Myth: Media coverage of the war was balanced and accurate and contributed to development of appropriate US policies
Fact: Media bias played a major role in the outcome of the war.
- Two of the most reported photos of the war both told false stories.
- The famous photo of a young Vietnamese girl burned by napalm was falsely reported as caused by US aircraft. It was solely a South Vietnamese operation.
- The photo of "napalm girl" was cropped to hide the fact that there were soliders walking beside her.
- The famous photo of a Vietnamese police officer summarily executing a Viet Cong prisoner left crucial details out of the story.
- The Tet offensive was reported as a defeat for American forces. The opposite was true. The offensive decimated the Viet Cong.
- Walter Cronkite famously pronounced the Vietnam War "a quaqmire" after Tet.
- The media has consistently reported that the US lost the Vietnam War. The US left Vietnam in 1973. The war was lost in 1975, after North Vietnam, once again, violated the terms of the peace treaty.