"News" from the Government

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Title: "News" from the Government
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Stecklein, Graham
Publisher: New College of Florida
Place of Publication: Sarasota, Fla.
Creation Date: 2011
Publication Date: 2011


Subjects / Keywords: Journalism
War Reporting
John Ford
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation


Abstract: The idea that the government has attempted to influence the American people by managing news media has most recently taken purchase among scholars and journalists discussing the Gulf Wars, but the histories of World War II and the Vietnam War are also a part of this narrative. Since World War II the government of the United States has attempted to manage the effect of war coverage in two ways: by controlling independent news media, and through the production of separate, government-sponsored accounts of military conflict � �news� from the government. In this thesis I will be discussing how this process has occurred, focusing on the wartime films of John Ford as primary resources. Works by John Ford are valuable historically because they represent government activity based on the idea that such media accounts of war conditioned Americans� response to state involvement in military conflict.
Statement of Responsibility: by Graham Stecklein
Thesis: Thesis (B.A.) -- New College of Florida, 2011
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The New College of Florida, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Local: Faculty Sponsor: Mink, Joseph

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Source Institution: New College of Florida
Holding Location: New College of Florida
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: local - S.T. 2011 S8
System ID: NCFE004458:00001

Permanent Link:

Material Information

Title: "News" from the Government
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Stecklein, Graham
Publisher: New College of Florida
Place of Publication: Sarasota, Fla.
Creation Date: 2011
Publication Date: 2011


Subjects / Keywords: Journalism
War Reporting
John Ford
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation


Abstract: The idea that the government has attempted to influence the American people by managing news media has most recently taken purchase among scholars and journalists discussing the Gulf Wars, but the histories of World War II and the Vietnam War are also a part of this narrative. Since World War II the government of the United States has attempted to manage the effect of war coverage in two ways: by controlling independent news media, and through the production of separate, government-sponsored accounts of military conflict � �news� from the government. In this thesis I will be discussing how this process has occurred, focusing on the wartime films of John Ford as primary resources. Works by John Ford are valuable historically because they represent government activity based on the idea that such media accounts of war conditioned Americans� response to state involvement in military conflict.
Statement of Responsibility: by Graham Stecklein
Thesis: Thesis (B.A.) -- New College of Florida, 2011
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The New College of Florida, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Local: Faculty Sponsor: Mink, Joseph

Record Information

Source Institution: New College of Florida
Holding Location: New College of Florida
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: local - S.T. 2011 S8
System ID: NCFE004458:00001

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NEWS' FROM THE GOVERNMENT BY GRAHAM CLARK STECKLEIN A Thesis Submitted to the Division of Social Sciences New College of Florida in partial fulfillment of th e requirements for the degree Bachelor of Arts Under the sponsorship of Joseph Mink Sarasota, Florida May, 2011


! Acknowledgements: I would like to acknowledge my advisers Joseph Mink, Maria Vesperi and Bob Johnson to whom I owe a great deal of gratitude. Dedication: For my father, in whose memory I will continue to strive to understand how structures are constructed


! Acknowledgements: I would like to acknowledge my advisers Joseph Mink, Maria Vesperi and Bob Johnson to whom I owe a great deal of gratitude. Dedication: For my father, in whose memory I will continue to strive to understand how structures are constructed


! Table of Contents: Introduction 1 Chapter One 22 Chapter Two 52 Conclusion 74


NEWS' FROM THE GOVERNMENT Graham Clark Stecklein New College of Florida, 2011 ABSTRACT The idea that the government has attempted to influence the American people by managing news media has most recently taken purchase among scholars and journa lists discussing the Gulf Wars, but the histories of World War II and the Vietnam War are also a part of this narrative. Since World War II the government of the United States has attempted to manage the effect of war coverage in two ways: by controlling i ndependent news media, and through the production of separate, government sponsored accounts of military conflict news' from the government. In this thesis I will be discussing how this process has occurred, focusing on the wartime films of John Ford as primary resources. W ork s by John Ford are valuable historically becau se they represent government activity based on the idea that such media accounts of war conditioned Americans' response to state involvement in military conflict. Joseph Mink Social Sciences division


! On March 2, 1991, as the Gulf War had drawn to a close and American victory was assured President George H. W. Bush declared: "By God, we have kicked Vietnam Syndrome once and for all!" 1 The term "Vietnam Syndrome" had been put to many different applications before the president made this famous statement. It was originally coined as a way to describe the psychological disorders suffered by veterans of the war, characterized by Boyce Rensberger in 1972 with symptoms such as: a sense of shame and guilt for having participated in a war that the veteran now questions, and the deeply felt anger and distrust of the government that the veteran believes duped and manipulated him. 2 The term has evolved to signify many other meanings in the lexicon of American politics. One early adopter of the phrase was Henry Kissinger. The national security advisor under President Nixon was quoted as using the phrase in 1969 as a way to describe the difficulties in conduc ting diplomatic negotiations regarding the war. 3 Nixon subsequently appropriated the term to refer broadly to the reasons behind the United State's failed military involvement in Indochina, as well as the legacy of the war in regards to foreign policy. One component of the total syndrome, as described by Nixon, was that the United States had lost a battle fought over ideological support for the war effort among American citizens. He argued that this was partially the result of negative news coverage of the war: this "hostile media !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 Herring, George. p. 409 "The Vietnam Syndrome," in The Columbia History of the Vietnam War. David L. Anderson, eds. Columbia University Press, 2010. 2 "Delayed Trauma in Veterans Cited: Psychiatrists Find Vietnam Produces Guilt and Shame," New York Times May 3, 1972. 3 "From the Pacific Stars and Stripes of May 14, 1969: In a sense, the Paris peace talks have resembled the Vietnam War itself. Optimism has alternated with bewilderment. Henry A. Kissinger, President Nixon's national security adviser, has called this the classic Vietnam Syndrome''" (Safire, William. p. 779. Sa fire's Political Dictionary Oxford University Press, 2008.)


! # [Nixon claimed,] turned the American people against the war' [] Television was singled out for special criticism for having exposed the American public night after night to the horrors of war." 4 The idea that news media had been a contributing factor to the development of anti war sentiment, the resulting "Vietnam Syndrome" and the final decision to abandon the effort gained purchase among other members of the American government. By Ronald Reagan's second year as president he had explicated his belief that reporting of the Vietnam War was at least a contributing factor in the development of "Vietnam syndrome." 5 That the media was responsible for losing the war in Vietnam was argued most explicitly by scholars in the following year s of the Reagan presidency: in 1981 Robert Elegant concluded that concerning the Vietnam War, for the first time in modern history [] the outcome of a war was determined not on the battlefield, but on the printed page and, about all, on the television sc reen [] The war was finally lost to the invaders after the U.S. disengagement because the political pressures built up by the media had made it quite impossible for Washington to maintain even the minimal material and moral support that would have enabled the Saigon regime to continue effective resistance. 6 Elegant posed this analysis as the answer to a question raised by Peter Braestrup in 1977 about the possible effect of reporting in conditioning the American people's response to state involvement in v iolent conflict. Braestrup is credited as being one of the first scholars to focus on investigating the possibility that news media may have influenced Americans in a way that !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 4 (Herring, 413) 5 He made such statements at least as early as 1982 (Reagan, Ronald p. 390. Reagan: A Life In Letters Kiron K. Skinner, Martin Anderson, Annelise Anderson, eds. Simon and Schus ter, 2004.) 6 Elegant, Robert. p. 73. Encounter (London), vol. LVII, No. 2, August 1981.


! $ developed anti war sentiment during the Vietnam War. 7 He concluded that this ide a had existed and informed American politics as early as 1969 1972, embodied in the administration of Richard Nixon's "attacks on the Eastern establishment press'" as the conflict drew to a close without American victory. 8 Braestrup concluded that while t he results of his particular scholarship were not strongly conclusive, it was possible that the "ideological factor" 9 of news coverage could have quashed popular support for the war effort. This understanding of the effect of Vietnam era journalism became conventional as the subject was investigated with greater historical perspective: in 1993 Clarence Wyatt's history of Vietnam era media coverage described the popular acceptance of the theory that news media effectively ended the war. For over twenty years all have agreed on one point the press was a major factor in the United States' failure in Vietnam. [Journalism] has enjoyed a virtually unanimous reputation as a powerful actor whose adversarial relationship to the United States government and militar y played a large part in ending American involvement in the war. 10 As the United States moved towards military involvement in Grenada and Panama in the 1980s and Iraq in 1991, with the advent of the first Gulf War, the government took pro active action in an attempt to prevent news media from having this effect, fearing a recurrence of "Vietnam Syndrome." Neil Campbell and Alasdair Kean wrote in 1997 that the Bush administration's media management policy was a direct response to this perception, that war !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 7 "Perhaps the most intriguing question about the media performance in February March 1968 was: What effect, if any, did it have on public opinion?" (Braestrup, Peter. p. 674. Big Story: How the American Press and Television Reported and Interpreted the Crisis of Tet 1968 in Vietnam and Washington, vol. 1. Westview Press, 1977) 8 "Media coverage, had noticeable effects on the American public at large, it had greater ef fects on the nation's leadership management.'" (Braestrup, 703) 9 Braestrup, 707 10 Wyatt, Clarence. p. 7 & 216. Paper Soldiers: The American Press and the Vietnam War W.W. Norton and Company, 1993.


! % co verage had been part of the Vietnam effort's undoing. The administration's aim was that "Vietnam Syndrome" might be avoided if the war could be presented to a domestic audience in a controlled an edited manner, unlike Vietnam where, revisionists argued, t he media had been given too much latitude to report the costs of war in a way that only gave evidence to the anti war movement [] The Bush Administration launched a media campaign on television and in the press in November [1990] which sought to ensure th at the public fully supported possible military action. When the air war against Iraq began on 16 January 1991, 83 percent of the American public approved of the action and support remained high throughout the conflict. 11 In this context, one assumable mea ning of Bush's statement is that he perceived of the government as having been successful in its attempt to drive support for war among Americans ideologically by ensuring the production of news coverage that was unlike that of the Vietnam War. This would mean that news media had an effect on the American people that was generally in alignment with the agenda of the presidential administration. This argument begs the question: if the United States government has exercised influence over Americans' understan ding of the war by shaping war coverage, how could this process have occurred? The government attempted to influenced independent journalism by providing credentials for particular correspondents and releasing information in a controlled environment (the press pool" system). In this way political and military authorities were established as arbiters of what access reporters were granted. Some journalists active during the first Gulf War commented on the nature of their relationship with the government: "Ma lcom W. Browne of the New York Times['] view on the system was that: Each pool member is an unpaid employee of the Department of Defense, on whose behalf he or she prepares the news of !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 11 Campbell, Neil & Kean, Alasdair. p. 255 256. American Cultural Studies: an Introduction to American Culture. Psychology Press, 1997.


! & the war for the outer world.'" 12 Political control over coverage was ex ercised in other ways besides the institutional system in which only a small, carefully chosen number of reporters were included in designated conference pools. Additionally, news outlets were provided with government produced content that portrayed, amon g other things, the destruction of smart bombs and other warfare imagery that has been typified as lacking the kind of violent subject matter that could prove deleterious to support for the war effort. 13 Philip M. Taylor (1992) is one of a number of scholar s 14 to have argued that coverage of the Gulf War was significantly influenced by the Bush administration in this way. The war, Taylor concluded, was portrayed as a "video game war" 15 t hat is to say, the government presented a specific image of the first Gu lf War that used technology to distance Americans from the graphic violence of the military conflict. Central to any briefing or pooled press conference were visual displays of the war produced by government and military officials, often highly visually st imulating and ready for distribution by news media outlets. 16 During the first Gulf War news consumers were commonly exposed to demonstrations of advanced military technology provided by the government. As Taylor and others have suggested, there was little on display in the pooled press conferences of the first Gulf War that !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 12 Tayor, Philip M. p. 53. War and the Media: Propaganda and Persuasion in the Gulf War. Manchester University Press ND, 1992. 13 In the Gulf War "images of bodies were r are. In marked contrast to the frequent images shown on television in the Vietnam War of flag draped coffins." (Cooke, John Byrne. 180. Reporting the War: Freedom of the Press from the American Revolution to the War on Terrorism. Palgrave MacMillan, 2007) 14 Including: Susan Jeffords & Lauren Rabinovitz (1994), Douglass Kellner (2004) and Thomas MŸller Kulmannand (2007) 15 Taylor, 33 16 Hallin, Daniel. p. 94. "Images of the Vietnam and the Persian Gulf Wars in U.S. Television" in Seeing Through the Media: the Persian Gulf War. Jeffords, Susan & Rabinovitz, Lauren, eds. Rutgers University Press, 1994.


! would dissuade viewers from supporting the military effort. Daniel Hallin described this news' from the government by saying: Fascinated and excited, tens of million of Ameri cans starte d at their screens, sharing the experience of these missiles and bombs unerringly guided to a target by the wonders of U.S. technology, a target identified by a narrator as an important military installation [] There was none of the agony of the burned and wounded that had been glimpsed on televis ion relays from Vietnam. There was just nothing at all. In this magnificent tr iumph of techno war, America's images of its wars had reached perfection. 17 While this reporting may have had an effect on citizens' support for the Gulf War and the Bush administration, 18 extending this causality to argue that the president was able to use news media to coerce the United States' population into joining the war effort is a significantly different claim. To suggest that p olitical actors may have exercised de facto authority over Americans by influencing journalism during wartime is to make a radical claim, radical in its interpretation of historical evidence as well as the extremely problematic political implications such a process would entail. It must be considered as one perspective on a broad historical narrative at most, albeit an interpretation that highlights the political relevance of investigating the government's relationship with news media. The government's role in the production of news media may have been intended to functionally serve the agenda of certain political authorities, including those of executive administrations. 19 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 17 Franklin, p. 42. "From Realism to Virtual Reality: Images of America's Wars" in Seeing Through the Media: the Persian Gulf War. 18 Brody, Richard. 225. "The Media and Public Support for the President" in Taken by Storm: the Media, Public Opinion, and U.S. Foreign Policy in the Gulf War Bennett, W. Lance & Paletz, David L., eds. University of Chicago Press, 1994. 19 Geoffrey R. Stone (2005) argued that unconstitutio nal control of the press was only one element of the government's wartime suspension of civil liberties, which happened "only during six episodes in our history. At the end of the eighteenth century [] during the civil war [] during World War I [] durin g World War II [] the Cold War [and] during the Vietnam War." (Stone, Geoffrey R. p. 12 13. Perilous Times: Free Speech in Wartime from the Sedition Act of 1798 to the War on Terrorism. W.W. Norton and Company, 2004.)


