The Vietnam War
The Vietnam war was fought by the United States between the years of 1965 and 1973. It was
basically the longest war the country had ever engaged itself in. Another important aspect of the
Vietnam War, was that it gave rise to the largest and most successful antiwar movement in United States
history. As a result of the media, more particularly television, various political and social views held my
the many Americans about the war were changed and presented towards the United States Government
in various forms. In effect of these many issues the American foreign policy was continually changing
to suit our present state. In a sense, the war in Vietnam could be described as a two front war, a war in
Vietnam with war being waged with tanks, guns and bullets, and a "war at home," fought on the streets,
campuses and offices throughout the nation.
The Vietnam War was probably the most important historical event in which the news media's
influence was felt among the American public. The Vietnam War was a conflict that many Americans
would like to forget. What began as a fight against Communism and the spread of it, the war escalated
to an uncontrollable point. The United States were unable to fight on the Vietnamese terrain with its
jungles and sticky, wet climate as well as to recognize what obstacles we were shooting at. As a result
of these conditions, we had great difficulty stopping the Communist spread in Vietnam. South Vietnam
fell to the Communist North Vietnamese in 1975. The long time span, the economic costs of supplies
and food, and the large number of deaths in the war resulted in American interference in Vietnam a huge
disaster. The U.S. found itself in a war that it could not win and could never forget. However, during
this war the power of television provided a positive impact on Americans. The Vietnam War became
known as "the living room war," the first war to be televised daily to the American public (An American
Ordeal [DeBeneditti Charles] pg1).
The majority of us have come to know the Vietnam War by its television coverage. Seeing that it
was the first truly televised war, gave us a new perspective on war in general. The imagery that television
provided displayed to the American public the realities of war. Never before had such amazing pictures
of warfare been seen. "Television news made its first splash in Vietnam with the August 3, 1965,
broadcast of the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite. That night a Vietnam newscaster, Morley
Safer, described the burning of a village while footage rolled of the scene. He said that Marines had
torched houses before fleeing villagers could remove their belongs." After the film aired, outrage
immediately broke out especially from high-ranking officials (CBS Online, 1965).
President Johnson at the time, was disgusted that the...