, 1968. ronald reagan was governor of california. he had been a democrat, and was now a republican. i had a long history with him. i first photographed him as governor there, then he ran against my boss when i was the white house photographer. they had a showdown at the republican convention in 1976, then 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 is that i've seen people progressed through it from the beginning to end. there's ronald reagan in 1968.
i covered his funeral. these are people i got to know. host: marvin kalb, ronald reagan and the influence he had on that year. guest: in 1968, i don't think his influence on the war and the flow of domestic events was that great. i think it was later that he picked up steam. but at that time, he was still, as david was saying, the young politician on the rise. on the make. he had not yet become, i believe, governor of california. host: he was governor at the time. guest: the young governor. guest: he did deal, at that time, with student unrest and associated with the government cracking down on student demonstrators. a lot of people felt reagan had gone too far. one of the reasons he had gained
a following among the right-wing of the republican party was just for reasons like that, that he was capable of ordering a crackdown on the young demonstrators. guest: during that time, i believe they had helicopters over uc berkeley dispensing teargas. i'm glad things have calmed down, for my son's sake. the young governor, reagan, was line order -- law and order and definitely had cops cracking down on university demonstrations. host: another significant player, senator eugene mccarthy. guest: that was in 1968 during the campaign. he was the first mainline politician to rise up against lbj. host: thomas joins us from maryland. democrats line.
caller: good morning. i find it interesting in the conversation that your journalists are having. it seems like they are coming across, to me, that they live in a white supremacist world with perks, whether you are liberal or conservative. it is still white supremacy. the reason i'm going at it this way is i noticed you are talking about reagan, and you showed the first clip of cronkite. you were talking about what was addressed to white people, for white people, by white people. primarily. you haven't talked about the south or anything that deals with minorities and the great suffering that was really going on internally in this country. white supremacy was at the roots of it. reagan, johnson. they were forced to accept black people as people. let's be real. you are renowned journalists and photographers, let's get down in the dirt, let's say, and be real about what is happening in america. it was not all about white people.
all your pictures show white students, and police being like they are today, crushing skulls under the command of white supremacists. and maybe they weren't, but under command of a white person. but let's be real about what is going on. host: thank you for the call. we actually focused on that on the previous installment. this is a nine part series. today, we are focusing on the media. guest: he's got a good point, but we obviously can't cover the most emotionless year in american history and get it all in there. frankly, the photographs taken by my colleagues, particularly of civil rights unrest, pictures of martin luther king. it really made a big impact on all of it. we were telling those stories, i think he's got a good point.
as a young, white person from a fairly white part of oregon, that is what i knew growing up. i've certainly come a long way from their, and you did cover that in your previous segment. host: your book, on the frontlines of the television work, how powerfullectures as americans were watching walter cronkite or david brickley on nbc and they saw the body bags and the servicemen being carried out? guest: in my opinion, television came of age in the 60's. by the time we got to 1968, with the tet offensive in vietnam, followed by lyndon johnson's statement that he would not run in the lung president, followed up by the killing of martin luther king in early april of 1968 then the killing of robert kennedy, in june of 1968, then
the effort to try to wind down the war, than the democratic convention in chicago at the very beginning. you were showing cronkite in the coverage of it. we were in the midst then of one of the great years in american it touched every aspect of our lives. the extraordinary downfall of a president, the killing of a black leader, all of these things meant a great deal to everybody. inevision news was the way which most people, not everyone, but most people found out about this. it had in a norm is impact. television absolutely came of age in 1968. that it was tv
that brought more into the living room. ae still picture took it little further in your heart and soul. girlhoto of the little running down the road. of vietnamle images were principally coming at you from the still photographers, the meaning -- many of whom were killed to take those photographs. host: you would agree with this time magazine that it did shape a generation. >> it did. it was really very good. , oneg lived through it thing about california, it neglected a lot. you are away from the power.
to me that i got every element of the vietnam war, of civil unrest in california. as a 20-year-old in 1968, i got to see the show. these pictures were taken by a very brave photographer who wanted to tell the story. host: frank in new orleans, democrat line. caller: i appreciate the journalists there. what they are writing about and what they wrote about. soldier,hat as a black throughin 66 -- 1966 1968. preparing for riot control. have to back off crowds.