! ( A basic assumption that underlies scholarship addressing the politics of war coverage is that the popular opinion of Americans regarding war has been affected by news coverage that was shaped in part by government activity. The claim has been made that wartime journalism influenced public perceptions of warfare; it has been understood as a significant factor in determining how the American people responded to state involvement in violent conflict. Such is a basic assumption of scholars who have focused on American wartime journalism including John Byrne Cooke (2007) and Rodger Streitmatter (2008). 20 As the government's involvement in reporting the Gulf War was recognized as growing out of and in response to the Vietnam Era, the history of Vietnam War coverage must be understood in a broader historical context. Since World War I the government has influenced how wars have been reported to Americans in two ways: by establishing structures to control independent journalism and by creating portrayals of these conflicts that offered a government sanctioned interpretation of the subject matter. How the latter governmental activity has been conducted is an important component of a bigger story. More specifically: that the government produced less material documenting and explaining the war in Vietnam than it had in previous wars is reflective of the p olitical narrative of the period, which culminated in the eventual withdrawal of American forces from Indochina and the lingering conception that war coverage was a factor in why the military effort failed. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 20 "The news media have shaped American history. Absolutely. Boldly. Profoundly. From the 1970s when patriots created the Journal of Occurances' to propel the colonists toward the American Revolution through the early 2000s when journalism's failure to answer the why question of 9/11 allowed a president to lead the country into war, the Fourth Estate has been a central force in how this nation has evolved." (Streitmatter, Rodger. p. 256. Mighter than the Sword: How the News Media Have Shaped American History Westview Press, 2008.)


! ) This investigation primarily deals with the year s between 1939 and 1975, focusing on World War II and the Vietnam War. This period is important as the government's relationship with news media radically shifted over the course of these two wars. The discontinuity in the narrative is this: WWII media mak ers are considered to have dominantly increased support for the war effort, whereas during the Vietnam era it has been suggested that news media were divorced from state and military interests to the point of losing the war, as suggested by the scholars pr eviously addressed. Postulations as to why this relationship may have differed between these periods have been varied, but an underlying conclusion drawn by scholars is that media coverage both effected and reflected broader public opinion in a politically significant way. The discontinuity between the journalism/government relationship of WWII and the Vietnam War has sometimes been attributed to advances in technology, and the dawn of the "age of television." 21 TV had become the dominant medium by which Am ericans consumed news by the early seventies. Scholars have argued that the effect of war reporting was based on television bringing the war into Americans' living rooms, 22 suggesting that new medium swayed public opinion of violent conflict by bringing con sciousness of combat operations into the private spaces of citizens for the first time. While this conventional understanding is valuable, there are important details to note that complicate the narrative of how war was brought into the living rooms of Ame ricans. First, broadcast television news existed long before the war in !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 21 The term i s from Michael Mandelbaum (1982): "The Vietnam war was the first to be televised [] In 1975 the North Vietnamese army conquered the South. It is widely believed that the first feature was the cause of the second, that the United States lost the war becaus e it was televised." (Mandelbaum, Michael. p. 157. Daedalus, Vol. 111, No. 4, Print Culture and Video Culture (Fall, 1982), pp. 157 169) 22 An idea first proposed by Michael Arlen in Living Room War Penguin Books, 1982.


! Vietnam, thought it was not yet a dominant news consumption platform for most Americans. 23 And since the introduction of consumer grade, widely affordable radio systems in the wake of t he Great Depression, continual access to breaking news at home has been something of a norm for American families. 24 The visual impact of televised portrayals of military conflict has been suggested as a new significant factor in the effect of news media d uring the Vietnam War. 25 But already by World War I there existed the technological capability for Americans to be exposed to the visual realities of military conflict in vivid, gory detail through video footage. Action photography and footage shot by gover nment photographers of World War I documented the conflict in a dynamic and visually impactful manner. Established by President Woodrow Wilson on April 13, 1917 the duties of the Committee on Public Information included developing support for the war effor t by recording newsreel footage in conjunction with the Army Signal Corps, despite the difficult nature of filming the conflict using rudimentary equipment. This is not to say that TV news footage of the Tet Offensive had the same effect on viewers as the largely classified newsreel of the Great War, only to establish that it was not only a technological advancement that determined how these wars were covered. What kept the public from seeing a side of WWII that might have proved less than patriotically ins piring was political policy and !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 23 "For all practical purposes, TV came of age in 1948. That year [] brought scores of celebrities and overwhelming popular interest to the new medium. That year television entered the homes of average people as manufactures produced 975,000 sets [] Import antly, with this mass acceptance of video the broadcasting of news events could no longer be left to the sightless aural world of radio." (MacDonald, Fred. p. 2. Television and the Red Menace: the Video Road to Vietnam Praeger, 1985.) 24 "Vietnam was not t he first American war to enter the living room through an electronic medium [] Nearly every house in America had a radio by the time Germany invaded Poland in the Autumn of 1939." (Schiffer, Michael Brian. p. 120 132 The Portable Radio in American Life The University of Arizona Press, 1991.) 25 Streitmatter, 192


! "+ the dominance of pro war ideology, not a lack of modern reporting technology. These complications illustrate the need to investigate this story beyond the technological history of war reporting. One thing that comes to ligh t in such a study is that the political aspects of covering war changed as much as the tools involved, a point William Hammond advanced in 1998. Between the outbreak of WWII and the end of combat operations in Vietnam and nearby Indochina the news media we nt from being an apparatus acting largely with the support of US government policy to a system that often contradicted the line passed down by political officials. Trends in the print media had for years lead away from traditional channels of news gatheri ng the press conference, official news releases, reports of official proceedings and toward methods less susceptible to the government's point of view. By 1969 they were well advanced. Reporters were doing more independent research, conducting more int erviews, publishing more analytical essays, and paying more attention than ever before to sources who questioned the war. The same was true for television news. 26 To identify only the development of broadcast television as the reason coverage of the Vietna m War had the impact it did is to miss much of the process by which the conflict came to be understood as a political and moral mistake by the American public. A fundamental component of the sea change that occurred concerning the impact of news coverage w as the decreasing reliance of news producers on the government to provide access to subject matter. This is not to romanticize Vietnam coverage as being more accurate or unbiased than other journalism, but to recognize as a correlation that in an era when the government stopped feeding media makers information and material as they had during previous wars, a "credibility !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 26 Hammond, William. p. 158. Reporting Vietnam: Media and Military at War University Press of Kansas, 1998.


! "" gap" 27 grew increasingly defined between accounts of the war provided by government issued reports and independent news coverage. The avenu e by which reporter s gain access to their subject can leave an indelible mark on the nature of the news produced. The role political forces have played in regards to this consideration is a key factor in understanding the historical relationship between ne ws media and the United States government. When journalists stopped going through the American government for their information during the Vietnam War, a process which occurred at least partially as the result of policy changes made by government officials the content and impact of news media dramatically shifted. What is important to note here is the political nature of this shift: this move towards independent reporting was not a response to technological advancements. One thing that changed how the Viet nam War was reported was that the political system of the United States no longer had a hand in the activity and output of the press by providing access on the same scale. While a policy similar to that established during WWII was widely in effect at the beginning of the Cold War, the government increasingly controlled news media coverage of military conflict by conducting activity on a classified level during this historical era. 28 This primarily related to secrets regarding military operations, such as th e government's attempt to cover up the news that a U 2 spy plane had been shot down in Soviet Union airspace, but also includes the Federal Bureau of Investigation's collecting information on a number of reporters. This is not to suggest that management of independent news media did not occur on a covert !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 27 Smith, Jeffery Alan. p. 200. War & Press Freedom: The Problem of Prerogative Power O xford University Press, 1999. 28 Smith, 177


! "# level during WWII, but that it grew to be a much more significant factor as the Cold War developed. The relationship that typified how the government influenced media during WWII did not continue through t he Vietnam War: with this change in political climate came a disunification between the American government and the perspectives of many reporters. Eventually an undeniable rift developed between media portrayals of the war and the coverage political offic ials sought to see distributed. 29 This discontinuity has been both decried as an anti war bias held by news media producers spoiling a morally justified war effort and romanticized as journalism's coming of age as a governmental watchdog. 30 To suggest how, w hen and why this occurred is a more complicated matter than simply siding with one of these two histories. Joel Spring argued in 1992 that during WWII, political powers were largely successful in managing media as to propagate officially sanctioned portray als of the conflict 31 because reporters fell in line with the government issued voluntary censorship codes with minimal resistance. He concludes that political control over the news was one part of a larger system of proactive management: the dominant way i n which the government was involved in producing news media was through proactive policy, offering carrots' in the form of access provision or economic support. During WWII the government exercised control over independent !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 29 Hammond, 291 30 "The press has been regarded by some as a savior that [] pulled aside the veil of official deception, making it possible for the American people in righteous wrath to bring the war to an end. Conversely, the press has been called a villain, one inspired by political and ideological biases to misrepresent the nature and the progress of the war, thus leading the American people to turn their backs on a noble cause.'" (Wyatt, 7) 31 Spring, Joel H. p. 137. Images of American Life: A History of Ideological Man agement in Schools, Movies, Radio, and Television SUNY Press, 1992.


! "$ journalism, the stick' of censo rship, as little as possible. The justification he provides for this are that censorship would have been too expensive for the government to employ as the sole means of media management, and that the dominant ideology of the time was unified in support of the war effort. 32 The history of the government's wartime media management is that of a system which, while mired in many of the difficulties faced by any fledgling institutional system, nevertheless functionally promoted a particular kind of government ap proved coverage. Daniel C. Hallin also described the government's role as access arbiter as a factor that influenced war reporting, based on and contributing to the ideological unification of Americans in favor of WWII war effort: A sort of historical trad e off took place: journali sts gave up the right to speak with a political voice of their own, and in turn they were granted a regular right of access to the inner counsels of government, a right they had never enjoyed in the era of partisan journalism. The press was recognized as a sort of fourth branch of government,' [] and it in turn accepted cert ain standards of responsible' behavior. 33 This was consistently one part of the Franklin Delano Roosevelt administration's media management policy. It is tel ling that only one institution, the Office of Censorship, was devoted to restrictive media management while a multitude of other groups were created and served to shape American reporting proactively. The process by which the Spanish language radio stati on KFUN was handled by the government is representative of how the government's relationship to independent media producers was structured as to minimize need for censorship this is evidenced by the drawn o ut proceedings surrounding the station's being t he only media producer almost subject to total !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 32 Spring, 166 33 Hallin, p. 8. The "Uncensored War." Oxford University Press, 1986.


! "% censorship during the war. 34 The process by which African American journalists came to receive increased access to political officials and information over the course of the war is a complicated story, but it a lso reflects how the government dominantly used proactive management techniques such as access provision to ensure ideological support for the war instead of imposing severe limitations on journalistic media producers. 35 One proactive policy structure that functioned separately from the management of independent media makers was the creation of institutions to develop and distribute films that documented the war with a government approved interpretation. This is how the government managed public perceptions of the conflict besides controlling independent reporting: by creating news' for the purpose of informing the American public about the war. Referred to as the "strategy of truth," 36 political authorities distributed content that was explicitly stated to b e factual documentation of combat. The evolution of how these portrayals explained the United States' military involvements is illuminating with regards to the ideological state of the country that the government attempted to influence through the producti on of this media. My basic argument stands opposed to interpretations of these eras that suggest technological advancements are at the heart of the story. While this factor must be accounted for, focusing on the introduction of television exclusively is t o lose sight of the most significant political implications of these events. How the government attempted to control public !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 34 Sweeney, Michael S. p. 118. Secrets of Victory: The Office of Censorship and the American Press and Ra dio in World War II The University of North Carolina Press, 2001. 35 (Washburn, Patrick S. p. 232. A Question of Sedition: The Federal Government's Investigation of the Black Press During World War II Oxford University Press, 1986.) This process is discu ssed in greater detail in chapter one. 36 Spring, 141


! "& opinion by influencing independent news and through the creation of original material is the politically significant narrative that spans across individual periods of warfare. In this thesis I argue that political activity attempting to condition what effect accounts of warfare had on Americans has taken the shape of government involvement in the production of independent media as well as the creation of separate news' from the government. That the government went from producing and distributing material stated to be factual portrayals of war, such as the films of John Ford, to eliminating the distribution of material of this nature il lustrates how much governmental media management policy changed from being a proactive system that served to cohere ideological unity into a governmental structure based on secrecy. But no matter how this activity was conducted, that the American governmen t attempted to exercise influence over the population of the country by shaping accounts of war is a point that underlies the entirety of this argument. Chapter O ne primarily addresses WWII. The historical narrative outlined in this chapter begins with the institutionalized journalism restrictions established during WWI, which was also the first war in which the government produced news' coverage of the conflict s eparately. This included the earliest combat footage in existence. Under the presidency of FDR, the creation and distribution of government sponsored material dramatically increased, while the government's management of independent journalistic media was a lmost exclusively limited to a policy of voluntary censorship. The ideological climate that these documents reflect and contributed to is described in this chapter, focusing on the films John Ford produced in conjunction with the Office of War Information: Torpedo Squadron 8 The Battle of Midway December 7 th and They Were Expendable.


