Info Media Role In The Vietnam War

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President Eisenhower first sent troops to Vietnam as advisors in 1955 but our involvement in the region did not begin there. To understand the reasoning that led to the United States involvement requires a look back to the beginnings of the Cold War. The Cold War itself can be traced to the end of World War II. The conclusion of this war left two super powers in the world. The Soviet Union in the East with communist ideology and the United States holding to the foundation of capitalism and liberty. These two forces were distrustful of one another at the conclusion of the war. The Soviet Union gained territory and influence in Eastern Europe. The United States viewed this as a threat to its allies and interests. Shortly after World War II, the …show more content…
Television had a tremendous impact on the how the Americans viewed the war. Ninety three percent of American homes owned a television in 1966. Television became the leading source of news (Rohn, The Vietnam War. Info Media Role In The Vietnam War). Early in the war the media was supportive of the American military action in Vietnam (Rohn, The Vietnam War. Info Media Role In The Vietnam War). After the Tet Offensive this coverage changed. The offensive was a failure for North Vietnam, but was reported in such a way as to present a different picture. The media was reporting the results of the Tet Offensive as an American military failure. This had the effect of turning opinions against the war. After the offensive President Johnson changed his strategy. He realized that attempts to take more aggressive measures in Vietnam would receive resistance from the people. The political approach to conducting the war had changed. Media coverage became predominantly negative. Civilian and military casualties were televised more frequently (Rohn, The Vietnam War. Info Media Role In The Vietnam War). The grisly realities of war now reached the living rooms of the people. The news showed the suffering on all sides. Despite the large scale bombing, there was little progress to report. The years of continued conflict and tragedy wore on the public. People were upset with the way the war was being fought. When it was known that President Nixon authorized operations to destroy the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Cambodia and Laos, the people responded with massive protests. The incident involving protesters and the National Guard at Kent State University was a widely publicized event linked to the use of force outside of Vietnam (Rogers). The death of four student protestors along with the news of the secret military actions in Laos and Cambodia were very damaging to the efforts in Vietnam. These events at home and

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