Skip to comments.Peter Jennings and Mike Wallace Agree-Reporters First, Americans Second
Posted on 04/08/2012 11:29:25 AM PDT by smoothsailing
April 1989 archive
In a future war involving U.S. soldiers what would a TV reporter do if he learned the enemy troops with which he was traveling were about to launch a surprise attack on an American unit? That's just the question Harvard University professor Charles Ogletree Jr, as moderator of PBS' Ethics in America series, posed to ABC anchor Peter Jennings and 60 Minutes correspondent Mike Wallace. Both agreed getting ambush footage for the evening news would come before warning the U.S. troops.
For the March 7 installment on battlefield ethics Ogletree set up a theoretical war between the North Kosanese and the U.S.-supported South Kosanese. At first Jennings responded: "If I was with a North Kosanese unit that came upon Americans, I think I personally would do what I could to warn the Americans."
Wallace countered that other reporters, including himself, "would regard it simply as another story that they are there to cover." Jennings' position bewildered Wallace: "I'm a little bit of a loss to understand why, because you are an American, you would not have covered that story."
"Don't you have a higher duty as an American citizen to do all you can to save the lives of soldiers rather than this journalistic ethic of reporting fact?" Ogletree asked. Without hesitating Wallace responded: "No, you don't have higher duty... you're a reporter." This convinces Jennings, who concedes, "I think he's right too, I chickened out."
Ogletree turns to Brent Scrowcroft, now the National Security Adviser, who argues "you're Americans first, and you're journalists second." Wallace is mystified by the concept, wondering "what in the world is wrong with photographing this attack by North Kosanese on American soldiers?" Retired General William Westmoreland then points out that "it would be repugnant to the American listening public to see on film an ambush of an American platoon by our national enemy."
A few minutes later Ogletree notes the "venomous reaction" from George Connell, a Marine Corps Colonel. "I feel utter contempt. Two days later they're both walking off my hilltop, they're two hundred yards away and they get ambushed. And they're lying there wounded. And they're going to expect I'm going to send Marines up there to get them. They're just journalists, they're not Americans."
Wallace and Jennings agree, "it's a fair reaction." The discussion concludes as Connell says: "But I'll do it. And that's what makes me so contemptuous of them. And Marines will die, going to get a couple of journalists."
The only reason the Left in this country was in favor of getting involved in WWII was that Poor ol’ Uncle Joe Stalin was under attack. Otherwise when were they for us helping anybody in the past hundred years???
(Quote) You cannot always remain a witness, above and removed from the story you are covering. There are some events which demand your participation. The battle of Landing Zone XRay was one such event in my life. I will not here recount every event of that battle which continued until the afternoon of November 16-—and was then followed by an even more horrific battle called Landing Zone Albany which virtually destroyed a sister battalion, the 2nd Battalion 7th Cavalry. At LZ XRay 80 men died and 124 were wounded, many of them terribly. At LZ Albany 155 Americans were killed and another 121 wounded, most of them in the space of six hours time. Four days-—234 Americans killed. Perhaps as many as 2,000 North Vietnamese soldiers of the 33rd, 320th and 66th Regiments also died there, by our hand.
It was a watershed event in the American war in Vietnam. At that point 1,100 Americans had died in Vietnam. Before the war ended a total of 58,200 made the supreme sacrifice for our country.
I left XRay the way I had arrived, aboard a Huey helicopter flown by Bruce Crandall, Ancient Serpent 6. But none of us who survived left there the same man he was when he arrived. We had been drenched in blood and horror. I had heard the command “Fix Bayonets!” and seen men use those bayonets on other men. I had carried both the wounded and dead, hauled ammo and water, and, yes, on occasion I put down my cameras and picked up my rifle and used it. (End Quote)
Yup, according to that article he did indeed say he picked up a weapon and used it.
Can you imagine what would happen to any journalist who tells the American public he could have prevented an ambush of American troops but chose not to just to get a story? Public hanging would be too good for him.
While living I cannot personally remember the immediate period before Hitler invaded Russia. I was simply too young. However, my folks remember the left supporting Hitler then having a 180 degree turn about upon Hitler’s invasion of Russia. This sudden change in behavior by the Communists alienated a lot of fellow travelers.
when an American is traveling with the enemy...Hes no longer an American...hes the enemy!!!
The Associated Press & the rest of the media tries to make it a difficult, moral decision. It is not, it is simple & straight forward, they are the enemy.
Yep 1968-76 was the transition
>> One good Marine is a more worthy American than 1,000 Mike Wallaces will ever be.
Agreed 1,000 times over.
Be nice if they would at least report accurately, rather than bend the facts to fit their agenda. Look no farther than their handling/distortion of the shooting of Trevon Martin by Zimmerman. Starting with calling Zimmerman white, when his mother is Peruvian, and by the looks of him, with a lot of Andes Indian.
All in support of the Obama agenda, of gun control, stricter laws against the use of force in self defense, etc, etc and of course his re-coronation.
Hopefully Wallace met General George S. Patton and Audie Murphy at the Pearly Gates, and got his @ss booted down into the hottest cauldron that Hell has to offer.
Wallace and Jennings...I don’t miss either one of the lying SOBs.
More precisely, by providing propaganda coverage for the enemy side (since they would only be allowed to come along in exchange for favorable coverage), he is giving "aid and comfort to the enemy", which is punishable by death.
As a practical approach, I would regard enemy-embedded reporters as invisible, in that I would not be deterred by their presence before opening fire.
Reporters Liberal Agendas First, Americans Second
There, fixed it!
Please listen to this audio clip. It was recorded at about 3:30 a.m. on June 6, 1944.
Go to the 60:00 mark and listen to Herbert M. Clark’s dispatch from London. He was on a ship in the English Channel as it made its way to the Normandy coast.
Thanks for posting this.
Clark certainly understood, didn’t he? To paraphrase; “My loyalty to those of you listening back home is superceded by my loyalty to those sailors and soldiers on these ships”. He had no intention of broadcasting anything that could be intercepted and used by the Germans to harm the Allied invasion.