! "' Chapter T wo deals with the period of the Vietnam War, which can be recognized as an era when the production of journalism grew increasingly disconnected from the activity of government officials as the institutions had been previously established in WWII. During the Cold War era the government's dominant method of managing independent journalistic media was to maintain a stringent system of control over information, attempting to conduct governmental and military activity as covertly as possible. A number of events limited the effectiveness of this policy, and as the secret activity of the government was made public a "credibility gap" came to be recognized between the governme nt provided accounts of the Cold War and the conflict in reality. This minimization of public information and the resulting distrust of accounts of war in Indochina from the government are part of a larger story which concluded with the almost complete dis continuation of government made documentation of military conflict. Ford's work evidences the reduction in government sponsorship of war films, as the final piece he produced, Vietnam! Vietnam! was never released for popular consumption. Additionally it re flects the disunification of ideological support for the United States' military involvement, a theme initially raised in the documentary This Is Korea! The role of John Ford Films made by the director John Ford are primary historical documents relevant to this narrative. His work can be taken as something of a case study regarding how the government's role in creating news' changed between WWII and Vietnam. A member of the United States Navy, he produced documentary films across these periods that were di rectly funded by the


! "( American government. 37 The films he directed or otherwise led in production, including Torpedo Squadron 8, The Battle of Midway December 7 th They Were Expendable, This is Korea! and Vietnam! Vietnam! serve as a window into the politic al structures by which the American government created documentation of war for consumption by the public from WWII to the war in Vietnam. During WWII the government also supported the distribution of his material. These documents represent the institution al systems by which governmental authorities produced media accounts and interpretations of WWII and the lack thereof that typified the Vietnam era. During WWII Ford was granted access to the subjects he documented by the United States government, acting through the Office of War Information and the Office of Special Services of the U.S. Navy. Only with governmental permission was he allowed access to the battlefronts of the P acific theater, and the authorization to film the American personnel that made up the bulk of his subject matter. Ford received preferential benefits from political authorities in the form of being granted access to document otherwise classified personnel, technology and weaponry as per his ranking as a military officer. 38 He was grante d other specific public privileges, such as an exemption allowing him to enlist despite medical impairment and was raised to the position of Lieutenant commander almost immediately following his enlistment, on October 7, 1942. 39 His position within governme ntal institutions is most !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 37 As one Ford biographer wrote, "The United States government always remained John Ford's most loyal employer." (McBride, Joseph. p. 690. Searching for John Ford. St. Martin's Press, 2001) 38 This includ ed permission to film what remained of Pearl Harbor in May of 1943 for the film December 7 th Journalists were barred from covering the base under the terms of the voluntary censorship code. (Gallagher, Tag. p. 214. John Ford: The Man and His Films University of California Press, 1986) 39 McBride, 338


! ") explicitly evidenced by the direct economic support he received for documenting the war for the American public during WWII. 40 In this sense, Ford's work reflects how the government proactively managed media during the period in a way that illustrated and influenced the ideology of the American people. In order to understand these films relative to other non fiction portrayals of war, the difference between this media and hard news produced by independent journalists must be made clear. To say that a different way: these documentary films are not to be confused with breaking news coverage, such as broadcast radio journalism. But it is important to account for the fact that in their time these pieces were presented as documentation of historical facts. Evidence that these films were both constructed and meant to be consumed as non fictional narratives documenting contemporary conflicts is presented explicitly in the films. These were created to be "motion picture factual presentation s," as Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox is credited as having written at the beginning of December 7 th To examine them removed from that context, for instance, to categorize his films as mere poetic nationalism is to run the risk of practicing historical revisionism. Authors such as Joseph McBride have sometimes treated these pieces as fiction, citing the extended dramatic elements of films including December 7 th as proof of this understanding, 41 and laud Ford as an artistic interpreter of real world events. But as historical documents there is explicit evidence they were produced to be understood as non fiction factual narratives. That these representations of war were taken to be factual is evid enced in a more rudimentary way by the genre classification of these works as documentaries. Ford's WWII material was championed by the American Academy of Motion !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 40 McBride, 345 41 McBride, 366


! "* Picture Arts and Sciences as such on two occasions: The Battle of Midway received the Oscar f or Best Documentary in 1943 and December 7 th won Best Documentary, Short Subject in 1944. The point is that these films were produced and functioned as a kind of war reporting. Though they were not hard journalism per se, they were constructed and prese nted as containing factual information. The line between his work and true journalistic coverage need not be convoluted for the sake of this investigation. But it is important to note that over the course of his career these documentary works increasingly included additional framing and interpretation of the facts recorded on footage: there grew to be a more prominent ideological component of his work. There was no institutionally mandated policy concerning how this element of his films should function, and what Ford included in these films that reflects or supports the existence of an ideological unification among American people is as much evidence of how the government influenced citizens through media management as the institutional history. Ford's docu mentary films were stated to be factual. But his work was also functionally loaded with ideological implications, an element of his documentary films that grew increasingly prominent over the course of his career. One example of this is how movies like Mid way suggested an understanding of the norms of public and private wartime behavior along gender lines. The process by which WWII war films supported dominant national attitudes about gender roles has been analyzed by authors including J. David Slocum in 20 05. He proposed that these movies offered up a vision of life in a combat zone with a symbolic meaning attached to portrayals of the body within a socially acceptable discourse. 42 He considers the !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 42 Slocum, J. David. "Cinema and the Civilizing Process: Rethinking Violence in the World War II Combat Film" in Cinema Journal 44, Number 3, Spring 2005, pp. 35 63


! #+ films to be part of a "civilizing process' that attends bo th to specific representation in the war films and to the institutional role of cinema in socializing and regulating individual behavior." 43 Slocum argued that the way in which war violence has been constructed as a masculine activity is but one relevant id eological trope that can be identified by looking at WWII combat movies. The cinema of John Ford was representative of political and ideological trends later in his life as well. His 1971 documentary Vietnam! Vietnam! was completed as the military withdre w from the conflict and almost never got released. As such, the piece embodies the changing institutional side of the government/media relationship. During Vietnam the government no longer produced documentation of the war as it had during WWII: by the tim e the film was finished, federal policy blocked the piece from being distributed. This film also represents ideological issues, particularly the instability of domestic support for the war effort, related to public recognition of the credibility gap betwee n the outlook proposed by the American government and real world conditions. This relates to the question of whether coverage against the war in Vietnam prompted domestic opposition. Even though Ford had been charged specifically to create a simple unifyin g pro war propaganda piece, 44 he produced an account of the conflict that was far from straightforward. This suggests that some media, such as Vietnam! Vietnam! reflected the lack of ideological unity among American citizens concerning the war effort. Recog nition of this lack !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 43 Sloc um, 37 44 Sherman Beck's original treatment for the film, prepared in 1968 for the United States Information Agency called for the production of a 30 minute long piece that would be "created intentionally as a simple straight line story, using an approach, and incorporating selected factual and emotional material that should make it possible for the film to achieve its objective," which was "to counter the communist propaganda film, Inside North Vietnam', which purports to prove that United States Participa tion in the Vietnamese conflict is an imperialist invasion.


! #" of ideological cohesion first appeared in Ford's Korean War documentary This Is Korea!, in which he provided a context for the war front footage and an interpretation that suggested the reasoning behind the war effort was unclear at bes t. This is a reason to treat Ford's films as primary evidence concerning how ideological management did or did not function in a way that influenced the American people over the course of these two wars, in addition to the government activity they represen t in more concrete terms.


! ## Chapter One: Reporting and the government in World War Two In order to understand the relationship between the government and news media during World War II it is important to establish a context, an understanding of the relationship during World War I. During WWI the government enacted a strict censorship policy that was enforced consistently a voluntary censorship policy was suggested, but legal punishment was also dispensed. Additionally, it was during this ti me that the government first began to create and release accounts of the war separate from independent journalistic institutions. During WWI the American government institutionalized a system of media control, dispensing censorship and legal punishment fo r individuals deemed to be distributing content not in alignment with the government's agenda. The Committee for Public Information (CPI), created by Woodrow Wilson April 13, 1917 45 officially "released government news during World War I." 46 The enactment o f this policy represents a commitment by American political forces to the recognition that coverage of the war could prove influential in maintaining support for the effort. While previously in American history news media had been a factor in driving suppo rt for military conflict, 47 it was during WWI that the United States government first enacted a system for producing wartime news.' More specifically, it was also the first time the government influenced coverage in the form of sanctioned combat footage. T hat is to say, !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 45 John T. Woolley and Gerhard Peters, The American Presidency Project [online]. Santa Barbara, CA. Available from World Wide Web: 46 Web version of Fede ral Records of the Committee on Public Information, based on Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States. Compiled by Robert B. Matchette et al. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration. 47 One example of evid ence for this argument would be the role of Joesph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst's "yellow journalism" instigating the Spanish American War. (Streitmatter, 75, 88) Other figures in American journalism both opposed and supported war with Spain.(Cooke 65)


! #$ newsreel footage of dubious accuracy was released with government approval as factual reporting: one piece of footage was stated to portray the destruction of a German fleet; in actuality it was documentation of a weaponry test conducted saf ely by the American military. 48 Other official functions of the CPI: "Sustained morale. Administered voluntary press censorship." 49 An institutional distinction was made between the branch's domestic affairs, which concerned media "affected by [] civic and national interests" 50 and the efforts of the Foreign Section, explicitly defined as propaganda distribution. But as the above example illustrates, the government's actual media management activity was not exactly a straightforward reflection of the limits prescribed by institutionalized public policy. Further documentation of the government's control over independent journalism includes the Espionage Act of 1917, which institutionalized legal punishment (as much as $10,000 in fines and 20 years' imprisonment) for journalism containing "false reports or false statements with intent to interfere with the operation or success of the military or naval forces of the United States" 51 an interesting paradox considering the factuality of CPI made news.' Also punishable was the production of media that caused "insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty." 52 This policy was important because it followed a standard by which c ensorship of serial print media occurred since at least the Civil War: 53 publications could be deemed unmailable by the Postmaster General. This non elected individual was authorized to !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 48 Startt, James D. 196. "The Media and Political Culture," in The Significance of the Media in American History, Startt, James D. & Sloan, David, eds. Vision Press, 1994. 49 Web version of Federal Records of the Committee on Public Information, based on Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States. Compiled by Robert B. Matchette et al. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration. 50 Startt, 212 51 Quote from the original document. (Sweeny, 17) 52 United States Law Statues at Large vol. 40, pt.1, pp. 413, 426. 53 Smith, 38


! #% revoke second class mailing permits without judicial review under the M ail Classification act of 1879. Without this permit producing a print publication was much more expensive, prohibitively so in some cases. 75 newspapers were treated this was, primarily socialist publications. Under the Trading with the Enemy Act of 1917 a nd the Sedition Act of 1918 (part of the Espionage Act) speech as well as writing was punishable. Nearly 1,000 individuals were convicted under this legislation and roughly half of those were arrested. 54 These acts and activities were relevant long after th e end of WWI: though the Sedition Act was repealed Dec. 13, 1920 the provisions of the Espionage Act survived in a kind of enforcement limbo. As per the wording of the document the provision would be called into effect "when the United States is in war." 55 In this way the Espionage Act of 1917 remained a part of the relationship between the government and media during WWII. Reporting World War II The United States government attempted to influence Americans through media coverage in a few different ways du ring World War II: structures were established to produce government sponsored accounts of the military conflict on a newly significant level, a media management technique that supplemented the government's relationship with independent journalism. The ide ological implications of these documents suggest the existence of a basically unified nationalistic psychology concerning support for the war. Understanding how political forces have acted historically is an important part of constructing a complete pictu re of how the government influenced news media during !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 54 One such case was the editor of the German language Herold out of Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Since he did not file a translation of his criticism of the Army's smallpox vaccination program he wa s sentenced to a year in Federal Prison in Leavenworth, Kansas, where he remained until his death. (Sweeny, 18) 55 Stone, 230 & 186


! #& wartime. During WWII, Franklin Delano Roosevelt interpreted the Espionage Act of 1917 to mean that as the executive he could theoretically assume the authority set by this legal precedent for installing a severe domestic censorship program on the grounds that it was once again necessary to exercise political control over certain speech for the sake of war. The continued relevance of the Espionage Act of 1917 is perhaps the most explicit example of how th e government's involvement with news media during WWI functioned as a precedent for what happened during WWII. If activity conducted by political figures during WWI demonstrated a burgeoning recognition of how news media could effect support for a war eff ort, the subject rose substantially further in prominence during WWII. The "Hypodermic Needle" media effects model, which posited that documents pushed meaning into the minds of audiences much like the plunger on a syringe had begun to peak in widespread a cceptance by this time. 56 This was an era in which the government treated the movies and other mass media representations of the war as seriously as a battlefront, a fact evidenced by policy enacted as well as action taken and statements made by political o fficials. 57 Scholarship on the period reflects how prominent the issue was. The question of how efforts of political forces influenced the effect of wartime reporting has been answered along a number of lines. One basic conception that scholars discussing this period have noted is that institutionalized censorship was a significant factor in what news American citizens consumed: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 56 Rogers, 284 57 The notion of media management's relevance to the war and the "hypodermic needle" model were both reflected by a statement made by Elmer Davis, Director of the Office of War Information in 1943: "The easiest way to inject a propaganda idea into most peopl e's minds is to let it go in through the medium of an entertainment picture when they do not realize they are being propagandized." (Spring, 137)


! #' during WWII reporters complied with the government created censorship policy with almost complete consistency. 58 The key institutio n involved with censoring news media during WWII was the Office of Censorship (OC). On 9 December 1941, the Office of Censorship was created as one of a number of policy changes instituted by FDR in the wake of the United States' entrance into war. 59 Byron Price, Director of Censorship (previously Executive News Editor of the Associated Press) was charged with making sure that "forms of censorship as are necessary shall be administered effectively and in harmony with the best interests of our free instituti ons." 60 The order has been suggested to reflect democratic rhetoric in the way it presupposes a political institution's having the power of censorship as a danger. 61 Supporting voluntary censorship was the organization's dominant function, as per a series o f publicly distributed codebooks. The first edition of The Code of Wartime Practices was released January 15, 1942. 62 The history of government activity pertaining to journalism from 1936 1945 based solely on censorship policy has been said to reflect nati onal security interests enforcing a regiment of almost exclusively voluntary censorship, conducted by governmental institutions !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 58 "What did not occur was a wholesale sabotage of censorship for personal or corporate gain. Journalists who p ossessed military secrets, kept them." (Sweeny, 2) A list of basic and explicit acts of censorship, some of which are discussed further below, has been compiled. (Vaughn, Stephen L. p. 372. Encyclopedia of American Journalism CRC Press, 2008) 59 Executive Order 8985 Establishing the Office of Censorship 60 John T. Woolley and Gerhard Peters, The American Presidency Project [online]. Santa Barbara, CA. Available from World Wide Web: 61 Sweeny, 112 62 Sweeny, 114. The code, as revised 15 June, 1942, specified the bureau's stance that media producers must recognize the need for self censorship: "The broad approach to the problem of voluntary censorship remains unchanged. In sum, this approach is that it is the responsi bility of every American to help prevent the dissemination of information which will be of value to the enemy and inimical to the war effort [] The following are the principal advisory guideposts which are intended to aid them in discharging their censors hip responsibilities: [] Broadcasters should ask themselves, Is this information of value to the enemy?' If the answer is Yes,' they should not use it."


