tv 1968 - America in Turmoil Medias Role CSPAN April 29, 2018 10:29pm-12:01am EDT
our guests are two of america's top litigators. watch landmark cases monday at 9:00 eastern on c-span and join the conversation. us at c-span. we have resources on our website for background on the case. to the national constitution. >> next, we continue our series "1968: america and turmoil." americans were eyewitnesses to vietnam, astronauts orbiting the moon, chaos on city streets, and
imagination. early in 1968, cbs news man walter cronkite delivered his on-air assessment that the bloody experiment of vietnam was in a still make. our guests are a former cbs journalists, who was the founding member of harvard university's center on media. and, photographer david hume kimberly, who was a photographer in the late 1960's. he covered senator robert kennedy's campaign, the vietnam war, and the white house. first, here is cbs news coverage of the democratic national convention in chicago. chicago, illinois.
the convention of the democratic itsy, nominated tonight candidate for the presidency. speeches, seconding are being made for senator mcgovern, then we will have a seconding speech for the oferend channing phillips washington dc, eight favorite candidate of the black caucus to this convention. there are some 212 negro delegates here. those who are not bound by other state requirements, such as primary election, are expected to vote for channing phillips. here in the amphitheater, new york is holding a caucus to discuss the violence downtown, and hal walker is there. >> wait a minute, you are wasting valuable time. hal: several hundred of the
mccarthy supporters and others have gathered into the caucus room, caucus room number one, to hear a proposal that all of those opposed to the actions taken in this convention, the action of the police and other agencies against delegates, that they gather together at the end of the mcgovern speech and present their objections or be ready to present a resolution. if not able to present a resolution, they say they will not return to the convention tomorrow. their proposal is not 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 he calls the atrocities are stopped. he was given a rousing stand of -- rousing round of applause by student delegates. back to you. walter: has there been any suggestion in that caucus that new york delegates attend the
fourth party meeting at the drake hotel? hal: so far, the question of the new party has not come up. these people are angry about the way delegates are being treated and others at the convention are being treated. as i said, they called them atrocities. they are just going to walk out of this meeting. they have not said they will do in subsequent time. walter: thank you, hal. did you have more? hal: that was it, walter. walter: morris raskin of the so-called new party has called a meeting at the drake hotel, reserved a banquet room. he is expecting 200 or 300 delegates to attend that meeting. >> our thanks to cbs news for that footage. 1968, 50k back at
years later, our focus in this segment is the role of the media. we welcome a pulitzer prize-winning photographer to talk about the work in 1968, and marvin kalb from cbs news. walter cronkite, what role did he play? arvin: big-time. when the tet offensive began and the vietnamese same to to be the victors of the war, walter thought he could no longer sit at the anchorman in new york. he wanted to see what was happening. he asked if he could go. walter insisted, and he went. he spent a brief period of time, but he absorbed a great deal.
he realized that the war could not be won. he said, i've got to do something which expresses my opinion. they 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. air,r won, he went on the and they then add that extraordinary line, we did what we could to the vietnamese people, it is now up to them. lyndon johnson was watching that with two of his very close aides at the time. he said, when i have lost walter cronkite, i have lost middle america. he meant that he lost his basic support.
back to where the media was in 1968. we didn't have cable, we didn't have twitter. photographing antiwar demonstrations. really affected me magazine, wire service photographs. i think, if you look at the ,iggest photo of the year shooting the vc suspect in the head, that was on the front of every newspaper in the world. tois funny, flashing forward watching the president of south korea and north korea holding hands and stepping over that line, there is one particular image -- those kind of images
stay with you and they affected everybody's life. they didn't have the torrent of information that you have now. steve: the story of lyndon -- the story is that he was on a plane. >> my understanding is that he was at the white house, bill moyers was with him, his spokesperson was with him. they were in his office. he was watching it, he saw walter, walter said what he said, and he said, i've lost middle america. steve: let's talk about the larger role of what is happening in vietnam. what were americans seeing at home and how significant was that as the war was unfolding? >> really that was the beginning of my career in the news business.
