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News ::
MEDIA COVER UP (english)
26 Feb 2003
MEDIA COVERUP
card-2.jpg
MEDIA COVERUP
VIETNAM VETERANS FOR ACADEMIC REFORM
the student auxiliary at the University of Kansas

Leonard Magruder - Founder/President
Former professor of psychology, Suffolk College, N.Y.

VETERANS GET TO READ NEWSLETTER ON MAJOR SYMPOSIUM COVERED UP BY NATIONAL
MEDIA 15 YEARS AGO

Intro.
One aspect of the Vietnam War that has long been criticized is the
performance of the national media in its coverage of the war. Vietnam
Veterans for Academic Reform has often spoken out on this, as in the matter
of the coverage of the Tet Offensive, the Westmoreland-CBS controversy, and
the boycottting by PBS of "Television's Vietnam." All these and other stories
may be found in the 10 - part series I wrote, "Vietnam and the Media", at
http://members.aol.com/bear317o/index.htm
One of the most flagrant cases of media bigotrty with regard to Vietnam
War issues occurred in 1987 when the national media refused to report to the
American people on the Vietnam Symposium at the University of New York, Stony
Brook , Long Island. The largest symposium ever held on the war, attended by
some 600 Vietnam veterans , plus students, it was designed to bring the
American people up to date on the many ongoing issues concerning that war and
its veterans. It was my priviledge to be invited to act as National
Coordinator for the project. My newsletter summarizing the findings of the
Symposium was totally covered up by the national media, just 40 miles down
the road in Manhattan.
Thanks to the development of the Internet we can now bypass that media,
and can even go back and re-release a newsletter that was written in this
case, 15 years ago and I have to admit, it gives me a big kick to be able to
do so. They didn't win. And we no longer have to argue as to whether the
media is biased. We have it straight from CBS insider Bernard Goldberg in his
book "Bias."
Below is that newsletter of long ago, and I suspect it will come as a
surprise to many of you that such a symposium ever took place. It was never
mentioned anywhere in the national media.The newsletter, and a shorter press
release, were distributed by the Veterans Press Syndicate, Inc. , a division
of the newspaper "National Vietnam Veterans Review" - LM
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

------------------------------------APRIL 24, 1987

VIETNAM VETERANS BRING WAR TO CAMPUS - SERIOUS QUESTIONS RAISED REGARDING
ROLE OF CAMPUS 'PEACE' MOVEMENT AND MEDIA -TV NETWORK REPRESENTATIVES REFUSE
TO PARTICIPATE

Washington(VPS) - Leonard Magruder, National Coordinator for the Symposium
on Vietnam at the State University of New York -Stony Brook, told reporters
in Washington today that more than any other event since its ending, the
Symposium had moved towards major new clarifications of issues related to the
Vietnam War. It was, he said, the most comprehensive, in-depth examination of
both the war in Vietnam and the "war on the home front" ever put together on
an American campus.
The key to the success of the Symposium was that for the first time
hundreds of Vietnam veterans and students had been brought together in a
direct learning situation, stimulated by an outstanding panel of speakers, 60
in all, from all over the country representing the military, the media, the
government, veterans organizations, academia, and the war protestors. Funding
for the project came from private individuals. Over $35,000 was raised for
honorariums and speaker fees. "Newsday", the only newspaper to mention the
Symposium, described the project as "the first of its kind in the country",
and "a model for other universities."
Sessions ordinarily start with a film followed by two or three speakers
and end with a question and answer period. Attendance at these meetings
average about 600, rising to about 1000 when General Westmoreland spoke. The
Saturday sessions are smaller and more informal, primarily concentrating on
veteran-student interaction. In addition to the scheduled events, on at least
two occasions veterans have been asked by dorm leaders to lead students in
discussions that lasted late into the night, reminiscent of the"teach-ins" of
the 60's. The Symposium was produced by Dr. Theodore Kennedy, Professor of
Anthropology at Stony Brook University and a veteran of Korea, in memory of
his brother lost in Vietnam. He is assisted in the project by Mr. Magruder
and members of the Suffolk chapter of Vietnam Veterans of America. Sessions
of the Symposium covered different topics related to the Vietnam War. These
include:

l) The History of Vietnam and American Involvement
2) How America's Youth Responded to the Call
3) The Views of Veteran Organizations (VVA,VFW,American Legion ,etc.)
4) The War as Seen by General Westmoreland
5) Protests and Counter-Protests at Home
6) The Performance of the Media
7) The Turning Points of the War
8) The Return of the Vietnam Veteran
9) The Story of the Wall by its Founders
10) The Adjustment and Reassimilation of the Veteran
11) The POW/MIA Issue
12) The Views of the South Vietnamese
13) The Lessons of the War
14) The Vietnam Veteran as Emerging Leader

