Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: Press vs. Government, The Second Front

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Press vs. Government, The Second Front

In chapter Four, Vietnam Syndrome, Macarthur quotes an NBC correspondent saying "Several officers...charged the Press with negativity, sensationalism, and questionable loyalty in Vietnam." Gary Matsumoto, the correspondent, also claimed to find a "spirit of confrontation" frome the troops and officers. In Vietnam, as well as in the Gulf in the 90's and Iraq today, this argument presents a double-edged sword. Are the troops' complaints justifiable in regards to how the press has presented the wars? I believe so; however, there may be others to blame. As discussed in this class, the press, typically, has followed the lead of politicians, and how they create their own spin during wartime. While I support all the troops, then and now, and their argument, perhaps they should look at the government officials as well as the press about how the outlook of the war is being percieved by the American public.


Blogger A. Mattson said...

The assumptions made about press coverage and the need to control media access to the war are a legacy of the conflicts of the Vietnam era.

The press does follow elite opinion and public opinion. If the elite is united in their support for a war it is very unlikely that the media will be critical of the war effort at first. Unless of course the war drags on and the objectives promised by the war managers are not reached.

Supporting the troops is important. The question of course is what is the best way to support them? Should all critical voices be still? Or is the best way to support the troops to bring them home? These are not easy questions.

The press does follow the lead of important sources of information, up to the point in which divisions emerge within the ranks of the elite and between the pubic and the government. Then the media will reflect these divisions and be more open to anti-war voices.

4/11/2007 11:16 PM  

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