! #( designed to keep classified information from being made public. This argument is valuable because it focuses on the authority po litical institutions exercised over news media during the period. This should not be understated especially when compared to later conflicts such as the Vietnam War, WWII was unquestionably a "censored war." 63 This has been a conventional understanding of the government's control of media during WWII: that censorship was carried out on a self monitored basis as per the agenda of the OC. 64 According to this argument, domestic WWII media producers were ordered to not release certain stories, which partially p recipitated the allied victory by minimizing the distribution of sensitive information and garnering popular support for the cause. Historical instances of institutionalized censorship that serve as documentation supporting this understanding include the r estricted coverage of the United States Military developing nuclear weapons and Japanese balloon bombs landing on American soil. One of the events most frequently cited as fitting into this narrative is the government's strategic control of reports docume nting the United States' development of nuclear weapons. Although some journalists were aware of the P roject as early as 1943, at the government's bequest the story was not broken until after the bombing of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. 65 As support for the conventional narrative of institutionalized censorship, this can be interpreted as an illustration of the government acting through the OC to control domestic news media. Had news of the development of nuclear weapons been released, it's possible American forces would !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 63 As the title of George H. Roeder's The Censored War (1995) implies. His typification of the war as such is specifically based on the strict controls surrounding the recording and distribution of imagery of American casualties. 64 This assertion, that the Office of Censorship was the force behind the management of news during WWII is echoed in many texts that touch on the period but do not investigate the era fully. One such example is The Uncensored War: The Media and Vietnam by Daniel C. Hallin. 65 Vaughn, 372


! #) have suffered a crippling setback the argument is that other countries may have found a way to steal the plans developed at the Manhattan project if they had been aware of the technological advancement. 66 Another example of institutionalize d censorship's role in WWII media management is the coverage, or rather lack thereof, surrounding Japan's employment of bombs attached to hydrogen filled balloons as a method of inflicting casualties on American soil. When reporters picked up the story in 1945, 67 having learned that the Japanese military was floating incendiary devices on air currents over the Pacific, the OC quashed the story. As with the Manhattan project, this occurrence is an example of the office acting as the face of political media ma nagement in wartime, serving to kill stories that could otherwise aid the enemy if the Japanese learned that their bombs had killed six civilians in Oregon they may have continued the program instead of ending it in April 1945. 68 A more complicated examp le of institutionalized censorship concerned KFUN, a Spanish language radio station operating out of Nevada. 69 As one of the only stations to undergo a program of officially enforced censorship during the war, 70 KFUN serves as a rare example of a media outle t that was dealt with by the institutionalized censorship system beyond simply accepting the provisions of the OC's voluntary code. As a Spanish language station, it was subject to special rules concerning screening content for distribution to a foreign au dience. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 66 Ciment & Russell, 354 67 Newsweek, Balloon Mystery, Jan 1 1945. Cited by Bruce Heydt in Kille r Balloons Over American America In WWII Magazine, June 2007 issue. 68 69 Washburn, 77 70 Sweeny discusses the KFUN incident extensively in Secrets of Victory (2001), the subject's relevance based on the fact that "never before had a publisher or broadcaster refused to do what the Office of Censorship asked." (Sweeny, 115)


! #* When Ernest Thwaites, the station's general manager, refused to comply with the code in August, 1943, he defended his decision on the grounds that the OC's policy was an "unwarranted infringement upon Freedom of Speech." 71 Legal counsel from the Nat ional Association of Broadcasters sought by Thwaites disagreed with this interpretation, and refused to represent his appeal of the OC's ruling that his station must comply with the code or be taken off the air. 72 He eventually succumbed to the ruling after a period of suggestive coercion, then threats of censure. This incident illustrates the United States government's relatively limited employment of censorship during WWII: Thwaites' claim that the program was established unconstitutionally gained little credence among his contemporaries. The story of government/media relations as conducted through the OC is evidenced primarily by instances in which this institution provided guidelines for censorship to reporters who may have otherwise produced media beyo nd the limits established by OC code upon request. The media and relevant governmental forces in the OC served the political agenda by establishing a system in which independent journalists voluntarily restrict the distribution of information that could th eoretically prove valuable to the enemy. But there are further complexities in the story: the powers of the OC were established in a very abstract sense. T he ambiguity concerning functional ramifications of the newly institutionalized policy may be part of a different but related narrative: how news media were controlled by the American government beyond the jurisdiction of public institutions by the !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 71 Quote from original document: Thwaites to Byron Price, Aug. 23, 1943, box 359, "KFUN" folder, the Office of Censorship, Record Group 216, National Archives Annex, College Park. Cited in Sweeny, 115. 72 Sweeny, 116


! $+ establi shment of a dominant ideological commitment to the war effort. In the Fireside Chat conducted on day the OC was created, FDR outlined a policy for wartime journalism that recognized a series of ideological commitments that he suggested should inform a repo rter's judgment in determining what stories should be covered: Of necessity there will be delays in officially confirming or denying reports of operations but we will not hide facts from the country if we know the facts and if the enemy will not be aided b y their disclosure. To all newspapers and radio stations all those who reach the eyes and ears of the American people I say this: You have a most grave responsibility to the Nation now and for the duration of this war. If you feel that your Government is n ot disclosing enough of the truth, you have every right to say so. But in the absence of all the facts, as revealed by official sources you have no right in the ethics of patriotism to deal out unconfirmed reports in such a way as to make people believe th at they are gospel truth. 73 This policy represents the president's recognition of the effect coverage of the war could have on the American people, and the complexities that arose in the government's attempt to shape the impact of that media. FDR's recog nition of the value placed upon citizens' right to freedom of speech is noteworthy because his activity pertaining to government control of independent institutions of journalism did not always imply such a commitment to civil liberties, as evidenced by hi s interpretation of the Sedition Act of 1917. This was a tension that complicated the institutional structure of independent news media management during WWII: there was some debate over the limits of the government's ability to control the press during wa r. Importantly, FDR's understanding of the executive's authority to exercise extensive censorship of news media was not shared by Francis Biddle, his contemporary attorney general !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 73 John T. Woolley and Gerhard Peters, The American Presidency Project [online]. Santa Barbara, CA. Available from World Wide Web:


! $" and an ardent libertarian. 74 That this contested political authority never pl ayed out as a dramatic confrontation reflects the multi faceted approach employed by the government during WWII towards the end of controlling the news produced by independent journalists. The Fireside Chat of 9 December, 1941 is an extremely important d ocument as it reveals the two fold nature of the administration's plan for dealing with this complexity in controlling war reporting: public, institutionalized media control (the statement was made in the context of founding the OC) as well ideologically d efined pressure in this case, the "ethics of patriotism." This is further illustration that the whole story is not simply that the government, acting through the OC, maintained a system of voluntary censorship. In a press conference following the organ ization's founding by Executive Order on the same day, the ambiguities in the nature of this institution became evident as FDR deflected reporters' questions about what exactly would be allowed under the newly formed structure. One reporter asked the P resi dent to specify how to handle the policy's condition that journalists were to publish nothing that gave "aid and comfort to the enemy:" Q: The thing that troubles me does that mean that no bad news is going to be given out? FDR: No, no. It depends on wheth er the giving out is of aid and comfort to the enemy. Q: Mr. President, who will determine that as the over all judgment? Will you determine it? FDR: No. Army and Navy. Q: Are they going to operate individually on this? FDR: No. They work together very clo sely. Q: But the Secretary of War and the Secretary of the Navy will each determine what should come from his Department? FDR: Yes or jointly. Q: But there isn't to be one give out of news then, under this setup? FDR: Well, there isn't in London [] Q. Will there eventually be a censor that we can get our teeth into? !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 74 Washburn, 52. & Stone, 257


! $# FDR: It is awfully hard to answer it. 75 While some of the wording is a little theoretical or abstract for a description of government policy, what this confluence of statements illustrates i s that FDR clearly imagined the news media would have some significant impact on the war effort. Though the structure through which media producers and political powers would interact was not yet clearly established at this point, the need for such an appa ratus in the mind of governmental forces (as per FDR's instructions) was an official concern, evidenced by he creation of the OC. 76 Joel Spring wrote that a nation wide campaign of ideological management was behind the acceptance of voluntary self censor ship among reporters. He notes that the sheer volume of media produced during this time would have been more than the American government could have managed by institutional censorship alone: the thousands of unlicensed radios operating by the 1940s were s imply too much to monitor. While the OC was by no means a small department, maintaining a staff off 14,462 employees at its peak in February of 1943, Price consistently maintained that the organization he headed lacked the facilities to censor significant sectors of mass media. 77 Constructing an institutional history of the period illustrates that there were in fact many structures involved in wartime media control, the jurisdictions of which were often contested and largely in flux. These institutionalize d groups include the Office of Facts and !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 75 John T. Woolley and Gerhard Peters, The American Presidency Project [online]. Santa Barbara, CA. Available from World Wide Web: 76 Fr om the original document: "Over the hard road of the past months, we have at times met obstacles and difficulties, divisions and disputes, indifference and callousness. That is now all past and, I am sure, forgotten." 77 Radio alone, based on its "size, ind ependence [only 510 out of 901 broadcasters were licensed] and decentralization made it difficult to monitor, much less control." (Sweeny, 102)


! $$ Figures (established October 24, 1941 and abolished July 15, 1942) and the Office of War Information (founded June 13, 1942). Difficulties arose when it came to putting the structures of this media management regime n into practice. Media policy produced around the United States' entrance into the war is full of vague specifications often instituted under frenetic conditions. Many agencies were created, jurisdictions were contested, and the roles played by particular actors are unclear. This is most clearly evidenced by the documents surrounding the construction and redefinition of other government agencies that were involved with the management of media during the period. To understand what about the activity of the g overnment went beyond the jurisdictions of political institutions such as the OC, OFF and OWI, it is necessary to note the structuring and restructuring of a number of institutions. The first of these events occurred well before America entered the war. G overnment officials including FDR began the process of constructing institutions for the purposes of managing the domestic front soon after Hitler invaded Poland. The first was the Office of Civil Defense, established in May 20, 1941. It was framed as an o rganization for keeping morale high among Americans, and there is no mention of censorship in the Executive order that established the organization. 78 The OFF was later drawn up specifically for the purpose of managing domestic media that was active during WWII. Founded 24 Oct, 1941 the OFF "essentially was involved in propaganda:" 79 "The OFF was to coordinate domestic radio broadcasts and provide the media with information on government departments, programs, and defense matters. In reality it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 78 John T. Woolley and Gerhard Peters, The American Presidency Project [online]. Santa Barbara, CA. Available fro m World Wide Web: 79 Washburn, 61


! $% was the domes tic propaganda agency that President Roosevelt had always hesitated to create." 80 As such, it is clear that the relationship between the government and media makers was not functionally conducted simply through the OC. Political authorities such as the pr esident were not interested in simply killing stories that could deliver sensitive information to hostile forces. These institutions represent the fact that during WWII the government worked proactively to suite the needs of the media in an attempt to do m ore than censor certain content. The next year it was determined that something should be done to straighten out, to use the word of one elected official, the "muddle" 81 of structures facilitating domestic media and morale management. To that end, The Off ice of War Information (OWI) was established and the OFF, with its ambiguous role regarding morale operations, was abolished soon after. The "powers and duties" of the OFF were absorbed into the OWI, and the program was given goals including: "(a) Formulate and carry out, through the use of press, radio, motion picture, and other facilities, information programs designed to facilitate the development of an informed and intelligent understanding, at home and abroad, of the status and progress of the war effort and of the war policies, activities, and aims of the Government. [] (d) Review, clear, and approve all proposed radio and motion picture programs sponsored by Federal departments and agencies; and serve as the central point of clearance and con tact for the radio broadcasting and motion picture industries, respectively, in their relationships with Federal departments and agencies concerning such Government programs." 82 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 80 Laurie, Clayton D. 64. The Propaganda Warriors: America's Crusade Against Nazi Germany University Press of Kansas, Modern War Studies, 1996. 81 Washburn, 8 82 John T. Woolley and Gerhard Peters, The American Presidency Project [online]. Santa Barbara, CA. Available from World Wide Web:


! $& The institutional complications did not end there: On 9 March, 1945 FDR issue d another Executive Order regarding the OWI. The Office of Strategic Service had conflicted with the function of the OWI as the branch in charge of overseas information, and further bureaucratic reshuffling occurred. In Executive Order 9312 on the Office o f War Information, FDR now stated that the OWI will plan, develop, and execute all phases of the Federal program of radio, press, publication, and related foreign propaganda activities involving the dissemination of information." 83 With that policy passed the institutional muddle evidently seemed to be in some degree of order, as no later Executive Order gives mention to the subject. This document represents a number of things. First, it speaks directly to the presence of a number of institutional complexi ties that comprise the relationship between the government and news media on a concrete level. But it also is part of a tension that was faced by political actors of the period: while propaganda was considered a viable technique to employ overseas (The OWI and the OSS conflicted over who was going to handle dropping propaganda on foreign territories, eventually that all went under the OWI umbrella), it was another thing entirely to produce it for the people of the United States. Yet propagandist media was p roduced and distributed to American citizens through the OWI war bond advertisements comprise one example of this. Pinning down exactly what message government approved media put out is a process that has been explored from a number of different perspect ives. But the government was putting out a specific message, one that encouraged "unity" in the face of the country's !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 83 John T. Woolley and Gerhard Peters, The American Presidency Project [online]. Santa Barbara, CA. Available from World Wide Web:


! $' adversaries. 84 This is an underlying consideration of how ideological management was conduced during the war. So, the relationship between the American government and the media in this era was typified to a certain degree by its complexity and the number of organizations involved more than the institutionalized censorship apparatus of the OC. While voluntary censorship seems to have playe d a significant part in what got on the news, the relatively gentle suggestions of code monitors at the OC cannot be considered the only political force that shaped media makers' impact. The political activity of the groups, governmental or otherwise, that shaped how Americans understood the war speaks to how these powers defined the conflict as well as the country. More than expressing their interests through censoring bad' news, the government also influenced wartime journalism by granting certain incent ives to reporters that seemed aligned with their political agenda. Most commonly, this meant the provision of access: access to information, interviews, restricted areas and exclusive footage. While FDR may have lacked the constitutional authority to contr ol what went to print or on air, he used his position as an access provider to wield de facto influence over reporters. Such was the case regarding a column by Drew Pearson and Robert S. Allen, intended for national publication. Flagged not for containing misinformation, but for framing the violence of the war in a negative way: Several newspapers wired the White House asking if they should use the colu mn, Roosevelt [then said] that if they continue to print such inaccurate and unpatriotic statements that the Government will be compelled to appeal directly to their subscribers and to bar them from all privileges that go with the relationships betwee n the Press and the Government." 85 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 84 Sweeny, 10. Washburn, 136. Stone, 265 85 Washburn, 47


! $( Only media makers who were functionally aligned with the agenda of the gove rnment were granted access the most dynamic illustration of this is the story of black journalists who fought for increased access provision during WWII. Black newspapers were the subject of significant political attention 86 following the publication of a rticles arguing that bringing an end to domestic discrimination was at least as important of an effort as combating fascism overseas. 87 The culmination of this was the successful organization of a nationwide "Double V" campaign, a program structured around supporting victory against the Axis powers as well as racially discriminatory policies in the United States. But instead of being censored, these reporters were handled though access provision. in an exchange between Robert Sengstacke, publisher of the Chi cago Defender and Biddle in 1942, Sengstacke recalled saying "if black papers were granted interviews with top government officials, they would be glad' to cooperate with the war effort." Director of the Associated Negro Press Claude A. Barnett went furth er, stating that "blacks would be champing at the bit to fight' if the black press was given a chance to get the truth' directly from government sources rather than having to rely on misinformation, such as rumors." 88 The government responded relatively f avorably to black reporters plea for greater access. Persistent effort by the NNPA [National Newspaper Publishers Association, also known as the Black Press of America] gained access for Black correspondents and reporters to official news sources that were previously unavailable to them. The first breakthrough came on February 8, 1944, when Harry S. McAlpin became a White House correspondent for the NNPA. 89 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 86 "Seven agencies investigated the black press the Justice Department, the FBI, the Post Off ice Department, the Office of Facts and Figures, the Office of War Information, the Office of Censorship, and the army." (Washburn, 8) 87 Doreski, 66. In Vogel. (2001) 88 Washburn, 91 & 103 89 Pride & Wilson, 163