Participants in the Symposium include the following:

Academics
Michael Barnhart - Professor of
History (SUNY-Stony Brook) Bruce Hare-Professor of
Sociology (SUNY-Stony Brook)

John McDermott-Professor of Labor Studies (SUNY-Old Westbury)
Robert Neville-Professor of Philosophy
(SUNY-Stony Brook) Joe Dunn-Professor
of Political Science (Converse College, S.C.)
Naomi Rosenthal-Professor of American Studies (SUNY-Old Westbury)
Michael Sweig-Professsor of Economics (SUNY-Stony Brook)
John Frame-Professor of Tropical Science ( Columbia Presbyterian
Hospital) Rosalyn Baxandall-Professor of American Studies (SUNY-Old
Westbury)

National Veteran
Leadership
John Catterson -Vice President-Vietnam
Veterans of America (VVA) Kenneth
Steadman-Director-Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW)
Robert Spanogle-National Adjutant-The American Legion
William C.
Westmoreland -General-U.S. Army (ret.) and author George
Brooks -Chairman-League of Families (POW/MIA)
Chuck Allen-Lt. Col. ,U.S.Army (ret.) and publisher, "National Vietnam
Veterans Review".


Dennis Garbosky -President-Vietnam War Veterans Historical
Society John Wheeler-author,
President-Project on the Vietnam Generation
Jan Scruggs -Author, Co-founder, The Vietnam Veterans Memorial
(The Wall)John Hanson -Director of Public Relations-The American Legion
Al Santoli -Author

Joel Cook-National Chairman -Human Rights
Committee for POW/MIA

Former 60's activists
Leroi Jones
-Poet, Professor of African Studies (SUNY -Stony Brook)
Florynce Kennedy-Co-founder-NOW
Bobby Seale-Co-founder-Black
Panther Party
Key Martin-former Chairman -Youth Against War and Fascism
David Horowitz-Author and former Editor of "Ramparts"
Leonard Magruder-former Professor of Psychology and
President-Vietnam Veterans for Academic Reform
Allen
Ginsburg-Poet and Author

Others



Richard Friedman-Dept. of Psychiatry (SUNY-Stony Brook)
Robert Marcus-Vice President Stony Brook
Univ.(SUNY-Stony Brook) Eugene
McCarthy-former U.S. Senator and presidential candidate
Victor Yannacone-Attorney-Agent
Orange

William Gibbons- National Defense Division-Congressional
Research Science John LeBoutillier-Former
U.S. Congressman and Chairman-Skyhook ll Project

David Trask-Army Historian
Officer-Center of Military History Howard
Hill-Defense Intelligence Agency (POW/MIA)
Local Vietnam Veteran Leadership

Edward Murphy-Director of Veteran Affairs-State of New York
Jack O'Brian-President-Vietnam
Veterans of America- Suffolk Chapter
Raymond Zbikowski-Director-Vietnam Veterans Research Center of
Hicksville
Gasper
Falzone-Director-Vet Center of Babylon, N.Y.
Robert Duffy-former 1st.
Lt.- U.S. Army
Christopher Fodgus-former Sargeant, U.S.Army
John
Behan-Assemblyman, N.Y. State
Tony Bliss-former
Chairman -Veterans for Westmoreland
Gary McKnight-former squad leader, U.S. Army

Charles Fink-former captain, U.S. Army and priest
Jerry Klein-Representative-Vietnam Veterans
Against the War
Lee Allen -former Ground Nurse, U.S.Army
Dave Brown-Lt. Col.,
U.S.Army (ret.) Advisor to the Army of South Vietnam