i grew up in a little town in oregon and i went to portland to work on the newspaper and then down to l.a. at that point, i had been to vietnam. before i came on today, i was looking back. four of my classmates from westwood high school in oregon who were killed in the vietnam war. 1968. them was these are all guys i went to school with. there was a profound effect for me. think, i was just getting it knowing that my friends were getting bumped off in vietnam. all you had to do was go on the campuses. state.ed san francisco
all of the adjoining areas. you can see the rising tide of people protesting. steve: this is from a cbs radio network ad. mr. k and the kremlin. i mentioned that because you were also the author of "the year i was peter the great. >> in 1968, we were still part of the civil war, and existential might come argument with the communist world. we were in the capitalist world. vietnam was the pivotal war, which really turned the whole .old war around
in 1968, more than any other year, it seems like the united states had lost its innocence in that war. the media had lost its innocence in 1968 as well. there was a credibility gap where the people in vietnam, the officers, the majors, the colonels, they would tell us what it is that we had covered tot day, and it had nothing do with what we had seen and heard. the government itself, the lyndon johnson administration, was up against it. that is one of the reasons that the president felt he had to get on, and that is what he did march 31. mind that hep his could no longer lead the country. lyndon johnson was a very proud man.
opinion,ne, in my great things on the legislative front, the domestic front. but then the war was always there pulling him down. ultimately, it dragged him down. the american people had to fix, in a sense, the loss of a president, the loss of its innocence, the media itself, how our own government was lying to us. i was a moscow correspondent. i had assumed that the russians would lie to me. i had never assumed, up until that point, that my own government was going to lie to me. that was a big grown-up moment for me and, i think, for any other reporters at that time. upie: david, you were with at that point, correct? you were based on the west coast. some escape conflicts from -- escaped convicts from san
quentin. take a look at this photograph and tell us what you saw and what you reflect on years later. >> i got a radio report that in a was a guy hold up little hotel. i was somewhere else across l.a. i raced over there, i went into the driveway, and the cops were talking to this guy through a window. it turns out that his name was arthur jones, he came from san quentin. there was a cbs cameraman, a local guy, the two of us standing in a driveway. i don't know how i didn't get killed. were there other pictures in the sequence? steve: i think just want. all of a sudden, there is an explosion, he had set off
some dynamite in the room, the cops started shooting him. the cameras kept rolling. he ended up crawling over to where he is right there, and the bomb squad guy came over. it was terrifying, but i sat there and i shot the whole thing. after lbjight announced he wasn't going to run. these pictures were all over on the paper. actually, in my whole vietnam experience, i had a lot of close calls, but that was really want. 1968, 62.5 million americans received a newspaper either in the morning or afternoon. that number is down by about 20 million. the most recent number, 2014, just over 40 million. 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, the internet. it is amazing to me that there are still as many newspapers as there are functioning. we live in a world today that is so completely different from what it was in 1968. in that world, we were closer to events. we depended upon a more limited group of people. that could be argued as a negative because you have the slant of only those people, but at the same time, they were highly experienced, professional reporters. today, people don't really regard reporters as professionals. they kind of regard them as propagandists. that is a horrible change that has taken place. is marvinning us here kalb from nbc news and cbs news, and david hume kennerly, who
went on to serve as president ford's photographer. and our for democrats line for republicans. we will go to carol in texas. caller: good morning. thank you for having me and for having this program today. i just wanted to get your comments. in 1968. about the war 1967, 1968, 1969, i use those years to teach my grandchildren that we survived those years and, no matter the conflicts we have that come in the future, that the country is going to hang together and we are going to survive. i also want to get your comment about the fact that the anon didn't and in 1968 when johnson
stopped being president, but it continued on for the vietnamese until 1975 and the americans until 1973. thank you for taking my call and i will listen to your comments off-line. aboutt is a good point how he didn't and. in 1968, ir-old could vote for the first time. believed richard nixon when he said he was going to end the war in vietnam, so i voted for him. that had a direct impact on me. upas in college, but i ended -- i went in the army for six , national guard, basic training and all that. -- i don't know the exact numbers, but during the nixon administration --
28,000 americans were killed when richard nixon was president. >> it was about 50-50. i went to vietnam in 1971 after eddie adams told me all the good pictures had already been taken. it went on and on and i was there toward the end of the war when president ford pulled the plug on it. i was in the room when that happened at the white house. steve: republican line, good morning. reporters at the time of the vietnam war reported free and open access to the combat scenes. they would just hop on a plane and they were able to see the fighting as it occurred. t came along and the pentagon papers came along, and they were great surprises. how do you reconcile the gap between free access and yet missing the main facts of the
war. i will have you answer that question and also explain how your pieces came back to the u.s.. >> in those days, if you were in television, you had a camera crew, a cameraman, a sound. i did most of the coverage of the vietnam war from washington. my brother covered it for cbs from the war front itself. what i know is that you would go out with a team, there was no censorship, you covered when it is that you saw, you then brought it back, then it had to be shipped out to japan, then shipped to new york. in other words, you did not have live, instantaneous coverage. the commentary is something you could do a day or two later.
