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Session 16

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Max Friedman
09:07 PM ET (US)
To Diana Wilson: You've asked the right question and I hope that others besides myself will answer it, either here or at the convention. Since you were privy to the subversion to America's Central American policies by certain journalists, esp. Tony Avirgan and his wife Martha Honey, Karen DeYoung (WP), and others, transpose your experiences to Vietnam and you have the same situation, but with some significant differences.

Most American journalists were either pro-US or netural; the liberals were "negative" rather (pardon the unintended pun) than "anti". However, CBS had the worst reputation of any mainstream television network. There were questions about the New York Times but some of it originated in the editorial/rewrite offices in NYC, not Saigon.

However, there were a pack of anti-American, pro-Communist journalists within the Pacific News Service and Dispatch News Service organizations. I'll name Don Luce who posed as a reporter for either the National Council of Churches or the World Council of Churches (I have it in my notebook at home) - he had a "Dear Friend" letter in the NV's newspaper about 1971. :You should see his debates with Dan Teodoru that appeared in the late October/early November 1970 editions of the Saigon Post.

There was Mike Murrow of either DNS or PNS. David Obst of DNS (again, writing without my notes); Wilfred Burchett (identified KGB agent, US Senate hearings "Testimony of Yuri Krotkov/George Karlin"); Gloria Emerson, the only major writer (NYT) who joined the so-called "anti-war" movement as a speaker; Fran Fitzgerald - radical chic leftist; Phoebe Friedman, of either Washington State or Oregon - Hanoi visitor; and others

Some wrote nothing but negative stories while others wrote stories that incorporated COmmunist propaganda such as "201,000 South Vietnamese political prisoners", the "Tiger Cage" hoax of Con Son Island (Thank Sen. Tom Harkin and Don Luce for that); all ARVN soldiers were cowards; all the people supported the VC; the VC were independent of the North Vietnamese; North Vietnamese were not in South Vietnam (See the cover of LIFE, about March, 1968, by Michele Lee to dispell that myth); Land Reform was failing in the South - I saw it working; the people of South Vietnam were starving - not in the 22 provinces I visited; you couldn't travel on the roads because it was unsafe - I'm still here; the Khmer Rouge were land reformers as was Hanoi - right, and I'm Jesus Christ; all the Buddhists were against Thieu - only a small militant bunch of the Ang Quang group; there was no free press in the South (32 papers at a news stand in Pleiku - I counted and photographed them); etc.

There were a lot of good, solid journalists in Vietnam and Cambodia (Where I was) but they were undermined by the liberal media's acceptance of the negative and the subversive writings of leftist journalists and academic-type propagandists, mainly from Cornell Un. and Geo. McT. Kahin's "Hanoi for lunch bunch" - including D. Gareth Gary Porter, David Marr, Don Luce, Guy Gran, and George Hildebrand (some may have been from other schools) but they all coalesced around Porter and Luce in the Indochina Resource Center and affiliates.

Just check how many articles by Porter (the US committed the massacres in Hue), Luce, Branfman, etc. in the NYT and the Wash Post, and LA Times and how negative and usually anti-American they were.

I expect participants at the Boston Conference to tell their own stories about the media and I wouldn't be surprised if most of them were aimed at a small bunch of liberals and leftists who they felt were undermining the US effort in Vietnam.

I could go on forever if I had my Vietnam notebook and about 20 files boxes that are in my den and living room, and basement, etc. Perhaps I can bring some of the material to the conference.

Then compare it to some of the leftist writing from Central America and its deja vu' all over again. If you come to the conference, bring up the issue of how does the reporting in VN compare to Central America and Iraq. Then stand back and watch the fireworks fly.
Walter Rather
10:49 PM ET (US)
True, there were openly leftist pseudo-journalists such as Wilfred Burchett, John Pilger, etc., yet a great deal of damage was done by the non-aligned (officially at least) pseudo-reporters who, in the final analysis, were profoundly ignorant, supremely egotistical, and utterly unable to discern Viet Nam's realities. They knew nothing of three-phase protracted warfare, nothing of Viet Nam's true history, nothing of anything of substance about Viet Nam, Laos and Cambodia. Sometimes described as "liberal" these people were in fact dogmatic and allowed no deviation from the revealed truth. They were pathetic incompetents. They, as well as the Burchetts and Pilgers of the world, need to be called to account for their dismal failure in explaining Viet Nam, and in predicting what would occur should communism triumph. They did neither.
Diana Wilson
12:23 PM ET (US)
Dear Convention Organizers:

As a journalist who covered Central America...I would like the convention organizers to include:

a) A list of American journalists, who acted as "propagandists" for the Viet Cong, and North Vietnamese...and worked in situ for the Left-Wing "media."

b) This "list of journalists" should then include what they said, specificially TV/radio and news reports of examples of how they slanted the news toward an "anti-American" message.

c) This "list of journalists" should also then include "background" on each "left-wing" journalist, their associations, ties, marriages, high school or college involvement in "left-wing" messages...and subsequently, how they turned their "personal" anti-American history and associations into slanting the truth about the Vietnam war...and ultimately "smearing" American soldiers serving in Vietnam.

d) Finally, where are these "left-wing" journalists today? Are they still in action...promoting a "left-wing" anti-American, myth-filled agenda in their news reports. What newspapers, radio/TV stations do they work for now, and what message...are these "left-wing" journalists promoting today?

and e) What can be done now...to either remove or neutralize this list of "anti-American" left-wing journalists, still involved in "agit prop." How to confront them, the news organs they work for...and how to correct the "message."

Thank you,
Diana Wilson Ph.D.
President, The Miami Group

(I am a member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers in Miami, Florida, and worked in Central America. I "tracked"various "journalists," specificially where such journalists sourced their information...without documentation, but merely used "press releases" from the Communists and anti-American rebel groups..as a source of "news." During the 1980s, the same anti-American, pro-Viet Cong journalists...were also active in Central America, and many remain active in journalism today.)

Again, Thank you

Stephen ShermanPerson was signed in when posted
08:38 AM ET (US)
I welcome your comments to this session where we will discuss the Legacy of the Vietnam War. To return to the Session page go to http://www.viet-myths.net/Session16.htm