Media and Military

Essay by Laska_plUniversity, Bachelor's May 2006

download word file, 2 pages 0.0

During the Vietnam War the media was left unchecked and brought the

wartime images of death and carnage into America's living room. These

images served as morale killers and eventually turned much of the public

against its own government. During the Gulf War on the other hand, the

military filtered what reached the public's eye and morale was kept to all

time highs. In wartime the government should be able to manipulate public

opinion by controlling the media.

War is not pretty, and it is not for the weak at heart. Images of

war should not be broadcast into living rooms live. During the Vietnam

conflict this is what happened. Pictures and real time video of our troops

being slaughtered during battles of the Tet offensive and the siege of Khe

Sahn were sent home for all of America to see (Klein 50-51). Again, war is

not pretty and the way you keep morale up is you don't let the public know

how bad war really is.

Television is one of the most powerful tools of media and "by the

mid 1960's television had become the most important source for news for

most of the American public, and beyond that, perhaps, the most powerful

single influence on the public." (Hallin 106) So people trusted what

reporters like Walter Cronkite were telling them. They believed it when

NBC journalists told them things like, " the Marines are so bogged down in

Hue that nobody will predict when the battle would end...more than 500

marines have been wounded and over 100 dead since the in Hue began." (Klein

51) Don't get the wrong idea though, these things really happened but the

public didn't need to know it.

The constitution and 1st amendment still mean something but

national security should come first. People...