Still nobody came to the Que Son Valley or the Hiep Duc Ridge as I expected. Press don't go to garden spots with out a pink card to get out unscathed. No cameras rolled in Death Valley!
Now we get a new version of the same old game plan.
More than twenty American journalists were killed covering the war in Vietnam, and twice that many from countries like Britain, Australia, France, Japan etc. One of the Americans was the astonishing Dickey Chapelle who began her career in journalism covering the Marines on Iwo Jima and Okinawa in WWII and later learned to parachute so she could cover airborne operations right beside the troops. She is so honored by the USMC that the Corps presents an annual award in her name to the woman they decide has made the sort of contribution to the morale and welfare of United States Marines that Chappelle did.
Another was Bernard Fall, a combat veteran who supported the U.S. effort in Vietnam but correctly predicted its failure because the U.S. (like France) supported corrupt, incompetent and unpopular regimes. His book "Street Without Joy" should be read by anyone who wants to know what happened in Vietnam. Like Dickey Chapelle he died in the company of U.S. Marines at the front, he didn't slip and fall in a hotel bathroom.
Charles Eggleston was a Navy veteran and one of five journalists captured by Viet Cong moving into position for the Tet offensive who executed the other four but left Eggleston alive. Eggleston, who had previously been wounded in Vietnam, afterwards carried a rifle in addition to his camera and swore he would kill any VC he could. He was shot and killed outside Saigon during Tet.
One of the best known was Sean Flynn, the son of actor Errol Flynn, a photojournalist who specialized in travelling with special forces units and friendly militias way out in the boonies. He and journalist Dana Stone (also known for going out into the bush with special forces) were captured by communist guerillas in Cambodia and never seen again.
No doubt some journalists covering the war in Vietnam can fairly be described as liberals who were against the war. And some, perhaps many, probably did avoid getting too near the action if possible. Some reporters died just by being in the wrong place at the wrong time, like catching a ride on a chopper that crashed--one Japanese journalist died when his apartment was hit by chance during a VC rocket attack. However others were slogging through the same mud as the troops when they died from enemy fire, some were themselves combat veterans and some had very public anti-communist views.
Any claim that all
journalists were anti-war liberals who stayed well away from the fighting is simply not supported by the facts.