Morton Pomerantz-Vietnam
veteran and rabbi
Frank Campaign-former Captain, U.S.Army
Hung Van No-
former Captain, Army of South Vietnam (ARVN)
Kevin Connelly-Advisor to South Vietnam, U.S. Army
George Swiers-Director
-Vietnam Veterans Unit- N.Y. Civil Service

National Media Representatives
Bob Keller - "Newsday"

Don Kowet-"The Washington Times"

Reed Irvine-"Accuracy in Media"

Aspects of the war that had been neglected over the years but have been
brought out by the speakers at the Symposium include; the humanitarian and
idealistic dimensions of American involvement, the subversive aspects of the
campus "peace" movement, the true intentions of Communist North Vietnam to
conquer all of Indochina, the ruthlessness and barbaric tactics of the Viet
Cong, the use of the American media to influence public opinion against the
war, the succumbing of American journalists and intellectuals to Hanoi
propaganda, the bravery and victorious record of the American soldier, the
genuine thrust for freedom of the South Vietnamese, the abandonment by
liberals in Congress of South Vietnam, the views of the Vietnam veteran
towards the war protestors and the media, and the true status of the POW/MIA
issue.
Asked what he thought were the main themes emerging from the Symposium,
Mr. Magruder said that while he could not speak for either Dr. Kennedy or the
Vietnam veterans, that as a psychologist and sociologist the themes that he
saw emerging from the Symposium seemed to include at least the following five
points:

l) The majority of veterans fully understood their mission in Vietnam to be
to stop Communist aggression from the North, do not view their mission in
Vietnam as having been "immoral", take a certain amount of pride in their
accomplishments on the battlefield, and are proud to have served their
country.

2) The majority of veterans do not view the war protestors as having been
either "idealistic" or as "moral heroes", and view their interpretation of
the war as na´ve, false, and damaging to their efforts.

3) Most veterans expressed concern over the fact that many former draft
evaders and war protestors now occupy prominent positions on campus and
continue in their writings and lectures to perpetuate a false understanding
of the war and its veterans.

4) A majority of veterans appear to be deeply dissatisfied with the media,
particularly national television, for having portrayed a view of the war more
sympathetic to that of the war protestors than to the majority of Americans
including themselves.

5) Many of the veterans appear to hold the campus and the media largely
responsible for the tragic outcome of the war, and blame those two
institutions for having created a false image of them and the war that made
their return home very difficult.

Asked what he thought was the most significant contribution of the Symposium,
Mr. Magruder said that it was undoubtedly the changing perception by students
of Vietnam veterans from the false stereotypes of the anti-war movement and
the media, to one of citizens who had acted responsibly in answering the call
to duty, who successfully fought an especially difficult war to a peace
treaty, and who had returned home to totally unfair treatment as a result of
misinformation spread by the campus and the media.

END OF NEWSLETTER

A recent comment:
Mr. Magruder is President of Vietnam Veterans for Academic Reform, the
national organization and the student auxiliary at the Univ. of Kansas.
Speaking in Lawrence today he said, "Looking back, it borders on a national
tragedy that an event of this scope, made possible by the contributions, in
terms of time, effort, and money, of so many, and designed to help the
American people arrive at some correct historical conclusions with regards
the war, was so neglected by the media, as well as by many on the Stony Brook
University faculty, who largely shunned the event.
Significant new
insights on the Vietnam Era by General Westmoreland, David Horowitz, Sen.
Eugene McCarthy, Bobby Seale and Al Santoli and so many others went totally
unreported by the media, nor would they send representatives to engage in the
dialogue. For thirty years, the tissue of lies that were told on campuses by
those who would not serve has been rotting the heart out of our universities.
Look at the experience of David Horowitz when he tried to speak at Brown and
Arizona State. The spirit of the leftist thugs of the 60's is still with us.
For 30 years the university has been unable to tolerate a dissenting opinion,
or discuss an issue rationally, continuing to serve as Paul Hollander, noted
sociologist at U. Mass. writes, "the major reservoirs of the adversary
culture." Why don't our universities finally face the truth about Vietnam,
rejoin and help our society, particularly in this hour of national crisis ?"


Magruder44 (at) aol.com 786-843-3737
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