Vietnam War: Facts, Stats & Myths

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Joined
May 10, 2022
Messages
239
Location
Peters Colony, Republica de Tejas
Basis for my following observations: USAF 1969-1973. In the Jungle on NW side of Mindanao, PI - 1970-71. In a small town in northern Thailand, near the Laos/Thai/Burma border- 1972-73. On each tour to SEA, my parents mailed to me each week's Sunday hometown newspaper. So I was able to read and compare the news (a) as being reported on back home ("CONUS NEWS"), versus (b) the news as broadcast over the Armed Forces Radio Network and as published in Stars and Stripes (collectively referred to hereinafter as "AFRN")- the only two sources of news available to us "in-theater" GIs. Here are my observations.

1. AFRN rarely, and I mean VERY rarely, broadcast any "negative" news about the war or about the South Vietnamese government. Suppression of unfavorable news was understandable and defensible, of course, using the logic that negative news would destroy troop morale.
2. CONUS NEWS, by contrast, was overwhelmingly negative - South Vietnamese government corruption was the overriding theme of published news about the South Vietnamese government. And as the war extended, negative press about the "US military-industrial complex" increasingly dominated other news. True or not, omission of Paul Harvey's "other side of the story" most certainly shaped citizens' opinions.
3. AFRN rarely published specific news about individual battles, and especially battles whose outcomes weren't victorious for the US. Again, OPSEC considerations and morale considerations almost always transformed the GIs' "RIGHT to know" into "NEED to know."
4. CONUS NEWS, by contrast, published as much information about individual battles and North Vietnamese offensives, many times with opinions skeptical of our military leadership, as the reporters could gather (which was supplemented and/or seasoned with, we always suspected, less-than-reliable information fed to the reporters by North Vietnamese sympathizers).

In each case, one side's version of the "news" woefully underreported facts that were inconsistent with that side's objectives.

There...I'm sure you never knew, suspected or even imagined, any of this was going on prior to my telling it to you (sarcasm fully intended).
 

Shamus2022

Bearcat
Joined
Apr 14, 2022
Messages
62
Location
VT
Cronkite lost the war and he was a commie mouthpiece America hater along with all his media cronies.
 

pyth0n

Buckeye
Joined
Sep 11, 2007
Messages
1,025
Location
Florida
Cronkite wasn't basing his opinions on what his reporters & photographers reported. He was very close to the Kennedy's and was strongly influenced by them. He reported what they & Johnson wanted him to report.
 

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