you can lay it over the footage. but you did not have a live commentary. that makes all the difference in the world. when you are doing a live story right now, you have to go in and immediately know what it is that you are going to be saying. , we had ans ago opportunity to actually think about what it is that you wanted to say. you had an opportunity to spend a day or two checking with people. you had the footage, that's what you saw, but what did it really mean? 20, 30 years ago, we might have had a richer diet of news than we do today. steve: you went there in 1971 for the first time? >> yes. back to this question, i think the press was reporting that things weren't going so well. i'm not sure what he meant by, when the pentagon papers came out.
what they found was duplicitous activity in the white house. constantlyrs were talking about how things weren't going well over there. wasact, the right wing blaming the press for us losing the war when it was really the government who shouldn't of been there in the first place probably. having been there and spent over two years there, i thought our reporting was really good. and it was true, we could go anywhere, anytime. i never bought the idea that somehow we lost the war for the u.s.. >> i just wanted to add that, also in the coverage, at least at cbs and i think that other networks as well, you had the coverage from vietnam, but you also had coverage of the war as seen from the nation's capital.
you look at the capitol building right now and you realize, at that time, the war was being fought in this country as well. the country was split. in twoviolently split between those people who supported the government and wanted the war to continue, and those people by the hundreds of thousands, who were out in the street objecting to the war. there were two angles of vision on the war. steve: you capture that in some of your photographs. >> i tried. another thing about being a photographer covering the war -- i was compelled. 50-50y it was about a split between casualties. two of my buddies from high school were killed during the johnson period and two during next in. nixon.-- during
steve: explain this photograph. that was san francisco state college. that was very reflective of what was going on at the time. by notsay, i got beat up only the cops, but the demonstrators. , the soldiers loved it when somebody like me showed up, like an outsider, somebody who didn't have to be there. contrary to what you may hear, we had an incredibly good relationship with gis, with the officers on everybody. they wanted to tell their story. it was just another facet of what i did when i was there. our focus is 1968 and this program, the media in particular.
daniel is joining us from pennsylvania on the independent line. 1968, -- journalists were liberal and conservative. today, it seems more flagrant that journalism today is more liberal. back then, you couldn't tell whether they were liberal or conservative. >> apparently you don't watch fox. say,graphers, i will speaking for myself but particularly knowing a lot of them, we really don't take sides. i was brought up that way. i think the lines have blurred a lot between commentators, people like sean hannity who are definitely not journalists, and people who are true reporters. those are the kind of people i have always worked with. i think that is part of the problem.