! $) The story of how black journalists gained increased access from the American government illustra tes how media management policy during WWII differed from that of WWI in providing proactive incentives to some reporters rather than simply institutionalizing penalty systems like the Sedition Act 1918. If news media producers dissented from the governmen t's imagined domestic unity they were considered at worst a threat (as the FBI's investigation of black newspapers during WWII suggests 90 ) and at best a chance to bring in new support for the cause. This was exemplified significantly by the story of A. Phil ip Randolph. During WWI, Randolph was imprisoned, charged with treason for his questioning popular support for the war in The Messenger a socialist magazine he co published with Chandler Owen. 91 During WWII he again argued that African Americans should not fight for a country that did not recognize their own rights as citizens: "Our war is not against Hitler in Europe, but against the Hitlers in America," 92 he proclaimed. This time he was not met with a sentence. Rather, in light of his published promise to deliver a legion of disenfranchised black protesters to the White House, 93 FDR offered to conduct a meeting with Randolph and other African American leaders to discuss a compromise. The resulting policy was Executive Order 8802, passed on June 25, 1941, otherwise known as the Fair Employment Act. This mandated that manufacturers not discriminate by race in their hiring practices, considered an important advancement for African American labor right s. While integrated units were still not allowed in the army, nor could blood donated by African Americans be given to needy white personnel, !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 90 Washburn, 174. Riley, 152 91 Washburn, 21 92 R iley, 146. "Cited in Dalfiume, The Forgotten Years' of the Negro Revolution,' Journal of American History LV (June 1968): p. 94. The author arrays a variety of similar citations as evidence that these sentiments were not isolated." (Riley, 320) 93 Printe d "in major newspapers such as the New York Times ." (Kersten, 60)


! $* the act was something of a watershed moment in regard to racial equality at the time. This is indicative of the FD R administration's policy regarding dealing with of dissenting opinion blocs of black Americans: if they could not be silenced, some concession could be made for the sake of national unity. 94 These campaigns led by black journalists and the subsequent gove rnmental responses including the provision of access speak to the ideological media control that was exercised over established institutions of independent news management. The government was concerned with unifying Americans behind the war effort, and man ipulating mass news media was considered to be one way of advancing this agenda while minimizing the impact of dissenting voices. To this end, the government produced and distributed media separately from independent institutions of journalism. The OWI a nd the OSS Morale Operations were the branches most involved in this activity, providing media makers with opportunities to that would otherwise have been impossible from capturing action on the front lines for news reports to special effects explosions th at blew movie going audiences away in OWI supported pictures. These documents both reflected and influenced the ideology of American citizens when they were released. One media maker who was provided extensive support through this governmental system was J ohn Ford. John Ford's WWII Films like Ford's are important because they are documents that represent coverage of WWII that was in alignment with the federal government's agenda. The OWI supported the production and promotion of these films in a number of ways: Ford was provided with access to !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 94 Riley, 154


! %+ sites such as battlefronts of the P acific theater as well as the ability to document personnel in the military and weaponry journalists were not given permission to cover. An enlisted member of the United States Navy Reserve, Ford made numerous films for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) over the course of World War II. He took it upon himself to enlist in the war effort, and pursued his duties with great vigor, overseeing the production of hundreds of films for the OSS, a branch of the military that came to be referred to by some as "Ford's Navy." 95 He held the rank of Lieutenant Commander, a position awarded to him very early in his military career by Director of the OSS William J. "Wild Bill" Donovan on October 7, 1942. 96 Many other filmmakers were employed to produce war coverage for the OSS, including Frank Capra, John Huston and George Stephens. 97 One reason to address these individuals in constructing a history of the era is that their role in wartime media ma nagement was concretely documented. Ford's involvement in producing state sponsored war coverage earned him a salary of $1,132 in 1941 and "between $3,630 and 3,883 a year from government service in 1942 1944." 98 He did not begin by producing films for pub lic distribution. His first pieces were circulated strictly within the military. Some of this material, with includes action footage of battles in Europe and the Pacific theater remain classified. Relevant to this discussion is that fact that Ford was able to record war on the front lines in color the technical ability to produce blood red combat footage was developed and employed during WWII. While his documentary films still lacked on site audio, they were some of the most technologically !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 95 John Ford Goes to War, 2005 96 McBride, 338 97 McBride, 342 98 McBride, 345


! %" advanced portr ayals of the conflict created at the time. That he produced official reporting material for private government and military use underscores the perception held by government officials that war footage held value as being technically accurate he headed th e effort to record an official version of Operation Overlord (the D Day invasion of Normandy) for the government. 99 As the war progressed he gradually returned to making movies for public consumption, a process that began with a short film documenting the m en who composed a downed aircraft unit. Torpedo Squadron 8 (1942) With a running time of less than eight minutes, this footage documents the men who flew Torpedo Squadron Eight's Douglass TBD 1's, a crew of pilots who manned an aircraft carrier in the Pa cific theater. In this work, Ford displays the subject with almost no added interpretation. The film's opening text reads: "On June 4, 1942, near Midway island in the Pacific, many Naval aviators and flight crews given their lives to unflinchingly pursue a nd destroy a powerful Japanese invasion force of superior aircraft carrier strength. These men of Torpedo Squadron Eight are gone. The memory of their courage and determination will forever be an ideal for Navy flying men to follow. These men, pilots and f light crews of other squadrons who participated in this action, have written the most brilliant pages in the glowing history of our naval air forces." 100 The film was developed in an attempt to document clarifying truths' about the war effort. The frames of this film show actual people directly impacted by the war effort, and on one level it does provide objective documentation of one side of an unfolding historic event. It's feasible to imagine an ethnographic fieldworker taking similar footage, attemptin g to document the faces of an aircraft carrier crew. New Cinecolor technology meant that images of naval life !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 99 Gallagher, 217. McBride, 394 100 Torpedo Squadron 8, 0:38


! %# could be recorded in richer detail than ever before all of this compounds the notion that technological advances can help increase the represent ativeness of a signified event. Ford does not use the camera to idealize these historical actors as being more than human; he strives to simply document men who died in the war. Ford was transparent about this agenda. By explicitly stating the intentions behind the creation of this short film (borrowing from Lincoln in the final frame: "that these dead shall not have died in vain" 101 ) he acknowledges that as a documentation of WWII combat this film is skewed to commemorate the efforts of American personnel. Though the footage focuses mainly on the real troops, post production elements of the work like Ford's typically grandiose soundtrack 102 make it clear that the creators of this piece were at least as concerned with instilling a unifying sense of patriotism i n their audience as they were with givi ng faces to the individuals who made up the county's war effort. These men are frozen in time by this film at the moment before they were forced to sacrifice their male bodies for the cause. This work has a pro troo p bias, but that does not necessarily imply total and unquestioned support of the war. It idealizes the sacrifice of Americans, not the campaign. What is valued in this piece, with the weight of religious reverence, is the sacrifice made by the men on the front line. Thus the inclusion of every squad member's name, framed to serve as a symbolic memorial. Thus the silent opening to 30 seconds of funeral footage, documentation of a maritime eulogy, a 21 gun salute, and flag covered caskets. Aside from the Lin coln quotation the piece includes little in the way of suggestion as to how the footage should be interpreted, that is to say the ideological meaning of the film. Later Ford films vary in the degree to which !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 101 Torpedo Squadron 8, 7:16 102 "My Country 'Ti s of Thee," a signature touch of Fordian nationalism.


! %$ they present actual footage of life during the w ar without a suggested ideologically defined interpretation, and the manner in which any bias is explicitly addressed. The Battle of Midway (1942) This is an important piece of film to recognize in any discussion of government sanctioned reports of WWII combat, and is equally outstanding in the career history of John Ford. He was awarded the Academy Award in the category of "Best Documentary" for this work, which clocks in at just under 20 minutes. The accolade is evidence that at one time in America, thi s film held merit as a portrayal of the war. It's significant if only as a vision of combat sanctioned by the era's cultural elite, and not as an objective representation of this historic event. The Battle of Midway stands out as one of the earliest exam ples of "embedded" coverage. Ford shot action sequences from the front line with real military personnel, keeping focus on the faces of troops as they go about their duties and when they're embroiled in battle. Ford himself was injured while shooting a Jap anese air strike, and some critics cite the resulting defects in his footage as powerful beyond conventional camera work the shaky frame and the tape's tendency to jump wildly off track whenever a bomb drops nearby are said to be invaluable in imagining the disjointed experience of war. He was awarded a purple heart for the injury he sustained while filming this production. Like Torpedo Squadron 8 the film addresses the war from the worm's eye view' of the soldiers who actually participated in it. The identification of specific individuals who were involved in the fight again serves to remind the viewer that this is meant to be read as a documentation of a real event. Ford's own voice accompanies a montage of downed pilots in


! %% the midst of being rescued by American troops, saying: "Well done, Mathis Hughes. Logan Ramsey. Frank Fessler that's 13 [days stranded] for Frank." Respect is doled out to all the military men, including those who made it back home these were the heroes of the war for Ford. As t roops raise the base's flag following a successful defense against a Japanese air raid, a narrator quietly breathes three words into the audience's ear to underscore the factuality of the footage being presented: "This really happened." 103 The star spangled banner begins to play. It concludes with a funeral service, listing the names of prominent military personnel in attendance. Again he honors the American cause as embodied by the physical sacrifice of men on the front line. Ford's moti vation is a little less straightforward concerning the elements of Midway in which he works with more artistic license. The red white and blue soundtrack plays on 104 while both flags and jets fly high. Interspersed between shots of battle are miniature vigne ttes, which picture life back home. He called up a few well recognized voices from Hollywood to do voiceover work for the film, including Henry Fonda and Jane Darwell. Darwell is of particular interest: until her voice comes in, Ford's vision of the war ha s been exclusively the domain of men. Most well known for her Oscar garnering performance as Ma Joad in Ford's The Grapes of Wrath (1940), Darwell held a complicated symbolic role in Ford's filmography. 105 She serves as the face of domesticity in Midway : whe n she, the sole female voice in the piece, begins to speak the image on screen shifts from that of a B 17 Flying Fortress' being loaded with shells to a !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 103 104 "Anchors Away," and "Over There" among others. 105 John Ford at War 2005


! %& shot of an old woman, knitting in an easy chair at home. She comments on the men, busy preparing for w ar, by saying: "Why that's young Will Timmy, he's from my hometown, Springfield Ohio His mother [laughs] well, she's just like the rest of us mothers in Springfield or any other American town. And his sister Patricia, she's about as pretty as they come! G ood luck, God bless you son." Here Darwell's is the voice of the private sphere, the feminine homemaker in the most traditional sense, as diametrically opposed to the publicly patriotic men at war. This is one component of the nationalist identity Ford p roduced for Americans with support from the government. Following the statement transcribed above, her voice drops out and is replaced by: [Male voice:] "Suddenly, from behind the clouds, the Japs attack!" [Shot of planes, anti aircraft fire] [A group of male voices:] "There go the marines!" 106 Darwell's dialogue passed, the war returns to the domain of the masculine. While it would be impossible to parse out exactly what particular agenda's interests are being represented by each individual scene, what's important in looking at the implications of the whole film is recognizing that it was deemed outstanding by the standards of the government as well as the judges of the Academy Awards: as a document it is representative of what the country wanted to see i n a documentary film about WWII. FDR is said to have personally commended the piece, declaring: "I want every mother in America to see this picture!" 107 He painted a high resolution picture of the pacific campaign, where young men fought to protect the Ameri can way of life, a civilized order, from a faceless foreign threat. Accounting for the artistic license employed by Ford is creating scenes and dialogue like that above, the documentary was stated to be and viewed as a factually accurate report. It !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 106 The Battle of Midway 5:30 107 Gallagher, 207


! %' docum ented part of the visual and auditory experience of the war in a way that was as accurate as technologically possible at this point in time. Midway was the first of Ford's films shot in 16 mm Technicolor, as displayed in the opening credits. The immediatel y following text explicitly promises: "this is the actual photographic report of the Battle of Midway" documentation of "authentic scenes made by U.S. Navy photographers." 108 Midway also suggests a standard of cooperation across racial lines, with African American personnel shown interspersed with and fighting alongside white troops. This reflects Ford's understanding of African American's contribution to the war moreso than institutionalized governmental policy. The role that black characters play in war movies of this pe riod is problematic because multi racial units were acceptable in combat framed cinematically, but not in real life. 109 It is an example of how work including Ford's served an official role, factually documenting combat as part of a public p olicy structure as well as a being a functional factor in ideological management. The ideology of John Ford: They Were Expendable (1945) Unlike the previously discussed films, Ford's next film, They Were Expendable was a popular mainstream film, and a pi ece of historical fiction, not a documentary. By the time of its release the subject the military defeat the United States Army suffered at Bataan including General MacArthur's withdrawal from the Philippines and the subsequent for ced death march" of A llied forces had been widely reported. It was the third major Hollywood production to address the conflict. This was not a documentary in the sense of Midway nor archival footage like Torpedo Squadron Having said that, it was made in conjunction with t he !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 108 The Battle of Midway 0:3 2 109 An interracial WWII unit is imagined in the film Bataan! to give only one example. (Slocum, 45)


! %( OWI, from which it received direct support, and Ford was still enlisted with the US Navy during the production of the movie. It is a fictional film, but a government approved retelling of a historic event that in fact happened and involved real American individuals additionally, "Ford said he approached the film as a documentary.'" 110 Importantly, the film was not simply funded by the government, but supported in a way that puts it into a special tier of films produced not strictly as government propaga nda but still supported by political forces. Military equipment including naval boats were offered to the filmmakers to be used in recreating actual battles. The film was well received, garnering two Academy Award nominations for technical work. It earned a reputation as being a well produced Hollywood version of a difficult to portray event, a reputation that survives to this day. As the Oscars would suggest, in Midway Ford takes every chance to capitalize on the power of technology in constructing a hist orical narrative: scene after scene is filled with huge quantities of special effects, many large underwater explosions. The artistic license afforded to a production like Expendable suggest that it could contain elements that may have been considered do wnright subversive when contrasted against traditional beliefs as to the value of military order, as well as the role of women in society. Why does this film contain these elements? Is the movie truly propaganda for the interests of those in power, as thes e question many of the structures traditionally held in American culture, especially among high ranking military officials during this period? The most explicit message conveyed by the film about obedience to governing authorities is that in order to must er the kind of collective strength needed in wartime, !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 110 "'A documentary, yes' commented Admiral Bulkley, but with good actors." (McBride, 410)