, fighting a war, being questioned, watching riots in the street. amnestyld later give while the poor fought wars overseas. , you as you answered that are talking about photographs, reading a newspaper the day after dr. king's assassination. he made a great point about coming back from the war and then having to stand off. i have such sympathy for people like that, for the african-americans who came back to basically the same old problem with racism and then
having to live as a soldier, being castigated by people because you are in a war that you are nothing to do about it. it was not about warriors, it was about the war. time with black and white soldiers over in vietnam. trust me, everybody was going through the same thing. it was not good. from california, maryland, republican mine. caller: -- republican mine. republican line. caller: it is an exit disgrace in my eyes. we have no respect. we do not talk right about our leaders, and we should. around the world, we are made a
joke of. this would never be allowed anywhere else. far as 1968, my dad was a diplomat. girl when a young president kennedy got shot. i remember how it affected my father and my mother. it touched my heart to where i grew up with a passion to stop bigotry and hate. i write poetry about unity. my nickname is unity. the trouble is that we have no respect. adults need to grow up. people are not showing a good example to their children, which scares me. i am now a grandmother and it scares me to think that if change does not happen to where we show respect for our leaders and each other, i do not know what will happen. martin luther king's dream has
become a nightmare. host: have we lost that? a,i think that she was just such as -- touches the very heart of the problem in this country. there appears to be a culture war, which is not necessarily just political. that theirief control of the world, their country, has been taken out of their hands. .t is in the hands of strangers they want it to be reconstituted. president reasons trump's about making america great again makes people feel like they want to go back to a time when they felt more comfortable living in this country. , since 1968, we are
still living with the consequences of 1968. 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 that war worthwhile? the argument was intense. it was led by the arkansas senator fulbright. there were people who argued passionately that this war was immoral and had to end. on the other side, people like goldwater argued that we were facing global communism and it had to be stopped.
nobody could really argue that point sensibly then. we still cannot argue those points today. 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? host: you mentioned iconic photographs from that time period. we will put it on the screen. give us the back story. how did this come back -- come about? >> that photo was taken in the chinese section of saigon. of the tetthe height offensive, where viet cong had come into saigon and had taken over the u.s. embassy.
they tried to. they do not get in. -- they did not get in. had just hade left some of his guys killed in very heavy streetfighting around that area. they arrested the suspect. of this an nbc film thing happening. is one of theh most powerful pictures ever taken. over.rought that guy 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. eddie was always torn by this photo.
two lives were ruined that day. the man who was killed and the general, who was subject to ulsion every day after that. of the war is what comes up in that photograph. there is a cold dispensing of life there. there is no feeling attached to it. this guy was on the absent side. there are three photographs that really stick in my mind. roosevelt, the flag raising picture was the opposite of that. it showed the marines raising , the red white and blue, honor and glory. this is the dark underbelly of it all. this is really what war is about.
women made war movies with john wayne come you never see any blood. there is blood and violence. back 50 years later. america in turmoil. -- guestsat the table at the table. joining us from new york. morning.ood great show, gentlemen. my question is for either gentlemen. a year into the vietnam war come president johnson was given a report from our military that the incident in the gulf never happened. did the media at the time know of this report? answer to that question is at the time, we did not know about the report.
that particular incident was the one that moved the united states very dramatically into the vietnam war. it happened on august 2 and august 4. was 1964. there were two attacks against an american destroyer right off the shores of vietnam. the first attack actually did take place. did not taken retaliatory action after the first attack. when the second attack took did. in august 4, he it turned out that at the time, we knew that it did not take place. it was bad reporting from the ship's captain on the destroyer. he knew it was bad reporting and --t the attack did not place take place. ronson went on the air and declared that the attack had taken place, and therefore the u.s. was going to bomb north
vietnam. that started the whole idea that the u.s. would be using their power to go directly against vietnam. it started with the gulf resolution passed in congress. that theme, it said president of the united states in take any action anywhere defense of america's interests against the communists. statement, but most of the reporters did not take that up. i think the people at cbs knew it. the people at washington post did, but that was it. host: he began by saying that the tet offensive proved the u.s. government was lying to the american people. why? --at that time, we were told at that time, it was already
25,000 american deaths into the war. we have been experiencing over a period of three years what it was like to fight that war. to realize that you could take a mountaintop and lose 100 marines doing so. that night, willingly pullout from that round top. the question is, why did you not take it in the first place? questions about strategy came up. credibility came up. americans were beginning to realize, when the people were -- when you talk about the war, remember that most of the people who were dying on the were from poor families from poor neighborhoods, who had no way of saying that they were going on to college. they were drafted. they were the ones being killed.