you don't know why somebody saying what they are saying. normally, a reporter is going to give you the straight facts. i don't believe it is true in s in the news pro business. steve: let's talk about some significant photographs you had of big players. let's start with california governor ronald reagan. david: a fairly young reagan at that time. that was 1968. ronald reagan was governor of california. he had been a democrat and became a republican. i had a long history with him because i had first photographed him as governor, then he ran against my boss, gerald ford, when i was the white house photographer. they had their showdown at the
republican convention of 1976. then, of course, reagan went on to become president. the beautiful things about my career is i have seen people progress through it from the beginning to the end. in 1968.ronald reagan and i covered his funeral. these are people i got to know. marvin kalb. in 1968, i don't think that reagan's influence on the war and on the flow of domestic events was all that great. i think it was later that he picked up a head of steam. at that time, he was still a young politician on the rise. believeot yet become, i , the governor of california. he was governor at that time? a young governor.
he didn't deal at that time with student unrest, and he became associated with the government cracking down on student demonstrators. a lot of people thought that reagan had gone too far. one of the reasons he developed a following among the right wing of the republican party was just the reasons like that, that he was capable of ordering a crackdown on the young demonstrators. period, i believe they had helicopters going over uc berkeley, dispensing teargas. i have a son at uc berkeley now and i'm glad things of calm down for his sake. governor reagan was law and order and definitely had the cops cracking down on the universities. steve: another significant player, senator eugene mccarthy. david: that was mccarthy in los angeles in 1968 during the
campaign. he was the first sort of mainline politician to rise up against lbj. is joining us from maryland, democrats line. >> i find it very interesting in the conversation. it seems like they are coming , a voice in ame white supremacist world with perks, whether you are liberal or conservative. it was still white supremacy. the reason i'm going this way is because i realized 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. you haven't talked about the south or anything that dealt with minorities and the great suffering that was 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 but let's be real about what is happening in america. it wasn't all about white people. all your pictures show white students and the police, just like they are today, crushing people skills. maybe they weren't white supremacists, but under command of a white person. let's be real about what is going on. steve: thank you for the call. we actually had focused on that in a previous installment. his is a nine part series. but today, we are focusing on the media. >> he's got a good point. obviously, we can't cover the most of all to us here in american history and get it all in there.
but quite frankly, the photographs taken by my colleagues, particularly of civil rights unrest, pictures of martin luther king, really made a big impact on all of that. story. telling a think he has a good point. as a young white person from a fairly white 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 segment, as you mentioned. from the book, "frontlines of the television war," how powerful were these pictures as americans were watching walter cronkite or david brinkley on nbc, and they watch the body bags being carried out? marvin: in my opinion,
television came of age in the 1960's. in 1968, beginning with the tet offensive in vietnam, followed by lyndon johnson's statement that he's not going to run for then, the killing of robert in the tea in june of 1968, than the effort to quiet down the war, then the democratic convention in chicago. fewer are showing cronkhite and his coverage. -- one in the midst of of the great epoque's in american history. piece, thee of thedinary downfall president, the downfall of a black leader. news was the way in ,hich most people, not everyone
but most people, found out about .his country, what was going on television absolutely had a believe that it was -- tv that brought the war into your living room. the still picture took it a little further in your heart and soul. the photo of the little girl running down the road. the indelible images of vietnam 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.
having lived through it, one thing about california, it neglected a lot. you are away from the power. it seems 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. i lived that as a black soldier, drafted in 66 -- 1966 through
1968. preparing for riot control. now i have to back off crowds. i lived, fighting a war, being questioned, watching riots in the street. they would later give amnesty while the poor fought wars overseas. host: as you answered that, you 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. i spent a lot of time with black and white soldiers over in vietnam. trust me, everybody was going through the same thing. it was not good. host: from california, maryland, republican mine. caller: -- republican mine. caller: -- 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. as far as 1968, my dad was a diplomat. i was just a young girl when 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. today, i think 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? >> i think that she was just a, 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. it is a belief that their control of the world, their country, has been taken out of their hands. it is in the hands of strangers. they want it to be reconstituted. one of the reasons president 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. 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. this is at the height of the tet
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. the one on the left had just had some of his guys killed in very heavy streetfighting around that area. they arrested the suspect. there is an nbc film of this thing happening. this photograph is one of the most powerful pictures ever taken. they brought that guy over. 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 repulsion -- revulsion every day after that. >> the cruelty 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. joe roosevelt, the flag raising
picture was the opposite of that. it showed the marines raising the flag, 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. host: looking back 50 years later. america in turmoil. our guest at the table -- guests at the table. joining us from new york. caller: good morning. great show, gentlemen. my question is for either gentlemen. less than 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? >> the 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. that was 1964. there were two attacks against an american destroyer right off the shores of vietnam. the first attack actually did take place. lyndon johnson did not take retaliatory action after the first attack. when the second attack took place in august 4, he did. 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 that 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. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] 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. at the time, it said that the president of the united states can take any action anywhere in defense of america's interests against the communists.