! %) sacrifices must be made by individuals. This is an example of a theme that underlies most of Ford's footage: as the people who made the greatest sacrifice for war effort, those on the front line most de served to be the subject of a given film's focus. As a survey on his work concluded in light of Expendable : Ford's representations of the military are profoundly nuanced and far from uniformly positive. Often critical of commanding officers and the militar y hierarchy that sheltered them while celebrating the discipline that structure fostered, Ford's respect is reserved almost exclusively for the privates, foot soldiers and lower ranking officers whose courage and camaraderie Ford found inspirational. 111 His pro troop bias takes the form of friction between the hero and his commanding officers. John Wayne's character, Lt. Rusty' Ryan, earliest dialog in the film is a discussion of his lack of respect for the decisions made by superiors. Throughout the fil m he displays contempt for authority, and must be reminded by officers to decide whether he's "building a reputation, or playing for the team." 112 Also noteworthy is the presence of Donna Reed, playing Jt. Sandy Davyss. While she is still very much a domes tic woman (she cares for the injured while talking about "home" 113 ) the presence of a ranking female in a major motion picture is certainly a departure from Ford's conventional coverage of the war. But like Darwell in Midway Reed vanishes as soon as the sho oting starts. The implications of these acts reflect the American social structure of Ford's imagination. It's possible that they were intended to be consumed simply as outlets in which subjugated individuals, either women or front line personnel, could h armlessly fantasize about excursions into the empowering discourse of the public military life? But it seems far more !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 111 Harvard Film Archive, Ford at War: A John Ford Retrospective, Part III 112 They Were Expendable 6:50 113 They Were Expendable 52:00


! %* likely in the context of a culture which was rapidly become saturated with empowered, employed women (think Rosie the Riveter) that this e lement of the film was simply an attempt to be more accurate about portraying women's role in the war effort. This conclusion is evidenced by the similarities between the character played by Reed and the experience documented in Capt. Ann Bernatitus's or al history of her time as medical officer for the US Navy, serving in Bataan during WWII. 114 Though the real women on the front lines didn't have the advantage of being able to disappear when the going got tough, Ford seems to have taken a step to reflect th at the work done by women for the war effort in casting this character. It would suit the climate of the times: The OWI instructed Hollywood to show women taking the place of men A 1944 OWI in formational manual stated that American women are finding new expression in jobs they have assumed and urged Hollywood to find methods for portraying these new roles on the screen. 115 What might have been considered an untraditional portrayal of society before this period, such as films with females in the military, were in this case government ordained. Importantly though, Ford's focus was still mainly on the troops in this story, the male personnel involved in combat. So what specifically about these films is important? Ford was a formal, active member of the Unite d States War effort and a major figure in the film industry. To varying degrees, his films were produced and consumed as factual portrayals of historic events. In this respect, Ford managed to produce a vision of the war that at times attempted to present a nonbiased account by focusing primarily on the people and actions actually involved in the war effort. He took !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 114 "25 Jan. 1994, provided courtesy of the Historian, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery" 3 b.htm 115 Spring, 154


! &+ advantage of his technological and political power by documenting the war on film and thus providing real' images and sounds through which an audience can imagine life during the war. But there is also an ideological component to the films. For the most part, Ford's films were aligned with the dominant narrative of his era, with some agency allowed for artistic license. Bearing the government's seal of approval and the attention of moviegoers nationwide, his work can be said to represent a dominant ideological bloc in American culture, with case by case conclusions to be drawn related to his treatment of the troops at war, and ideas like gender n orms and the use of technology in constructing fictional or non fictional narratives. Conclusion As the first section of this chapter defined, the relationship between the government and mass media during WWII was not simply based on the institutional pol icy of public media management organizations such as the Office of Censorship. Rather, a number of variables were involved in the playing out of this narrative, including the practical complications of wartime domestic media management bureaucracy and the complications related to the goal of achieving ideological unification among media producers. Despite the government's "muddled" and constitutionally limited institutional policy, the dominant narrative of the era is that coverage of the war was in alignme nt with the version of the conflict promoted by political authorities of the period. One factor that underlies the relationship between the government and media makers throughout the wartime period is the government's provision of access to certain indepen dent reporters and filmmakers employed to provide a government sponsored account of the conflict, a fact that shaped the content produced in an attempts to influence how Americans perceived of the war. Additionally, d ocuments spanning from the outbreak of the


! &" war to the big b udget films of 1945 reflect a different part of this relationship, the separate production and distribution of government made material, including the work of John Ford. After WWII this relationship changed drastically.


! &# Chapter Two With the Cold War come colder media relations In the same way that establishing the history of government/media relations during World War I provides insight into how the United States government attempted to control interpretations of World War II, the narrative of news media management during the war in Vietnam can be understood as growing from that of Korea. Much of what typified Cold War media policy in a broad sen se was initially installed during the Korean War era, between 1950 and 1953. 116 At the beginning of the conflict in Korea, the relationship between the American government and media producers was similar to that of WWII in that a system of restrictions was i nstitutionalized, limiting what news could be released in print, by radio and via the increasingly popular form of the broadcast television news report. In December of 1950 a total, formal censorship policy was adopted. 117 According to Jeffery Smith (1999), policy of the period was "nearly identical to the regulations issued during World War II," with the caveat that during the Korean War, "a swelling presidential military protectorate used domestic spying, massive secrecy, and subtle methods of suppression t o circumvent public discussion." 118 Whereas before and during WWII political influence over the press was exercised predominantly through public, institutionalized action, throughout the Cold War it occurred increasingly on a classified level. Executive Orde r 10290 is evidence of this process. Enacted by President Truman on September 24, 1951, 119 the act mandated: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 116 Cornwell, 311 117 Casey, 8 118 Smith, 169 119 John T. Woolley and Gerhard Peters, The American Presidency Project [online]. Santa Barbara, CA. Available from World Wide Web:


! &$ minimum standards for procedures designed to protect the national security against such unauthorized disclosure be uniformly applicable to all depart ments and agencies of the Executive Branch of the Government and be known to and understood by those who deal with the Federal Government. Over the course of the Cold War political forces including the executive branch increasingly exercised influence on journalism and coverage related to military conflict in this way the political climate of this period is marked by increase in secrecy within the American government, concentrated in the office of the presidency. 120 This trend, in which political authoriti es managed war coverage by cutting off access to a significant volume of classified of military information rather than controlling independent media organizations through voluntary censorship and the production of government sponsored coverage may have be en a contributing factor to the process by which the agendas served by political and journalistic actors became de aligned later in the Cold War. Steven Casey (2008) suggests that a "credibility gap" 121 began to open up as a result of discrepancies between w hat information was released by the government and reporting from correspondents on the front lines, an issue that "naturally cast a long shadow over Washington's whole information campaign." 122 This trend that began during the war in Korea survived througho ut the Cold War: the recognition of a credibility gap between statements issued by political officials and the reality of America's military involvement in Indochina. At the heart of this trend was the institutionalized secrecy of government activity, a tr end that "continued for the duration of the Eisenhower Administration. Restrictions on information increased, and criticism of them grew apace, !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 120 Wyatt, 17 121 Casey 154 122 "In the face of the army's determination to wield its censorship powers aggressively, media coverage was belated, vague" (Casey, 8)


! &% creating an atmosphere of bitterness and distrust." 123 Documentation of this practice includes Executive Order 105 01, enacted under President Eisenhower, which adjusted the structure established under Truman by creating numerous additional "categories of classification" 124 that served to "expand the opportunities for the withholding of information." 125 This is not to unde restimate the influence of other types of control the government exercised over news media. At this point in time there still was a functional system for the production of war reporting sponsored by the American government. In fact, news from the governm ent may not have been so different from that which was produced during WWI: A widely published Air Force photograph of a bridge said to have been hit by "pin point bombing" turned out to be an image of a structure blown up by Army engineers during a retre at. "Many of us who sent the stories knew they were false," said United Press correspondent Robert C. Miller, "but we had to write them for they were official releases from responsible military headquarters, and were released for publication even though th e people responsible knew they were untrue." 126 But over the course of the Cold War the government's policy for dealing with independent journalistic institutions was increasingly founded on keeping governmental activity as secret as possible, a trend that culminated during the war in Vietnam. The process by which this led to a substantially more widespread popular recognition of a "credibility gap" between the government's account of the war and the actual reality of the conflict. The functional ramificatio ns of this gap included a distrust of information supplied by the government, leading to the effective discontinuation of news' from the government. This has !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 123 Wyatt, 16 124 John T. Woolley and Gerhard Peters, The American Presidency Project [online]. Santa Barbara, CA. Avail able from World Wide Web: 125 Wyatt, 16 126 Miller, "News Censorship in Korea," 5 6. (Smith, 171)


! && been subsequently interpreted as the justification news media provided for withdrawal from milita ry involvement in Vietnam. Reporting Vietnam On a basic level, the government's history of controlling independent news coverage of the war in Vietnam by acting covertly was evidenced many years before significant combat operations began. Even though the United States first took on a military advisory role in Vietnam in September, 1950 127 the conflict did not officially begin until five years later. 128 I n these early years of the war popular news media simply did not produce much coverage of the developing sit uation, 129 a fact that may have stemmed from the classified status of early combat operations. Following the Korean War came a number of events that significantly affected the relationship between the government and the news media, illustrating the extreme d egree to which the executive branch was withholding sensitive information. First, the downing of a U 2 spy plane in Soviet Union airspace on May 1, 1960 threw light on the covert missions being carried out by the United States military. 130 The subsequent at tempt at a cover up by the American government, authorized by President Eisenhower, !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 127 "The U.S. military advisory effort in Vietnam had a modest beginning in September 1950, when the United States Milit ary Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG), Vietnam, was established in Saigon. Its mission was to supervise the issuance and employment of $10 million of military equipment to support French legionnaires in their effort to combat Viet Minh forces. By 1953 the a mount of U.S. military aid had jumped to over $350 million." (21, Ott, David Ewing. Field artillery, 1954 73 DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY WASHINGTON, D.C., 1975) 128 As a result of the review, the establishment of the Military Assistance Advisory Group, Vietnam, on Nov. 1, 1955, is now formally recognized as the earliest qualifying date for addition to the database and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Fitzgibbon's casualty date of June 8, 1956, is now the earliest in the database." (US Department of Defense release No. 581 98, November 06, 1998) 129 "In the beginning, during the 1940s and 1950s, the American news media had little interest in either Southwest Asia or Vietnam." (Hammond, 1) 130 Smith, 207


! &' further illustrated how deeply the policy of secrecy had become embedded in the political structure of the executive branch. 131 The continuation of this policy under Presiden t Kennedy was most prominently illustrated by the failed Bay of Pigs invasion on April 17, 1961 and the classification of all information pertaining to the Cuban missile crisis from October 12 15 1962. Both of these historical moments have been recognized as instances in which the American government did not grant journalists access to subject matter relevant to national security and defense interests, resulting in a lack of factual coverage. For example, David J. Kraslow, correspondent for the Los Angeles Times summed up his colleagues' reaction to being deceived by Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy: "We ought to be raising hell about an official mentality which seems too ready to tamper with the credibility of the United States government for the sake of alleged short term gain [] The U 2 business of 1960, the Bay of Pigs in 1961, the Cuban [missile crisis in 1962] Three times in less than three years the American people were misled by their own government." 132 As these instances were arguably acts of war, political forces including the President clearly determined there was no need to provide news media producers with access to information such as classified Cold War strategies. 133 As the United States government grew more involved in combat in Vietnam, Amer icans increasingly recognized a widening credibility gap between statements made by political actors and real world facts. At this point in time the United States' military presence in Vietn am was rising in prominence as a n issue in news coverage. That pr ocess accelerated to some degree when the level of violence began to rise in the country: early examples of this include the persecution of !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 131 Wyatt, 22 132 Aucoin, 54 133 Smith, 175


! &( Buddhists by the South Vietnamese government in 1963 134 and the following assassination of the government's primary le adership, President Ngo Dinh Diem, which precipitated a subsequent coup led by Major Genereral Nguyen Khanh. 135 The Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1964 brought a greater magnitude of attention to the regional conflict indeed C ongressional attention, including the passage of the Southeast Asia Resolution, or the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which authorized direct military action in Vietnam from 1964 1971. 136 Since the United States had not yet formally declared war until this point institutional structures like th ose that made up the government's media management policy of WWII had not been erected, aside from the established structure of classifying information to prevent reporters from gaining access to sensitive material. A history of media management during th e Vietnam War is not an institutional history in the same sense that WWII was, since the forces and actors relevant to the narrative were not so publicly defined as they were when governmental agencies were established specifically to handle different elem ents of media management under FDR. There was little C ongressional activity concerning coverage of the war effort, and the actions of the P resident and other political forces were more likely to go through classified channels to which media producers did n ot have access. A statement made by President Kennedy the same month as the Bay of Pigs Invasion illustrated this origins of this policy: "If the press is awaiting a declaration of war before it imposes the self discipline of combat conditions, then I can only say that no war ever posed a greater threat to our security." 137 Yet no war was declared possibly due to fears of the !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 134 Hammond, 46 135 The coups occurred on November 1 and January 30, 1963. (Hammond, 17 19) 136 Streitmatter, 193 137 Hallin, 13


! &) relatively minor conflict escalating into a "total war." 138 Journalism that contradicted with official lines was dealt with in a way me ant to minimize public attention on such discrepancies and complications. 139 Since censorship was a practical impossibility, the policy of secrecy was especially fundamental to the government's media management policy during Vietnam. But this policy was fla wed, and news that was supposed to be classified leaked regularly. The eventual outcome of this was the significant expansion of the gap between the information presented by certain political and military groups and facts gathered by journalists. Such was the United States' government's policy for managing independent news media. And as American involvement in the conflict grew, reflected by an increase in the number of personnel employed in the effort among other indicative factors, journalists paid more a ttention to Vietnam and pushed the gap wider. More reporters moved to the country, and the number of stories on the subject increased. The military media policy established in the summer of 1964 was named Operation Maximum Candor, and stated that journali sts were to be provided with increased access to information in an effort to control negative responses due to the previously incomplete coverage. 140 Reporters were granted access to officials, troops, and weaponry to the utmost possible degree, which in so me cases resulted in an increased dependence on the government for subject matter and stories more in alignment with the dominant political agenda. 141 Yet in practice what was disclosed and what remained classified still varied. Sensitive information was !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 138 Wyatt, 156 139 Wyatt, 208 140 Hammond, 19 141 Wyatt, 163