that had a big impact on minority in this country, that led eventually -- after the tet nationwidethese protests. >> he was a man who came from world war ii. he had a print background. i knew walter really well. we watched the last american pows released. about a personal story how there was no way around it. , theoice, the demeanor manner of walter cronkite. where they were housing these u.s. prisoners, the place called
the plantation. it is where they released all of .hem the early prisoners were released about two weeks before. they were in p.o.w. pajamas. one of them said my did not think they were really going to let us go into i saw walter cronkite. then i knew it must be true. it was the impact that walter had. back to the to go convention in 1968. this is walter cronkite reporting from chicago. presidentominate vice hubert humphrey in 1968. >> as we reported to you earlier, this is not live. this is on film. this happened some time ago. did get intotors the lobby of the hilton hotel.
the national guard was called. we do not see the national guard in this scene. i assume this film is longer than the last idiot tape that we saw. this was before the national guard was called. that would put it at two-and-a-half hours ago. >> mr. chairman. this convention do not know that thousands of young people are being eaten in the in the streetsen of chicago. and that reason alone, i request the suspension of the rules for the purpose of adjournment for two weeks at 6:00 p.m. to relocate the convention in another city of the choosing of the democratic national committee and the presidential candidates.
host: that is carl albert, the speaker of the house. >> i did not know he got so twisted up. that was interesting to me to see that. host: the election was in august, tied johnson's birthday. you heard that exchange when they said let's move it to mid-september. >> first of all, that is wonderful footage, illustrating how torn apart, not just the whole country was, but the political party was torn apart. outside the convention center, reporters were being beaten up by the mayor's police because they were doing their job. you asked before about cronkite. walter cronkite, in the late 1960's, was regarded to percent of the american people as the
most trusted man in america. not the most trusted anchorman, , inmost trusted man, period america. that is the way it is. people believe that that is the way it is. because walter concrete said it. >> listen to his commentary there. he is explaining what is going on. he is not injecting his opinion into it. >> he was very emotionally moved by the fact that cbs reporters were being manhandled by the police. right there on the floor of the convention. host: go back to political figures that you covered at the time. the and went on to become president. -- richard nixon went on to become president. >> when i first photographed him, it was at mission bay, after the convention where they
came out to formulate campaign strategy. andt a picture of him another man looking very chummy. this is one my favorite shots. right, agnew, ended up in the white house. gerald ford replaced him when he resigned. i have been covering for time magazine. host: that to phone calls. clearwater, florida. caller: hello. to a couple ofnd the black callers because they and saying white supremacy all this other stuff.
not want you to succeed. host: we are going to jump in and get a response. >> i do not want to get into the political side of it, but 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. at that same time, there were some of the worst anti-black rioting and a lynching that to lace -- took place. one became associated with the other. caller: good morning. i'm a frequent caller and have to sayving my phone call something positive, instead of and complaining about another party. i was a democrat for many years and i left after this last election and became independent. gentlemanthank the
here today. photojournalism seems to be on the wayside right now. i am a photographer myself. i was a sophomore in 1968. we would sit and listen to announce tents. we would listen -- we lost two classmates to vietnam. here we were preparing to go to college. it had a huge impact. my generation suffered a little from processed -- post-traumatic stress disorder from this. i have to turn it off because it just draws so much from me. i want to thank them for their work and for all the photos. i think they are brave for being here after what the press has been going through lately. i do want to say one more thing.