that was a big 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 dying -- when you talk about the war, remember that most of the
people who were dying on the american side 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 offensive, these nationwide 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. i have a personal story about
how there was no way around it. the voice, the demeanor, the manner of walter cronkite. where they were housing these u.s. prisoners, the place called the plantation. it is where they released all of them. 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. host: i want to go back to the convention in 1968. this is walter cronkite reporting from chicago. about to nominate vice president hubert humphrey in 1968.
>> as we reported to you earlier, this is not live. this is on film. this happened some time ago. the demonstrators did get into 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. delegates of this convention do
not know that thousands of young people are being eaten in the streets -- beaten in the streets of chicago. for that reason 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, the most trusted man, period, in 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. i got a picture of him and another man looking very chummy. this is one my favorite shots. the man on the 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.
i want to respond to a couple of the black callers because they were saying white supremacy and all this other stuff. if you remember, when we only had three tv channels, they would not tell you that the democratic party were the ones who were the segregationist, who were the ku klux klan, about 95% of them.
compared to the republican conservatives, who were offering opportunity. but the democrats were saying that they hate you, that they do 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 been saving my phone call to say
something positive, instead of being negative and complaining about another party. i was a democrat for many years and i left after this last election and became independent. i want to thank the gentleman 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 called, i think -- 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. host: 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. the example i used earlier is 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 taking risks and putting their lives on the line to report the truth. i think it is alive and well you can get it from a lot of different angles. host: your reaction following this jihad -- the assassination of kennedy. >> what it says to me is that in 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 and become a senator, running in 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. host: 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 life cover on an organ beach, that is where -- oregon beach, that is where i come from. i've never seen a political figure like that. there was a 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. he 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. it was one of the worst nights
in american history. it was one of the worst nights for me. this is bill berry, the 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. photographic history -- photographing history and watching a nightmare unfold. host: kathleen kennedy townsend was with us a few weeks ago. democrat line. >> is it yesterday in honolulu?
caller: 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. his 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 subtitle is the study of bob
dylan's work from 1961 to 1967, emphasizing his use of ethics. he is a prophet. host: thank you. >> bob dylan is one of the great 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. that is 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. host: jerry on the republican line. caller: thank you for taking my 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. the 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. this came up after the virginia 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? what were our 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 between the two sides. everybody in the west assumed that because the russians had a very major force, in eastern europe, it was fair to threaten the west, but not actually to take action against the west. but on october 20 of 1968, the russians moved tanks into proud, capital of czechoslovakia. -- prague, 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. i said oh, 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. i knew walter did not mean take 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. i wrote this piece and i handed it in at about 1:00 in the afternoon.
in those days, you had to get in front of a camera the camera film had to be processed and all that stuff. then at about a 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. and i knew that there was no 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. if you had footage of a great fire in new orleans, you will run that footage. that was on the day that the russians moved in. host: 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. as a black american, i remember the military. i remember civil rights problems that they were having with the demonstrations. he decided he was going to take the black citizens in the country. i remember in 1960 four, lyndon johnson said we will give minorities human rights, civil rights and voting rights. it ruined that republican party. from that 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 present time have bigotry and disrespecting people. host: you actually said perfectly what we wanted to talk about next, which is the koerner confession -- 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. the news media has failed to analyze and report adequately on racial problems in the united states, and is a related matter, the legitimate expectation in 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. i will admit to being the young photographer at that time, and 608i did not cover any race riots in l.a., and i'd don't 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 poignant's points. they ought to be taken very seriously and what could make the argument -- 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, 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.
