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Blaming The Press

December 2023
1min read

Dr. James E. Marvel’s letter on Vietnam (“Correspondence,” November) joins a chorus of those who blame the American defeat on newsmen in Vietnam and at home. His hero, whom he describes as a “knowledgeable and experienced statesman,” is the only President of the United States forced to resign. What for? For lying to the American people.

As a former CBS correspondent who covered Vietnam in Vietnam from 1960 to 1967 on a constant basis and until the end of the war intermittently, I suppose I can be accused of helping contribute to what Dr. Marvel calls “the propaganda being put out as the history of the war by CBS, Time-Life, and others.”

Among the Vietnam correspondents who also helped are the Pulitzer Prize-winner David Halberstam of The New York Times , Neil Sheehan of UPI, and Charles Mohr, Halberstam’s successor, who, armed with an M-16, took part with the Marines in retaking Hue after the Tet offensive.

I wonder why Dr. Marvel charges Time-Life with publishing what he considers false propaganda on the war. Time forced Charles Mohr to resign because he would not write the kind of propaganda they wanted.

I sympathize with the doctor for his feelings of rage after witnessing the agony of the wounded sent to Zama Army Hospital in Japan. I saw many of the same wounded before they got there.

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