for the black to the men who -- gentleman who called, it is difficult to understand. we will never, ever have any idea of what the black people have gone through. we did not experience it. we will never know. my daughter had a friend who used to say come you never know what it is like to go through a revolving door and have a mother pulled daughter away from you because she thinks he will contaminate her in some way. ken burns will be joining us next week. i would take exception to the fact that photojournalism has gone by the wayside. it has not. there are still photographers on the frontlines of history every single day. earlier is i used
the example of north and south going back and forth. in korea, there is a good example of an image of photographers who are out, shining lights in the corners of the world that people need to see. there might be some delusion because everybody is a photographer now. not everybody is a professional photographer, not everybody is and putting their lives on the line to report the truth. well yout is alive and can get it from a lot of different angles. your reaction following the assassination
of kennedy. me is that ins to a way, the kennedy family, a family in the 1960's was like a starburst. people were excited about john kennedy and the way in which he governed. then he was killed. then robert kennedy comes along running ina senator, 1968. he will take on lyndon johnson, a guy he really did not like, but a member of his own party. then, robert kennedy is killed. you look at a picture like that, someone skipping off across the beach. it is the excitement of being alone on the beach and then it is the end come and the sins of
a major chapter in the history of the kennedy clan. from the ambassador hotel that evening, senator kennedy winning the california primary. tell us what happened. >> just very quickly, go back to the photo. the photographer who did the ,ife cover on an organ beach beach,s where -- oregon that is where i come from. i've never seen a political figure like that. photographer at the edge of this crowded room. he looked like he was traveling with a group. i said, how do you get through these crowds? he said hang on to my coat, kid. .e pulled me through he said here is your photo. you will see the crowd in the
background and the senator in the foreground. flash forward, i was at the ambassador hotel that night covering. he had won the oregon primary. this happened so fast. ron bennett was the other photographer there. he was in the room. he went off the stage with him. when i heard the senator had been shot, it went outside and got this shot in the ambulance. the worst nights in american history. it was one of the worst nights for me. the is bill berry, bodyguard, a former fbi agent who was with him at his side, all the time.
it was nothing he could do. the guy popped out of the crowd and shot the senator. when robert kennedy's body was being put on a plane, this is former first lady jacqueline kennedy at the airport. a woman who has experienced tragedy before. these are all pictures i took as a young guy. --tographic history photographing history and watching a nightmare unfold. kathleen kennedy townsend was with us a few weeks ago. democrat line. >> is a yesterday in honolulu? i have to wonder about you guys. you have not mentioned bob dylan.
he inspired our generation. in 1960 eight he was in woodstock. he was not out in public. we were suffering some kind of setup -- separation anxiety. songs were playing every 15 minutes on the radio. nobody could escape awareness of what we had had to say about america's militarism beginning in 19 62 in 1964 and 1965 when you had not figured it out yet, none of us had. >> i was still in high school. caller: i hope you will stop and think about it now. i wrote a book on this. the study of bob dylan's work from 1961 to 1967, emphasizing his use of ethics. he is a prophet. host: thank you. the greatan is one of
ones, of course. i would just point out here that we cannot mention everybody that had anything to do with the year of 1968. she is right. why he was awarded the nobel prize. he is the great poet and put things into perspective, and he is still at it. i applaud that. jerry on the republican line. for taking myyou call. i remember the 60's for a distinctly and i am 82 years old. i lost a brother-in-law during the tet offensive. 64 democratic convention i remember very well. it was a big joke before. the person said it from the podium and what they interpreted
from the reporter was very different. i had a blind neighbor that got so upset watching it, he threw his shoe at the television. the protests during the 60's were financed by the kgb. the virginiaafter collapse. this resulted for the russians back then. host: you are laughing. >> i am sorry, i do not believe that. host: let me turn to a story that you did cover in 1968, that was the invasion of czechoslovakia. set the stage. what was happening in cold war? relations fight with the soviet union and why was it a significant development? 1960 brought to had a number of things in the cold war.