the number of african-americans who are reporting today, as anchor people, key people as the three major newscasts in the evening, one is being done by an african-american. it isn't the issue being ignored or shelved, it is being addressed. it is so profound that it still needs more coverage. host: 1968, 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. caller: i wanted to just comment on that timeframe also, 1968 where robert kennedy passed away and for the heart -- and for the 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 ..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 do not trust the government. i can remember in 1970 with nixon a group of us, 12 sat down with our envelopes from the military, we saluted with a 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. there is a 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. >> watergate to now, ou have this relentless attack on the first amendment of the press, i 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
perspective, donald rumsfeld, 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, but he held the line against the ribs and fabric that was caused by watergate. it is a great testimony to our system. if we can survive that we can survive anything. host: we will feature that book 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. protesters. i started a conversation with a
hippie that change my outlook on the demonstrators and all that stuff. cronkite came by and said the war is full of baloney. three months later i was smart enough to touch of my buddies into joining the marine corps. vietnam, we all came back with 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 president is -- prejudice. i hope americans are learning not to be prejudice. >> i love you. [laughter] host: 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? >> i was not there, but david douglas duncan did an incredible photo essay inside with nick, duncan, who took great korean 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. it was a lot more orderly than the democrats, which is probably one of the reasons it helped nixon's campaign. host: 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. i understand that somebody handed me something in there were 60 people. >> some of 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. >> i assume the people who are here are making sure that there was no interruptions for the 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? >> i am sure the president 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. he was reading a report and looked a maze and interested as people were standing with him. host: 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. host: 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. i 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. kennedy himself 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. i think, as a senator, most everybody right and left would agree that ted kennedy was an extraordinary senator. host: william from new york city. good morning. caller: i would just like to say for the record, ted kennedy lost. 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 commentators knew that, >> i like to think everybody comes a wave as a winner from oregon. you are totally correct. gene mccarthy one that. but then kennedy recovered in california. good catch on that. host: jeff from olympia fields, illinois. caller: i appreciate c-span's programming having the courage to examine the media's role in america today. i think c-span, as everyone has says, is doing a great job in making sure that we have balanced coverage.
this question is for marvin. 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. i do agree 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 dissension and 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. at the same time, if it is a fact, that something negative is associated with african-american communities, hispanic, you have to report that, that is also part of the news. my own feeling is that for the 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. host: what did walter cronkite 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
that the inside of walter cronkite rebelled against. he loved the idea of america being first and winning. host: 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 that when the united states was 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. now, fast-forward to possible, peaceful, peace 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 terms where we excuse the
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 look at a reporter and say are 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. host: i was going to give you 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. i think we are still a hand of 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. >> i think that journalism in 1968 learned at one huge lesson. that was that its government, the government of the united states, when it wish to, would lie. 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 red tide, from cbs news and nbc. david, a long career with upi, pulitzer prize photographer and now with cnn. to both of you, thank you for being with us.
to both of you, thank you for being with us. >> next sunday at 8:30 a.m. eastern we are live continuing our series, 1968, america and -- in turmoil with a look at the vietnam war at home. war was fought not only in the jungles of vietnam but on american streets. student marches and acts of civil disobedience dominated headlines. our guests are authored ed -- our guests are authors ed stanton and the filmmaker len, next sunday here on american history tv. >> next, on the presidency. we hear about dolley madison's political talents, and the working partnership she forged with her husband to create a sense of personal and political excitement during their white house years. the president and ceo of the montpelier foundation, she recalls dolly's life and time, and her political successes. the virginia museum of history and culture, and james madison's
montpelier hosted this event. it is 50 minutes. >> today's lecture is cosponsored by our friends at james madison's montpelier. with us to talk about the home's most famous female occupant is the president and ceo of montpelier and the montpelier foundation. she is the first of the women to oversee all aspects of the historic site. under her leadership, montpelier has become an absolute leader in the research of slavery and early republican has grown and all most every way imaginable. it has been quite fun to watch at a distance. of the great worpp