What happened to the Liberal Media?
I'm too young to say I *remember* Vietnam, but I certainly noticed that the Media covered it in a very anti-war and anti-US military manner. I'm not sure who was a more dangerous opponent for the military... the Vietcong or the US media.
In any case, a couple decades pass, the Gulf War comes around and suddenly war looks like a video game. Broken bodies are not shown, Anti-aircraft fire is shown twinkling like shooting stars in the night, bombing is always expressed (by the media!) in terms of its precision. Repeatedly its said that civilian casualties are kept to a bare minimum. Heck, I was almost expecting them to show a bunch of vacationers in the desert setting up picnics the way the war was described.
Ok. So the score is 1 to 1, right? Media wins Vietnam, Military wins Gulf War. I expected a kind of struggle in the Iraqi War as this was the rubber match. The media DID cover a fair amount of anti-war sentiments, but they seemed to lack passion... almost as if they set out to be 50/50 in their coverage. 10 minutes of anti-war coverage, 10 minutes of pro-war coverage. I bet if I look backstage I see a guy holding a stopwatch.
The military isn't going to do a 50/50 thing, so I'd say the Military is winning the Iraqi war as well.
I guess the explanation is that the media in the '60s was derived from the "spirit of the '60s", which among other things (such as naivete) was Liberal and rebellious against what they saw as "older". Vietnam got caught in the cultural crossfire. With these far more conservative times comes a more conservative media. The Media then rather than being an independent agency is just thrown about on the whims of culture.