in intensified the tensions .etween the two sides everybody in the west assumed that because the russians had a in easternforce, europe, it was fair to threaten the west, but not actually to take action against the west. on october 20 of 1968, the russians moved tanks into proud, capital of czechoslovakia. gue, capital of czechoslovakia. i happen to be on vacation in long island. i got a call from walter cronkite and he said, did you fear the news. he said the wrestlers have moved into czechoslovakia. and he said we want you back here and you will be the lead of the program. take as much time as you would like, but explain why the russians would move west at this
point. takew walter did not mean as much time as you would like. that was like one minute 20 seconds, tops. i was thinking on the drive into new york what i would say and i assumed that the idea was that the american president and the russian mind was so absorbed with the vietnam war, that we, in europe, we communist in europe had move west and take advantage of the american preoccupation with the war in vietnam. that was one of the major reasons they moved. one of the major reasons. there were other reasons. wrote this piece and i handed it in at about 1:00 in the afternoon. you had to get in the cameracamera film had to be processed and all that stuff. quarter to 6:00 he called me into his office,
and said, we just got footage of a fire in new orleans. we really want to run that footage of the fire. no i knew that there was point in arguing with him. i said, how much time will you give me, he said, can you explain why the russians moved into checklist of our kia and 45 seconds? i said, sure. it was sort of silly, but that was the nature of the news then. great had footage of a fire in new orleans, you will run that footage. that was on the day that the russians moved in. were you still believe? >> yes. host: is go to robert in creighton, missouri. caller: good morning gentlemen. i am really enjoying this program this morning. rememberk american, i
the military. remember civil rights problems that they were having with the demonstrations. he was going to take the black citizens in the country. four, lyndon 1960 johnson said we will give minorities human rights, civil rights and voting rights. it ruined that republican party. point, all of those people transferred over. they are like wild he so which of the republican party. they carried that hate to the republican party.
every republican president up to ande bigotry disrespecting people. host: you actually said perfectly what we wanted to talk about next, which is the koerner -- commission report about how african-americans were viewed in the media and what was happening in the city. by me share with you what this report concluded back in 1968. we have found a significant in balance between what actually happened in our city and what the newspaper, radio and television coverage of the riots told us. failed toedia has analyze and report adequately on racial problems in the united states, and is a related matter, in legitimate expectation journalism.
news organizations have failed to communicate to book their black and white audience the problems that america faces and the sources of potential solutions. this summary from the koerner commission and the colors point, your reaction. >> i think they were right. the youngit to being andographer at that time, 608i did not cover any race don'tin l.a., and i'd have first-hand experience of how that went other than what i read in the paper, marvin might have a better bead on that. at that time i was covering current affairs. that is not the point. the point is that the caller makes a number of very .oignant's points they ought to be taken very seriously and what could make the argument -- one could make
the argument that the kind of deal withequired to the issue of racism in the is so profound, and it is so deep, a require almost constant coverage to be able to get to the heart of the problem. i think, in fairness to the press, that it has done a remarkable job of moving towards a solution of that problem. but what it is that the koerner commission said about the failings of the press to report this issue, i think were right then, they are right today, but there has been -- they would be foolish to ignore this. there has been enormous progress. of african-americans who are reporting today, as people as the key three major newscasts in the evening, one is being done by an african-american.
isn't the issue being ignored or shelved, it is being addressed. it is so profound that it still needs more coverage. 1960 eight, c-span3's american history tv, our special series, also on washington journal and all of it on our website at c-span.org. john joining us out in bakersfield, california. just commentted to on that timeframe also, 1968 where robert kennedy passed away for thethe heart -- and heart out of the american. david hit on that earlier about what we believe the journalists do, 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, we do not trust
the government. i can remember in 1970 with nixon a group of us, 12 sat down with our envelopes from the with ay, we saluted shot, we all opened them all 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. definite not trusting the government and we are seeing get today. i am open to your comments. host: the book ends from this period, vietnam war and watergate. to now, ou have this relentless attack on the irst amendment of the press, cannot tell you how deeply offensive that is to me having gone through firsthand
experiences with my colleagues being killed in the line of duty. of not reporting state news. watergate really ripped it for people, and it took gerald ford a fairly mild-mannered congressman who was a world war ii hero whose office was right across the hall from jfk, weber book navy veterans from the pacific, to bring it back into rumsfeld,e, donald who was the chief of staff for gerald r. ford has a new book coming out in a couple of weeks called the center held. it was talking about being a senator and playing football, thehe held the line against ribs and fabric that was caused by watergate. to our great testimony
system. if we can survive that we can survive anything. book we will feature that on c-span2's book tv and he will sit down with vice president dick cheney. the taping is scheduled for early next month. cheney had to transcribe all his notes about the president, the whole book was about all the notes he wrote at the time. it is a good book. host: was go back to your calls. john in illinois. good morning. caller: good morning. steve, we talked before. i am talking about photographs. in 1960 five when king marched in chicago he marched on the east side, i need the front page of the local newspaper. that photograph changed my life. in 1968 i was 18 years old. me and my gang that went downtown to beat up hippies and protesters.
