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and the government. A credibility gap means that there is a significant "gap" between the government’s declarations of military and political use, and the reality.
From 1964 to 1972 the wealthiest and most powerful nation in the world committed a major military effort in order to defeat a nationalist revolution in a peasant country- and failed. - This was the Vietnam War.
Through out the course of this war there developed the greatest antiwar movement the United States had ever experienced. This antiwar movement began to unfold as the credibility gap between the government and the people kept getting wider in mainstream America as a result, media coverage of the Vietnam War became more detailed and critical.
Now-a-days most of us take for granted the fact that our governments hide information from the public and undergo covert operations. - In 1964 society generally saw the government as an establishment that did what was in the best interest for the people. The Vietnam War revealed how the American government was conducting its foreign policy. People’s eyes opened when they saw images of the atrocities that had been done in countless villages throughout Vietnam, they
questioned their government’s judgment when a series of documents called the Pentagon Papers were released into the public, where government specialist describe U.S. involvement in Vietnam from 1945 to 1968. The Vietnam War proved to be an eye opener for western society as average people began to ask more questions thus creating a new front in the war – the public interest front, where governments have to make sure the public agrees with their actions, or, in other words, lie some more.
There was opposition to the war as early as 1965; an educated minority of university students and professors saw the pointlessness of U.S. involvement in Vietnam. Professors and students, that were more aware of current events and the history of Vietnam, at American universities, sought to teach their fellow students about what was going on in, what was called, ‘teach-ins’. The first of these was held in 1965 when President Johnson made the decision to deploy 3000 marines to Danang. What the media tried to do for the masses was to try and take the reality of war into people’s living room’s. What affected the masses the most were the programs that began to represent antiwar sentiments. Shows such as “That Was the Week That Was” occasionally attacked President Johnson’s policies. “Daniel Boone” was a popular program about a legendary American frontier hero; the program started portraying the colonials as the Viet Cong and the English as the Americans.
Unlike Iraq, reporters in Vietnam had more freedom of press in conflict areas; there was no official censorship in place and correspondents could move around with more freedom. But this was not the problem; the problem lay at home, broadcasters filtered the information and network TV policies that were aimed against airing footage that might offend soldiers' families sanitized the coverage of the war. Information that got to the public was a watered down version of what was coming straight from the field as media companies declared that some of the information was, as Miss Gellhorn said when she tried to publish some of her detailed articles about the war, “Everywhere I was told that they were too tough for American reader.”
It is widely thought that Vietnam had been the "living room war", an "uncensored war" showing its "true horror." It wasn't the mainstream media that turned the public against the war; it was the public, especially the growing antiwar movement fortified by Vietnam veterans who opposed the war - that encouraged mainstream media toward more critical coverage of the war.