! &* ge nerally kept quiet for as long as possible, based on the approach established as normal Cold War practice by Truman, Eisenhower and Kennedy. When this information eventually was released, it was often wildly inaccurate. An illustration of the tensions that arose out of this policy for managing independent media is the story of the daily press briefings held by the Joint United States Public Affairs Office in Saigon, otherwise known as the Five 'o Clock Follies. The "follies" were started by Barry Zorthian in 1965. Almost immediately, they failed to accomplish their intended role of providing reporters in Saigon with information pertaining to the war effort. Zorthian would later explain the fate of the conferences by saying that "the military instinct [] wa s always to provide less rather than more. Many times the information we gave out was incomplete. Or else it was too early for us to be sure of its accuracy." Further in the same article, reported Keyes Beech of the Chicago Daily News is quoted as having s aid: "They [the follies] seldom bore any resemblance whatever to the facts." 142 When forces started conducting military operations in Cambodia, for instance, the government decried the validity of the story until the facts were leaked in the Pentagon Papers. The "follies" had degenerated even further in value by this point, referred to by one reporter as "a ritual recitation of memorized details, a reduction of experiences into a set of quantifiable data." 143 By a certain point, the "credibility gap" between the information being provided to reporters and real world facts had crippled the government's ability to control coverage as an arbiter of media. Whether reporters were more or less accurate than governme ntal documentation (the Tet Offensive may have marked the largest volume of false reporting being !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 142 The Press: Farewell to the Follies. Time Feb. 12, 1973 143 Wyatt, 200


! '+ produced 144 ) the lack of trust in the credibility of information from politically controlled sources dominated the relationship between the American government and news media by the 1970s. While it has been argued that the secret nature of the United States military involvement in Cambodia and Laos has been overplayed, "mythologized" by coverage surrounding the Pentagon Papers, 145 there is also documentation that s uggests the American public were in the dark concerning this activity into the years of the Vietnam War, in 1972. 146 Throughout the war the American government and the military sought to control independent news coverage by enacting limitations on how the me dia could report causality numbers. Body counts could only be described by reporters within a rubric that significantly obfuscated the actual number of casualties on either side units were said to have taken either "light," "moderate," or "heavy" casualt ies, regardless of the size of the outfit. 147 Body counts for Vietcong eliminated were notoriously off. What was considered fair game for reporters depended on what was being made public at any given time, as well as the policy of the day. Despite the stated goal of the press briefings a policy of covert action was still the dominant way in which the government exercised control over journalists: by the end of the war this policy had changed again, further limiting information available to journalists. To com bat the effects of fighting a "war in a fishbowl," 148 as the volume of press coverage seen under Operation Maximum Candor was referred to, media makers had had their government furnished access to information significantly reduced under the administration of President Nixon. 149 While the !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 144 Braestrup, 571 145 Lind, 192 146 Bryan, 165 147 Hammond, 68 148 Hammond, 126 149 Wyatt, 199


! '" reporting that illustrates this change is varied, the evidence on the policy side of this phenomenon is more consistent. An important consideration is whether or not newsmakers used content fed to them by the government or if they were reporting their own stories. 150 This is an illuminating factor to consider because by the time American forces withdrew from the region, reporters had changed tactics from, as Hammond wrote, "traditional news gathering the press conference, offic ial news releases, reports of official proceedings and toward methods less susceptible to the government's point of view. By 1969 they were well advanced. Reporters were doing more independent research, conducting more interviews, publishing more analyti cal essays, and paying more attention than ever before to sources who questioned the war." Hammond's argument suggests this was the result of discrepancies raised concerning official perspectives on the war, especially information and policy related to cas ualty numbers and discontent within the fighting forces. Wartime reporting stopped being a reflection of the content the American government provided media makers and started being something else. The question is then not whether this shift occurred, but w hen, why and to what end. As was argued by the scholarship reviewed in the introduction to this thesis, it has been suggested that the shift occurred because the war was being broadcast directly into homes by television for the first time. This is the "li ving room war" theory. With newer technology came the ability to produce coverage with greater flexibility, as well as color broadcasts with, as some scholars have stressed, vivid blood red. 151 The impact of televised broadcast journalism has been said to be significantly more powerful than that of previously dominant news media, according !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 150 "A major element of the press story in Vietnam has always been the relationship between reporters and their sources." (Wyatt, 150) 151 Streitmatter, 196


! '# to theorists such as Neil Postman in 1985. 152 He suggested that the since humans consume television in such a radically different way than they do print, with the advent of t he TV age came an entirely new paradigm of media effects. There is much of value in these arguments, and the different social experience undergone by individuals who viewed war in groups at a movie theater compared to those that watched at home is importan t to consider. But some authors have questioned widely held assumptions about how television as a visual and auditory medium conditions how people interpret coverage of war, including Dennis Shayne Weyker. 153 The study he conducted determined that television coverage of war does not draw unified responses from audience based on qualities of the medium. The question might be asked: if the technological ability to produce footage of the warfront was exercised during WWI, and print media as well as radio broadca sting had permeated the private sphere of Americans well before WWII, could the relatively small development of TV as a new medi um have altered how journalists informed the United States citizenry in a way that turned the public against Vietnam when it had previously supported military efforts? That the government restricted access granted to reporters, with President Johnson opening up the system to some degree under Operation Maximum Candor before Nixon took military operations out of the public eye agai n 154 was a factor in this narrative. One event that exemplifies the undoing of Vietnam era media management policy was the publication of the Pentagon Papers in the New York Times and the related ruling of the Supreme Court to not block printing of the serie s. Though much of the information in the document was already !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 152 Pos tman, Neil. 8. Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Showbusiness Penguin Books, 1985. 153 Weyker, Technologies of Representation: How Different Ways of Representing War May Influence Public Opinion. 2002. 154 Wyatt, 217


! '$ declassified when the papers were published in 1971, the series explicitly underscored the rift between the public statements and activity of government and military officials and true facts abo ut the war in Indochina. 155 The credibility gap between political actors and reporters looking to nail down the facts also explicitly played out around the Watergate scandal. If the press was cemented as an institution outside government throughout the Viet nam War, the weight of that force was thrown against the Nixon administration at this time. But even before forces in journalism began to crusade against the executive, the Supreme Court rejected P resident Nixon's claim of authority to manage and surveil c ertain domestic "subversive forces" for the sake of national security in an 8 0 ruling. 156 According to Smith, these programs included significant attention to members of the news media, more than 50 of whom Nixon specifically targeted on an "enemies list Wiretaps of dubious legality were placed on the phone of a number of reporters and officials in order to discover the sources of leaked information on the administration's hidden machinations on Vietnam." 157 The power of the executive to control the activity of news media was denied in light of a lack of the substantial need for such authority to be exercised. That is to say, without a war, the president could not control the press via covert surveillance or other methods of coercion. The "historical strugg le for freedom of speech and press" against the tendency of Government -however benevolent and benign its motive -to view with suspicion those who most fervently !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 155 Stone, 518 156 Un ited States v. U.S. District Court 407 U.S. 297 (1972) 157 Smith, 188. He cites J. Anthony Lukas' Nightmare: The Underside of the Nixon Years New York, Viking Press, 1976, 41 65


! '% dispute its policies," 158 was explicitly identified, and the right institutionalized by the Forth Amendment reiterated. This ruling marked the end of an era based on classified campaigns of media management. From this point on, political actors such as the president would revert back to the policy of influencing wartime journalism through the pr ovision of access. Over the course of this period news media and the government eventually grew separated as institutions, divided over the lack of credible information released by political officials. What is less clear is what precipitated this developme nt, exactly why it happened. The growth of a credibility gap did not necessarily doom the entire war effort, but it may have been one part of the bigger picture, the changing political climate of the Vietnam era as a whole. Both journalists and citizens as well as public and military officials spoke out against the war effort and the covert conduct of the American government. How this muddle of ideological groups eventually influenced the nation to abandon the war effort is unclear. To address this part of the story, it's necessary to consider how the United States government engaged in the production of war coverage in its own right how media management was conducted without the involvement of independent reporters. Again, documentation that pertains to t his history include the documentary films of John Ford. This is Korea! (1951) John Ford's documentary on the Korean War is an example of the continuing effort made by the government to shape public opinion on military conflict by producing media separately from independent journalism. That his film This is Korea! was funded by the U nited States Navy explicitly reflects the fact that the American government continued to produce war coverage after WWII Ford had risen to the rank of rear admiral before retiring from active !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 158 United States v. U.S. District Court 407 U.S. 297 (1972), 407 U.S. 314 5


! '& duty in the United States Navy the year it was released. 159 Furt hermore, a reading of the ideological implications of the piece brings to light that it may also signify the first stirrings of the credibility gap Casey argued was developing at this time, between how the war was "sold" 160 to Americans and the reality of th e military conflict. Ford said that this feature length documentary piece differed from his previous wartime cinema in being more "grim." 161 The piece has much in common with his WWII films. Ford again focuses primarily on the personnel on the ground and a s ubstantial amount of time is devoted to footage of explosions in fact, the first full minute of the film. Again, he was furnished the access necessary to make the film by the American government: the title credits begin: "The United States Navy presents: This Is Korea!" Importantly, however, the film is different from his work in WWII in that it was distributed not by the United States government, but Republic Pictures Corporation. In this way Korea! represents the changing means by which the government p roduced war coverage: after WWII there existed no politically constructed institutional system for the distribution of material created by the military like the Office of Special Services had been. The piece contains no explicit anti war message, nor are normal popular assumptions about the war opposed the notion that the American presence served a kind of paternal function in protecting south Koreans from communism is represented by the US Army soldiers patting the young refugee "Babe Ruth DiMaggio" on the head. The narrator John Ireland states that the Koreans ("all those kids," and "poor kids") were "hungry, until we fed them." !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 159 McBride, 771 160 Casey, 360 161 Bogdanovich, 88


! '' But in an important way the film is dissimilar to his previous documentary work. The phantom of a burgeoning credibility gap, a hint of ideological disintegration is subtly revealed at key moments in the film. The war is still pitched as an opposition to the "ruthless, red hand of communism," but in comparison to the conventional nationalistic tropes presented without opposition in his WWII films the piece is dramatically inconclusive. Narration such as: "Well, what's it all about? You tell us," are dramatically inconclusive. As Ford biographer Tag Gallagher wrote, "The movie concludes quietly, in perhaps the most refulgently haun ting montage of Ford's career. There is no glorification here." 162 The next lines of voice over, some of the last in the film, underscore the hint of ideological uncertainty evident in this historical artifact: Ask any of these guys [footage of marching male American personnel shown previously in the film is replayed] what they're fighting for and they can't put it into words. Maybe it's just pure cussedness, and pride in the Marine Corps. A job to do, a duty. And wounds don't count [pictured is an American s oldier on a stretcher with bandaged arms] and dead men tell no tales [a military graveyard is pictured]. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done. But for little Babe Ruth DiMaggio [the footage of a US soldier rubbing the head of an Asian boy is repeated], it's his whole future. That the soldiers involved were not sure of the justification for their sacrifice, that they weren't sure "what they're fighting for" was one of the main complaints leveled at subsequent military involvement in Indochina. Concluding the film, Ford justifies the effort on vague ideological grounds: "This is everybody's fight: that the doctrine of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness shall not perish from this earth." The picture closes by again focusing on the lowest level of the co nflict, with Ireland whispering "remember us" as a message from those killed in the war effort. Ford's appropriation of artistic license is meaningful in this sense: o ne function of the film was to recognize the accomplishments of those that served in the conflict. One !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 162 Gallagher, 277


! '( outcome of the less public tactics of war engineers including Truman and Eisenhower is that veterans purportedly felt the American people were unaware of the conflict in Indochina. 163 Ford's work is evidence of this in that Korea aimed to educa te the public's awareness of the conflict. But compared to the awareness campaign waged during WWII the later conflict remained relatively undocumented in motion pictures. If political forces had been more interested in developing public awareness of the C old War battleground, perhaps Ford would have been paid to produce more material on the subject. As it stands, this was the only motion picture he was involved with that dealt directly with Korea. Vietnam! Vietnam! (1971) Ford's documentary Vietnam! Vietna m! is an unusual historical artifact. It was developed by the United States Information Agency and initially screened on a limited scale for USIA offices overseas. It was decided that the film was "a dead duck and it will stay in the can," according to an unnamed source in the United States Information Agency, as quoted in a New York Times article printed June 10, 1971. 164 It was made widely available online 37 years later by blogger Eric Spiegelman. The film is different from other Ford work in that it documents a war that did not receive clear support from the popular audience for which it was developed. Unlike how the nation s ideology was portrayed in The Battle of Midway in Ford's vision of the Vietnam era the home front is by no means a united front of support for either the troops or the war effort. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 163 "News from the Korean peninsula, if it was covered at all in American newspapers, was relegated to the inside pages," as stories including the Soviet Union's development of an atomic bomb and Senator Joseph McCarthy's communist witch hunt dominated the he adlines. (Cooke, 126) 164 $250,000 U.S.I.A. Movie on Vietnam, 3 Years in the Making, Being Shelved By Tad Szulc Special to The New York Times. New York Times (1923 Current file). New York, N.Y.:Jun 10, 1971. p. 6 (1 pp.)


! ') American citizens are divided, and Ford includes the voices of demo nstrators as well as those of military officials. Rather than the crass work of propaganda that some Ford historians have written it off as being, the piece reflects the conflicted attitudes held by many regarding the war. Ford's own political opinions have been debated. H e self identified as conservative politically. It seems unlikel y that he consistently held fervent anti communist sympathies: according to Tag Gallagher, "the blacklisting of the McCarthy era disgusted him," 165 citing his employment of supposed communist sympathizer Anna Lee. Ford also voiced opposition to investigatio ns such as the 1947 HUAC hearings and personal interaction with communist critic Samuel Lachize. But perhaps most interesting is a comment from a 1967 interview he conduced with Bertrand Tavernier, in which he called then president Johnson "a detestable pe rson, murderer." He then went on to say he had abstained from voting in the most recent presidential election. The implications of having a man with such personal politics producing a piece of nationalistic propaganda are not subtle. But it's important to note that Ford was by no means completely distanced from the red scare climate of his time. His work, despite the context described by Gallagher, has been decried as an unfortunately vicious nationalistic attack on communists. Spiegelman, in the blog post accompanying his upload of the film, claimed that Ford clearly wanted his name associated with Vietnam! Vietnam! because "it reflected his strong belief in the cause." He lamented that as such, the "work of propaganda is, actually, quite terrible." 166 Oth ers have delved further into the political implications of the piece. On "Hollywood Elsewhere," cinema blogger Jeffrey Wells responded to the film's release by calling it "a stain !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 165 Gallagher, 340 166 http://spiegelm last film ever produced by the legendary john


! '* upon Ford's hallowed reputation." 167 He argued that Ford held those who dissen ted from the war effort in distain, and that this attitude pervaded the director's final work to an unfortunate end. Beginning a reading of the film on this subject, the portrayal of anti war protests, highlights the greater theme of ideological instabili ty that is at the heart of the piece. His choice to include the domestic unrest that typified the war experience for much of American society in this documentary illustrates how far his work had come from the worldview portrayed in Midway built on a found ation of concrete political and moral attitudes. In recognizing that he did present certain pro war material, such as a fervent rant against peace protesters by a Hungarian immigrant who chooses to remain unnamed, it's important to not lose sight of what o ther perspectives are represented in the film. Far from belittling anti war demonstrators, a substantial portion of the piece is dedicated to voicing the opinions of those opposed to how the conflict had been conducted. Mrs. Sybil Stockdale speaks as a rep resentative of the wives of missing personnel, suggesting that concerned parties such herself should "demonstrate against the United States government we should join the women's strike for peace, this would be the most helpful thing we could do." While th is does not totally undermine the gendered construction of private (domestic) and public (military) national duty that Ford presented in his earlier work, the filmmaker still chose to include to include these dissenting women in the piece. The narration, p rovided by Charlton Heston, recognizes that with the war "a great free debate [audio lost due to damage of archival footage] surfaced in the United States, and the country gave birth to a hundred voices in universities and town halls, on television, and in !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 167 http://www.hollywood