i started a conversation with a hippie that change my outlook on the demonstrators and all that stuff. said thecame by and war is full of baloney. three months later i was smart enough to touch of my buddies into joining the marine corps. witham, we all came back our fingers and all of our toes. when i was leaving to vietnam, a korean war veteran said when you call for help, you don't care who comes, it could be tall, short, black, brown, green. those things changed my life. i try every day not to be prejudice.s -- i hope americans are learning not to be prejudice. >> i love you. [laughter] i want to go back to another piece of film from the democratic convention. i-4 we show that, what was happening on the republican
side? how was the gop convention that year in miami beach? was not there, but david douglas duncan did an incredible photo essay inside with nick, great koreanook war photos, and all that, had no nixon out of the pacific when he was also in the navy out there, his photographs of inside the nixing campaign and inside the convention, then inside the democrats, it is fantastic photo. all i know is what i saw from those photographs. orderly thanmore the democrats, which is probably one of the reasons it helped nixon's campaign. one more moment from the democratic convention in chicago, courtesy of cbs news, here is walter cronkite. is there going to be any
delay in his convention as a result of what is going on downtown? i have not been watching television. that somebody handed me something in there were 60 people. these delegations are deciding not to walk out tonight but not to come back tomorrow because of what they call a police state being used around the convention hall. people who are here are making sure that there for thenterruptions convention itself. this is a very serious convention. we will nominate the next president of the united states here. >> in undue force being done by police and national guardsmen. >> i know nothing about that. i have been here with my connecticut delegation and on the podium where i belong. >> you see no delay in this convention?
presidentre the candidate will be nominated and to the vice president candidate will be nominated. >> john bailey, chairman of the democratic party. quite a crush year as reporters attempt to ask him what is going on at the convention and with all of the reports of undue force being used by chicago police and national guardsmen. report anding a looked a maze and interested as people were standing with him. this is pre-cable, pre-c-span, the networks carrying these conventions gavel to gavel. >> that's right. it was a very exciting experience to watch that. it was a great example of mr. bailey engaging in what was called the credibility gap. he claims that he knew nothing about the police lacking reporters over the head, when it was all over television up a time.
you just had to open up your eyes and you would see it. he was claiming that he knew nothing except being in the front seat doing his job. this was nonsense and the american people watching knew it because they had seen what was going on outside and inside the convention. this is one of those things that when people look back on 1968 and 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 what a senator says? i'm not saying that if you went back to 1968 you would get all of the answers, but you would get some of the answers. that is where it was fought. that is where the whole idea of talking wise to people rather than journalists trying to find out what was going on and telling it as truthfully as they could. jack, republican line. good morning. caller: good morning.
