Message 1 of 5 (822470)
10-25-2017 3:47 PM
Ken Burns: The Vietnam War
I found it interesting the way the media influenced the outcome of the Vietnam war. In the beginning, the corporate media didn’t seem too involved. Then slowly, the media became more interested. Then their readers slowly found the subject interesting.
At first, the corporate media dutifully released official government press releases. But then independent researchers dug into the facts and started discovering alarming details. The government continued the slant that Vietnam was the only wrong party. But as the solo journalists, who were actually researching INSIDE Vietnam, dug deeper, they more often found the invading US military to be more responsible for atrocities.
The US government continued their biased coverage, painting the war as glorious and noble. However, the independent media was more truthful and released shocking videos and photos. Americans watched the real-life footage of the Vietnam War on their televisions in their living room. The audience began to believe their eyes. The reality of the images were too . . . umm, ‘real’ to disregard.
The following photo shocked millions of people around the world. Some say its indecency quickened the end of the Vietnam War . . .
Nine-year-old child running down Route one, screaming in pain from a US napalm attack
In the following common photo, a distraught father holds the dead body of his daughter, with peeling flesh, as rangers look down upon them with apathy. In this case, a million words doesn’t even equal one picture . . .
A child is killed when US forces pursue guerrillas into a village
A graphic and disturbing photo, seen by millions, showing the brutality and senselessness of war, words just cannot express . . .
South Vietnam General fires his pistol into the head of suspected Viet Cong
Surely a mere official government report could never relay the terror of this moment, viewed by millions, . . .
A horror -filled Vietnamese mother and her children wade across a river, fleeing a bombing raid by US aircraft.
This heart-breaking scene, of which never was equaled by mere text, helped move millions of decent Americans to finally reject the illegal and immoral invasion of Vietnam . . .
A grieving mother cries over the remains of her family which was found in a mass grave.
With every shocking and indecent photo shown, the audience became more pained. Eventually, the public went from suspicious to hostile to the US government for the biased reporting of the war. When the videos and photos finally and clearly showed that the people in power were covering up the atrocities of the war and lying, the good and decent people of the US increased pressure to successfully end the criminal invasion.
Since that time the US government and others in power have learned the importance of controlling the media through threats, consequences and self-censorship.
In the recent American invasion of Iraq, the US government made sure all reporters were fully controlled and embedded with the troops. This made the journalists’ camaraderie within the group of soldiers taint their objectivity and caused self-censorship. The American public was again uninformed about atrocities done in their name. The public quickly adjusted to this new normalization. There was a positive side-effect of not knowing about the atrocities their government was doing. Indeed, if Americans knew about the crimes, they would feel obliged to do something about it. At the very least, they surely wouldn’t vote into office the same war criminals that caused the illegal invasions.
Today, the government press conferences are again dutifully stenographed by the corporate media. Reports, photos and video are heavily controlled and self-censored. Whistle-blower convictions have skyrocketed under President Obama, which are strong lessons to tomorrow's reporters who think to report atrocities. Ken Burn’s VietNam series was partially funded by the Koch brothers, and Bank of America (had sordid history with Vietnam). They make sure details, certain phrases, and certain left-leaning opinions are omitted or marginalized. Censored.
The USA is authoritarian-leaning, the voting people of both parties seem to embrace censorship. Perhaps comparable to Nazi era Germany. It is a tool for those that have privilege, to keep their privilege. It is a tool for those that need to keep others ignorant, ignorant. It is a tool for those that do harm, to keep doing harm.
Censorship is insidious. Good and decent people should fight it. If not today, we risk the world becoming even more hostile and more violent. It soon may even become something like this . . .
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