! (+ Washington." Following this is a statement given by Dr. Benjamin Spock, voicing his opposition to the war as being "not only because it is morally and legally wrong, but because I think it is destroying the good name and the leadership of the United State s. Furthermore, I believe that the war is militarily unwinnable." While some interpretations of the film suggest that these figures are included in the work as a way of belitting the protesters, sa tirizing their cause, overstating rhetoric and mocking thei r cause, there is no explicit presence of any of this within the film itself. The broader narrative trajectory of Ford's work, in which his documentary films grew from being simple framings of facts like Torpedo Squadron 8 to complex, sprawling pieces lik e this may partially illustrate why the United States' government discontinued managing war coverage by producing works like this: without the unified and dominant ideological support for the war effort that permeated American culture the release of govern ment sponsored war coverage was simply beyond belief. Even Ford couldn't be trusted to make something that would drive support for the war in Vietnam: he retained his military title after WWII yet he was not compelled to make a film as pro war as he had pr eviously. Sherman Beck's original treatment for the film, prepared in 1968 for the United States Information Agency, called for the production of a 30 minute piece that would be "created intentionally as a simple straight line story, using an approach, an d incorporating selected factual and emotional material that should make it possible for the film to achieve its objective," which was "to counter the communist propaganda film, Inside North Vietnam', which purports to prove that United States Participati on in the Vietnamese conflict is an imperialist invasion. It is a highly convincing motion picture." Ford's final cut has virtually nothing in


! (" common with this early draft of the film. It's almost twice as long as originally planned, and features a number of perspectives on complex subject matter. Gone are the valorous Ame rican heroes of Ford's WWII who gave their life righteously fighting evil. Instead viewers are presented with Lt. Robert F. Frishman, who recounts his mistreatment as a prisoner of war sea ted in a press conference, looking small behind rows of microphones as he describes torturous mutilations conducted by the enemy. It has been suggested that one part of the "Vietnam Syndrome" was the loss of masculine power associated with American militar y efforts. Ford represents the last of the media makers who were paid to propagate a particular message, conditioning public opinion and ideology in a politically important way, as one of the last people who covered the war to be provided with access and m aterial support by the government. So what is to be made of Vietnam! Vietnam! ? It's possible that the filmmaker was conflicted about what message he wanted to impart to Americans about the war effort. Ambiguity, which made a tenuous debut in Korea is a full blown theme in Ford's final documentary. Whereas his previous work paraded the sureness of its subject matter and the right and valor of the military effort, no such conclusion is drawn in this piece. In concluding Vietnam! Vietnam! Ford presen ts a marching group of Vietnamese all holding torches made from tin cans as a symbolic vision of the continuing war effort. Claiming the Americans had taken on a mantle when the country first became involved in the conflict, the torch had now been passed o n to the Vietnamese with Nixon's decision to start withdrawing troops on December 31, 1969. "Whether that fire was to be a permanent light of freedom or would be extinguished was not to be known," Heston concludes. "Though the


! (# decade was done, the struggle of the south Vietnamese to be free was still unfinished." The original treatment suggested ending the film with the voice of a Vietnamese man stating that, "there is no doubt in his people's minds as to the origin of that war, or the political philosophy behind it." 168 Ford produced a film with a much less conclusive message than the American government prompted him to. Perhaps this conclusion was based on his experience witnessing the conflict and the reaction among Americans first hand. Ford generally sta ted his support for the war in Vietnam, but did offer some conflicted opinions on the war throughout his life: he stated once, after visiting the country he wrote "What's the war all about? Damned if I know. I haven't the slightest idea what were doing th ere." 169 As with the rest of his work, the tension between his personal attitudes and broader societal conditions played out throughout his career in a variety of ways. On a specific level, his questions about the war in Vietnam and broader Cold War conflict management represent how Americans were divided on such subjects. His films, from Korea! to Vietnam! represent this trend some Americans growing increasingly unaligned with the attitudes of the government, largely that of the P resident. This instability was partially due to the credibility gap recognized between official portrayals of the war and other coverage the dissolution of a unified national ideology was a part of the later years of the Vietnam War in a very broad sense. That the military wide s ystem of political indoctrination had lost a unified sense of purpose in pursuing the justification behind the Vietnam War also speaks to the lack of ideological unity in America at the end of the war. 170 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 168 Beck, 16 "'* !,-./0123!'*+ 170 DeRosa, Christopher S. 209. Political Indoctrination in the U.S. Army from World War II to the Vietnam War University of Nebraska Press, 2006


! ($ That Ford received economic incentives from the gove rnment during the Vietnam War makes him rare for the perio d. The film is evidence that suggests a trend: that between WWII and Vietnam era media management was that support for a certain kind of an account of the war dried up. This was one reason the film was never widely released: by the end of the Vietnam War the government no longer engaged in the process of media management by sponsoring the production of material that was aligned with the dominant political agenda. By changing tactics from influencing news coverage by furnishing journalists with access during WWII to trying secrecy and censorship during the Cold War, the government radically changed the politics of reporting between the end of WWII and the conclusion of the Vietnam War. Vietnam! Vietnam is representative of this as documentation of both the lack of government produced media released during the war and the broader climate in which support for the war was faltering, a condition Ford explicitly chose to address on screen.


! (% C onclusion: S ummarizing the argument and revisiting the Gulf War As stated in the introduction of this work, the basic point of this thesis is to construct a narrative that illustrates how the American government has attempted to influence public opinion by both managing independent journalistic media and separately producing original accounts of warfare. This two tiered approach to media management began during World War I, entered a higher level of significance during World War II, and was radically adjust ed as the Cold War developed through the conflict in Vietnam. In this thesis, the latter category of media management has been represented by the work of John Ford. The last word on John Ford Ford produced one last film before his death in 1973, entitled C hesty: A Tribute to a Legend The piece represents something of the last nail in the coffin of Ford's position as a representative of the ideological interpretation of war that he had once received so much support for championing. A documentary on the life of Lieutenant General Lewis "Chesty" Puller, the most decorated U.S. Marine in history, the piece was lambasted as "Sentimental Romanticism" and booed at its premier showing in 1976. 171 John Ford and his films represent so many different parts of this story The war reporting documents he produced are primary sources concerning both institutional and ideological management conducted by the government. He acted within political institutions as a military officer and a federally sponsored filmmaker while contr ibuting to the cultural ideology of the United States in complicated ways. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! "(" !,-./0123!(*$


! (& The films he produced are part of the broader history of combat cinema. More than conventional military and diplomatic histories of the war, these dramatic narratives are useful as evidence for what the era was like for individuals directly involved in combat. Many analyses of American combat films draw a parallel between the combat cinema discussed above and more recent portrayals of war including Steven Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan (1998) and Clint Eastwood's "Iwo Jima Saga:" Flags of Our Fathers (10/20/06) and Letters from Iwo Jima (12/20/06). The Deerhunter (1978), Apocalypse Now (1979) and Full Metal Jacket (1987) stand as culturally significant representations of the Vietnam War. Like Ford's work, these movies are a part of a tradition of looking at war from the perspective of the Americans who were involved on the front line imagining what a war means to a young man on the frontlines as compared to a political authority or an historian is a complicated but potentially fruitful process. All of these pieces are evidence of the cultural and ideological climate of America in a broad sense, including trends in h ow individual sacrifice for war efforts have been recognized at different moments in the nation's history. That the American government functionally authored some such signifiers of war, claiming factual veracity is an interesting consideration relevant to this conversation. Even under orders to produce a film glorifying the effort and sacrifices made by soldiers in Korea and Vietnam Ford produced films that were ambiguous to some degree, or to say it a different way: they did not reflect the national ideol ogical cohesion that typified his WWII films. Ford's documentaries were loaded with more complicated ideological implications, and he appropriated more of an artistic license, which in addition to the more secretive climate


! (' contributed to the government's stopping the production of media like Ford's documentaries. This alone could be valuable in understanding Ford as a filmmaker or an American citizen perhaps he himself ended up with something of a "Vietnam Syndrome" ; pained by his involvement in the prod uction of international warfare in the past, Vietnam! Vietnam! actually reflects the weight of the guilt upon his shoulders. This would evidence that the media stopped perpetuating a particular ideology. Maybe ideological management and the inherent politi cal implications therein played a significantly smaller role after Vietnam. But some scholars have concluded based on the evidence that the government and the executive have used news media to wield de facto influence over the American people during perio ds of military activity following the Gulf War. John R. MacArthur suggested that the ways in which the American government attempted to wield de facto influence under the first Bush administration have continued on a negligibly different trajectory, with t he government dealing with reporters with as much deceit as was typical during the Vietnam War. 172 According to this argument, pending a radical shift in the system by which military conflicts are covered on both the side of the government and journalists, t here is little hope for improving the process as to provide citizens with more accurate information. That is to say, as long as a "credibility gap" exists in one form or another the entire journalistic process is ill fated at best and he suggests that th e second Bush administration's unfounded and linguistically vague claim of suspecting Saddam Hussein to have weapons of mass destruction as justification for the war effort is an !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 172 MacArthur, John R. XV. Second Front: Censorship and Propaganda in the 1991 Gulf War University of California Press, 2004.


! (( example of exactly the kind of misleading media management that led to the "c redibility gap" during the Vietnam War 173 What can be said as a less assertive claim is that the government's attempt to manage the effect that accounts of the war have on the American people have become less clearly divided into the two categories of media management policy drawn out by this thesis. The two processes have come together as the government produced material and then arbitrated access to that content in a way that that has influenced the function of independent journalistic institutions. This i s a similar but importantly different process to what happened during WWII, with the government granting some reporters access to special subject matter. The government stopped dealing with journalist media and separately produced content as two separate t hings as they had been since really WWII. The government attempted to shape the impact that war reporting has by using the value of what they can provide reporters with access to. Beyond the technology heavy footage distributed and pooling techniques descr ibed above, the government has started furnishing certain privileges to fictional media makers much the same way John Ford received assistance in making They Were Expendable Top Gun received benefits donated by the government, as did Tom Clancy. 174 Military officials have worked in conjunction with civilians to produce and distribute a number of popular videogame titles portraying combat in the G ulf an interesting twist on the phrase coined by Taylor. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 173 MacArthur, xxvii 174 Smith, 215


! () While the country is unquestionably not ideologically u nified to the degree that the United States population was during WWII, there may also have been a mo re cohesive ideological bloc that accepted news' from the government after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. All of these concerns have factore d into how the American government has attempted to influence the impact news media has on public opinion in the past, but what will future of this narrative bring? Some theorists, including MacArthur and other scholars included in the introduction have su ggested that with the advent of the first Gulf War the American government took steps to return their media management system to the level of functionality it had before the war in Vietnam. The government acted on a functional level by controlling access t o information for journalists and providing incentives for producing their version of the war. That is to say, during the Gulf War there was management of news media in public institutionalized way and functional ideological control, the latter of which re volved around the production of government sponsored accounts of the war such as "smart bomb" footage. Some journalists were granted certain privileges as part of a system that resulted in the production of media that did not oppose the government's agenda It has also been suggested that this activity was a response to the news coverage of Vietnam, evidenced explicitly by policy under the Bush Sr. administration. In the second Gulf War, this activity may have continued. Under George W. Bush this also took the form of the embedded reporter. But what remained true is that the government was still managing the media by providing access without installing an institutional apparatus like that of WWII. Drawing this conclusion is to claim that during the first and


! (* second G ulf W ars political authorities including the executive wielded de facto influence over the citizens of the United States by having this control over news coverage. That this activity may have been conducted outside the public realm of institutiona lized policy would be undemocratic, according to some scholars' opinions on the role of the press in America. 175 What happened institutionally compared to ideologically? The division was not as clearly defined as it was during WWII. This is why the investiga tion accounts for the same basic possibility evidenced by authors listed in the introduction, the idea that the press may have had some effect on the application of political authority made by the American people. To suggest that the political sovereignty of the people could be influenced in this way is to make the assumption that such a force has existed in the history of the country. If the executive has generated support for war by shaping media coverage that means there existed some political power assu med by citizens in the first place. The authority of such a bloc was suggested more explicitly when acting in deference to the interests of the presidency, as came to be under the Nixon administration. That during the Gulf Wars the executive administration specifically catered to this political force, the population that might support the war effort based on coverage, further supports the historical belief that the people of the United States held some degree of sovereign political authority that the govern ment could not control directly. Whether journalism has dominantly served government interests is a debate that stems from the conclusion that it has served a significant function in conditioning the attitudes and !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 175 Smith 236


! )+ activity of American people. The governmen t and military did manage the media with functional policy such as the press pool protocol. Institutionally, there was little. How could economic powers have used the media during WWII to serve their interests? The underlying question is then whether or not reporting has influenced the op inion and activity of this bloc a question this thesis does not attempt to answer. T he conclusion of this investigation is only that the American government attempted to control the influence of reporting on the populat ion in a two fold way, influencing journalism and by making separate coverage. This had ramification on a public, institutional level as well as a functional, ideological level. During WWII the institutional media management policy of the United States gov ernment was a bureaucratic "muddle" and limited by the constitutional restraints of the First Amendment as interpreted by acting Attorney General Francis Biddle. That was not the case concerning the functional media management conducted by private groups s uch as the FCC and CIA, which also represent the government attempting to shape the way Americans responded to wartime news. During the Cold War media management was conducted less obviously in the public sphere, a trend that contributed to the "credibili ty gap" between what was available from political officials and the reality of the Vietnam War. The press has been credited with bringing this gap to light, albeit after years of war were conducted on the grounds of information that did not accurately defi ne the United States military involvement in the region. It has been argued that this reporting contributed to the support for opposing the Nixon administration in


! )" the form of the Pentagon Papers' release and the proceedings surrounding coverage of the Wat ergate scandal. Th e government's two tiered approach to media management conduced by attempting to influence independent journalism as well as producing accounts of war separately, underlies this entire history. But p erhaps this component of the narrative changed significantly over the course of the Gulf Wars, as these two strategies were brought together when government produced material started being distributed through the institutions of independent journalism. As such, the narrative that firs t began in WWI and may have come to an end, and a new era in the history of the government's relationship with news media may have begun. O n its most basic level, this thesis tells that first story : how the American government attempted to influence popula r support for WWII and the war in Vietnam by trying to control independent journalistic media and, in a separate but related process, through the creation of government sponsored accounts of war.


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