this does not have much to do with journalism, but 30 years ago my wife and i were married. the day that we were married i listen to teddy kennedy's eulogy. i thought it was the best speech i had ever heard. that is it. congratulations for 50 years, that is a real landmark to be married that long. host: that speech that senator kenny be delivered in york avenue st. patrick's day. >> it was one of the great speeches that teddy kennedy ever gave and he was capable of doing great speeches and i think the american people over the years learned about this great skill that he had, which was something in the kennedy jeans. , think at that particular time people realize that ted kennedy had taken upon himself the responsibility of being the leader of the kennedy clan. people in the political world also recognize that. changed at that
point. there was an incident after that, but he became a full person, and a full politician when he realized that there were none of his brothers around any longer and he was the kid called upon to be the senior member of the clan. senator, most everybody right and left would agree that ted kennedy was an extraordinary senator. william from new york city. good morning. to say i would just like losthe record, ted kennedy . i would just like to correct the record that kennedy lost the
primary in oregon, and that was the first time the family had ever lost an election. i am surprised neither of your ommentators knew that, >> i like to think everybody from a wave as a winner oregon. you are totally correct. gene mccarthy one that. but then kennedy recovered in california. good catch on that. jeff from olympia fields, illinois. i appreciate c-span's having the courage to examine the media's role in america today. everyone hasn, as says, is doing a great job in making sure that we have balanced coverage. for marvin.n is
i have watched your work and i appreciate the intellectual approach that you take and the objective approach you take for examining stories. you did mention that the media has done a good job in moving america forward in terms of racial progress. with that. i'm curious to know from you, do you think that the local press is doing enough to make sure that they are not putting negative images he for the american people, to cast latino and african americans in a very negative light, and causing primarily a americans to look at them in a very negative perspective. i just don't think that the intellectual grit and analysis that you put into your stories are taking place locally. that is what drives a lot of the anger in this country. i would like your thoughts on that. i will hang up and listen for your response. you are absolutely right in
that a lot of the current holding data indicates that most americans get their news from local news. mostly local television news. that is absolutely right. therefore, that puts a huge responsibility on the people who run local news. if there is in in balance, if they put too much negative associated with one group, that is wrong. and it is bad journalism and it simply is not true. it is aame time, if fact, that something negative is associated with african-american communities, hispanic, you have to report that, that is also part of the news. for theeeling is that most part, exception taken into account. for the most part, newspeople, locally and on network level try to do the best job that they
can. cronkitet did walter think of richard nixon in 1968? >> there were two walter cronkite. the one on the air who was objective and told it as it is. walter always had a feeling that , i don't know how we floated, but if i had to guess, i would say that cronkite was a reluctant democrat in that his instincts would go towards 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 of walternside cronkite rebelled against. he loved the idea of america being first and winning. david, we are still about a year away before armstrong
would walk on the moon. the space program was flourishing in 1968. i was mainly watching that one on television, i did not get a chance to for a graph that at that point. but it was a big story in the russians were doing remarkable things at that time as well. one of the things i remember was was when the united states sending 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. 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 would also play a major role, not just the u.s. host: let me share this photograph from christmas eve, 1968, a capstone to a very
tumultuous year. i think we can put this photograph on the screen. you can see the view of earth from space. also what happened in 19 to -- 1968, christmas. the crew of the uss pueblo was let go by the north koreans. it is something we are talking about right now with commander roy bucher. i was in san diego when that crew came off the airplane there and they were playing the lonely bull, which was the theme song, apparently, of the crew. one of the most emotional things i had ever seen. possible,forward to breaking out on the korean peninsula, i will never forget what happened in 1968 on christmas with the pet will -- with the pueblo crew. host: quick question, tom. caller: it was great listening to you.
i him a student of history, i have a degree in history so i have studied it very well. just a quick comment, then a question. unfortunately, i do worry that the media today is not close to what you guys were in the 1960's because i see a lot of terminology, redefining the thes where we excuse language. we talk about illegal aliens and say undocumented workers to skew the discussion. when president trump mentioned something about old sides we make it seem as if it is an evil concept. we hear radical right all the time but we never hear about the radical left in the media. host: we only have a minute left. >> radical left, radical right, these terms that are used to describe complicated processes, i find it very difficult, for example, most of the time to and say areporter
you a republican or democrat. i do have a clue and i don't care as long as you professionally do your job. from that point, that is all that is important. i think that is the key. look at the result of what a reporter dies. at the end of the day, if you think that that reporter has done as good a job as a human being can do, that is good enough. you: i was going to give one minute 20 seconds but i will only give you five seconds. as you look back at 1968, what are the lessons from the media? >> i was glad to get out of it a life. -- a life. -- alive. i am still doing it, i am covering politics, photographing politics. i love my colleagues. a hand of are still brothers and sisters who are out there telling the truth and our professional people.
if you put something into a photo, or take it out, you get fired. you have to know, the new york times or the wire services and the networks, all of these people really hold the line of integrity. host: you get the last word. journalism int 1968 learned at one huge lesson. government,t its the government of the united states, when it wish to, would buy. it would like directly to the american people and use the middleman. the press had a responsibility to speak truth to power but to understand when power was lying and to speak truth to the american people. host: marvin with his signature cbs news and nbc. and david, a long career with upi, pulitzer prize photographer